A day of reflection and recognition

Staff from St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton, and the Catholic Schools Office (CSO), reflected on the tenth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations during the school’s Aboriginal Spirituality Day.

The day started with a smoking ceremony conducted by Louise Campbell and Indigenous Elder, Tammy Wright. Louise and Lisa Hall then shared their personal experiences of the Apology and the significance of this event to them.

The day was centred around St Catherine’s school theme for 2018: ‘Jesus is our model for Christian living’ and echoed the CSO Vision Statement ‘in the pursuit of truth’, as staff took a moment to examine the truth about colonisation and the impact the Indigenous within the community.

Prompting the school community as people of faith, to help make a difference, the day aimed at motivating staff to become more accountable, authentic and responsible when addressing issues pertaining to Aboriginal people.

The idea for the day originated from St Catherine’s Aboriginal Liaison Teacher, Mr Edward Bennetts and Drama teacher and indigenous woman, Ms Lisa Hall.

It demanded acknowledgement that we are called to live in deep relationship with our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

“The day aimed to highlight the complexities and extraordinary depth of paradox,” said Louise.

“To engage in a genuine and heartfelt acknowledgement and dialogue that hopes to take us beyond a superficial engagement in political appropriateness.”

The day was an opportunity to acknowledge the complexity of the times in which we live – a day of dialogue – it challenged us as people of faith to re-examine the past and to envisage our dreams for a harmonious future as an Australian nation.