38 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students have been recognised for completing their schooling in Catholic education.
The students from fifteen Catholic schools were awarded at a Graduation Ceremony on September 25 at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.
Well respected Cultural Advisor and dear friend of Catholic Education SA, Ms Veena Raymond, delivered a heartwarming Welcome to Country.
Veena was able to recognise some of the students present, having worked in both metropolitan and regional Catholic schools for many years prior to her retirement.
Father Tom Gleeson then led the gathering in prayer and spoke in Kaurna language. The resident Priest from Willunga Catholic Parish, Fr Tom passionately recounted some of his experiences and learnings from being on Country.
Dr Neil McGoran, Executive Director Catholic Education South Australia addressed the gathering. Acknowledging there were still 15 days remaining for Year 12 students, Dr McGoran challenged the students to ‘dream big’ and to remember the support of their families, teachers, and schools with ‘a sense of gratitude’.
Each student who attended was gifted a certificate of completion and a framed artwork by local Aboriginal Artist David Booth, who was commissioned to create an artwork for the graduating students.
David has become well known to many Catholic schools across the state, with his murals and stunning artworks adorning many school walls and offices.
At the end of the formal proceedings, staff and family members joined together to offer the students an Aboriginal Blessing, written by Brooke Prentis and enjoyed an afternoon tea highlighted by excited conversations about future plans and the joy of completing 13 years of schooling.
Catholic Education South Australia wishes each of these young people many blessings as they begin the next exciting phase of their lives beyond school.
The Catholic Church in Australia marks Safeguarding Sunday on the second Sunday of September - at the conclusion of National Child Protection Week. It invites people to pray for those harmed by abuse directly and indirectly within Catholic contexts.