Being Edmund Rice people

georgina-bowler.jpgAs a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, we foster positive relationships throughout our College environment. We strive for mutual respect and an understanding of the differences between individuals.  Nowhere was this more apparent than during the recent National Reconciliation Week.

The theme for this year's National Reconciliation Week was 'Be a Voice for Generations' and encouraged all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise. Led by Mrs Sharon Hookway, our Indigenous Reconciliation Coordinator, the boys engaged in a variety of activities designed to further inform and educate them about the history and culture of First Nations Peoples. Noongar Elder, Aunty Betty Garlett, welcomed us to Country and performed a Smoking Ceremony where all members of our community walked through the cleansing smoke and commemorated Sorry Day. We were reminded of the pain caused by the Stolen Generations and its ongoing impact.

The annual Solidarity Walk took place early on a cold and wet Wednesday morning.  As always, our gentlemen showed commitment and resilience as they gathered in their hundreds with staff before walking through Fremantle in support of reconciliation. One of the highlights of the week was the launch of a very special First Nations pin designed by Year 10 student, Luke Bellini. After some conversations with his Mentor teacher, Ms Chloe Sullivan, Luke was inspired to design a pin that could be worn by all students and staff to show their support of First Nations Peoples. It was launched at a College assembly where he outlined the meaning of each element on the pin and presented one to College Principal, Ms Jenny Knox, and to his father. We are very proud of Luke and his connection to his culture.

We are delighted to join with Aquinas College to host Tommy Nyawir and the Edmund Rice Foundation at CBC on Monday 12 June. Tommy was born in the informal settlement of Kibera, a vast urban slum in Nairobi Kenya and had a childhood defined by extreme poverty. At 14, he was forced to leave school when his parents could no longer afford the fees. His dreams faded as he focused on merely surviving. Tommy's life changed due to the kindness of a stranger who funded his education. He was able to complete secondary school and was awarded a scholarship for a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Human Development. In 2010, Tommy and his wife Judy founded Mirror of Hope. Through the Women's Empowerment Program, this organisation is changing lives in Kibera by equipping women with business-skills training and support. Women in Kibera are the backbone of their families and the community. However, nearly 80 per cent rely on odd jobs to make ends meet and sustain their families. With training in business skills, these women can establish a method to secure additional income. It is no exaggeration to say that Tommy embodies the contemporary face of the Edmund Rice charism. This will be a wonderful opportunity for some of our senior students to learn about the work of the Edmund Rice Foundation and to consider the role that EREA schools play in echoing the values and beliefs of our shared identity.

img_1610.jpgOn Friday 23 June, Ms Emily Bowran, Mrs Sharon Hookway, Mr Tom Yeates and a group of Year 11 students will travel to Kiwirrkurra for a ten-day immersion.  Kiwirrkurra is located in the Gibson Desert and is described as the most remote community in Australia. It is 1,200km east of Port Hedland and 700km west of Alice Springs. Roughly 170 people live in this community, and about two-thirds are under 30 years of age. Over the past few years, CBC has built a strong relationship with the residents and particularly with the school. The group will fly to Telfer mine site before starting the two-day drive to Kiwirrkurra. Once there, they will work with the students in the school, accompanying them during their learning and daily routines. The group will also have opportunities to engage in community activities such as a hunting and camping, family dinners and movie nights. We wish them all the best during this incredible experience and look forward to hearing about their adventures when they return.

On behalf of the College, I would like to invite you and your families to the CBC Mass which takes place at St Patrick's Basilica on Saturday 17 of June at 6pm.  This is a special evening where we gather to worship together as a faith community in this beautiful place.  It would be wonderful to see you there!

Georgina Bowler
Deputy Principal