Original Girls Programs
A 2007 Catholic Leader article on Donna Power’s original Girls Programs at Siena Catholic College, which led her to design retreats at Experience Wellbeing. Her passion for designing and facilitating Girls Retreats and Workshops began in 2005 as a response to issues such as eating disorders, isolation and stress.
For more information about Donna’s current Girls Programs through Experience Wellbeing please visit www.experience-wellbeing.com/programs
“Positive Images Bring Out Beauty
TWO teachers at Siena Catholic College, Sippy Downs, are tackling teenage insecurity with some help from the age-old statement – beauty lies within.
Since late 2005, Donna McDade and Annette Rasmussen have been developing their Beautiful Siena Girls program, which aims to embed a positive self-image in female students.
Year 12 was the latest bunch to receive a beautification session, boosting their confidence right before the intense Queensland Core Skills Test in Term 3.
Ms McDade said her inspiration came after witnessing serious image-related issues in the school.
“We were listening to the girls and getting to know them and realised they just have so many unnecessary problems,” she said.
“Issues with eating disorders, relationships, and self esteem were far too common.
“So we began planning a pastoral program to help them see that every girl is beautiful, no matter what, and deserves to be treated with dignity.”
Each workshop involves interactive activities like “daggy dancing”, prayer experiences and individual reflections.
Students are asked to think about what beauty means to them, how they treat their peers, and how they treat themselves.
Ms McDade said the experience allowed participants to realign their actions with their core beliefs.
“We’re not changing the girls, we’re giving them a chance to remember what’s really in their hearts.
“It has a big impact on how they see themselves and each other because they can just sit back and look at the bigger picture.”
Year 12 student Paige Micallef thought every school should have a similar program.
“Young girls everywhere are dealing with the same sorts of things,” she said.
“But this puts away the catty side of life and takes us one step closer to happier, fuller friendships.
“We are young girls growing into women and it’s great to have a program like Beautiful Siena Girls to help us along the way.”