‘Give to the poor in handfuls’. Blessed Edmund Rice
The College is guided by four Touchstones which relate to all Edmund Rice schools across Australia:
- Justice and Solidarity
- Gospel Spirituality
- Inclusive Community
- Liberating Education
These themes inform and inspire by reminding our St Edward’s College community about our purposes and priorities of Catholic education.
Justice and Peace is a central part of school life at St Edward’s College and EREA is committed to developing Social Justice and Peace projects in all of their schools. As a Catholic school in the tradition of the Christian Brothers’ and Edmund Rice, we seek to engage every student in programs of Awareness, Advocacy and Action which will become a life-long commitment to the values of service and outreach to the marginalised in our world. The College has a close connection with the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice Sydney and with Phil Glendenning who is the Director and a leader in international social justice.
St Edward’s College offers an immersion program designed to connect students with a range of Social Justice issues. All Year 11 students take part in a Sydney street retreat titled ‘Step Out of Your Comfort Zone’. It deals with issues of homelessness, Indigenous Australians and drug education. Other immersion opportunities include St Edward’s College ongoing relationship with the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice, Sydney where some senior students are given opportunity to travel to isolated towns such as Walgett and Uluru and to engage in issues of Reconciliation with our Indigenous people.
Social Justice is taught across a wide range of subject areas within the College. The Waterford Project is a compulsory requirement for students in Years 8 to 11. It requires each student to complete a minimum of 20 hours of service for others. Students can achieve this in a variety of ways. By supporting people in their own lives who are in need, students can progress to develop their role in the local community and wider world. Some examples of how students can provide support and service to others include: serving at Coast Shelter; participating in the Kings Cross Exposure Program; through immersions to Walgett, Uluru and Africa; by providing peer-modelling at the Haven Education Centre or the Juvenile Justice Centre at Kariong; through visits to local nursing homes and disability support centres. Students who achieve 100 hours of service within a year, are awarded the special award of Edmund Rice Honours. A number of our students have also been awarded the Order of Australia Commendation Medal for Outstanding Social Justice by the Governor of NSW.
Reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continues to be a high priority for our St Edward’s community. St Edward’s College has a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who, throughout the year, have the opportunity to participate in events and immersions to build cultural awareness and to connect to university, TAFE and workforce organisations. The College community also takes part in special events including Reconciliation Week as we stand alongside our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A feature of Social Justice and Peace at the College since 2015 has been close and meaningful connections with our local Islamic community. Staff and students have heard of ways that we can all build peace and justice with our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Laudato Si is a significant encyclical and teaching of Pope Francis. This encyclical challenges and reminds Christians about:
- Our need to care for our environment
- The truth of global warming and human impact
- Dangers of living in our Western consumer culture
Assembly and newsletter items, class activities and presentations to staff all address the key challenges presented by Laudato Si.
As part of the Social Justice Program, each year the College community fundraises for numerous Edmund Rice ministries and other groups. Some of these include:
- The Haven Education Centre, Terrigal
- Christian Brothers’ Ministry – Kenya
- Christian Brothers’ Ministry – The Philippines
- Red Cross
- Coast Shelter
- World Vision
- Samaritans Purse
- St Vincent de Paul
- Salvation Army
- St Joseph’s Primary School Walgett
- St Edmund’s School Wahroonga
- Edmund Rice Centre for Justice Sydney
For further information regarding Social Justice at St Edward’s College please contact:
Mr Pat Dell, Telephone: 43216439, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org