Thanksgiving and Advent
We gathered on Wednesday in the midst of this busy time in order to celebrate the year that has been and to consider how we might use this season of Advent to prepare for the coming Holy Season of Christmas. We recognise that we are all waiting – waiting for the holidays, waiting to give and receive gifts with our friends, and waiting for the special time that we will spend with loved ones over Christmas. But above all, we join with Christians around the world in waiting for the celebration of Christ’s birth. As we wait, we are called upon to prepare ourselves for this momentous event by re-evaluating the way we live – by living out the values of the Gospel and helping those who are in less happy situations than ourselves.
One of the symbols used in our sacred space was the nativity, which is a reminder of a birth that changed the world and that every day Christ is waiting to be born in our own hearts and lives. Today’s celebration recognises that every time we choose to be our best selves, Christ is born.
We recognised the students who had achieved milestones in our Christian Service & Solidarity Learning program. In years 7 – 9, students are expected to serve 10 hours and those students who have volunteered 30+ hours received the CSL Certificate.
Year 7: Jensen Curbison, Leo Halios-Lewis, Zachary Neve, Jaxon Towers
Year 8: Miles Ackerley, Nicholas Aivaliotis, Rhys Barnes, Christiano Haddad, Oliver Hasham, Dante Hernandez, Ayman Hikmat, Oliver Johnson, Noel Joseph, Harrison Macdonald, Nate Mihalopoulos, Oscar Millar-Jenkins, James Mitrovski, Asher Percival, Hudson Shaw, Ben Zaharis
Year 9: Nathan Anderson, Tim Armitage, Alexander Bowhay, William Campbell, Michael Da Silva, Kiran Dhami, Nicolas Dimitrovski, Jamie Dimovski, William Ecroyd, Joseph Giuffre, Harry Hall, Hayden Harrison, Heath Marsh, Oliver Morgan, Nathaniel Rodden, Christian Sammut, Jesse Tulloch, Jayden Washbourne, Digby Woods
The second award given for CSL was the Inclusive Community Badge to students who have made an outstanding contribution to the CSL program throughout 2022, completing in excess of 60 CSL hours.
In Year 7 one student, Daniel Morozov, achieved this milestone.
Year 8: Finn Faulkner, Jay Jayaswal, Nate Jennett, Mohammed Raad, Stirling Roper, Christian Vigorito, Atilla Yalcin, Christian Yeo,
Year 9: Daniel Conte, Jackson Farland, Reuben Grundy, Thomas Hicks, Henry Jones, Joshua Newman, Sage Pierro, Xavier Pierro, Andrew Silva, Dominic Sirotich, William Stanton, Jayden Svarc, Harrison Thelan, Leo Wallace-Pannell, Gregory Ziogas
There is one major award in the Junior College to recognise Leadership through Service. It honours Fr Chris Riley who started Youth Off the Streets and is an example of a person who has made a real difference in his own context.
This award is presented to the student who exemplifies the value of service through being a man for others, standing in solidarity with the disadvantaged and our shared planet. This student has engaged with a variety of service activities across all aspects of College life, particularly as the ERA for Change Prefect. Displaying leadership through his engagement with the College SRC, the College Stage Band, the Vostrum Voice for Youth Public Speaking Event, the Da Vinci Decathlon, the Peru Virtual Immersion program and as a student representative for the College Open Day and Tour Guide. In addition he has exemplified the value of service in his local community through his generous contribution to the North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club. It is my pleasure to announce the recipient for this award for 2022 is Henry Jones.
The Social Justice Prefect, Marcus Meogrossi and Community & Culture Prefect Zac Lum gave a summary of the year for the student leaders and it helps us to realise that we can have a powerful impact on the world when we work together. This is their presentation.
As Student Leaders, we have learned to embrace the values of our College and Edmund Rice himself. When we pray the Edmund Rice Prayer, we thank God for the life of Blessed Edmund Rice whose example of love, service and solidarity inspires us. This year we have worked with the Year 12, 2022 Leaders to plan and lead projects that help us to express these values, starting with Project Compassion in Term 1. We learned about how climate change is impacting the poorest people, especially our neighbours in the Pacific islands, raising $2300 to support vulnerable families.
In Term 2, we focussed on Reconciliation Week and Refugee Week, our First People and those new to Australia, escaping their own challenges. 12 students and 4 teachers undertook the Refugee Ration Challenge, raising $5443 to support the work of the National Council of Churches, Act for Peace initiative.
In Term 3, our Sustainability, Community & Culture, ERA for Change and Social Justice leaders organised a Pastoral lesson on homelessness and a Sustainability Conference. We kept 1081 shoes out of landfill and raised $5300 for Orange Sky Laundry, to support their van in Wollongong that offers a laundry and shower service to residents. The Year 12, 2022 cohort finished with a charity AFL match to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and local First Nations young people through a $1000 donation to the Coomaditchie Aboriginal Corporation.
Throughout the Year, each Pastoral Care group chose one organisation to support and today we are able to make the following donations.
- Year 7, $1150 has been donated to Wires for animal rescue in the Illawarra
- Year 8 has responded to the recent floods in NSW with their missions and with the support of the Year 12, 2022 cohort have raised $1500 through the year and the Christmas Appeal to assist with the purchase of a defibrillator for the Bedgerabong community and Mr Preeo is facilitating this donation.
- Year 9 chose First Nations charity Deadly Science, to bring Science education to First nations communities. Its founder, Corey Tutt is from Dapto. He will be here next week to accept this donation
- Year 10 has been working to support Strategic Community Assistance for Refugee Families. Manager Drew Sewell accepted the donation of $700 to support their work.
- Year 11, the new Year 12, 2023 cohort has sent a donation of $400 to support Para Meadows school in memory of Samuel, Mr Stutchbury’s son who sadly passed away earlier this term and who attended Para Meadows.
Finally, in Term 4 We have been running the Respect campaign, focussed on understanding our place in the world to make it a more inclusive and just world, focussed on eliminating violence against women. Our Term 4 Christmas Appeal has been inspired by the ‘It’s In The Bag’ dignity campaign.
Students have collected 21 boxes of food that you see here, made up 42 dignity bags for women and teenage girls. Megan Arthur from the Wollongong Homeless Hub, Gwynneville St Vincent de Paul President Michael Tobin and West Wollongong St Vincent de Paul president Louise Pinson accepted these gifts and a donation of $1100 for each organisation to support the purchase of gifts for teenage boys and families during this Christmas season.
We thank the students, families, staff and community members who have made all of the donation of over $25,000 worth of donation possible and helped us to be a witness to the Gospel in the spirit of justice and solidarity.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever
Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award – Adventurous Journey
This morning 20 Year 10 students and 3 staff members left to undertake the Qualifying Adventurous Journey for the Duke of Edinburgh Award program. Thanks to Mr Volk, Mr Tognetti and Mrs Hancock for making time to accompany these students as they complete this part of the program. We look forward to the completion of the program in 2023 for this group of students.
Director of Identity