At Killester we follow the Gospel values of Jesus as well as the Brigidine Core Values and in particular the social justice groups respond to “Welcoming all people, especially the most vulnerable.” We have several groups who take up the cause of Social Justice. The main groups are :
Justice and Democracy
(for students from years 10 -12)
This committee meets every Tuesday and puts as much emphasis on discussion and consciousness raising about issues as well as action. They attend the annual Justice and Democracy Camp for all Brigidine schools form Victoria, South Australia and Queensland in March. Issues that have been explored are homelessness, asylum seekers, fair trade, child labour, the war in Iraq and women’s issues. The teacher who currently assist students in the running of this committee is Damien Halliday.
St Vincent De Paul
is run by Mrs Bolton with a core of VCE students supporting the group. They attend the annual conference and run a number of fundraising activities throughout the year. One of the main efforts is for the Poor Persons Mass which is held each year near the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is a great sight at the offertory to see food and clothing presented to form a mountain each side of the altar. Brigidine Day is also another mammoth task with the girls offering a banquet auction of picnic baskets. In groups of six to eight the students can bid for a table and have a feast served by the St Vincent De Paul girls, Mrs Bolton and the expert home economics teachers. They also get waited upon and serenaded by the male staff during the three course extravaganza.
Brigidine Founders Day
This is a fantastic celebration of our Brigidine heritage and in keeping with the generosity and outreach that Brigid displayed to the poor we raise funds through various fun activities for a couple of causes each year. This helps to raise awareness of these causes and adds a practical element to our social justice work. Last year we supported
Killester supports Project Compassion each year as the major fundraiser for Caritas, a catholic, worldwide agency which aids the poor, disadvantaged and those in emergency situations. We traditionally introduce the fundraiser at our Lenten Ash Wednesday Liturgy. Each student receives a Project Compassion box and returns it in Holy week. For the past few years the boxes have been incorporated into the Stations of the Cross liturgy. This year will be no different with many students representing all social justice groups in the school forming a procession of the boxes into Kennedy hall. Thousands of dollars have been raised over the years and the girls and staff always support this generously.
Several years ago the Justice and Democracy Group serviced Joey’s Van which operates from St. Joseph’s parish centre. The van provides food, soup, tea and coffee for the homeless and disadvantaged of Dandenong. Girls used to package and prepare food for the van on a Friday night before it went out. After a while our help was not needed but this year we have renewed our relationship. Now girls are going a teacher and the Joey’s van team to Dandenong, on a Monday night and they are actually serving the food. It is a wonderful experience and very humbling. There is a great need in the area and each night they serve over seventy people. At the moment we are providing help a couple of times a term with the possibility of greater involvement in future. Rosanna Rinnovasi and the team at St. Joseph’s do a magnificent job and we thank them for the opportunity.