Social Justice Group
The Marist Social Justice Group began in 2008 when a group of thirteen Year Eleven students (Bakers Dozen) approached the Principal Mrs Baker about the need for an active social justice presence in the school. It was decided that the group should be run by the students and so the decisions and suggestions come from the students themselves.
The College Motto, “In Omnibus Christus” (In all things Christ), is the foundation of all the activities of the Cerdon College Marist Social Justice Group. The students of the College come together in the Marist way combining their beliefs, values and practices to strive to create opportunities for those in the wider global community who are less able to help themselves.
The numerous leadership roles within the Social Justice framework at Cerdon College allows each student the opportunity to participate in, contribute to and promote the activities or to raise awareness within the College of the plight of those whom we seek to help.
Senior students from Year 11 are able to assume leadership roles as Social Justice Leaders to liaise with Mission Promoters in each of the junior homerooms and also with the Junior Leaders from Year 9. This structure allows all students the opportunity of contributing to and encouraging an ongoing spirit of cooperation and commitment in the whole school community.
The primary focus each year is Project Compassion but there have been many other activities undertaken by the Social Justice Group including:
- raising funds and collecting school equipment for schools in Zambia, New Guinea and Emerton;
- sending over 2500 library books to the Marist Sisters Mission in Kanosia, New Guinea;
- donations to orphanages in the Philippines; and
- collections for LACLA an organization under the auspices of Catholic Mission, Australia which promotes girls education in Africa.
This list is by no means exhaustive but shows the diversity of projects undertaken by the students.
The Social Justice programme will continue to put into practice the words of Mary at the wedding feast at Cana “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5)
The Knitting Group meets 3 days a week at lunchtime. The group is open to any student from Year 7-12. The girls learn to knit and crochet items for themselves eg covered coat hangers, mobile phone covers, scarves etc. The group is a chance for students to make new friends, learn new skills and have a chat. The aim each year is to knit enough squares which are sewn together to make knee rugs that are donated to our neighbouring aged care facility, Cardinal Gilroy Village. The rugs are donated annually when Cerdon perform a Christmas concert for the residents. To date over 40 rugs have been donated with more on their way.
Volunteers in Action Program Year 11
Our Year 11 students are provided the opportunity to spend a week helping others in our local community. Students are placed in nursing homes, child care centres, primary schools and special needs primary schools where they assist and lend a hand in any way they can. The students learn a great deal from their experience and develop many workplace and social skills whilst they are there. Many students are able to use the placement to explore a possible future career option. The teachers and carers always truly value the assistance the students provide; and the children and nursing home residents miss them when the students return to school. On many occasions, our students volunteer their own time after their placement to return to the nursing homes and special needs schools, in particular, to visit the residents and children again.
The Vampire Shield is a school-based blood donation competition held each year. Cerdon College has participated in this incredibly rewarding competition for the past eight years and the school has finished first in the Sydney region for seven years. We have always been ranked in the top five schools in the state for the number of blood donations provided.
Once a term, students sixteen years and over, are transported to the Parramatta centre for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service by mini bus. They have their blood pressure taken and iron levels checked and if all is okay they are able to donate 470 ml of their own blood which saves the lives of up to three people. This is a true reflection of the wonderful social conscience and practical community involvement that our students exhibit.