Celebrating Catholic Education
Dear St Edmund’s College Family and Friends,
Celebrating Catholic Education
The theme for Catholic Education Week this year has been aligned with the official Year of Youth theme for 2018. This theme is derived from a speech given by Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016, where he called young people and the Church to ‘open new horizons for spreading joy’:
My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, he is the Lord of the eternal "more". Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy.
The call of Pope Francis to ‘discover new horizons’ echoes our own Eddie’s call which is powerfully expressed in our motto – They Can Because They See They Can and captured in our catch cry – Eddies’ Men Can. The promise of ‘new horizons’ being discovered will be possible with an Eddies’ Men Can attitude.
Academic Achievement is about Embracing Opportunity
This was the key message from former Eddie’s student, Mr Nick Bennett in his address today at our Senior Academic Assembly. Working now as a defence criminal lawyer for Legal Aid, Nick has seen first-hand what happens when young people are cast aside and descend into a life of crime fuelled by substance abuse, poverty, depression and unemployment. His clients are, as he says, no different to all Eddies’ young men, except for one fundamental difference – they didn’t have the privilege of an education as he did or as each young Eddie’s young man is having right now.
Nick Bennett says his story is a tale of privilege, endurance and embracing the opportunities that he has been given. He graduated in 2006 and worked at Woolworths Booval Shopping Centre stacking shelves to get himself through University. He initially started out doing Engineering, then realised this was not the right pathway for him. After changing courses he eventually obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Economics at UQ in 2012. Soon after, Nick was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Nick began working in criminal law whilst studying and has continued to work exclusively in this area since that time. Soon after gaining his qualifications he worked as a prosecutor for both the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Qld, and the Qld Police Service. He also conducted proceeds of crime litigation on behalf of the Crime and Corruption Commission and was appointed as an Associate to a Judge of the District Court of Qld. He now works as a criminal defence Barrister for Legal Aid Qld, representing socially and financially disadvantaged people in criminal courts.
Nick has both prosecuted and defended persons charged with offences ranging from shoplifting to murder and has recently focused on defending children charged with serious criminal offences.
In his concluding remarks Nick Bennett challenged the Eddies’ young men to grasp the opportunity of education as a ‘microscope’ to critique, understand, examine and positively influence their world. He acknowledged and congratulated all the senior students for their academic achievements and presented each recipient with their respective Merit and Honours certificates.
Photo of the Week
Each week I will be choosing a picture from our weekly file of photos that captures something of the spirit and character of Eddies. Thank you to Ms Nicola Scarrott for suggesting the idea. This week’s Photo of the Week sees the First Basketball team forming a prayerful huddle moments before their opening AIC game. The photo grabbed my attention because it powerfully conveys the importance of prayer, brotherhood, team and community. With arms interlocked and each young man down on one knee there is also great respect shown for the College, each other and for their opposition team. It is an inspirational image of our Eddie’s identity.
We continue to keep in our prayers Conor Tweedy, a Year 11 student from St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace, who suffered a serious neck injury while playing for the Second XV Rugby Team two weeks ago. I was able to talk with the Terrace Principal, Mr Michael Carroll, on Wednesday who informed me that Conor’s recovery is gradual and he is slowly getting feeling back to parts of his upper and lower body.
Good news too for staff member Ms Yvette Knoetze who is now back home recovering from corrective spinal surgery. Yvette still has a long road ahead as she regains her strength and movement.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts…FOREVER!
Diarmuid O’Riordan, Principal