2016 Catholic Education Week
By Stephen Elder,
Executive Director Catholic Education
Catholic Education Week in 2016 was a wonderful celebration
of our schools, their beautiful students and the jubilee Year of Mercy.
Thousands of students took up this year’s theme, to Be the Face of Mercy, in what was a
truly outstanding example of what makes the Catholic education system great. I
believe it is critical for our students to understand and witness up close the
fact that their school is part of a giant Catholic education community.
The success of the week was encapsulated by the thoughts of
Victorian political leaders in both government and opposition who commented publically
on the ‘enormous job’ Catholic schools do in Victoria and ‘beautiful connection’
made between children’s education and their faith.
As always, the joint-school mass with His Grace, Archbishop Denis
Hart was a pleasure to witness on St Patrick’s Day. Led by Celtic Irish Pipers,
all 331 Archdiocese of Melbourne primary and secondary schools were invited to
proudly fly their school’s colours at St Patrick’s Cathedral, where Archbishop
Hart led a celebration of the Eucharist.
For many of the three thousand odd students involved it was
their first time inside the Cathedral and, not surprisingly, the magnitude and
majesty of the Mother Church really expands their young minds.
It was also a privilege to have Victorian Education Minister
and Deputy Premier Mr James Merlino and Mr Graham Hartnett from the Embassy of
Ireland in attendance.
A central part of the mass was a pledge by all students,
teachers and Catholic Education Melbourne staff to God and his teachings:
We commit ourselves to
spreading the Good news of Jesus Christ by working together in respect, love
and peace, making God’s Kingdom a reality in the world. Today we re-commit
ourselves to Catholic education and to the caring for all those in our school
Despite the heat of the day, the annual Concert in the Park
at Treasury Gardens was also a joy to behold, and to hear!
The quality of the Catholic school bands on stage was
absolutely amazing, rivalled only by the popularity of Justin Bieber among the students
singing, dancing and generally having fun on the grass.
The final activity on St Patrick’s Day itself is the Speakers
Colloquium. This year it featured the incredible journeys of Prue Kenny and
Sophia Griffiths-Mark. These impressive ladies took the ‘opportunity for all’
and ‘faith and persistence’ principles they learnt as former school captains at
Sacred Heart College, Newtown, all the way to the United Nations in New York.
Bishop Mark Edwards also chaired a discussion on the
Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide last December, and 2014 Time to Shine soloist Celine Torres performed
and spoke of her achievements on the musical stage.
And then of course there is the stunning week long Visual
Arts Display. This is always a thought provoking window into creative and
artistic minds of Catholic students of all ages in all forms of media.
Across all year-levels, the quality of work on display is
best described in one word ‘breathtaking’.
I was particularly taken by an amazing piece by Bayley
Mifsud from Star of the Sea College, Brighton, and plan to hang that in the
office of Catholic Education Melbourne.
Congratulations to every student whose work was chosen for
display, and indeed all students and the many, many schools who ensured Catholic
Education Week was recognised at a local level.
The energy, achievement, faith and care of our students and
our schools is what sets Catholic education apart each and every week of the
Mass of St Patrick
Massed choirs: Loyola College, Watsonia; Our Lady of Sion
College, Box Hill; Thomas Carr College, Tarneit.
Readers and offerings representing anniversary schools: 100
years – Holy Rosary School, Kensington. 75 years – St Bernard’s School, Coburg East;
St Benedict’s School, Burwood. 50 years – St Damian’s School, Burwood.
Concert in the Park
Music: Emmaus College, Vermont South, soul band; Sacred Heart
Girls’ College, Oakleigh, concert band; Liam Jones, St Monica’s School, Moonee
Activities: Penola College, Broadmeadows.
Visual Arts Display
Eileen Canty Award (Primary) – Meet Stephen – A
Self-portrait – Stephen Trac, Prep, St Bernadette’s School, Sunshine North
Julia Flynn Memorial Award (Secondary) – Self-portrait
(Happy) – Alicia Grasso, Year 12, St Monica’s College, Epping
Archbishop’s Award for Religious Art (Primary) – Condemnation
– Amy Do-Tran, Year 6, St Margaret’s School, Maribyrnong
Archbishop’s Award for Religious Art (Secondary) – James
– Alexandra Counsel, Year 9, Santa Maria College, Northcote
Australian Catholic University Social Justice Award
(Primary) – A Bowl of Many Colours – Joshua Vo, Year 3, Holy
Eucharist School, St Albans South
Australian Catholic University Award for Social Justice
(Secondary) – Untitled – Thomas Grimshaw, Year 12, Xavier College,
Catholic Education Week Year 12 Award – Subconscious
– Pam Jarmcharoen, Year 12, Presentation College Windsor, Windsor
Executive Director’s Acquisition Award
Identity – Bayley Mifsud, Year 11, Star of the Sea
Strength – Isaac Dwyer, Year 12, Whitefriars College,
Melbourne Catholic Magazine Award (Primary) – Saviour
– Benjamin Nguyen, Year 6, St Margaret’s School, Maribyrnong
Melbourne Catholic Award (Secondary) – Bowerbird
– Alexandra Scherrer, Year 12, Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak, Toorak
Serra Club Portraiture Award (Primary) – My
Portrait – Alyssa Brasier, Year 6, Holy Eucharist School, St Albans
Serra Club Portraiture Award (Secondary) – Trojan
Bellisario – Alejandra Turcios, Year 10, Loyola College, Watsonia
People’s Choice Award (Primary) – Black Saturday
Fire –Year 6 Class, St Bernadette’s School, Sunshine
People’s Choice Award (Secondary) – Strength –
Isaac Dwyer, Year 12, Whitefriars College, Donvale
Visual Arts Exhibition Catalogue CoverAward –
Naomi – Ruth Garcia, Year 12, St Monica’s College, Epping
Visual Arts Exhibition Committee Award (Primary) – Pink
Daisies – Leah Ruthven, Year 6, St Joan of Arc School, Brighton
Visual Arts Exhibition Committee Award (Secondary) – New
York Times Squared – Jordan Nandan, Year 10, St James College, Bentleigh
ZART ART Award (Primary) – St Bernadette’s School,
ZART ART Award (Secondary) – Sacré Cœur, Glen Iris
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