Commemorating ANZAC Day

As we know, ANZAC Day is one of Australia's most important national occasions marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand armed forces during World War I whilst at the same time, promoting peace. As a College community, we marked this occasion with a whole school PA led service on Thursday 27 April which incorporated relevant prayers, ritual, symbols, reflective hymns, and rich imagery. This allowed the opportunity to focus on collective pride, the significance of the day, its traditions, caring for each other and the world as a whole, and stopping to honour those who fought so hard for our freedom.

Over the ANZAC Week, we sold close to $100 worth of merchandise for the Altona RSL ANZAC Appeal. Student representatives laid a wreath at the Altona RSL Commemoration Service (22 April) and Dawn Service (25 April). A team of committed Year 10 student volunteers, spearheaded by Julie Walfer, organised a series of events which included a wall of profiles in the College Cafe sharing the stories of brave servicemen and women, and an ANZAC biscuit fundraiser which included a label with the meaning behind the traditional biscuit. We were pleased to raise $250 with a cheque personally handed over to the Altona RSL President Graham Williams and Appeals Officer Anne Schoots. We feel making a conscious effort to learn more about ANZAC Day helps our students understand the life and times of Australia and its people. It also ensures that stories about Australia's heroes and history are passed down to younger generations and they understand the value and need for peace.

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

On Thursday 18 May, the staff of the College joined together for a Cancer Council Australia's Biggest Morning Tea which celebrates a massive milestone, 30 years. For three decades, thousands of generous Victorians have hosted a morning tea whether that be in their homes, at work, or in their community, raising well over $200 million for cancer research, prevention, and support programs.

Sadly, at some point in our lives, we have been impacted by cancer whether that be personally, a dear family or friend who has passed away, are currently in remission or a survivor. This is what inspires many supporters during the months of May-June to host or attend Australia's Biggest Morning Tea.

This year, our staff were invited to bring along delicious baked goodies with a cuppa to a morning tea hosted on campus during recess. We played a few quick games to initiate some further donations and raised with the support of our wider community a grand total of $900 - what an outstanding effort! We sincerely thank all who came in support or better still donated. We know every dollar raised makes a huge difference.

CatholicCare Family Week (15-19 May)

To celebrate CatholicCare Family Week this year, we provided daily prayers for our students during Morning Pastoral and invited Kalma Rathouski, CatholicCare Engagement Coordinator, and Rozanne Perera, Engagement Advisor, to present to our staff on this year’s theme ‘Circle of Inclusion’, which recognises that no two families are the same, along with covering the great works of CatholicCare Victoria, what services they provide and look at ways Catholic schools like us can provide further support. On behalf of the College, we donated $250 to CatholicCare Victoria Family Week.

Youth in Action

We are pleased to announce that Youth in Action (YIA) has made a comeback this year. It consists of two previous groups, Social Action Group and Earthcare Team. YIA will meet every Day 2 (Tuesday) at lunchtime and is open to all staff and students. They will discuss pressing social justice, ecology and sustainability issues, along with faith and ministry, fundraising ideas, and lots of other exciting new events. We look forward to hearing about the great works of this group which will transpire over the coming months.

Catholic Earthcare Schools Program

At the beginning of the year, we signed up to the ‘Catholic Earthcare Schools Program’ which joins the movement to care for creation and action the goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. We have received a level one certificate for committing to ecological justice action. There are 5 levels of certification, and we will receive a certificate as we reach each level. At level 1, we will reflect on any Laudato Si’ work or sustainability projects already undertaken by the College, establish an Earthcare team (via our Youth in Action Group), decide on a clear vision, carry out an audit within our chosen theme and start on a first chosen project which will be to start growing some wholesome vegetable and herbs in our garden beds. The Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart have developed their own Laudato Si Action Plan for the Josephite community titled ‘Explore, Embrace and Embody Action Plan Impetus’ and this will also inspire some of our future earth care projects.

National Reconciliation Week (May 27-3 June)

We celebrate National Reconciliation Week at the end of the month which marks two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. This week is also an opportunity for all Australians to learn more about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The WAMMSS are busy planning away for this week in conjunction with the Faith Team who will provide daily morning prayers and a guest speaker for the whole school on Monday 5 June.

Anne Severi - Director of Catholic Identity