At St Joseph’s College we have made a strong commitment to ensuring that all members of our school community walk together towards Reconciliation and participate in ‘dadirri’- the practice of deep listening to the stories, struggles and knowledge of our First Nations people.
In 2020 our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was formalised. In this framework, we have made a commitment, and set future goals, to ensure that our College is a place where the work of closing the gap between First Nations Australians and non-indigenous Australians is a priority.
You can read more about what a RAP is here: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/raps/what-is-a-rap
In addition to the commitments we have made in our RAP, we are also privileged to educate young First Nations men at St Joseph’s College. Alongside their formal education, we also provide these students with a tailored program that aims to educate these students about their culture, identity, overcoming adversity, language, health and wellbeing and opportunities to succeed beyond school. We have partnered with Lowell Hunter and Ricky Kildea of Wan-Yaari who run Cultural Strengthening and Mentoring programs for our First Nations students.
Each year we also elect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to lead and serve in the student leadership teams.
At St Joseph’s we are fortunate to have a dedicated Koorie Education Worker who provides ongoing support to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Aunty Susan Collins provides students and their families with support, advice, cultural knowledge and guidance. Through her work with our students, we now have a dedicated homeroom group, our proud Possum Skin cloak project, Bunjil sculpture and the Reconciliation Garden. Susan also provides our staff and non-indigenous students with guidance and support both in the classroom and in the community.
Reconcilation Week, Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week are all recognised through assemblies, reflections, lessons and liturgy and we are continuously seeking opportunities to further connect with our local Wadawaurrung community.