Identity News

Service Learning Connecting Communities

The 2023 Newtown and Chilwell Primary School Mentoring program provided an opportunity to a group of Year 8 Leaders to be role models by helping some Year 5 students to engage more positively with school. The experience allowed us to step up and be role models to students who we may not have otherwise got an opportunity to mentor.

At the beginning we had some slight difficulties learning names and opening up with the rest of the group but as soon as we started playing some sport and just being around the group it was as if we had been friends for years. The experience was really a good chance to help out with, hopefully for some future Joeys students. By teaching them little values and some ways to better their communities, whether at school, on the sporting field or at home. Like many of us, these students have struggled with the challenges of life, post-Covid, and getting ‘back to business’. Over a 6-week period, the interactive hands-on program, targeted all areas of school life. I won’t lie, there was some trepidation and nerves as we entered the gym to meet the bubbly group of Grade 5’s for our first session. However, within a few minutes of warm up games in the gym, there were plenty of laughs, which allowed us to break the ice with everyone and become closer as a unit.

The program concluded with the group heading back to Chilwell Primary to discuss the importance of Service Learning, how it makes us feel, and its positive role in our community. Speaking in front of all of the Grade 5 students was a nerve-racking but a great experience overall. We can’t thank Mrs. Irving enough for developing and leading the program. It was a wonderful positive experience for all involved.
Year 8 Students Liam Walker & Kai Dumbell

Leah Irving Service
Learning Coordinator

St Joseph’s End of Year College Mass Celebration

Our St Joseph’s Community began our Headstart week by celebrating our End of Year Mass. We welcomed Fr Darien Sticklen to lead us in a joyful celebration to close our 2023 academic year as we are prepared for the first week of Advent and our Headstart journey into 2024. We gave a special blessing to the staff we are farewelling due to either new job opportunities, family commitments, retirement or adventures further afield.

As we lit the first Advent candle we prayed:

May the blessing of Christ come upon us,

brightening our way and guiding us by his truth.

May Christ our light, guide us in hope.

May Christ our light, bring us joy.

May Christ our light, lead us to peace.

Our College Captain Michael Ahearn inspired the College sharing, ‘2024 is well placed to be a successful and bright year, make sure you position yourself to enhance your success.’

Identity Theme 2023

‘Open our Hearts and Minds to Build a Better World for all’ Romans 12:2

This became our theme for the year based on a reading from Romans 12:2. This year the Identity Team helped provide an array of engaging and enriching opportunities to support our students and staff to live out our Edmund Rice Touchstones, opening their hearts and minds to build a better world wherever we could.

Our theme this year, ‘Open our hearts and minds to build a better world for all’, stems from the Liberating Education Touchstone statement which states, ‘We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement, each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all’ (EREA, 2016). Further to this, Romans 12:2 expresses, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans 12:2

Our 2023 College Captain Jaeger Fawcett reflected his year inspiring the next year’s cohort of students stating, “As College captain this year, I have the privilege of looking back on my time at St Joseph’s thus far, and reflecting on what this place has afforded me. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities, the challenges, the special moments and even the hardships I have experienced as all of these things have shaped me into the person I am today. When making your choice about the kind of year you would like to have, look around you first. Take notice of the opportunities presented, the ones you would have looked past, notice the potential friendships you could make, take notice of service learning opportunities that could enrich your lives, and imagine the progress you could make with your studies with some fine-tuning of your schedules and self-motivation. Make your choice with your heart and mind open, have the year you deserve.”
College Captain, Jaeger Fawcett

I would like to congratulate and thank the 2023 Identity Team, Student College Leadership Team and Touchstone Leaders who have led many of the Identity team initiatives and are all a shining example living the touchstones and gospel values through service leadership, that includes the elements of: empathy, stewardship, empowering others, a balance of focus and flexibility, attentive listening and serving with humility. We wish all of the St Joseph’s community a safe and blessed Christmas. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, may His light illuminate our paths and His peace fill our hearts. May you make time for the message of Christmas to fill your homes with new hope and joy.

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born, will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

Mary Malone
Director of Identity