An insight into our Ministries - Killester College, Springvale

This year we are asking our ministries to nominate members of their community who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries. Killester College asked their Stewardship Council Member Charlene Fernando and staff member Brigitte Garofalo to provide an insight into how they live out the Kildare Ministries values.

Charlene Fernando

My name is Charlene Fernando, and as a past student of Killester College, I felt very honoured and blessed to have been invited to join the Stewardship Council this year. I have just completed my third year in Law and Global Studies at Monash University. Since graduating from Killester in 2016, I have strived to live out the Kildare Ministries values that were instilled in me during my time at the College.

The Kildare Ministries values of Justice, Compassion and Hospitality have always resonated with me. I believe that these three values are intimately connected, and the common factor that binds them is the ultimate goal of helping and providing a voice for the most vulnerable in our society.

I was privileged to be able to volunteer with the St Vincent De Paul’s tutoring program. Through this platform I could exercise the values of Justice and Hospitality. The most vulnerable in our society are often marginalized due to socioeconomic factors. By helping students from these backgrounds, they can gain the confidence that they are loved, wanted, and not at a disadvantage due to their circumstances.

In addition, I was fortunate to be able to recently work with an organization that helps meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Victoria. This enabled me to explore the value of Compassion, and recognize that the need to exercise empathy and love for all unconditionally is needed today more than ever.

Brigitte Garofalo

Love is patient; love is kind ...It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8


This is my favourite passage from the New Testament. One way I like to interpret this it, is as the criteria for a teacher. If love is at the centre of how we connect with our school communities, then this is a perfect template. In my role as REC at Killester College, patience and kindness must be the way in which I serve those on my team. As a classroom teacher, I bear the fears and doubts of students, I believe in their individual abilities, I feel a sense of hope for their futures, and I endure the ups and downs of busy terms and deadlines.

In the broader context of Killester College, a Kildare Ministries school in the Brigidine tradition, ‘wonder’, celebrating all that’s good with joy and gratitude, and ‘compassion’, walking with and having empathy for all, would be the two values I try to commit to each day.

As REC I feel it is my duty to allow students to have their own moments of wonder. Keeping fruitful discussions and varied assessments throughout the RE curriculum allows students of all faiths and abilities to have successes and celebrate them.

In the day-to-day interactions with students, I am in the very special position of caring for those that need the most attention. The RE office and Chapel is always open for students to find refuge, seek a compassionate teacher offering their time to walk with them and bear all their worries. That is probably what I enjoy most about being in the RE team. We walk with the students. The RE classroom is such a haven for discussion, debate and reflection. That is the very essence of what Paul meant when he spoke about ‘love’. Like Jesus, love can be many things, as long as it is what’s needed for the most important people at our schools, the students.