Run for St Jude’s: TechnologyOne staff regularly participate in charity challenges to support the school.

Over the past decade, the TechnologyOne Foundation, has been an avid supporter of St Jude’s, fuelling the interest and skills of our students in technology and lending their expertise to streamline office systems. Additionally, TechnologyOne staff have actively participated in various charity and fundraising activities for St Jude’s through the years. 

Powering connectivity

 Our school’s robust IT infrastructure is made possible through TechnologyOne’s donation, as well as our internet connectivity, IT infrastructure, and licensing for various eLearning programs for students across all our campuses. 

Technology  support 

TechnologyOne donates software programs that assist St Jude’s with budgeting, forecasting, database management, and supply chain management. Their staff also closely collaborates with our Corporate Applications and IT departments in customising technology to meet the school's specific needs.

Supporting STEM learning  

TechnologyOne provides ICT and software support that enhances teaching effectiveness in our school and nurtures our students’ digital literacy.  In March, TechOne also offered career and study advice for our students, giving them perspectives on the range of career pathways available in the STEM fields and further generating interest in STEM learning at St Jude’s.  

A Super Supporter: Africa (second from right) proudly showcasing St Jude’s shortly after the 2023 Bridge2Brisbane fundraiser run. 

The Sunday of October 15 was a special one for Africa, an enthusiastic supporter of St Jude’s. He had just competed in a 10 km run and helped raise over AU$5000 for The School of St Jude. 

“I participated in Queensland’s largest fun run to raise funds for St Jude’s,” says Africa. “I completed the run in one piece and raised an impressive AU$5860 – and the count is still rising,” he adds proudly.

Africa, who currently resides in Australia where he works as a senior electrical engineer, has been a long supporter of St Jude’s. He and his wife, Yvette, found out about the school during one of their many trips to Tanzania and immediately became supporters. 

Long-Term Supporters: Africa (right) and his wife (left) have been supporters for 19 years!

“St Jude’s dedication to providing quality education to underprivileged children in Tanzania resonates strongly with my values and aspirations,” says Africa. “I know this because I have experienced it first-hand,” he adds. 

Africa was born and raised in one of the villages along the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania. Growing up, he enjoyed playing football and developed a liking for mathematics and science subjects at school.

“Some of my favourite memories were those of my father tutoring me,” shares Africa. “He instilled in me the value of a good education from the beginning. My father would even assign daily learning tasks to reinforce the skills and subjects in the classroom,” he continues.

His father’s efforts paid off and Africa achieved high primary and secondary school results which allowed him to attend the best government schools in Tanzania. This opened up more opportunities for Africa to pursue further studies in the United States and Australia.

“I am deeply grateful to have a parent who believed in the power of education. I want to extend the same spirit to the next generation of aspiring Tanzanian professionals,” says Africa. “This is why I decided to challenge myself in the Bridge2Brisbane fun run this year to raise funds for a cause that is close to my heart,” he adds passionately.

Over the years, Africa and his wife have been ardent supporters of St Jude’s, through sponsorship, organising fundraising activities, and raising awareness. Africa was awarded the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for his dedication to assisting his native community in Tanzania, notably his former primary school and advocacy for St Jude’s.

As long-term sponsors, Africa and his wife, Yvette, have personally experienced the transformative journey of a sponsored student at St Jude’s.

“When I learned of St Jude’s and its mission of fighting poverty through education, my wife and I agreed to sponsor a student. I was the first ever Tanzanian sponsor!” says Africa.

“The student we sponsored recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering,” says Africa happily. “This is particularly special because I am an electrical engineer myself, and it is inspiring to know that I had a role in influencing his career choice to follow in my footsteps,” he adds.

Africa's passion for St Jude's mission also inspired the original Brisbane High Rise Rotary Club visit to St Jude’s in 2012, which has now grown to six visits and more than 100 Rotarians being introduced to St Jude’s.Africa is one of many St Jude’s supporters who have gotten creative in raising funds and awareness for the school. By combining his hobby for athletics and passion for St Jude’s, he found a new way of supporting the school. Like Africa, there are many ways to join the fight against poverty. Our resource page may be a good place to start for aspiring supporters looking to raise funds for St Jude’s.

Remarkable Rotarians: Members of Rotary District 5610 during a visit to St Jude’s in May 2022.

