From the Rector
Today we celebrated Mission Day at the Senior School (photos below). This was an opportunity for our Senior School community to come together and respond to our call to service through reflecting on the challenging circumstances that so many in our world live out each day, and to respond generously in solidarity and support. Our activities, which included House performances, stalls, and liturgy, focused on the themes of generosity, service, and community. Our fundraising this year goes to Jesuit Mission to support the work of the Jesuits in Timor Leste.
Above: At Mission Day Liturgy students were encouraged to "focus on serving, supporting and connecting, and see today is an opportunity for us to be generous and engage with our international Jesuit community and family".
Above: Students ran stalls to raise funds for Jesuit Mission.
In the coming week, we celebrate Sorry Day on Sunday 26 May. The first Sorry Day was held in 1998, a year after the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report was presented to the Parliament. This day reminds us of the steps towards healing for families and communities associated with the Stolen Generations. National Reconciliation Week begins on Monday 27 May – the anniversary of the Referendum in 1967 that allowed the Federal Government to grant citizenship rights to Indigenous Australians. It concludes on Monday 3 June – the anniversary of the High Court’s judgement in the 1992 case that recognised the Native Title rights of certain Indigenous peoples to their land.
This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week is “Grounded in Truth: walk together with courage”. At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds. Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value, and respect each other. This week’s AFL round celebrates the contribution of Indigenous players and their culture to our community.
Some of our teaching and learning includes units focus on Indigenous culture, rights and history. We hope our students grow in their appreciation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our Year 5 Camp earlier this week included an introduction to the Ngarrindjeri. At the Senior School this Tuesday, Kaurna Elder, John Lochowiak will conduct a Welcome to Country Ceremony for those who attend Voluntary Mass to celebrate Reconciliation Week. Some of our Year 10 students are preparing for Immersions to the Tiwi community at Bathurst Island in July and others to the Daly River community in September.
Over these weeks, we have an artist-in-residence at the Senior School. Cedric Varcoe is a contemporary artist, painting the creation stories of his Ngarrindjeri lands and waters from the lower River Murray and the Lower Lakes to the Coorong and the South Coast to Kangaroo Island. His language groups and tribes are Ngarrindjeri and Narangga. He has detailed Dreaming knowledge, and he is custodian of Ngarrindjeri culture.
Our Year 8, 9, and 10 Art students are working with Cedric to create paintings that will form suites of work for installation around the College. The Year 8 Art students will be using the stories shared by Cedric about his Country (Ngarrindjeri and Narangga) passed down to him by his grandmother and family as inspiration for their own creations about their College environment (Kuarna land) and the special attributes we have such as the creek, trees, and birdlife. The Year 9 Art students will be working with the theme of ‘Identity’, and with inspiration from Cedric’s stories of his own culture, the students will reflect on their own identity and Ignatian story to create paintings that are unique to themselves. The Year 10 Art students will be looking at the Creation story and, inspired by Cedric’s stories, will respond to their world – past and present − in their own creative way.
Above: Cedric working with Year 8 students.
Did you know that the Australian Aboriginal flag was first flown on 12 July 1971 at Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia? I was a student at Saint Ignatius’ College at the time, and it led to some good discussion at our College. In 1972, it became the official flag for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. In July 1995, the Aboriginal flag was proclaimed a ‘Flag of Australia’. Harold Thomas, recognised as the author of the flag, described the meanings of the flag’s three colours: black – to represent the Aboriginal people of Australia; a yellow disk – to represent the sun, the giver of life and protector; and red – to represent the red earth, red ochre used in ceremonies, and a spiritual relationship to the land. The Aboriginal flag should be flown or displayed with the black at the top and the red at the bottom.
Fr Peter Hosking SJ
OREMUS (Let us pray)
We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.
“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)
If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Home Group Teacher, or Year Coordinator.
Fr Peter Hosking SJ
Below: Mission Day Activities