St Monica’s has a strong focus on supporting and engaging with our community.
Our community is made up of our parents, our parish, our local Footscray community, surrounding suburbs and the broader world we live in. This engagement extends on and enriches the student experience at St Monica’s, and supports our Vision and Mission to Make A Difference.
Social Justice is a big part of our everyday lives. We are fortunate to have the resources available to us, but we are conscious that not everyone enjoys the same benefits.
St Monica’s elects Social Justice Captains from the Senior Team each year. These Captains work with the Senior teaching team and Social Justice Group to coordinate and focus social justice activities across the year.
To this end we are discerning about which organisations we support through our fundraising efforts. Our focus over the past number of years has been:
- Joseph’s Corner in Yarraville – Joseph’s Corner do amazing work to support families in the western suburbs affected by substance abuse. For the past six years our families have shown their Christmas generosity by donating goods that the Senior students have organised into hampers. which are in turn distributed to the families who seek help there.
- Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Footscray – So many of the families who belong to our school community arrived in Australia as refugees. They understand the importance of a good support network and are always generous in giving of their time, talents and material goods. We generously contribute to the annual fundraising programs of ASRC.
- Caritas Australia – Caritas are the international aid and development organisation of the Catholic Church in Australia. They work in 27 countries across the world, delivering long term development programs. St Monica’s supports its annual Project Compassion fundraising campaign to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
- Loreto Vietnam-Australia Program – is an Australian charity who has been operating in Vietnam for the last 20 years. Their focus is on education – to enable disadvantaged children in remote provinces to access quality education. Through our previous principal, Mary Connell, St Monica’s developed a strong relationship with a Loreto sister, Trish Franklin, who was working in Ho Chi Minh City with orphaned and disabled children. Her focus was to develop educational opportunities for these children so that they could become valuable contributors to their communities. Staff from the school visited Sr Trish in Ho Chi Minh on a number on a number of occasions and were amazed at what she and her team were able to do with the limited resources at their disposal. With the support of our school and wider community we are able to send regular donations to support the work of the Loreto Vietnam-Australia program.
- Local charities chosen by the Social Justice Group throughout the year, such as the Cancer Council of Australia.
- The 100 Story Building has been an incredible source of inspiration for our students and professional development for our teachers. Our first engagement with Lach and the rest of the 100 Story Building team had our Preps and Year One’s writing and drawing complex story maps on paper sourced from ‘Darkest Peru!’. They arrived at school to be bemused by ‘The Door of Confusion,’ and excited to meet and speak with author Sally Rippin (author of popular children’s books such as the Billie B and Hey Jack! series).Since then all of our classes have enjoyed the mystery and magic of the 100 Story Building programs. Our Senior students have had their writing pieces published in the 100 Story Building’s ‘Early Harvest’ magazine, as well as being on their editorial group. We look forward to strengthening our relationship again this year.
- St Monica’s has worked with the Women’s Circus in Footscray to enhance our student’s learning. Significant development of creative movement, music and performance skills and understandings were visible during the unit ‘Metamorphosis.’ This unit was a collaboration of St Monica’s, the Women’s Circus and community groups in 2016, culminating in a vibrant, student led, whole-school performance.
- Australian Ballet Workshops have been an exciting addition to our curriculum for a number of years. All classes participated in workshops run by the Australian Ballet Education arm. These sessions on body awareness and movement education were a huge success.