From its earliest days, The School of St Jude has found strong support in Rotary clubs from all over the world. Over the years, Rotarians have been committed fundraisers, continuously coming up with creative ideas for activities to support the school.

Recently, a US$25,000 challenge issued by the Watertown, South Dakota, Rotary Club has been matched by District 5610 Rotarians, culminating in a US$51,200 donation to St Jude’s.

Matching efforts began in September 2022 at Rotary District 5610’s annual Conference in Sioux City, Iowa, when $3,853 was raised through a presentation about St Jude’s at one of the main sessions followed by five minutes of challenge donations. There was also a silent auction of items donated by Rotarians who spent a week at the school in May to attend the graduation of the Class of 2022. 

In October, the Rapid City Rushmore Club raised another $8,000 at a special event where they served a dinner of beans, rice and watermelon similar to the lunches enjoyed by students at St Jude’s.  They then auctioned off delicious desserts and followed with a program of videos and speakers. 

Delicious and Nutritious: A common St Jude’s lunch of rice, beans and watermelon inspired the Rapid City Rushmore Club to serve a similar meal as a fundraiser.

The event featured a live and silent auction with money being raised to support St Jude’s holistic education approach. Specifically, the money funded sports equipment, art supplies, music instruments, gardening supplies and cooking needs among other items. 

Rotarians who traveled to Tanzania in May spoke at several Rotary Clubs seeking sponsorships and money for the match. Many Rotarians and clubs responded generously.

“I am amazed and thrilled,” said Pat Sutliff, a Rapid City Rushmore Club member who also is a past District 5610 governor and a founding member of the American Friends of The School of St Jude.

 “When I called the District Governor about the $25,000 match”, she said “he said ‘I never dreamt we could do that.’”

Holistic Education: The donation is helping to strengthen St Jude’s holistic approach to education, which includes art, music, sports and extracurricular activities.

The money will help fund new sports, art and music programs and other needs at the school which now educates about 1,800 of Tanzania’s brightest students. 

During their trip to the school in May, District 5610 Rotarians raised about $10,000 for the school’s Student Art program. That money helped fund a new staff position.

The school is funded by people around the world including many donations from Rotarians in the United States and Australia, School Founder Gemma Sisia’s home country.

A Longstanding Connection: Pat Sutliff and her husband, Willis, have supported St Jude’s for many years. Here, they present awards to the Class of 2022.

Sutliff has been engaged with the school nearly all of the 21 years of its existence. It started in 2002 with three students and continues to grow. The school provides free education to students in a country where only 30 percent of students remain in school past their first seven years. 

Students enrolled in St Jude’s are academically gifted but also come from families in deep poverty.

Sutliff said she is gratified by the response of Rotarians. 

“If you have a great cause,” she said, “Rotarians step up.”

Usually, Valentines’ Day is a time to think about someone special to you and show them that you care. This Valentines’ Day, Noela and Bill Philips and the Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club thought of The School of St Jude!

In partnership with Maison Fleur florists, these super supporters hit the road to deliver beautiful flower arrangements, with a portion of the proceeds, totalling more than AU $1000, donated to St Jude’s.

Noela describes the motivation behind the successful fundraiser, “Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club has been a long term supporter of St Jude’s.  The club members who have visited St Jude’s saw firsthand how poverty strips away educational dreams from children who have a right to learn, to achieve and to live a dignified life. To change a child’s life with education is one of the greatest gifts a Rotary Club can give.”

Armfuls of Arrangement: Noela, Louise and John with some of the beautiful floral arrangements.

The florists from Maison Fleur prepared 112 arrangements, each complete with a tag indicating the delivery address and the phone number of the recipient. Then, the Rotary volunteers stepped in, delivered the arrangements by car and on foot all over the Brisbane CBD.

“We are never short of volunteers, such is the enjoyment we get from delivering beautiful arrangements to very surprised recipients,” says Noela.

In addition to this enjoyment, the volunteers also got a lot of exercise on their delivery routes.

“This year, I walked 13 km, however, nobody is expected to do more than they are capable of.  Some Rotarians might walk for 1 hour – every little bit helps the St Jude’s cause!” Noela explains.

Ready To Go: The flower delivery team gather at the collection point.

