Our students are presented with many opportunities to extend themselves and learn beyond the restrictions of a traditional classroom space and regular school hours. During recent parent/teacher/student progress meeting we were blessed to enjoy the meal prepared Ms Waugh’s talented and dedicated VET Cert 11 Kitchen Operations class. Thank you to Ms Waugh, Mrs Bamley and the VET class for preparing a tasty and nutritious meal.
This week marks the final week in our annual three week Ruben Centre Appeal. The Ruben Centre, administered by the Christian Brothers, offers education, health and employment services to people living in the Mukuru slum of Nairobi Kenya. This is one of the poorest areas of one of the largest cities in Africa.
An initiative undertaken this year was an African cooking class. On Wednesday evening twenty teaching staff gathered in our hospitality centre to learn the art of cooking a traditional South Sudanese meal. Under the wonderful leadership of Ms. Rita Padang we were taken through a spinach and capsicum dish that was absolutely delicious and a traditional maize, yoghurt and butter dessert that transformed before our eyes as Rita stirred the large pot with her traditional wooden stick.
The evening generated lots of laughs, uncovered hidden culinary skills, expanded our horizons and raised funds for the Ruben Centre. It was a very positive experience for all involved, and one that we hope to replicate at the other campuses in the near future.
Yesterday, 27 of our students embarked on the annual Japan Study Tour. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a wonderful experience for staff and students alike.
The Japan Tour is an exciting opportunity for our students to experience life in another culture, enrich their language skills and immerse themselves in school life in Japan. Over the course of 15 days, students participate in our home stay program and stay with a Japanese Host Family from Sakuragaoka High School in Tokyo, and the touring Japan as a group visiting the ancient capital Kyoto, the temples of Nara, the island of Miyajima, the Peace Park at Hiroshima and the city of Osaka.
We look forward to hearing all their amazing stories next term.
Last Friday, teacher Nicholas Mills accompanied five of our passionate environmental action group team members to the Environmental Summit hosted by Nossal High School. The day was inspiring and the students heard from a sustainability rep from Downer Corporation, and representatives from both CERES and the Dolphin Research Institute. More importantly, the students had the opportunity to network with other like-minded students from across the state and were inspired by the activism from their fellows.
Last week I attended a training session on the Catholic Bishops’ Plenary for 2020. Information about the Plenary can be viewed at: http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/. Here is a message from the website about the 2020 Plenary Council:
Welcome to the Plenary Council 2020
Together, we are on a journey of listening to God by listening to one another. We invite all Australians to engage in an open and inclusive process of listening, dialogue and discernment about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Your voice is needed – join in! Speak boldly and with passion, listen with an open and humble heart. With faith and guided by God’s Holy Spirit, we journey together, toward the future.
This listening exercise is inviting all Australians to reflect on and answer the question: What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? Between now and March, we will be offering opportunities for staff, students and parents to respond to this question, and to make submissions. Parents are welcome to contact me at email@example.com , or Deacon Graeme Pender, firstname.lastname@example.org to register interest in being part of this important event in the Australian Church.
Immersion to The Philippines
Last night we held our second information evening on the Immersion to The Philippines, which is occurring from 7 – 17 December. 12 students and three staff will be travelling to The Philippines to spend time with 42 families, to get to know them, to walk with them in their village for a week. On the way to and from Bantayan, the group will spend time in an orphanage and Good Shepherd centre in Cebu. The trip is being led by Daniel Kuzeff, a member of Catholic Mission. Students have been preparing for this trip all year, and at the information night answered a number of questions held by families. We look forward to hearing of the stories of this group, including teachers Liam Doherty, Rachel MacDonald and Vithiya Suthiavan.
Opening of Our Lady Help of Christians and Ruben Centre Appeal.
Deacon Graeme and I will be attending the opening of the renovated Chapel at Our Lady Help of Christians on Sunday September 23 at 1:30pm. We will be joined by eighteen students who will represent the College on this important day. Our connection to parishes is an important one, and this has been shown in the last two weeks with over ten thousand dollars collected at St Michael’s and St Patrick’s for the Ruben Centre Appeal. We thank the students and staff who attended these Masses and spoke about the continued support for young people that our school and parish give to this worthwhile charity.
Outward Bound Reflection Day
This week we held the Outward bound Reflection Day, with Year 9’s from Berwick and Officer joining for Mass, followed by input from Sam Clear, who shared his journey walking across the world. Students were able to de-brief about their experience of Outward Bound, and hear of the challenges Sam faced in his walk of unity. It was great to hear the questions asked of Sam, who talked about his connection to God, which helped him through many difficult times in his journey.
We now have a Mini-Vinnies cluster at our Berwick and Officer Campuses. Michelle Pereira and Liam Doherty led this day on Tuesday. Three primary schools, along with St Peter’s Cranbourne attended the day. The aim of the Mini-Vinnies Cluster is to explore the ways that our communities can uphold the dignity of all people in our region, with emphasis on building awareness raising campaigns and connection with those who need a voice.
Finally, we conclude with the prayer of the 2020 Plenary Council. We pray this this time will renew our commitment to the Good News of Jesus Christ, as lived and expressed in our Australian Catholic Church.