Mt Lawley: Perth College students mix philosophy and charity

Dr Nin Kirkham (centre) was scholar in residence at Perth College. Students Maddy Fountain (left) and Amy Porter (right) wrote two of the winning proposals for Dr Kirkham's grant of funds to charity. Picture: Jessica Warriner.
Dr Nin Kirkham (centre) was scholar in residence at Perth College. Students Maddy Fountain (left) and Amy Porter (right) wrote two of the winning proposals for Dr Kirkham's grant of funds to charity. Picture: Jessica Warriner.

PERTH College students have put their philosophy skills to the test to give back to the community.

Earlier this year, University of Western Australia Chair of Philosophy Dr Nin Kirkham was the college’s scholar in residence and explored the question ‘What is beauty?’ with students from Years 2 to 10.

For their involvement, Year 11 and 12 students were invited to submit proposals for charitable organisations who ‘uphold a concept of beauty’ through the work they do, with Dr Kirkham making a grant of funds to the winning charities.

Dr Kirkham said it was important for young people to engage in intelligent critique of their own culture.

“It was so good to see the proposals, and the diversity of the way the students tied them to the program,” she said.

Year 11 student Maddy Fountain’s winning proposal saw funds dedicated to the Against Malaria Foundation, Year 12 Shannon Barrie’s sent money to wildlife rehabilitation and conservation at PilRoc Retreat, and Year 11 Amy Porter’s proposal saw funds donated to ReachOut Australia for youth mental health support.

“I thought when I read about the competition, ‘who would need it the most?’” Maddy said.