Voice. Treaty. Truth.

Recently we learnt of the tragic death of Sophia Naismith, daughter of Luke Naismith and Pia Vogrin. Luke is an old scholar of Cardijn and School Captain of the graduating class of 1990. We cannot imagine the pain and devastation felt by the family in facing such a tragedy in losing a much-loved daughter who was in the prime of her youth. Sophia was an outstanding student at Brighton High School and talented state volleyball player, gymnast, dancer and soccer player. The hearts of many South Australians have reached out to the Naismith family with a GoFundMe page raising over $60000 so far. The family has pledged to donate funds raised to a scholarship in sport or education. As a Cardijn community, we reach out to Luke and his family with our prayers and thoughts at this very sad time.

This week we are focused on recognising NAIDOC Week which is celebrated from 7 – 14 July 2019. It is a week that celebrates the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NAIDOC is not only celebrated in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life. The theme for this year is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future. These are the three key elements to reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These reforms represent the unified position of First Nations Australians. National NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson says that for generations, Indigenous Australians have sought recognition of their unique place in Australian history and society today.

This Thursday I am invited to attend the NAIDOC ceremony at a reception by the Mayor of Onkaparinga. I will be a guest of Melissa Clarke, our newest Cardijn College Board member, who is invited to speak at the ceremony as a Ngarrindjeri woman. We are delighted with Melissa’s appointment to the Board. She brings a wealth of legal, governance and youth experience as well as experience from her roles as Acting CEO of Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, Chair of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders family services, the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People and 14 years with the South Australian Police.

Our Year 10s are very busy with Australian Business Week. This year our program involved students in teams opening a café business. Teams of 12 students are put through a very challenging and demanding five days of business simulation, teamwork, decision-making, production of materials and development of a trade display, company written and oral report and a video commercial. Ms Susan Watt, a team of senior school teachers and ESO staff are the driving force behind this endeavour and we extend our grateful thanks to Susan for her fantastic organisation and leadership of the program and congratulations to all Year 10 participants.

This week has also seen our Year 11 students on work experience and the celebration of the Year 7 electives units. Congratulations to all students.

Our reports for Years 7, 8, 9 and 12 will be distributed on Friday with Year 10 and 11 reports distributed at the end of Week 1 next term.

This is a wrap for Term 2 and I wish all students a safe and restful holiday before we do this all over again next term.

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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