John Pirie Secondary School supports Polished Man campaign

Staff and students at John Pirie Secondary School have flaunted their polished nails this week to help raise awareness and funds for the Polished Man campaign.

As part of the campaign, people are challenged to paint one fingernail to spark a conversation that leads to a donation.

All funds raised help to raise awareness, and try to end, violence against children through trauma prevention and recovery programs.

Student Voice leaders Rennae Vincent-Heylen and Kirsty Hoile said they came across the campaign on the radio and thought it would be a fantastic fundraiser to take on.

"This year it's been pretty limited in terms of the opportunities that we have been able to offer students to be able to create meaningful change and certainly what we found is that students are often really keen to be a part of something," Mrs Vincent-Heylen said.

On October 21, a sausage sizzle fundraiser was held in partnership with the local Rotary Club as part of its Interact program, which is about student leadership and student voice.

"It was fantastic to have them on board and Pirie Nails heard about what we were doing and said that they would be really happy to donate some nail polish and some of the girls who work their who are also students at our school and said that they would be willing to donate their time to help paint a nail," Mrs Vincent-Heylen said.

Frome MP Geoff Brock attended the school on October 23, for a morning tea fundraiser created by food and hospitality students.

Mr Brock put his hand in to support the cause, having his nails painted in his favourite footy teams' colours.

"This program will actually help to make awareness of violence against children in particular and certainly having my nails painted in those colours, they're the Crows colours, but that hopefully will be an omen for next year," he said.

"As soon as I walked in the door here today they have been really terrific.

"They have been very vocal about it, very passionate about it and that's the whole thing about it, because the kids themselves are the ones that need to be in the centre of this program.

"They are the ones that are going to promote it out to their peers and also back to their parents, but certainly the response from the kids here was absolutely overwhelming this morning."

Ms Hoile said the students had jumped on board with the campaign.

"It's been really good. It always creates a nice atmosphere in the yard and it's us all doing something together for the same cause," she said.

"We have spoken in classes with students about the main ideas of it, so they are aware that our main goal is to raise awareness and start conversations about violence against children.

"Unfortunately violence against children is something that affects our community and being the young people in our community, they themselves are affected by it, whether it is them themselves or their friends, or being exposed to it in different ways.

"It is really important that within our community we help raise awareness of the issue and support these children, so they know where they can go to get support if they need it."

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