We have been really excited to reveal a very special collaborative artwork with our community that was recently delivered thanks to the vision of the Identity Team and the Sustainability team. Thank you to Kelly Jenkins - Sustainability Coordinator, the ICUP Team including Ginette Everest and Ian Grant and student voice for all having the passion to bring this to life.
As recipients of an Inter Cultural Understanding Partnership grant, thanks to ‘Together for Humanity’ and the ‘JMCA’, Year 9 students last year, together with Sustainability Leaders were treated to a guest presentation by visiting UK Artist Jane Perkins. Jane specialises in a collage form of artwork, Jane utilises plastic pieces accumulated along her life journey to create inspired masterpieces. Jane was commissioned to create an artwork specifically for our community, utilising sentimental plastic items donated by students to create an artwork that encapsulates the essence of our faith and identity, celebrating our touchstones and our ICUP theme to ‘Live the Golden Rule’, which is to treat others and our earth as we would like to be treated. The Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"(Matt 7:12), is a simple but effective guide for relating with people of different religions, cultures, ethnicity and backgrounds. A common rule that many faiths believe in.
Throughout Term 3 last year, Year 9 students; Harris Henderson, Kade Hyde, Jhayferson Jimenez and Calan Palamara collaborated over lunchtimes at Westcourt to design the template for Jane’s creation and many students donated small found and plastic items including buttons and animal figurines, to be incorporated into the masterpiece.
We have shared it with our staff and students at various gatherings. We had a special opening ceremony with our Advisory Board Seminar and it was featured at our Year 7 Renewals and Graduation Mass. It will have a temporary home in reception for all to access until our new building is finalised where we will find a special home in our Identity space for all to share its importance for our community’s commitment to celebrating being an inclusive, welcoming community.
Jane Perkins the artist shared:
This work was unlike any previous piece I’ve made and was a challenge!
Using the brief, I was given, to capture ‘a celebration of our Touchstones, embodying the essence of Edmund Rice alive in our St Joseph’s College Community Geelong’, I incorporated the following elements with reference to the student’s sketches and notes:
A portrait of the school’s founder Edmund Rice (wearing school uniform)
A Bunjil Eagle in the sky above
Corio Bay to the right with the You Yangs (hills) in the background
Some buildings at Mt Sion, Ireland
Part of the Barwon River
The red, orange and yellow rings represent the college ‘touchstones’ and have writing around them. Gospel Spirituality, Justice and Solidarity, Inclusive Community, Liberating Education.
I have really enjoyed making this work and hope students and staff enjoy looking at it.
Jane Perkins 2023
Kun.gadi is a Wadawurrung word for goodbye (Wadawurrung Language app). Wadawurrung words have been spoken in this area where St Joseph’s College stands for thousands of years.
Over the past few weeks we have made time to thank and acknowledge the gift that Sue Collins, our Koorie Education Worker has been to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families and for all of our community over the past 10 years.
An afternoon tea was held on the 24 October for those who Sue worked closely with across the Geelong Catholic Colleges. We gathered in gratitude to thank and bless Sue, known as Aunty Sue to many, for the 10 years she been a vital connection between our Geelong Catholic Colleges and who has given so much of her time to ensure our colleges are places of cultural safety, wellbeing and protection of all of our First Nations students in our care. In her role, she has provided educational and cultural support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and engaged their families, teachers and school staff in the importance of this support for First Nations students.
Sue started at St Joseph’s spending time in the classroom as a Learning Support staff member, then as Koorie Education Officer and has been integral in the completion of many initiatives across the three Colleges of St Joseph’s, Clonard and Sacred Heart. Also supportive of St Ignatius and Iona College connections. Through her work with our students and staff and the foundation goals of our Reconciliation Action Plan, we now have a dedicated Monday ‘Koling Wada-Ngal’ homeroom group with Ben McDowall – First Nations Coordinator, our ongoing proud Possum Skin cloak project, and our Reconciliation Garden, featuring our Bunjil sculpture, to name a few.
In 2021 Sue was Awarded the NATSICC (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council) Community Service Elder Award for 2021 for her work with our Geelong Catholic Colleges.
We wish Sue and her husband Wayne all the best as they take to the road for an adventure in their caravan to head to Western Australia to reconnect with family and friends.
Kun.gadji Sue and Wayne!
This is the prayer we share with staff who are leaving at our end of year Mass. This prayer, attributed to St Brendan, is one of profound trust in God. As we pray this prayer, we are mindful of all those who are ‘letting go’ of what is familiar, and moving into the new or unknown.
The Prayer of St. Brendan
Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown.
Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.
Christ of the mysteries, I trust You
to be stronger than each storm within me.
I will trust in the darkness and know
that my times, even now, are in Your hand.
Director of Identity