Last Monday we celebrated Koling Wada-Ngal Day which means ‘Let Us Walk Together’ in Wadawurrung language. The day was a combined effort with our fellow Geelong Catholic schools.
Our Fire Carriers, along with other student leaders, actively promoted the day as a fundraiser for the Opening the Doors Foundation with all homerooms. On the day, they helped to sell donuts in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and participated in the event enthusiastically. With terrific weather, lots of participation from staff and students, we joined our 2023 College Captain Jaeger F, 2023 First Nations Captain Oliver A and FIRE Carriers on a reflective solidarity walk waving the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags on Zampatti oval. FIRE Carrier Salia N led our reflections at checkpoints of significance around the oval ending at a gathering in our Reconcilation Garden. Funds were raised by purchasing a donut for the ‘Opening the Doors Foundation’, who help give access to Education support for Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, while music by First Nations artists was played on the Zampatti football scoreboard.
Ben McDowall, First Nations Coordinator
‘Wear these badges with pride and as an outward sign of Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education at St Joseph’s.’
It was with great anticipation that we prepared to gather as a school community to begin our Student leadership Investiture with our 2022 Fire Carriers leading the Fire Carrier Commissioning Ceremony. The Fire Carrier Commissioning Ceremony marks one of the most significant ceremonies at St Joseph's College. Fire Carriers commit to being Friends Igniting Reconciliation Education at St Joseph’s. Our St Joseph’s Reconciliation Action Plan vision calls us all as a St Joseph's College community to be committed to the achievement of authentic reconciliation, justice, equity, equality and healing through active acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. As our 2023 Fire Carriers stood around the FIRE bowl, Sue Collins our Koorie Education Worker passed on the warmth of the fire and a blessing, igniting the Fire Carriers to, ‘to be living flames that will ignite the Fire of the New Dreaming of True Justice, Love, Compassion and Hope for the world’.
‘The new leaders are challenged to now go forward, as those before them have, and be a light for others.’
We welcomed Fr Jaycee Napoles from St Mary of the Angel’s Parish to lead us in prayer and the blessing of our 2023 student leaders. Our special Guest Speaker, Old Collegian Bill Mithen (1982- 1986), inspired our community with his valuable insights into the qualities of leadership and the importance of building relationships. He is a strong and active advocate for social justice which aligns strongly with the Give Where You Live Foundation’s purpose to build a fairer community, which our Touchstones support. We congratulate all of our 2032 Leaders to be led by Captain Jaeger F, our two deputy College Captains, Matteo B and Jesse C who have made a positive start to their new roles participating in the Investiture Ceremony.
We give gratitude for the strong legacy of teamwork left by the 2022 leadership team led by Paddy F, Arden C and Seamus R who respectfully combined to support the many initiatives across the Identity Team areas of participation in Student Leadership programs, our Faith Development through participation in Masses and liturgies, Touchstone Assemblies, Service Learning advocacy and participation, Sustainability initiatives, First Nations Reconcilation actions, EREA Beyond Boarders Global Classroom and advocating events for Refugees and asylum seekers. May they be blessed with our college values of compassion, integrity and innovation as they move on to be Young Collegians in our Geelong Community who live the touchstones of Gospel Spirituality, Justice and Solidarity, Inclusive Community and Liberating Education. May they keep their faith in times of gratitude, times of need or hope and in time of celebration knowing, ‘Anything is possible with God’ (Lk 18:27)