Prayer for Landing Day
A is for Adventure
God of Adventure – we give thanks for the journey undertaken by Mother Gonzaga Barry and her Sisters to bring the Good News of Jesus and the dream of Mary Ward to this land. May we be blessed with their spirit of adventure.
B is for Beginnings – we give thanks for the amazing work done by the early Sisters to build and start schools for children from Ballarat to Brisbane, Portland to Perth. May we be blessed with their spirit of bravery and hope.
C is for Companionship – we give thanks for the deep friendships experienced by the early Sisters as they adjusted to life away from their families in far-away Ireland. May we be blessed with their spirit of love as we form an ever-wider circle of friends.
On July 19th 1875, Mother Gonzaga Barry and several companions landed at Sandridge Pier (Port Melbourne) to begin the ministry of the Loreto Sisters in Australia and South East Asia. They travelled from Ireland to Australia and at the request of the Bishop of Ballarat, agreed to establish Catholic schools for girls. Each year we celebrate their arrival as ‘Landing Day’.
Despite initial misgivings – Gonzaga Barry was over 40, deaf in one ear, and considered her best years behind her – she worked hard to provide schools that would meet the needs of the area. The schools included theological education, unique kindergarten facilities, free parish-based education for those who could not pay fees and were modelled on what Mother Gonzaga called “a sensible school for girls”.
Gonzaga Barry was well respected in the Australian education world for her educational innovations. She was an early advocate for holistic education (influenced by the writings of Froebel) and established a teacher training college in Ballarat in 1884. She believed that continual professional development fostered excellence in teaching. The basis for Mother Gonzaga Barry’s works and establishments came from her belief that women had much to learn rather than relying on “the theories of education … which we owe largely to men.” Barry also had a profound impact on her students urging them to make their own mark in the world.
As we move forward in 2020, I urge all of us to encourage our students and children to make their own mark in the world and to leave a legacy they will be proud of.
Mary Ward International Project
This year Loreto Nedlands will be raising money for the Mary Ward International project in India named: Brickfield Schools Project
Nearly 40% of children under 5 have stunted growth
176 million people are in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day
The project’s objective is to deliver basic education in literacy, mathematics and life skills to the children of the brickfield workers.
The Brickfield Schools project provides education for the children of migrant brickfield workers, from the Dalit caste in West Bengal. It is difficult for these children to enrol in local government schools, due to the migratory nature of this work. The first brickfield open-air school commenced on the outskirts of Kolkata in 2008. In 2019, 15 brickfield schools and 30 teachers provide quality education 3.5 hours a day, 5 days a week to 778 children. The project also advocates for the rights and needs of the families, enabling them to access government services and facilities.
The Challenges and Solution
Traditional expectations are that children help their parents make bricks and therefore, there is a reluctance to send children to school. The importance of education and its benefit in breaking the cycle of poverty are emphasised to leaders, parents and children.
Some impacts so far with MWIA intervention include:
- School enrolments increased from 509 children in 2018 to 778 currently
- 651 migrant labourers received health consultations and free medicine in 2018.
Stay tuned for more information and upcoming fundraising initiatives…
Skye Yang has kindly offered to run Mandarin Lessons as a free service on a Tuesday after school until 4pm. Lessons will be held in the Glass House (Upstairs in the LPAC) commencing next Tuesday, 28 July. Skye has a current Working With Children Card.
Please contact Skye via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your child to participate.
Fun Fridays are back for Term Three!
Tomorrow’s Fun Friday is wearing the school uniform with a symbol representing a character strength they would like to develop.
In Week Two, the school uniform is to be worn and accompanied by bringing or wearing an item to reflect a First Responder.
Fortnightly Tip: Active Listening
We’re taking it back to basics this week with The Fathering Project’s founding BUS principle.
With BUS, we can provide that internal dialogue that guides our children safely and happily through life. It’s easy to remember and helps dads build good habits of fathering from birth to adulthood.
- B – being there
Be available, present and engaged. Always offer your presence so they know they can always ask.
- U – unconditional love
Love them and show it (even if you don’t always love their behaviour).
- S – special
Recognise your child’s quirks – what unique things to they bring to the world?
- Was I available and attentive today – either in person or through technology?
- Did I communicate my love today in a way that my child understood?
- Do I deliberately find different ways to help my child recognise their specialness, and feel worthwhile?