tuition-free Jesuit primary school for Aboriginal children is set to open its
doors in Sydney in 2011, providing disadvantaged children with a quality, holistic
education which responds to the needs of local families and draws from the
students' own culture.
of St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, Fr Ross Jones SJ, says that the NSW
Board of Studies has granted initial registration of the school, and the City
of Sydney Council has also approved the development application for the
refurbishment of the presbytery at St Vincent's Catholic Church in Redfern,
where the school will be housed.
- which means 'children' in the Aboriginal Bundjalung language - the
school will be sponsored by St Aloysius' on behalf of the Jesuit Province.
formation of children in this school will be intensive and holistic', said Fr
Jones. ‘Jarjum will be for children who need it most, those experiencing
greater disadvantage, those who, through no fault of their own, have slipped
through the system.'
earliest days of the Australian Jesuit mission there have been Jesuits working
alongside aboriginal people. St
Aloysius' has enjoyed a recent history in that ongoing relationship in
Redfern. We hope to continue that
partnership - learning to serve and serving to learn.'
says the project will embrace before-school care, including breakfast where
necessary, lunch and after-school activities such as sports, clubs and
tutoring. Individual pastoral care will include the students' personal,
emotional and physical well-being, including regular health checks in
association with the neighbouring Aboriginal Health Service.
will at all times endeavour to respond to local needs in the context of the
students' own culture in terms of its mission, policies and curriculum', Fr
Jones explains. 'This mission is to draw from, and share with, its students and
their families the very best spiritual ideals and moral values, knowledge and
learning skills, discipline, and character formation, thereby providing its
graduates the opportunity to pursue the best secondary education and lives
which will subsequently be fulfilling and liberating.'
funding, corporate sponsorship and donations are now being sought for a Jarjum
Foundation. For more information contact St Aloysius' College on 02 9922 1177.
By Catherine Marshall
Pictured: The abandoned St Vincent's Presbytery, site of the Jarjum School.