Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstones
Justice and Solidarity
A Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, we recognise that its members are part of a global community and actively supports the development of all humanity.
Gratitude – Founders Day
In recent years I have become passionate about how schools prepare young people to deal with the ups and downs that life throws their way. How can we make sure that our young people who leave the school gates at the end of their schooling have a tool kit that allows them to deal with the inevitable pit falls of life, but similarly recognise when things are going well so that they remain humble and not get carried away? As the saying goes, nothing is as bad as it seems, and nothing is as good as it seems. I once heard respected Australian psychologist, Andrew Fuller, describe this as being able to bungee jump between the highs and lows of life, where the bungee cord dampens out the extreme highs and lows. Of course, this ability is what we refer to as resilience.
Recently I read the popular book by Hugh van Cuylenburg The Resilience Project in which he focuses on three important practices that he believes lead to resilience – Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness. It was his writing on gratitude that I have found myself reflecting on. He describes gratitude as paying attention to the things and moments we have right now, and not worrying about what we don’t have. We practise gratitude by noticing the positives that exist around us, and by being thankful for things, places and people in our lives. As a parent myself, I know many in the community will have, like myself, bemoaned that they feel their children may not recognise ‘how good they have got it’.
Recently the College received a letter from Frederick Were, a 12-year-old from Nairobi, Kenya, who the College has supported for the last five years. Frederick often writes to the College to thank us for the support we provide which allows him an education. I was struck that the entire letter focussed on his gratitude for what he does have in life. One paragraph stood out:
In Kenya, we are also heading towards the general elections. They will be held on the 9th of August this year. We are praying that they may be done in a good and peaceful way to avoid losing people’s life.
In Australia a general election is often a time we whinge about the constant election campaigning on our TV’s and radios, the publicity stunts, and the quality and price of the Democracy Sausage available at our local polling place. What a stark contrast to the wish of Frederick.
On the College’s Founder’s Day on September 9, we join as a College community for a day of fun activities where we raise money for the Mary Rice Centre in Kenya. The Mary Rice Centre transforms the lives of many young people with physical and intellectual disabilities and their families living in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. The lives of these young people is in stark contrast to the privilege that we enjoy, and the fundraising we do to support the Mary Rice Centre is truly God’s work. This money ensures opportunities are provided to these young people that we take for granted here.
I hope that Founder’s Day can also be a day of gratitude. A day where we celebrate the wonderful opportunities afforded to each and every member of the St Edward’s community, and gratitude that we have been granted the ability to provide these opportunities to some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.
The following images are from the 2019 Student Tour to the Mary Rice Centre in Kenya
A reminder of the current COVID safe measures in place until the end of Week 5. It is our hope that the safety measures being implemented assist reducing transmission in school, but also allow for minimal interruption to normal College operations.
- Strongly encouraging mask-wearing indoors for all students, staff and visitors. Students are reminded that mask wearing continues to be mandated on public transport.
- Encouraging regular hand washing and other personal hygiene practices.
- Continuing enhanced day cleaning of the College.
- Assessing risk and applying appropriate safeguards across activities and events. The College will continue to assess the risk posed by other planned events and will adjust plans as necessary – organisers will communicate directly with parents and students of the appropriate COVID safe measures implemented.
- Reducing visitors to site, especially for large gatherings and always practising appropriate social distancing and strongly encouraging mask wearing for those who do attend.
You can access the correspondence in full via this link
Catholic Schools Parents Australia – ‘Have Your Say’
Catholic Schools Parents Australia invite parents to complete a survey that looks at matters regarding the wellbeing and learning of children. Please see the link below for more information and to complete the survey.