Phil is an OAM, Director of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice in Sydney since its inception in 1996. He has been a national and international voice on Human Rights, especially Reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, as well as Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Climate Change/Action advocacy. Phil has produced documentaries on asylum seekers, which have appeared on TV and have been used as resources in our classrooms. Phil has been a huge supporter of Edmund Rice schools and particularly of St Edward’s College. He retires at the end of this year after a distinguished career in Awareness, Advocacy and Action. We are fortunate at St Edward’s to have Phil for one of his final speaking events as Director, this will take place at our Assembly on Friday 4 November 2022.
This annual appeal resumes this year, after COVID-related restrictions over the past few years. The aim is for the St Edward’s College community to donate at least 100 hamper baskets of tinned food and items, to be used for local disadvantaged and vulnerable people, as a Christmas Day meal. Each boy will be asked to donate at least one item towards this appeal. This will be done via Homeroom classes. Our two recipients for this appeal are Coast Shelter and The St Vincent de Paul Society. Many individuals and families on the Central Coast struggle with difficult economic situations, mental health, unemployment and other factors, so our aim is to help people in this small way, allowing our boys to be aware of the difficulties faced by many people around us.
Boys will be assigned in Homerooms to bring in items. Examples to make up a hamper include: tinned vegetables, tinned ham, bon bons, nuts, biscuits, soft drinks and other items. More information will be provided on this in the next edition of Touchstones.
Please check-in with your son about his submission of this compulsory program. Congratulations to the following boys who have achieved Edmund Rice Honours, for their efforts in serving more than 100 hours for others this year. Other students will be added to this list, to be presented at the Annual Awards Assembly, once they submit their Waterford Summary Sheet to me.
This is a good way for the boys to work together, led by senior Prefect leaders, to promote Justice and Peace ideas at the College and to learn skills in advocacy. If your son would like to be involved, please ask him to see me in the next few days.
Social Justice, in part, is about trying to enable our boys to ask the ‘Why’ questions, like:
- Why is there injustice around us, locally, nationally and internationally?
- Why should I do Waterford, service-learning for others?
- Why is it important to support,via donations, a ministry like the Mary Rice Centre in Kenya?
- Why should I commit to making a difference? What impact does it have on my life?
Education is not just of the mind, but also of the heart, transforming with hope.