In accord with Catholic Social Justice principles, it develops the students’ social justice awareness by extracurricular actives as well as by classroom instruction. The weekly College Newsletter has given two examples of off-campus formation that have involved some Villanova senior students in recent weeks.
Vinnies High Schools’ Social Justice Day
A similarly positive-minded team of Year Ten and Eleven students attended the Social Justice Day at Clairvaux MacKillop College at Mt Gravatt (Brisbane) on Thursday, 14 April 2016. Many Senior School students from across Brisbane participated in well-conceived learning activities, designed to provoke thought and allow for deeper understanding of what people experience at the margins of society. In this regard, one of the “games” was a hut building competition with cardboard and masking tape, reflecting in a small way the need to build a shelter in a refugee camp. Different cards were dealt to each “family” – for example the sudden need to help a family member with cholera or dysentery.
The students reflected deeply on the activity, for example in seeing that it need not have been treated as a competition. The strong focus on refugees is of course timely with the anticipated arrival in Brisbane of 12,000 Syrian refugees. The Social Justice Day helped students hear a different voice from simply the news media’s emphasis on border protection and terrorism.
Movers and Shakers Leadership Camp
During the first week of the recent Easter holidays, five Year Eleven students attended the annual Leadership Formation camp for Catholic students from all over Queensland. They threw themselves into the four day event in Toowoomba with open hearts and minds. It was noticeable how ready they were to learn from the wide range of activities, challenges and reflections, in partnership with like-minded young people from Roma to Rockhampton. Their experience concluded with a special Mass of commissioning celebrated by Bishop Robert McGuckin of Toowoomba.