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Social Justice to Be Key in Catholic Education 2024

19 February, 2024
Mini Vinnies Team on Shrove Tuesday at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Bundaberg, raising funds for Caritas as part of the school’s commitment to social justice and action.

Social justice would be a key focus area in 2024 for communities within Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton (CEDR), according to CEDR Director Leesa Jeffcoat AM, as around 3000 staff welcomed back more than 18000 students enrolled in CEDR Kindergartens, Primary Schools and Colleges last month for the start of the school year. Amidst the excitement and anticipation of the first week back at school, Miss Jeffcoat said building social justice consciousness and action was an important aspect of the religious life of Catholic schools.

“Social justice and action are key characteristics of a Catholic education as we seek to follow Christ’s example of mercy, kindness and compassion within the Catholic tradition,” Miss Jeffcoat said. ‘Social Justice and Action’ is the theme for this year’s Bishop’s Inservice Day held in February. The formation day for all staff included presentations from Bishop Michael McCarthy, Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton and Miss Jeffcoat as well as a series of workshops from acclaimed international and national theologians and experts.

“It’s an opportunity for all of us to take time together to gain a deeper understanding of this important dimension of Catholic Education and the intrinsic role it represents in the mission of the Church and in contributing to the development of compassionate global citizenry within a faith context,” Miss Jeffcoat said.

For the first few weeks, attention was on welcoming everyone back and settling students into good routines. “Our teachers and staff always look forward to commencing an exciting new year of teaching and learning in our school communities,” Miss Jeffcoat said.

Miss Jeffcoat said that on behalf of CEDR she would like to extend a warm welcome to all new families joining various school communities throughout the diocese, and to sincerely encourage parents to embrace the many opportunities Catholic schools provided to participate and engage in their child’s education.  “We value highly our partnership with families as we continue to seek ways to improve our delivery of an excellent faith-based education that serves the needs of those in our communities,” Miss Jeffcoat said.

Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton comprises 10 kindergartens, 31 primary schools and 8 colleges in regional and rural centres from Mackay to Bundaberg and west to Longreach.