This week as a College community we have celebrated National Reconciliation Week. This is a relatively recent event in Australian public life. This week every year was deliberately chosen because May 27 and June 3 are important dates in Australia’s history. May 27 marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. June 3 marks the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title—the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonization.
I wish to also acknowledge another event in Australia’s history and that is The Long Walk. On 21 November 2004 Michael Long embarked on an historic trek, walking from his home in the suburbs of Melbourne all the way to Parliament House in Canberra – more than 650 kilometers away. After returning home from yet another Aboriginal funeral, Michael decided that something needed to be done about the plight of his people. He took it upon himself to get Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda and resolved to meet with Prime Minister John Howard to discuss his concerns… even if he had to walk all the way to Canberra to do it.
Michael Long and his supporters penned a letter to the Prime Minister, John Howard, asking him if they could meet and discuss their concerns. Below is an abstract from Michael Long’s letter:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years on the sporting field, it’s that Australians believe in fair play. I believe that you now have the opportunity to show good sportsmanship by acknowledging that us Aboriginals are important players in the make up of the national team.
As indigenous Australians, we want nothing more than any other Australian citizen wants: a safe place to live; the fair opportunity to work for a decent living and for our children to be guaranteed health, education and a secure future. We ask you to go back to the scoreboard to look at Aboriginal life expectancy and unemployment and to work with us to kick some goals on these issues.”
Michael Long would go on and plead for his people with the Prime Minister:
“We all wish to see the appalling conditions of Aboriginal people improve and we want to play our role in achieving outcomes through self-determination”.
The Prime Minister went on to meet with Michael Long and his supports. Since 2004 Michael Long has continued his dialogue with the various Australian Governments. Today The Long Walk Trust continues to celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to raise awareness through its education program.
Weekday Masses begin at 8:00am in the College Chapel, however, Wednesday morning Masses begin at 8:10am. This Wednesday’s morning Mass is being hosted by Year 8. Everyone from the Mazenod community is extended a warm invitation to attend any of these weekday Masses.
Term Two: Wednesday Masses
Young Vinnies Can Drive For The Shopfront
The Shopfront is a Life Link agency for the Archdiocese of Perth providing much needed relief and hospitality for the poor and homeless.
Last week each Form Room received a Hamper List for The Shopfront Can Drive. Each Form is asked to collect as many non-perishable food items as possible. In particular need at the moment is two minute noodles and tinned food. Old blankets and sleeping bags would also be appreciated. Please be generous as all food collected will be distributed to the homeless of Perth by The Shopfront in Maylands. The Can Drive will run for two weeks.
Mazenod College KeepCups
The College is proud to launch their very own KeepCups for you to purchase. This initiative was developed by the Sustainability and Environment portfolio of the College and Campus ministry.
As part of promoting KeepCups to the College, the Young Vinnies will give 30% off the price of hot chocolates when a student purchases a hot chocolate with their KeepCup.
($1 instead of the usual $1.50).
Follow this link:
Part of the proceeds of the sale will also go to Oblate missionary work in India, Sri Lanka and China.
KeepCup is the world’s first barista standard reusable cup. Purchasing a KeepCup for students is a practical and easy way to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
Takeaway coffee cups are lined on the inside with a plastic film, making them notoriously difficult to recycle. And most never even make it there no matter what bin you put them in because recycling streams are usually contaminated by supposedly ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’ cups and lids that never actually compost or biodegrade because most places don’t have the infrastructure to do it.
Pope Francis, inspires and challenges us: “Each of us also has a responsibility for others and for the future of our planet”.
Damian Wallis (83)
Director of Faith and Mission