With Local Touch and Global Reach

It was recently reported in CathNews that a record 1.4 million people rely on food banks to support their families during these very uncertain times. More than 1.7 million people are on JobSeeker and another 3.3 million on the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Many charities have noted a surge in the number of people who have missed out on Federal Government assistance. There has been a 78% increase in people seeking food relief since the advent of the pandemic. Australia is known as the lucky country – a country with sun and beaches, people who enjoy life and live it to the full. This pandemic has certainly provided this nation with significant challenges.

I deeply believe that even in this pandemic and with the circumstances many families now face such as shortage of food and disposable income, uncertainty about employment and anxiety and stress about COVID-19, our country is still the very best place to be in the global context. We are certainly at the forefront of managing this pandemic even with a setback in Victoria, but many lessons will be learnt from this. I know that charities are working overtime and people are generously supporting these charities.

Today is a great day at Cardijn as we celebrate Athon day and work generously with heart and mind to support those in need. Traditionally it is a day where we raise money to donate to our charities, but this year we have taken a different angle. We know that raising money is very difficult right now and the students did not want to place an additional burden on families to provide money. Instead the students have come up with innovative ways to support the work of their House charities.

Chisholm House supports The Smith Family, Faulkner House supports CentaCare, Kolbe House supports Hutt Street Centre, Lombard House supports Fred’s Van, MacKillop House supports CanTeen, Mitchell House supports Catherine and Coolock Houses and Romero House supports St Vincent De Paul.

Students are making care packages, food hampers, artworks, stories and letters for the aged, trinkets and baked goods all to put a smile on the faces of people who need it most. Students and staff at Cardijn are moved to make a difference in the world, in the lives of other people and ourselves as we grow as a community to share our local touch with a global reach.

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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