Sacred Heart Alumni Association 

Strategic Plan 2022 - 2024

We must strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

- Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy

Statement of Purpose

The Sacred Heart Alumni Association is a welcoming and inclusive community that creates opportunities for past students to connect with each other and the College community.

The Association honours, respects and celebrates relationships with our 9.000+ alumni by creating opportunities to connect, learn and give back to the College community. We keep our Mercy history and traditions alive with a continuing love for the school by celebrating the unique impact of an SHC education - an impact that stays with us long after graduation.

We recognise that our alumni community offers a great diversity of talents, skills and abilities, which should be acknowledged and engaged to benefit the College, the Association and most importantly - each other.

To ensure long-term financial viability, the Sacred Heart Alumni Association ensures that the revenue and expenses remain in balance, whilst increasing cash reserves and investments.

A New Era for the Alumni Association

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges and opportunities for the alumni community. We now have new ways of connecting with alumni across the street and around the world, and more than ever, connection is critical for so many.

As our world changes, and our societies transform in the coming years, we know that for the alumni of Sacred Heart College, we are grounded by our Mercy Values. Supporting the wellness of our Sacred Heart Community is paramount in this new era. We know that by keeping our alumni connected to each other and to SHC, they can continue to be Mercy women, and live the Mercy values of respect, compassion, justice, courage, service and hospitality in practical ways.

Serving on the Alumni Association committee is immensely rewarding but it also requires a great deal of commitment and passion, as well as a good working knowledge of the ethical and legal considerations that governance entails. This new strategic plan will be supported by a dynamic action plan, and will provide the committee with purpose, leadership and direction.

Our role is to support a vibrant and inclusive community of Alumni with opportunities to deepen their connections with each other and Sacred Heart College

- Stacey Harris, President Sacred Heart Alumni Association 2021

Living the SHC Way - Living our Values

Our Mercy values of Respect, Compassion, Courage, Hospitality, Justice and Service provide us with our motivation and purpose as an alumni.

This Strategy aims to enable the alumni to be supported in the pursuit of these values and it is strengthened by allowing the mercy values to be prominent in all that we do/offer.

  • As past students of Sacred Heart College we honour the Mercy traditions of our founders, the Sisters of Mercy.
  • We treat all alumni with mutual respect and human dignity.
  • We celebrate lifelong pride in Sacred Heart College and the alumni community.
  • We listen and respond to the needs of others with kindness and generosity. • We choose to care.
  • Like our founding Sisters of Mercy, the Association aims for excellence, recognising that meaningful steps to success require innovative ambitious goals, courage, and a focused and considered approach.
  • We provide educational experiences that increase alumni knowledge not only of the College but also of our increasingly interdependent world.
  • We welcome, diverse and inclusive all members of our alumni community – our alumni always belong.
  • We aim to meet the needs of our members on their life journey - spiritually, relationally and socially.
  • We treat all alumni in a fair and just manner.
  • We are all equal.
  • We engage with our alumni community, encouraging commitment and dedication to give back through social justice, community outreach and advocacy to benefit the greater good. • We seek to support current student experience and to create an understanding of the Association throughout their learning journey.

Our Focus for the Future

To meet our purpose and live our values, the Alumni Association will focus on four pillars:

  1. Connection through networking
  2. Connection through experiences
  3. Connection through giving back
  4. Connection through communications and sharing stories

1. Connections through Networking

What we hope to achieve

By connecting our alumni through networking, we hope to create opportunities, support each other, share wisdom and learn together.

Why networking?

We deliberately recognise the incredible learning opportunities that abound from networking across all generations of alumni. Traditional networking brings more mature people to mentor youth, but we want a multi-dimensional networking model to thrive.

Learning, growing and sharing helps us all to live our Mercy Values and make a difference. Networking also helps us to find new ways to give back to the SHC community.

Who we aim to serve through this focus area?

  • Alumni going through significant changes (people entering an industry, people who aren’t sure about their path, leaving school, starting / changing career)
  • Alumni 5 years out
  • All interested alumni, including non-Geelong based alumni

What we will do

  1. Develop and implement a mentoring program
  2. Stay connected with current students as they move out of SHC and into the world – in their five years after transitioning from school
  3. Networking opportunities for non-Geelong based alumni (online)
  4. Expanding and diversifying networking opportunities
2. Connection through Experiences

What we hope to achieve:

By connecting our alumni to each other and to SHC through experiences we hope to include our current and past alumni in various activities which provide mutual benefit, allow our alumni the opportunity to ‘give back’, learn from each other, and enable fun and friendship to thrive.

Why experiences?

Experiencing connection together is a way to strengthen the Mercy values we all share. In this post pandemic era, coming together for serious or fun reasons is so important - we know that this

strengthens our college community, enables us to make a difference and give back to the College community, and also supports the wellbeing of all of our alumni and their extended connections.

Who we aim to serve through this focus area?

  • All alumni
  • Specific year groups / age cohorts
  • Volunteers and future volunteers
  • Staff and current students
  • Extended families of alumni – influence them

What we will do?

  • Inclusion/Volunteering at SHC events/celebrations
  • Connections via reunions
  • Social networking events
  • Engagement with community on current issues
  • Scholarships for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend SHC
  • Live stream events
  • Provide opportunities for non-Geelong based alumni to be involved and informed meaningfully
  • Keep connected meaningfully with our older alumni (65+)
  • Spiritual / Religious connection
3. Connection through Giving Back

What we will achieve:

The Association will ensure comprehensive fiscal governance that will enable revenue and expenses to be kept in balance. This in turn will increase the reserves and investments for long-term financial viability.

A financial audit by a certified accountant will be conducted each year with an official report provided to members at the annual general meeting.

Why give back?

  • To support the College’s scholarship program and provide funding for students who may not otherwise have an opportunity for a Mercy education
  • To provide financial support to the College for capital works and minor improvements • To give back to the broader community through social justice initiatives that align with our Mercy values

Who we aim to serve through this focus area:

  • Our alumni members
  • Current students and staff of the College
  • Broader College community - local, national and international
  • Social justice groups

What we will do:

  • Allocate a set percentage of annual income from membership fees for the purpose of giving back
  • Provide annual equity scholarships to support families in need
  • Liaise with the College principal to determine support for capital works programs etc
  • Provide funding for awards to recognise student excellence at the annual College Maguire Celebration

4. Connection through Communications

What we hope to achieve:

By connecting our alumni to each other and to SHC through communications and sharing stories we hope to celebrate and inspire impact - by impact we mean the ethos of ‘making a difference’.

Why storytelling?

Stories are powerful – they move people. We want our alumni to inspire our current students and each other - giving them examples of women out in the world, making a difference.

We know the stories of our alumni, and the impact of those stories will further inspire and connect our community.

Who we aim to serve through this focus area:

  • Our entire alumni community
  • Older alumni
  • Those who don’t have access to technology
  • Young alumni – those about to complete their education, getting them mobilised to stay connected in a different way
  • Recently graduated – those who have left in the last five years
  • Reunion year groups
  • Our ‘lost’ alumni – re-engaging with those alumni we have lost touch with • Local alumni (Geelong and surrounds) as well as those who have moved further afield.

What we will do:

To tell these stories, and create impact from them we will:

  • Ensure our communications are convenient for people – available for them to access when and how they want it.
  • Further building our social media profile/presence on multiple platforms • Provide regular updates on SHC to our community
  • Growing the alumni database (the outcome of our communications activities focussed on trying to drive alumni to the database.
  • Engagement of the community in the alumni’s purpose and work.
  • Engage meaningfully with our older alumni
  • Honour the past
  • Better utilise the resources of the school

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