The Eagle Has Landed

On July 20 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module named Eagle landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the surface of the moon with the epic message “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. As a primary student I remember the day vividly sitting in front of a black and white television trying to understand the enormity of the occasion. Space travel has fascinated me over a lifetime and I am very excited with the proposed space exploration into the next decade. There is so much to learn about our existence in this huge universe.

On Wednesday 24 July 2019, our first day back, we gathered in the Gymnasium to commemorate the death of our school patron Joseph Cardijn. Sometimes these occasions can be quite sombre but in this instance it was a joyful event and I know that Joseph Cardijn would want it to be. Holly Roberts (’14), old scholar and former Mission Captain was our special guest. Holly works at the Office for Youth at the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide and recently had the fortune of personally meeting Pope Francis in Rome. We remember Joseph Cardijn for his inspirational message for young people to go out and make a difference in the world, to be a leader and bring about change, happiness and hope. This generation will bring a hope-filled future for a better world.

Over the last two days, our staff from both campuses have been involved in learning more about our new strategic directions and priorities “Toward 2025”.  You can find our strategic document here. We were delighted to welcome our Director, Dr Neil McGoran who connected our major strategic goals with the importance of understanding why we exist as Catholic schools, our relationships with our students and families and the importance of high-quality teaching in all subjects. His insightful message and presentation affirmed the staff that their work is very much aligned with the expectations of families and learning into the next decade. Throughout the two days staff were involved in workshops presented by their colleagues on 21st century learning and pastoral strategies. I am in absolute awe at the talent of our staff, their commitment to professional learning and their passion for student care and wellbeing.

During the holidays, 25 students from Cardijn College were involved in the opening ceremony and liturgy at the Catholic Secondary Principals Australia conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre. They also sang at the opening mass celebrated at St Patrick’s Church in Adelaide. We were delighted by our students who were absolutely fabulous and represented SA and Cardijn beautifully with their musical talent, poise, presentation and confidence. Thank you to Sebastian Mendoza Giannotti for his major part in the opening ceremony and Joseph Catania, Adrian Hunt and Debbie Williams for supporting our students. Cardijn had a major part in the organisation of the conference with Ms Nicky Rawlings managing the conference and staff in Marketing and ICT providing support. Well done to Cardijn on the national stage.

We were also delighted to receive the results of the 2019 Research Project. All our students on both campuses passed this compulsory Stage 2 subject with 20% of our students receiving the highest grade of A+. Just over 85% received a grade B or higher. Congratulations to our Year 12 students for their outstanding results.

Last Saturday, Danni Cardona (12 Kolbe House Captain) was appointed as the South Australian Brigade Cadet Under Officer (CUO) for 2019. This achievement makes her the most senior Army Cadet in SA in charge of over 700 Army cadets. This is an outstanding acknowledgement of Danni’s leadership qualities and commitment to the Australian Army cadets.

As we begin Term 3 we look forward to a busy and enjoyable journey ahead full of energy, expectation and fulfilment.

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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