When I was a young man completing my secondary school studies, my world seemed to be very isolated compared to today. Much of the news and current affairs were confined to local community issues and some news around state or national affairs. I knew little of world affairs unless I searched for information and was fed little information about this through the media. The notion of being a global citizen was never seriously raised or considered. There was very limited forms of technology that gave me such information in the speedy and efficient way that it is...
When I was a young man completing my secondary school studies, my world seemed to be very isolated compared to today. Much of the news and current affairs were confined to local community issues and some news around state or national affairs. I knew little of world affairs unless I searched for information and was fed little information about this through the media. The notion of being a global citizen was never seriously raised or considered. There was very limited forms of technology that gave me such information in the speedy and efficient way that it is delivered today.
Young men completing secondary schooling today are very much connected and almost bombarded with world affairs and how they may affect or have affected Australian society. This is usually through such things as government policy, economics, conflict and wars, religious and cultural intolerances and the list goes on. It would appear that in most recent times, the political climate in many countries has been influenced by suspicion and intolerance of some people or their religion or culture. The danger of such a concern is that some people may make generalisations about certain religious or cultural beliefs or are simply against some people because of their place of birth. If these beliefs become deep-seeded and a majority view, our society falls into the danger of losing its diversity of cultures and view-points but also remains very rigid in its beliefs. It is in welcoming others into our communities that we can learn more and appreciate other people and their cultures.
On 21 November, 2013 the coalition of leading faith-based humanitarian organisations and academic institutions published a statement in Vienna calling for the development of a code of conduct for faith leaders to welcome migrants, refugees and other forcibly displaced people. The statement called all of us to welcome the stranger and treat him or her as we would like to be treated. It went on to list a number of points to consider. I have listed some of these below:
- I will remember and remind members of my community that we are all considered “strangers” somewhere, that we should treat the stranger to our community as we would like to be treated and challenge intolerance.
- I will remember and remind others in my community that no-one leaves his or her homeland without a reason: some flee because of persecution, violence or exploitation; others due to natural disaster; yet others out of love to provide better lives for their families.
- I recognise that all persons are entitled to dignity and respect as human beings. All of those in my country, including the stranger, are subject to its laws, and none shall be subject to hostility or discrimination.
- I acknowledge that welcoming the stranger sometimes takes courage, but the joys and the hopes of doing so outweigh the risks and the challenges. I will support others who exercise courage in welcoming the stranger.
- I will respect and honour the reality that the stranger may be of a different faith or hold beliefs different from mine and others within the community.
- I will make an effort to not only welcome the stranger, but also to listen to him or her deeply, and to promote understanding and welcome in my community.
- I will not keep silent when I see others, even leaders in my community, speaking ill of strangers, judging them without coming to know them, or when I see them being excluded, wronged or oppressed.
On Tuesday 9 August, our College is joining with SANDBAG and the Brisbane City Council to host a welcome dinner. This is a part of the Welcome Dinner Project and will be held at the Sandgate Community Centre. The Welcome Dinner is all about linking established families in the community with newly arrived families. Currently many families from Iraq and Syria are being welcomed into the local community and this all about creating relationships with them. We would encourage as many families (and students) as possible to attend this wonderful event. If you are interested in attending, please register click here for link.
Ms. Elizabeth Gaber joined our College Staff and Leadership Team on Monday. Elizabeth has the role of Dean of Administration and Business Intelligence. This role includes the administration of the organisation of the College including timetabling and reporting. The “Business Intelligence” within the role includes the development of data systems and data literacy for staff, students and families as well as student tracking systems. This part of the role reflects the significance of the use of student and school data to inform and enhance teaching practices and student outcomes. Elizabeth has had considerable experience in teaching, particularly in the area of Mathematics. Previously she has been Head of Curriculum – Mathematics and Director of Administration at Nudgee College and more recently she was the Deputy Principal – Administration at Loreto College. I am very much looking forward to having Elizabeth join our College community and having a person with her knowledge and experience on our College Leadership Team.
On Tuesday, we held our second Trimester Sports Awards Assembly. Once again, this was facilitated in the new Christian Brothers Building. It was great to see so many parents and grandparents attend this event. It is always good to celebrate such occasions in front of the peers of the recipients rather than hold them in another special event where many students would not be able to attend. Once again, Doug Locke did a great job in organising and facilitating the event. I would also like to make special mention of two of our students. Firstly, Justin Sikimeti who was recently selected in the Australian Schoolboy's rugby team to tour Samoa and New Zealand during the September school holidays. Richard Cook received recognition from Aspirations4kids in Sport. This is an organisation that makes funds available to students to assist them in attending sporting events to assist their representative and sporting aspirations. Richard recently competed at the Queensland Secondary Schools golf tournament in Yeppoon. He has also just received an invitation to do further studies at the Australian Golf School in Melbourne after he completes his senior studies this year.
I would like to thank the many Year 12 parents who were able to attend the Information and Update meeting last Monday evening. I hope that the information was useful to you and your son.
On Wednesday, 10 August (RNA holiday), we will host our annual Sports Luncheon. This is the second year that we have held the event and have moved it to this holiday so that more parents might be able to attend. The luncheon is for both men and women and the guest speakers include Libby Trickett (Olympic Swimmer), Paul White (CEO – Brisbane Broncos) and Andrew McCulloch (current Broncos player). Mr. Ryan Schultz has worked very hard to put together such a great program and I am looking forward to attending the event. If you are free on this date, please consider joining us as it promises to be an excellent afternoon.