Catholic Church celebrates commitment to reconciliation
02 Jun 2022
Diocese of Parramatta representatives gathered this week for a beautiful Reconciliation Week event at the Bethany Centre in Parramatta.
Surrounded by Australian wildflower arrangements, Bishop Vincent Long blessed four meeting rooms named in the local Dharug language, as well as a stunning artwork by award-winning Aboriginal educator and artist Josh Sly.
The artwork: “Reconciliation in action: Hand in hand”, commissioned by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) for its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), will be proudly displayed in the foyer of the Church’s headquarters in Western Sydney as a reminder of the Church’s commitment to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This artwork highlights our commitment to the ongoing journey of Reconciliation,” Bishop Vincent said. “The names of these meeting rooms recall the spirit and culture of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers. They will be a sign that the Church is a reconciling community.”
Josh Sly, a proud Biripi, Worimi and Wiradjuri Guri man, works with students and school communities through CEDP’s Jarara Indigenous Education Unit based at Mount Druitt. His outstanding work and leadership was recognised at the 2019 Service to Community Awards.
Josh said his artwork captures the essence of CEDP’s commitment to reconciliation.
“Reconciliation is a continued relationship, commitment and journey,” Josh said. “For this artwork, the three meeting places are symbolic of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on one side, CEDP on the other, and in the middle the coming together of all people for true reconciliation.”
CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby delivered a powerful reflection on the significance of recent Government commitment to the implementation of the Uluru Statement of the Heart. Greg also celebrated the work of the Jarara Indigenous Education Unit which leads much of CEDP’s support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families. This included heartfelt thanks to Jarara team member and colleague Josh for his artwork.
“This artwork is a sign of our shared responsibility in the Diocese of Parramatta to walk hand in hand on our journey together toward reconciliation,” Greg said. “I am so proud to see it displayed in this space for years to come.”
Bishop Vincent wore a beautiful stole featuring Aboriginal artwork in the soft colours of the Australian bush. The rooms are named Dharug (people), Mittigar (friend), Nura (country) and Wiyanga (mother). Bishop Vincent sprinkled each of the meeting rooms with Holy Water, resulting in members of the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Mission team who were meeting in the Nura room receiving an unexpected blessing too!
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in April. With 80 schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, this move will enhance the support that CEDP schools provide to the community. Read the plan here.
CEDP’s Jarara Indigenous Education Unit was established approximately 20 years ago and is the only dedicated Aboriginal Education team within a Catholic school system in NSW.
About the artwork “Reconciliation in action - Hand in hand” by Josh Sly
This artwork highlights the CEDP commitment to walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for reconciliation. Within this artwork I wanted to capture the essence of the commitment to reconciliation. Reconciliation is more than just a word and document it is a continued relationship, commitment and journey.
In the middle of the artwork there are three circles overlapping with U shape symbols around them, this is a traditional symbol representing a campsite, meeting place or sacred site. For this artwork the three meeting places are symbolic of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on one side, CEDP on the other and in the middle the coming together of all people for true reconciliation. The three circles also have another layer of meaning, representing important themes and teaching within Aboriginal culture which come in threes, man/woman/child, past/present/future, land/water/sky, mind/body/spirit. The last significance of the circle is that everyone is welcomed, everyone has a place and everyone is treated equally.
The handprints represent teamwork, working hand in hand together, traditionally when handprints were outlined on the rock or cave wall it was about identity, obligation and responsibility. The handprints also remind us of the importance of story and individuality as no one's handprints are the same.
The blue surrounding circle symbolises the importance of water. Waterways are the veins of country and the provider of life. Water also contains cleansing and healing properties. The earthy tones within the background are the beautiful tones of country, reminding us that country is our mother and we all have an obligation to care for country and everything that makes up country. The gum leaves pay respect to the knowledge of country, representing bush medicine, bush tucker and traditional ceremonies.
The smaller concentric circles are representative of the schools and communities that are a part of CEDP. The footprints are a reminder to walk carefully on country in the footprints of our ancestors and also as a reminder of the journey and commitment of walking together in the hope of true reconciliation.
Josh Sly - Proud Biripi, Worimi & Wiradjuri Guri (Man)
J.Sly Indigenous Designs
View and download photos
10 Oct 2022Choosing a school and don’t know where to start? Download School Selection Made Simple to help you choose a great local learning community to support your child's learning journey.
