Locked up for Lifeline

By Ewen McRae

Kurunjang Secondary College students last week had the chance to lock away a teacher for the day, but it was all for a good cause.

As part of a fundraiser for Lifeline, and working with local police, assistant principal Aylin Gokmen spent part of last Wednesday in handcuffs and behind bars.

Ms Gokmen said while the day was a bit of fun for the students and herself, there was an important message behind it.

“We did it last year, and our student support services leader is often very proactive in running events to raise money for various organisations, and especially those that help young people,” she said.

“Last year it was the principal that was locked up, but he was on good behaviour this year so it was my turn.

“It’s about Lifeline, but it’s also about promoting positive relationships between police and young people. Sometimes people have negative experiences or opinions of law enforcement, so getting police here and interacting on a positive level and talking about community partnerships and relationships is really important.”

As part of the day, local police visited the school to speak to students about the work they do in the community and help build a relationship with the students.

Ms Gokmen said the response from the school community was fantastic. Donations on the day and from a fundraising barbecue went to the important work of Lifeline.

“We had some students dress up as police, and everyone really got behind what we were trying to promote,” she said.

“We have all sorts of mental health training for our students as well, so we have a real emphasis on that throughout the year.”

Ewen McRae