St Patrick's College students visit incarcerated girls at Reiby

Working together: St Patrick's College students enjoyed their time at Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre earlier this month.
Working together: St Patrick's College students enjoyed their time at Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre earlier this month.

Incarcerated girls in Airds had a ball engaging with students from Campbelltown's St Patrick's College in a special gala day earlier this month.

Ten St Patrick's students visited Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre on April 10 to spend the day with students at the Dorchester Education and Training Unit.

Dorchester students are in court-ordered custody and rarely have contact with peers of their own age from the outside world.

Dorchester relieving principal Alexandra Stylis said the girls fully embraced the opportunity to play sport, chat and display some of the skills that had acquired at Reiby.

"It was wonderful to observe the Dorchester girls completely forget their daily challenges," she said.

"The smiles on their faces as they engaged with the St Pat's girls in such a normal, nonthreatening teenage manner was priceless."

The gala day was designed to encourage the girls to form relationships and empathise with students they would not typically engage with.

The activities focused on building confidence and social values.

The girls enjoyed a morning of volleyball and netball before the St Pat's students were invited to a morning tea and lunch in the Dorchester coffee shop.

The visitors were also treated to a ceremony at the Dorchester Aboriginal Learning Circle, where stuff and students explained the cultural importance of the site and its power in enhancing indigenous values and traditions in their personal development.

Ms Stylis praised the St Pat's students for the empathy and kindness on the day.

"They were an outstanding group of young women who were non-judgemental and just happy to see our girls have fun," she said.

"There was a wonderful connectedness that will certainly increase the self-esteem and confidence of our young women."

The visiting girls were primarily year 12 students on the college's leadership team. They were accompanied by year 12 coordinator Paul Ashkar.

"The activities were aligned with the Good Samaritan Benedictine values which guide St Patrick's College," he said.

"These girls have embraced this. I am also positive that our girls will go home with a greater appreciation of their own lives."