Identity News

The Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2022, “Be Brave. Make Change", urges the reconciliation movement towards bolder and courageous action. National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. An example of this can be seen by our school participating in the Road to Reconciliation Day at Parade College in Bundoora last Friday where a group of students and staff were involved in a Welcome to Country by the only Wurundjeri female dance group, and Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne). Djirri Djirri means Willy Wagtail in Woiwurrung, the language of Wurundjeri people, the Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds. The students participated in activities with many different schools learning about what reconciliation means and we ways we can actively implement reconciliation actions in our school communities.

Thank you to Sue Collins and Ben McDowell our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Coordinator who mentor and provide culturally safe opportunities for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. This week they also presented a workshop to staff to explore the significance of ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart’ statement.

This week at our Justice and Solidarity Assembly we relaunched our St Joseph’s Reconciliation Action Plan. We recommitted to helping our staff, and community to bring our action plan to life in our St Joseph’s community. The Message stick is visiting every homeroom and a poster summary of our Reconciliation Actions is being shared and displayed. We invite you to continue having conversations with your sons about the activities taking place over Reconciliation week as we are all encouraged to find ways to live out this year’s theme in Reconciliation Week “Be Brave. Make Change”.

A Reconciliation action we have is to engage in local Indigenous businesses. We have commissioned a series of artwork by artist Bri Apma Hayes which we displayed this week in view of our planter boxes growing Indigenous edible plants. Students will also participate in planting some new Murnong yam daisies in these planters and at Westcourt.

In each week's newsletter I will share a part of Bri’s narrative for each of the series panels.


For Aboriginal people, water is very significant to how we live. Water is important to our communities; water is life for all people and animals, and it is an essential aspect of our lives. In culture, we use water to cleanse, to drink and keep us healthy. It is vital that we keep our waterways clean and healthy because when the water becomes sick, we become sick as well.

Staff Identity Workshops

The staff enjoyed working in unity with like-minded souls last week to be immersed in exploring the work and mission of the Identity team. A workshop was held on Encountering Faith through Art by Charlie Purdy our RE Curriculum Leader. One group lead by Kelly Jenkins our Sustainability Coordinator got to share in the experience of creating a Terrarium or sustainable Kokedama hanging planter, enabling all participants to connect with nature in a creative and therapeutic manner. These activities are simple strategies to foster awareness and engagement with our wonderful biodiversity and provide an opportunity to nurture and care for the Natural World, in alignment with the goals of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and his calling for all to respond to the “Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the poor” and to “Care for our Common home”.

Another group of staff experienced the importance of Service Learning with Leah Irving our Service Learning Coordinator by participating in a Mac & Joe's cooking experience in our food tech rooms. They cooked up a storm for delivery to the McKellar Centre for palliative care patients, their carers, and families. One of their palliative care nurses spoke to the staff about the practical benefits of this service but more importantly the comfort and the encounter made between the giver and receiver, nurturing both body and spirit. Messages of gratitude from recipients were shared with staff to understand the contribution the Mac & Joe's Service Learning opportunity is making in our community.

Rachel Ivey our Refugee Coordinator presented a guest speaker Allison Greene Senior Professional Learning Officer at Foundation House. Please join us and book your ticket as St Joseph's College and the Combined Refugee Action Group present a screening of "Scattered People" with a special guest speaker: Fran McAloon, Executive Member of CRAG.