Benefactors: Bharat Mitra and his wife Bhavani Lev who are supporting Shearwater.
Benefactors: Bharat Mitra and his wife Bhavani Lev who are supporting Shearwater.

Community supports Shearwater

THE threat of extinction has unified the Shearwater Steiner community like never before, according to two of its most passionate – and hard-headed – supporters.

Successful businessmen Bharat Mitra, who has emerged as one of the school’s saviours, and ‘guest board’ member Christopher Dean, think alike – that Shearwater needs to be run along strict business lines.

“The school has to be the embodiment of sustainability,” Mr Mitra said, “not just educationally but financially.

“Our challenge now is to provide the school with a skilful and capable board of directors. We are growing up,” he said.

The school’s fundraising efforts, and the help of Mr Mitra and his wife Bhavani Lev, who are matching every dollar raised, up to $700,000, means Shearwater can survive in the short term.

The school’s board place Shearwater in voluntary administration in March with debts of more than $10 million.

The two men, with administrators PPB and board members, are examining whether it can prove viable in the long term. That depends on enrolments, which have suffered.

Mr Mitra came to Australia to put his daughter, Gopi, into Shearwater. She has left, but he will continue to support it.

The canny businessman’s vision for the school is essentially spiritual.

“I’m optimistic, not only because I’m confident of our ability to meet the challenges, but also because of the spirit of unity that has coming shining through,” he said.



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