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Press Release – Baking Dough for REACHOUT

Press Release - Baking Dough for REACHOUT


Norwest Christian College Year 12 Student Leader, Khiara, is a bubbly young woman with a big smile and even bigger generous heart. Khiara has a passion to assist young people suffering with stress, anxiety and mental health issues. Khiara knows personally what it is like to be bullied and live through parental break up. Relocating to the country, she was the city girl in a country school and later on returned to Sydney, the country girl in a city school. These mirrored situations made Khiara stand out as different and caused bullying at both ends. However, since leaving all this behind her and arriving at Norwest Christian College in Year 10, Khiara has forged strong bonds with teachers and her Year 12 peers.

With the help of a group of friends and neighbours, Khiara recently organised a gigantic bake up and sale of cakes, as a fundraiser for Reach Out, Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents and carers. Flour dust coating kitchen benches, mini mountains of rolled dough, rolling pins, shape cutters, baking trays and delicious aromas permeated a dozed kitchens, as Khiara and her supporters prepared for the big day! Cakes, tarts, brownies, cookies and other delights emerged from ovens and cooled in now resting kitchens. And it is suspected, a few items were quality tested by younger siblings and hungry dads!

Stanhope Gardens Shopping Centre was welcoming and supportive with help. On a special Reach Out Cake Sale Sunday, patrons of the centre were met by a group of nervously excited but community minded teenagers and a blitz of baked delights! Shopping patrons were generous with their dollars and with their comments: “Good on you!”, said one elderly gentleman. He spoke for everyone. Some hours later, when Khiara and her friends had raised $1266, their excitement was boundless; it was $400 over expectation. All $1266 was donated to Reach Out.

Reach Out’s mission is to deliver innovative e-mental health services that enable young people to take control of their mental health and wellbeing. Reach Out was the world’s first online youth mental health service (switched on in 1998). ReachOut.com is accessed by 132,000 Australians each month. That’s more than 1.58 million people each year; while the population of the 12-25 cohort is 3 million. Reach Out provides practical support, tools and tips, to help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times – and the information offered parents, makes it easier for them to help their teenagers. Any young person, regardless of mental health status, can benefit from ReachOut.com by developing their own coping skills, mental health literacy, and their ability to help a mate.

Khiara completes Year 12 at Norwest Christian College in 2019 and is planning on studying counselling through TAFE, before heading to university to complete a degree in social work and social advocacy. She feels TAFE will give her ‘hands on’ practical experience. Khiara decided on human services as a career when in Year 5.  Khiara’s concern for others empowers her personality with purpose.  Mr Owen Laffin, Heading of Secondary said, “We are proud of all of our students at Norwest Christian College, especially when they are living out their God given purpose of serving others in the community, as Khiara has done”.

And next year’s Baking Dough for Reach Out fundraising target - $1500!

Craig Laffin
Director of Development

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