By the end of the day, the volunteers were exhausted, but felt, “a huge sense of achievement,” says Noela. “Firstly, achievement in the sense that we are helping St Jude’s, secondly, the fact we professionally delivered all our floral arrangements on behalf of Maison Fleur on time and safely, and thirdly, achieving what Brisbane High-Rise Rotarians love doing most - helping others.”

This wasn’t the first fundraiser of its type, in fact, this is the fourth time that Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club and Maison Fleur have teamed up to raise funds for St Jude’s.

One More Bouquet: Margot, a Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club member, collects a bouquet for delivery.

But this isn’t the only way Noela, Bill and their fellow Rotary club members support St Jude’s. The Rotary club sponsors the academic scholarship of Form 5 student, Irene, while Bill and Noela sponsor the academic scholarship of Tumaini, who is in Form 6. When Tumaini graduates from secondary school in May, Noela and Bill will be making the trip to Arusha to celebrate with her.

“I am frankly ‘over the moon’ to think I will be meeting Tumaini in May,” Noela says. “I truly can’t wait for this adventure to commence.”

Since 2012, Noela and Bill have visited St Jude’s six times, bringing 79 friends, family and fellow Rotarians with them, many of whom are now sponsors too!

The School of St Jude is incredibly grateful to Noela, Bill and the teams from Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club and Maison Fleur for running such a sweet-smelling fundraiser.

Maddie, a Communications and Editorial Specialist at St Jude’s for the last four and half years, has always had long, beautiful, curly hair.

Or she used to, anyway. In May 2020, she shaved her head to raise funds for St Jude’s and today she has short, beautiful, curly hair.

“When I told people, ‘I’ll shave my head if I can raise this amount,’ I got so many laughs because my hair was almost like my trademark. I had long, waist-length, massive, curly hair. I’d never had short hair,” Maddie recalls.

Despite the trademark status of Maddie’s hair, she considered it a small price to pay in order to help St Jude’s. “I knew I wanted to do a big fundraiser of some sort. I was supposed to go home last year for a visit in May, but then with COVID-19 I couldn’t and I knew I would be staying here (in Tanzania). So I thought, well, people could use a bit of a giggle!” Maddie laughs.

Before and after: Maddie shaved off her trademark locks in order to raise fund for St Jude’s.

Maddie created a GoFundMe page and shared it from her Facebook and Instagram accounts to encourage donations. Overnight, she hit her fundraising goal and her friends encouraged her to increase her goal. Soon, Maddie had raised $4,600 and decided it was time for the big shave.

“I borrowed some clippers but I forgot to put on the attachment to do a number six length. So I botched it completely and my hair was down to the scalp, as bald as you could go. It was so, so cold! But, there was also the feeling of elation, because I’d done something good for the school which was beyond just giving time and it’d brought a smile to people’s faces,” Maddie says.

Not everyone needs to shave their head in order to fundraise for St Jude’s, but Maddie has a few words for people considering any sort of fundraiser, “Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something different and wacky if you can and try to link in stories of the people here at St Jude’s. More than anything, the stories of our Tanzanian staff, students and graduates will convince people to donate and support. Put yourself out there, be brave and have a go,” she says.

Chris and his friends visited Tanzania and St Jude’s in January 2020, just before COVID-19 turned the world upside-down. “We met the teachers, students and some of the families and it highlighted how important the school was in changing the lives of many, as well as for the future of Tanzania,” he says.

Chris, Jayson and Dan came up with a unique idea. “One of the guys is a part owner of a local brewery and we all liked playing poker so we thought it would be great to combine the two – a poker tournament in a brewery,” Chris remembers. So far, Chris and his friends have held two poker fundraisers. A portion of each player’s entry fee is a donation to St Jude’s and on the day of the tournament there’s an auction to raise further funds for St Jude’s.

“We have approximately 40 players who progress through a series of rounds to a final table,” Chris explains. “We sent the message around to all of our friends and from there word of mouth has spread.”

A Poker Tournament and Fundraiser: Players at one of the fundraisers.

The tournaments have been a huge success, both in terms of fundraising and spreading the word about St Jude’s. “Before we start the tournament we always explain to everyone our experience at St Jude’s and why we are doing this… Everyone has been really supportive and many have dug deep in their pockets to donate more. It’s great to see,” Chris says.

To date, the friends have donated over AU $5000 to the school following their poker tournaments.

We’re so grateful for the way Chris and his friends have used their creativity to help St Jude’s and excited to hear that they’re planning another fundraising tournament for February 2022.