Get involved early

The St Vincent de Paul Society offers opportunities for teachers and students to support their local community and engage in the Vincentian way of living.

The Society encourages school communities to live their faith through action using the ‘See’ (education and awareness), ‘Think’ (formation and reflection) and ‘Do’ (community service and fundraising) model.

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Primary Schools

Primary school students can get involved with the Mini Vinnies program that empowers them to become advocates within their school and local community by putting their values into action. They meet regularly to learn about social justice issues, develop leadership skills and engage with the wider St Vincent de Paul Society.

Secondary Schools

Secondary School Conferences are offered to middle school and senior years. It empowers students to recognise, reflect and respond to causes of human injustice through advocacy and action in their local communities. They meet regularly to explore ways of achieving a more just and compassionate society, develop leadership skills and engage with the wider St Vincent de Paul Society.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has been engaging with young people and education since its earliest days.

There are many opportunities for schools to enhance their curriculum units (social justice, community, volunteering, etc) by learning about the St Vincent de Paul Society and having students participate in small but effective initiatives that make a difference in the community. This connection can enrich student learning while also assisting people in need.

The Schools Resource webpage provides information about the St Vincent de Paul Society and includes video clips, reflective activities and ideas for school-based actions.

Visit our Schools & Youth Resources - Vic

Mini Vinnies & College Conferences

The first Victorian school Conference was established on 16 August 1908 at St Francis Xavier College, Kew and the St Vincent de Paul Society is proud that so many schools are now actively involved.

School conferences comprise both Mini Vinnies (primary schools) and College Conferences (secondary schools). A school Conference is a group of school-aged students who form a conference to help those in need within their school and local community. School conferences increase student awareness about issues that exist in local communities and beyond. They introduce students to the St Vincent de Paul Society and to living their faith through action.

Each school conference comes under the auspice of the St Vincent de Paul Society, however they have the flexibility to make their own decisions about how they run and what activities they undertake. The groups are supported by one or two members of school staff who help guide the students’ involvement in prayer and reflection, awareness raising activities and community initiatives.

Through small but effective initiatives, school conferences make a difference through their good works. This could be an initiative to combat loneliness amongst elderly people in the local community by for example creating and delivering Christmas Cards or the school conference could raise funds by organising a school sleep out, a casual dress day or a school car wash. The possibilities are endless! School conferences are considered an important part of the Society as they strive to replicate the model of parish-based conference members worldwide. Just like all Society members of any age, students in school conferences receive a special badge when they are commissioned.

School conferences are supported by the local conference and the Youth Engagement Team. There are possibilities for visits, brainstorms, workshops and much more, all tailored to the needs of the school conference.

School conferences are not just Social Justice groups; they are groups seeking to live out faith through action.

Any questions? Please contact the Youth Engagement Team at schools@svdp-vic.org.au

Video resources available include:

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