Standing in solidarity with our community

Last Friday, Cardijn students and staff stood together to say “No Way” to Bullying and Violence on this National Day of Action. Across the nation young people stood in solidarity to say, “No Way”. For Cardijn it meant 1100 students and staff assembling on the soccer pitch to line up and form the letters NO WAY! which was filmed from two drones high above the College. Our students have responded passionately to looking out for others and ensuring that bullying and violence have no place in our society.

On that same day, we received reports from Christchurch, New Zealand that an atrocity had been perpetrated by a gunman shooting innocent children, women and men as they gathered for prayers in two local mosques. The scale of this atrocity is beyond comprehension and has brought a worldwide response of grief and support for the people in Christchurch and especially the families who have been affected. We stand in solidarity with all people of faith and especially the people of Christchurch. We condemn this vicious act of hatred directed to our Muslim community. As a community we pray and reach out to all those who have been affected. We must grow stronger as a community and nation and stand together with all people of goodwill to ensure that Australia and the World is a place where all people are accepted equally, where the dignity of every person remains sacred and where we as Australians look to be compassionate, welcoming and supportive of all people regardless of race, religion or creed.

The Lenten season is a time of preparation for Easter. As we enter the third week, it is a time for reflection, taking time to make sure we are on track to be the very best we can be. It is an opportunity for us to deepen our relationship with Jesus and our faith. Traditionally the journey of Lent includes a period of fasting and discipline for us to experience a process of sacrifice.  It is an opportunity to say no to many things we take for granted, so our challenge might be to give up something special such as chocolate, sweets or other luxuries which we have enjoyed. However, acts of kindness and special works for the those less fortunate might be more challenging as are donations to Project Compassion.  Our focus during Lent is to liberate our mind and heart so that we can renew our own baptismal promises with new zest and commitment to be closer to God.

Our week was also marked with another fantastic Sports Day held at SA Athletics Stadium. It was a terrific day with 1100 students travelling on the Cardijn express train from Noarlunga Centre to Keswick. The day was an outstanding success with excellent involvement from all students. They ran, jumped and cheered, they supported their fellow house members and we saw courageous feats in running and field events. Our Year 12 students were simply exceptional in their leadership. They lead by example on the track and field.  We were blessed with excellent weather. At the end of the day it was the dominance and might of Chisholm (Blue) that prevailed for the 12th consecutive year.  As always, the House Spirit trophy was closely contested by hot favourites Mitchell House (Purple) and Lombard House (Red), however it was Faulkner House (Orange) who were outstanding on the day with their colour, banners, non-stop cheering, participation and near 100% attendance. In the end, the winners were the students who made the day special and everything we would wish for as a community.  Congratulations to Ms Emma Knight and the Sports faculty who coordinated a very smooth-running carnival.

Curriculum innovation continues to be a hallmark for Cardijn College. Our College has been involved in a Formula 1 racing project for the past seven years. The F1 in Schools is an international competition where students have to design and manufacture a miniature “vehicle” out of balsa wood using CAD/CAM design tools. The cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a track by a thin wire. They are timed by a computer from the moment they are launched to when they pass the finish line. The cars have to follow specific guidelines (eg the wheels of the car must be in contact with the track at all times). The cars are raced on a 20m long track with two lanes to allow two cars to be raced simultaneously. At Cardijn we were fortunate to have fielded several teams of senior students who spent hours upon hours designing and testing their cars using our special equipment, including our computerised mills and 3-D laser cutter. A Cardijn team named ‘Quantum Racing’ won entry into the national championships which were held last week in Melbourne to coincide with the Australian Formula 1. Quantum Racing won ‘Best Verbal Presentation’ in the Professional Senior Class. Our students were mixing with the big guns of car design and F1 motor racing. Congratulations to our students Adam Galant-Ludwisiak, Blake Kirk and Elijah Barrott-Walsh and thank you to Ms Renee Rees and Mr Rob Dvorak for their commitment, effort and for making this all possible.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. 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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