School wins award for library gift doco

SHORT documentary ‘Changemakers’ which follows St Euphemia College (SEC) Bankstown students as they set about transforming two shipping containers into libraries for struggling communities, has won ‘Best Outreach Film’ at the Helsinki Education Film Festival International (HEFFI).

Created by film-maker Chris Spyrou, ‘Changemakers’ came about last year when the students heard about how the floods in Lismore were impacting on education and that an under-resourced school in India, with one teacher for over 200 students, had no access to literature.
Head of Religion at SEC, Chrisovalanti Spyrou said: “The students really rolled up their sleeves and immersed themselves in the project.
“From priming and painting the container to building shelves, and collecting books to send to Lismore, they took ownership of their learning and showed exactly how to love thy neighbour.”
It was through a partnership between SEC and online learning platform in February 2022, that facilitated the transformation and delivery of the libraries – complete with desks, stationery, whiteboards, laptops and books – at the end of 2022.
After the award announcement, HEFFI co-founder Ricky Carranza said the ‘Best Outreach Film’ category was won by films “that reach out to people, whether an individual person, a particular group, a community or an entire nation”.
“Changemakers won because the message of the project clearly reached out to humanity, effortlessly inspired change and showed incredible heart.”
When accepting the award, Mr Spyrou dedicated it to the students of SEC who this year, sponsored a school in Sierra Leonne.
SEC Principal Penny Pachos said: “The Changemakers Project began as an idea, one that seemed insurmountable but the perseverance and determination of Director of Learning and Project Leader Matthew Panayotopoulos, and the students, triumphed over adversity. We are very proud.”