‘A Fire That Enkindles Other Fires’ is the subject of the upcoming Province Education Ministry Conference to be held over three concurrent days at five Jesuit schools in four Australian cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
The conference will run from 12 to 14 July, bringing together the geographically disparate schools to strengthen partnerships between Jesuit schools in Australia and reinvigorate the Gonzaga Network.
‘We are aiming to develop relationships amongst the Jesuit and partner schools and to enliven Ignatian and Jesuit identity amongst our schools’, says Jennie Hickey, Delegate for Social Ministries, Assistant Delegate for Education and Delegate for Special Projects, and one of the conference organisers.
‘We also hope to encourage shared responsibility for an education system that strongly reflects the characteristics of Jesuit education, and to create an extended agenda.’
The conference will accomplish this by establishing Professional Learning Communities within each of the five schools, explains Mrs Hickey.
‘These communities will work initially on a particular goal, create personal contact and establish ongoing support and communication across all Jesuit and partner schools.’
Organisers have confirmed an expert line-up of keynote speakers who will motivate the tasks identified by the organising committee. Speakers include Fr Pedro Walpole SJ, Executive Director of Environmental Science for Social Change and Dr Annette Pedersen, coordinator of the gifted and talented program at John XXIII College, Perth.
Scholastics and representatives from the social ministries and parishes will also be represented at relevant sites.
Participants in the Province Education Ministry Conference:
John XXIII College in Perth will examine the changing of hearts through the issues relating to the environment, sustainability and ecology.
St Aloysius’ College, Milsons Point will focus on student pastoral formation, looking at the integration of faith formation with service and justice activities
St Ignatius’ College, Adelaide will explore formation for ministry and identity, paying particular attention to the people who help to form students, namely parents and teachers.
St Ignatius’ College, Riverview will target the national curriculum in Ignatian schools, addressing depth across the curriculum.
Xavier College, Melbourne will study co-curricular experiences, looking at the many ways in which God can be found in activities such as sport, drama and music.