One Fire - with faith and love

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Student and their artwork from St John's School, Mitcham.5 August 2019

The community of St John’s School, Mitcham, celebrated the commissioning of their FIRE Carriers by unveiling the collaborative artwork One Fire – with faith and love.

The Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education (FIRE) Carrier program, an initiative of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM), promotes a spirit of Aboriginal reconciliation in Victorian schools. Year 5 students Aidan, Jessica, Maeve and Patrick were commissioned by ACM’s Sherry Balcombe as the school’s inaugural FIRE Carriers, along with their principal Jacqui Marshall and deputy principal Monica O’Shannassy.

The artwork was developed by students together with artist Heather Kennedy to represent the school’s values and cultural diversity. It features images, symbols and words which not only reflect the heritage of the students but their hopes for the world. ‘I chose to include the word respect’, said Maeve, ‘as it’s important to promote equality and respect towards others, no matter what they look like’.

Also at the school for the commissioning of the students and unveiling of the artwork was Whitehorse City Councillor Prue Cutts. St John’s School was the recipient of an Artists in Schools grant from Whitehorse City Council.