It all began in early 2017 when, during a review of its Catholic identity and mission, St Joseph’s Merewether realised it had been 25 years since the last revision of the school’s vision and mission statements.
So a review process got underway in August 2017 with a committee of students, parents, parishioners, ex-students, parish priests, school staff, Catholic Schools Office staff and diocesan staff collecting data through online surveys and small group discussions.
Led by Renata Powell, the school’s Religious Education Coordinator, the committee analysed the data, found the main themes and then captured them in the new vision statement - Through Jesus Christ we Learn, Love and Live the Truth.
Representing the aspirational goal of the school community, the new mission statements demonstrate ways to unpack and work towards making the school’s vision real.
The key elements of the new vision are:
Nurture the growth of the whole child
Promote academic excellence through quality education
Include all and celebrate diversity
Be part of a Christ-centred Catholic community
Value justice, integrity and peace
Encourage positive relationships through respect and belonging
Be a witness and a seeker of the truth
Demonstrate faith in action through social justice
Be committed stewards of creation.
Coinciding with St Joseph’s Day, the school celebrated its new chapter with a liturgy which started with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony – a cleansing action symbolising the school community’s renewed direction. As well as launching the new vision and mission statement, the liturgy gave participants the opportunity to reflect on the life of St Joseph.
Parents and grandparents enjoyed a morning tea following the liturgy while students prepared for an afternoon of tabloid activities organised by Year 6. Some highlights of the afternoon included musical chairs and ‘pin the moustache on the teacher’.
Holding a barbecue picnic lunch during recess, Year 5 set up a cake stall to raise money for Project Compassion and the school’s Mini Vinnies group put together a lolly guessing competition.
“We asked the question, what does Learn the Truth, Love the Truth and Live the Truth really mean?” said Peter Treloar, Principal of St Joseph’s, Merewether.
“Our Vision Statement is now another way we identify ourselves as a school community. The Vision Statement will be unpacked and will be fully embedded in our school community. Not only will it be something we will be able to recite, it’ll be something we live through our actions; both in the classrooms and on the playground.
“I would like to thank the committee members including Oscar Wildschut, Sophia Moran, Felix Mole, Bella Jene McNamee, Jude O’Brien, Ashanya Weersinghe, Ruby Griffiths, Sebastian McGrath, Diane Murphy, Renee Radford, Michelle Drinkwater, Helene O’Neill, Bernadette Gibson, Judy Collins, Paul Nolan and Sr Marie Hughes.
“Well done to each of you and thank you for sharing your time and talents with our community."