Hi everyone, I have not shared a video this week as I am home with COVID-19, luckily with mild symptoms and eager to return to work next week. As of 1 July, the new Victorian Child Safety Ministerial order 1359 takes effect and all Victorian school’s child safety policies and procedures need to reflect the 11 new Victorian standards. In this newsletter, I want to highlight ways our College have recently lived out the Victorian Child Safety standard 5 which I believe compliments all we do as we strive to be an inclusive community.

Vic Standard 5 – “Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.”

5.3 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of children and young people with disability, children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who are unable to live at home, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and young people.

5.4 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of Aboriginal children and young people and provides/promotes a culturally safe environment for them.

IDOHOBIT Day – 17 May Our community recognised International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) Day. At our College, we aim to be a place where all feel valued and respected as people made in the image and likeness of God. On IDAHOBIT Day we particularly affirm the sacredness of our LGBTQI+ community members: students, staff, and family members. This day saw a reengagement of our ‘TOBI Group’ - Think Original Be Individual (pride group). A student lead group that seeks to build a stronger sense of allyship among the students/staff. Our work in this space is supported by the EREA Safe and Inclusive statement.pdf.

Multicultural Activities Week – 23 to 27 June. Last week the Languages Department hosted a range of multicultural activities for students and staff to join in. This year saw a diverse range of activities and initiatives which brought us all into an appreciation of the many cultures we share in our community through food, art, sport, film, prayer and music.

Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June - Reconciliation is a journey for all of us at St Joseph’s College, as indeed it is for all Australians – as individuals, families, the College community and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially those enrolled at St Joseph’s College. Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2022, Be Brave. Make Change, urges St Joseph’s College towards braver and more impactful action. We have had a number of events to affirm the College’s commitment to the Reconciliation Process this week.

Refugee Week – 19 to 26 June. The theme this year is HEALING. Our student leaders are keen to raise awareness of the issues affecting refugees. This year’s theme aims to highlight aspects of the refugee experience and help the broader community to understand what it is like to be a refugee. Our usual Circle of Solidarity ritual will promote harmony and togetherness and we want to remind everyone that, regardless of our differences, we all share a common humanity. We have also teamed up with the Combined Refugee Action group to present a screening of Scattered People on Tuesday 21 June in the Performing Arts Centre. More details are provided in our social media and newsletter.

Pentecost Sunday – This Sunday we will see the Catholic Church celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit through Pentecost Sunday. In many ways, this event marks the beginning of the Church and fulfils Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. We pray that the Holy Spirit may assist us in our daily lives, as we aspire to be in the service of others and embrace the uniqueness of each individual as we are called to do through the gospels, through the Victorian Child Safety standards and through our EREA Touchstone of Inclusive Community.

Christmas was God with us - Easter was God for us - Pentecost is God in Us