Social Justice News
Australian Red Cross Blood Bank Visit
After the recent visit from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to De La Salle College, we received the following letter from them:
The Blood Service’s visit to De La Salle College on 28 August was another great visit as we managed to collect 42 units of whole blood and had 43 volunteers pass through the unit on the day.
For this visit we had a target to collect 40+ units of blood, so your result was very pleasing and all your volunteers should be thanked and congratulated for their efforts. With every donation having the potential to save 3 lives, these 42 units donated have the potential to save up to 126 lives so on behalf of all potential recipients of this blood I say ‘thank you’.
Thank you to everyone who donated and especially to Mr Kevin Hunter for his ongoing organisation of these visits.
Social Justice Mass
Today we gathered as a Lasallian community — as a symbol of brotherhood with our fellow man — at our Social Justice mass. Sadly we live in a time; in a world; in a country; in a city; where there is a divide between those who have a home and those who do not. We should note especially that people who are migrants or refugees are placing their faith and hope and trust in Australia’s humanity. I suggest that we have a duty to help our fellow brothers and sisters who arrive in Australia fleeing persecution and seeking asylum, no matter how inconvenient this might be. I pray that we will be inspired to fully live our Christian commitment and open our hearts and allow the love of God to abide in us.
I thought it worthwhile to share, in part, a speech made by Pope Francis at a diplomats meeting earlier this year in Rome. I think it is prudent to reflect on Francis’ words and focus as a community on trying to uphold the need for world peace at a time when it seems our world is out of control. Francis said:
‘Peace is threatened by every denial of human dignity, firstly the lack of access to adequate nutrition. We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children. We think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed the ‘throwaway culture’. Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary’. For example, it is horrifying even to think there are children… being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.’
It is in our trying to uphold a sense of compassion, love, tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance for each other that we will begin to break down, in a small way, the divide between those who have, and those who do not.
Mr Graeme Pender,
Director of Religious and Moral Education
Social Justice Food Drive
For a number of years now De La Salle has conducted a Social Justice Food Drive for local community organisations during Term 3. This year, Sacred Heart Mission St Kilda (SHM) and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) were the selected recipients of the food items collected. The college leadership team saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness of each organisation’s work. In turn, a variety of different strategies and events were arranged to promote the social justice campaign throughout the College.
- At the beginning of Term 3, a group of Year 11 class captains and college leaders put together a video clip that was used during homeroom time to inform students about the background and work of SHM.
- In August, all Tiverton class captains, Year 9 vice-captains and college leaders organised and ran a week of lunchtime activities to raise funds for the ASRC, which amounted to $891.
- Posters were made to promote the food drive for every homeroom.
- Guest speakers from SHM presented to Year 7 and Year 12.
- Guest speakers from ASRC presented to Year 8 and Year 9.
- Each homeroom from Primary to Year 12 were allocated particular food items to collect and contribute to the food drive.
In planning such initiatives, the college leaders were firmly guided by the meditation of St John Baptist de La Salle: ‘Example makes a much greater impression than words.’
Efforts culminated with our Social Justice Mass held today. Both Sacred Heart Mission and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre are very grateful to have received such support from De La Salle.
Ms Olivia Wenczel,
College Leader Coordinator