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Justice, Peace and Advocacy

‘A Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition stands in solidarity with those who are powerless and marginalised’.  (The Charter, Edmund Rice Education in Australia, 2004).

The College is guided by four Touchstones which relate to all Edmund Rice schools across Australia:

  • Justice and Solidarity
  • Gospel Spirituality
  • Inclusive Community
  • Liberating Education

These themes inform and inspire by reminding our St Edward’s College community about our purposes and priorities of Catholic education.

Justice and Peace is a central part of school life at St Edward’s College and EREA is committed to developing Social Justice and Peace projects in all of their schools. As a Catholic school in the tradition of the Christian Brothers’ and Edmund Rice, we seek to engage every student in programs of Awareness, Advocacy and Action which will become a life-long commitment to the values of service and outreach to the marginalised in our world. The College has a close connection with the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice Sydney and with Phil Glendenning who is the Director and a leader in international social justice.

Waterford – Service-Learning and Advocacy Project

The vision of St Edward’s College as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition requires us to seek justice and compassion for others and give a voice to the voiceless. The Waterford Service-Learning Program is a vital part of this vision and permeates throughout the whole school curriculum, reflecting both our Aspiration Statement and College Strategic Improvement Plan. It reflects Catholic social teachings and has unique educational value in providing a transformative holistic educational experience which supports the students both within and outside of the classroom.

The Waterford Service-Learning Program also provides opportunities for all secondary students to become involved in a wide range of volunteer activities, catering for different age groups. It allows them to experience the joy of giving and sharing with others and provides a unique learning experience that goes beyond the classroom and school environment, where students can reflect upon their own values and beliefs and develop their character through the act of service. The opportunity and requirement to reflect and give meaning to their service experience are critical to the success of the program.

The integration of gospel values and those values demonstrated by the work of Blessed Edmund are the cornerstones of the Waterford Service-Learning Program at St Edward’s College. It is expected that all graduates from St Edward’s College will have demonstrated a willingness and ability to assist those in their community who are in need. It is important our students develop compassion and empathy for those less fortunate than themselves through active preparation, participation, and critical reflection. A gradual process has been designed to develop these values throughout the whole school.

The College has been conducting this mandatory Social Justice program for over 20 years. Each student in Years 8-11 is required to complete at least 15 hours of service for others, by the end of Term 3.

  • Please ask your son to see Mr Rozario or his Religious Education teacher for more information.
  • Please contact Mr Rozario if you have any questions about Waterford.
  • Your son will have the program explained clearly to him by his Religious Education teacher.
  • Opportunities to earn Waterford hours will be posted within the Daily Notices.

 

 

Benefits of Waterford and Service-Learning

Whilst the list of the benefits of the Waterford Service-Learning Program below does not encapsulate everything that students gain from completing their hours, it does provide a snapshot of the benefits to their development socially, morally, academically, and spiritually.

It is through service that we can all embody the Gospel values and live a life that has a positive impact on those around us.

Increased Self-Awareness and the Ability to Make a Difference

Students

  • learn more about themselves and develop confidence;
  • gain a sense of empowerment and realise their potential to make a difference;
  • clarify their values;
  • realise their capacity to give and develop patience and compassion;
  • become less materialistic and more appreciative of what they have;
  • gain a better perspective of their lives;
  • come to recognise their own privilege;
  • develop skills and interests that lead to career paths;
  • develop an ethic of service which continues through adulthood;
  • develop a commitment to the larger community;
  • become more politically aware and develop a commitment to act.

Increased Awareness of Others

Students

  • learn about people whose experiences and backgrounds are different from theirs;
  • gain a better understanding of perspectives and diversity;
  • become more open-minded and less judgmental;
  • develop an understanding of themselves in relation to others.

Increased Awareness of Social Issues

Students

  • become more aware of social issues;
  • can identify different perspectives on reality;
  • develop a deeper understanding of social justice
  • have a more complex understanding of the current situations and the need to look for political solutions;
  • may participate in service abroad and thereby develop a global awareness of poverty, and see themselves connected to others worldwide.

For further information regarding Justice, Peace and Advocacy at St Edward’s College please contact:

Mr Alex Rozario
Leader of Learning Justice, Peace and Advocacy
Email: arozario@stedwards.nsw.edu.au