We Value Our Old Scholars

Last week the Class of 2007 celebrated their 10 year reunion and this weekend will be the 20 year reunion of the Cardijn College Class of 1997. In contrast, the Class of 2017 has just completed their formal studies and are now preparing for their final examinations.

Our school is relatively young compared to many schools and next year the founding students, the Class of 1988, will celebrate 30 years since they graduated. Our Old Scholars’ network is an important part of our school and our community values the ongoing relationship with old scholars as strategic for our future.

Old scholars bring much to the life of the College, they want to keep in touch because they deeply value their ongoing relationship with the school.

The Class of 2007 spoke glowingly about their teachers.

Christine Bennetts-Roberts (Romero House Captain 2007) said: “My teachers were instrumental in my success at Cardijn both in my subjects and in my leadership role”.

Others said: “Our teachers are legends!” while others spoke fondly of their experiences such as camps, retreats, Athon day, sporting activities and belonging to a House. They commented on how Cardijn has changed so much with new buildings and facilities and how they had to “do it tough” without these new opportunities.

Our Old Scholars’ network has come of age with the establishment of an Old Collegians’ Soccer club fielding two teams in the Adelaide Amateur League. Next year we are hoping to start an Old Collegians’ Netball Club to play in the city competition.

Several old scholars are currently teachers and education support officers at both Cardijn College and Marcellin Technical College. Many old scholars from Marcellin Technical College, who have established their own small businesses, offer school-based apprenticeships to our students because they have such a high regard of our schools.

Others contribute by mentoring our current students in their subjects and STEM activities. Jak Bain (Class of 2012 and College Captain) has mentored our STEM teams involved in the Formula 1 in Schools Competition as an undergraduate mechanical engineer with the University of Adelaide. Amey Lekkas also does a terrific job mentoring our Indigenous students and supporting them with their studies.

Over 4000 students have graduated from Cardijn. The Old Scholars comprise people in a wide range of occupations and in many areas of senior leadership in both government and industry, as well as leaders in academia and leading professions around the world.

If you are an old scholar and wish to connect with your ‘alma mater’, please contact the Old Scholars’ Executive Officer Sarah Vujicic on 8392 9500 or email sarah.vujicic@cardijn.catholic.edu.au.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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