Justice is about restoring equality: The equal worth of individual, equal distribution of wealth, equal voice, equal opportunity and liberty... (Felicisimo Martinez OP)
Social Justice is a core value in the life of St Mary's College.
As a Catholic School in the Dominican tradition we seek to engage every student in initiatives of awareness, advocacy and action with a view that this will become a life-long commitment to the values of charity, service and outreach to those who are disadvantaged and marginalised in our world.
Unfortunately we do not live in a world where everyone has equal opportunities, and we have not yet achieved global justice. In a just society the needs of everyone would be met and all people's rights, regardless of their status, wealth, race, belief or upbringing would be respected. This is our mission.
The search for justice is the continuing struggle to attain a world where everyone is given the same chances, feels safe and is not discriminated against in any way.
At St Mary's we join the struggle to reach a just and perfect world.
Mission For Justice
There are numerous activities initiated throughout the year to promote an awareness of Justice within the College community.
Some of these activities include:
- Project Compassion
- Easter Appeal for Vietnam
- Harmony Week
- World Environment Day
- International Women's Day
- Reconciliation Week
- Just Leadership Days
- World Refugee Day
- St Vinnies Winter Appeal
- Vinnies on Parade
- 40 Hour World Vision Sacrifice
- Vinnies Year 12 Sleepover
- Live Below the Line
- Hutt Street Centre "Walk a Mile"
- Justice Day
Year Level Focus
In addition to the whole of school focus Social justice also operates with a year level focus on a particular issue.
The Year Level focus allows students to gain an awareness and understanding of one particular issue and to raise funds where appropriate. For example:
- Junior School - Moore St Centre/Vietnam Phu My Orphanage
- Year 7 - Moore St Centre
- Year 8 - Providence Centre, Battambang, Cambodia
- Year 9 - St Vincent de Paul Microcredit Partnership Programs
- Year 10 - Indigenous Prospectives
- Year 11 - Service Learning
- Year 12 - Helping those in need
The Justice Program at St Mary's College encourages students to embrace the principles of Justice in all aspects of their life whilst at school and beyond. Students are presented with opportunities to learn about and connect with people and organisations in the wider community that are involved with socially just activities.
The Justice program has been designed to contribute to the growth of each student as a Christian person. The program calls all students to examine their beliefs and contribution to the community and encourages participation at many levels. This is achieved through:
- Formalising Justice through student leadership with official appointment of a Year 12 Student Coordinator of Justice and Year 12 Deputy Student Coordinator of Justice and a committee which consists of two representatives from each Care Group from Reception to Year 12.
- Teaching units which communicate the concepts behind community service and the meaning of community development - particularly at year level initiatives from Reception to Year 12.
- Students participating in Year 11 Service Learning for five days in Term 3.
- Encouraging students to plan/participate in projects relevant to the year level focus.
- Creating opportunities for caring interaction between students and the wider community which involve people and groups that are marginalised and disadvantaged within our community.
- Providing a climate whereby students give feedback to their peer group on the experiences they have had and the meaning of those experiences within their Christian education.
- Providing an opportunity for Year 11 students to participate in the annual Vietnam Immersion Tour to Phu My Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, the APY Lands Trip or the Cambodian Immersion Tour to Battambang.