St John Bosco College Engadine has gathered as a faith community to celebrate the college’s opening mass and the investiture of the Student Leadership team, which this year includes four members that are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
The four students, who were chosen by their peers for their exemplary conduct and attitude within the school community, received their badges in front of an audience that included Jane Bridges OAM, Supervisor for Student Wellbeing Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander at Sydney Catholic Schools.
The four students are:
- Tayla Campbell, a proud Aboriginal person – College Captain
- Sienna Robertson, a proud Whadjuk/Noonygar (Noongar) – Year 12 Leader
- Tahlia Robertson, a proud Whadjuk/Noonygar (Noongar) – Year 11 Leader
- Isaac Dawson, a proud Wiradjuri – Year 10 Leader
The quartet’s election into the Student Leadership Team represents a proud milestone for the college and comes after it became the first Catholic school in the Sutherland Shire to introduce a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) last year.
Natasha Dalton-Hughes, St John Bosco College Engadine’s Indigenous Coordinator, said seeing the students badged was a proud moment for all.
Tahlia Robertson, Sienna Robertson, Tayla Campbell, Isaac Dawson will form part of the Student Leadership team in 2023.
“The four students have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and they are all fully deserving of this recognition,” Mrs Dalton-Hughes said.
“Many of them have engaged in different cultural events and mentoring opportunities within the school, as well as with the local community and Aboriginal elders for a long time.”
“We have 37 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the school and for them to be able to see their peers in leadership positions will inspire them to fulfil their potential and to aspire to something similar,” Mrs Dalton-Hughes said.
In 2022, St John Bosco College Engadine launched its first RAP to formalise the college’s commitment towards reconciliation in and around the school and within its local community.
Jenny Fowler, Principal at St John Bosco College Engadine, said she was looking forward to seeing the four student leaders continuing to build on the college’s commitment to building relationships and working with the local communities.
“Our four Aboriginal students are all role models for our younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as they show them that through their passion and pride in education, culture and leadership, opportunities arise where they can make a difference in their community in a powerful way,” Mrs Fowler said.
The college has a number of frameworks in place that help build sustainable, transformational relationships including RAP working party meetings each term.
This year, the college’s commitment to learning more about First Nations histories, cultures, languages will also see all staff undertake a Cultural Competency course, while all students will be contributing to a large college artwork under the guidance of two Aboriginal artists.