30 Nov 2022
Take a 'walk'🏃♀️ through this awesome Pop Artworks virtual gallery🎨 from the Year 6 students at Holy Family Primary School, East Granville.🤩💙💖 With the help of CAPTIVATE (our creative and performing arts program)🎭, students loved working on their eye-popping artworks and seeing them on display in the virtual gallery.🙌👏👀 You can walk through the gallery and see the names of all the artists via the following link: https://www.artsteps.com/view/636c8f4d6495c1ecaa4ff2e1
01 Dec 2022
Teach Meet is a fantastic series of events that brings teachers and educators together to collaborate and share successes, practical tips and learning. 👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 In Term 3, teachers and staff from many of our schools came together to discuss how they've implemented or are planning to implement a PBS4L (Positive Behaviour Support for Learning) framework and initiatives to support student wellbeing. It included sessions where attendees could venture into the classrooms at the host school, Holy Family Primary East Granville, to see the great work being done there. 🥰🤩👍 You can read more about it at the link in our bio 👉 CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #granville #eastgranville #teachmeet
30 Nov 2022
As November📅 draws to a close🔚🔜, we wanted to give a big shoutout to all the students and staff from Penola Catholic College Emu Plains who took part in Movember🧔🥸 to raise awareness and funds for men's health.👊 Welll done to everyone involved!👍👍👍
29 Nov 2022
What a brilliant night🤩🥳😁 and what awesome artwork, music and other creative pieces produced by students at Delany College, Granville for their annual Creative Emergence and Design evening.🎭🎨👀👩🎤 It was a truly joyous occasion as the entire school community came together to celebrate the amazing work and talents of students at this great school.👏👏👏 You can find out more about Delany College and check out their brilliant new website here: https://www.delanygranville.catholic.edu.au
30 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd including Sacred Heart Primary Mount Druitt, Holy Family Primary Emerton, Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton and St Aidan's Primary Rooty Hill. 😇😄 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #mountdruitt #emerton #plumpton #rootyhill @stagnesrootyhill
29 Nov 2022
Our school communities are so passionate💪 about supporting🤲 those in need and Vinnies NSW is one of many organisations our schools love to support.🥰 Students from Marian Catholic College Kenthurst, Bede Polding College and Caroline Chisholm College continue to volunteer their time for Vinnies Van while also preparing for their Christmas Hamper appeals.😇💞 They're making a really important difference to the lives of those less fortunate, especially at this important time of year. Well done all!
28 Nov 2022
"It was so exciting.🤩 It extended my knowledge on science.🤯 It extended my passion for science."💪 Isn't it awesome seeing students so pasisonate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).👩🔬👷♂️🧮 These bright students came together recently for the Science Extension Expo where they got to showcase they're research as part of the Science Extension program which has helped them to excel in their schooling.👏👏👏 Well done to everyone involved.
29 Nov 2022
After an outstanding career in Catholic education, which included almost 34 years in leadership roles, Mary Creenaune, CEDP's Head of Student Services, has announced her retirement at the end of 2022. Mary held a number of senior roles in our schools including Assistant Principal and Acting Principal of Corpus Christi Primary Cranebrook, Relieving Assistant Principal at St Matthew’s Primary Windsor, Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and Principal of Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton. Mary joined the Catholic Education Office as a Project and Team Leader in 2012 and was appointed Head of Student Services in 2017. Mary’s leadership was recently demonstrated by the success of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education NSW State Conference. We thank Mary for her significant contribution to our shared mission of Catholic education over many years and wish her joy in her retirement. #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #luddenham #plumpton #windsor #cranebrook
28 Nov 2022
It's with a twinge of sadness but immense pride and gratitude that we farewell our beloved colleague and friend Sr Patty Andrew OSU who will retire at the end of 2022 after 35 years of service to Catholic education in the Diocese of Parramatta.😥😇😀👏 Sr Patty has dedicated her life to the mission of Catholic education and has worked in the Diocese since 1987. Sr Patty was the Foundation Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and was also Principal of Mary Immaculate Primary School Quakers Hill as well as Area Administrator, Education Officer and World Youth Day Project Manager.🙏🤲 Sr Patty will be greatly missed by all who have known and worked with her here at Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.🥰💞
27 Nov 2022
Teach Meet👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 - what fantastic events bringing so many teachers and educators together to collaborate🤝 on important aspects of schooling and wellbeing for students as well as sharing successes, practical tips and learning.🥰🤩👍 You should read this great article about the Term 3 Teach Meet hosted by Holy Family Primary School, East Granville which focussed on student wellbeing.😇🤲 https://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/2022-PBS4L-TM Teachers and staff from so many of our schools came to discuss how they've implemented or were planning to implement a PBS4L framework. Attendees enjoyed venturing into the classrooms to see the great work being done at Holy Family. CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏
28 Nov 2022
Our two Marist schools celebrated significant anniversaries this year: Parramatta Marist High is 200 and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas is 150 years old! 😲🤩 CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby, Marist Schools Australia Regional Director Dr John Kyle-Robinson, Parramatta Marist Principal Mark Paushmann and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas Principal Paul Ryan recently gathered at the Marist Centre in Mascot to sign an agreement to ensure that the Marist charism and tradition is maintained at these historic schools. 🙏😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #dundas @parramattamarist @stpatsdundas #maristschoolsaustralia
27 Nov 2022
🙏Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. We look forward to seeing our schools continue in their outreach to those in need during this time of year ❤😇 St Patrick's Guildford Chisholm Catholic Primary St Paul the Apostle Primary Winston Hills
27 Nov 2022
Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.🙏 We look forward to seeing our schools continue their outreach to those in need during this time of year. 💜😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #penrith #guildford #blighpark #windsor #winstonhills #advent #firstdayofadvent @stpatricksprimaryguildford @chisholmcp @stpaultheapostles
26 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes CHS Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd! 😇 Sacred Heart Primary School Mount Druitt Holy Family Primary Emerton Good Shepherd Plumpton St. Aidan's Primary School, Rooty Hill
27 Nov 2022
We're so excited that the Class of 2022 can celebrate their Year 12 formals in style!💃🕺🎊🎉 The Sydney Morning Herald popped along to St Clare's Catholic High School Hassall Grove recently for some beautiful photos and a story looking at how increasing formal costs are impacting students. 📸📰🥳🤩😎 You can read the story and see all the great pics at the link in our bio 👉 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #hassallgrove @stclareshassallgrove #schoolformal #schoolformals