Only a few weeks into Term 3 and it’s busy as usual. We’re about to bump out Year 7’s Warm and Cool colours collection and hang their John Coburn inspired works, along with Durer pen and ink rhinoceros, and photographic portraits, and feel privileged to have such a great space in which to collaborate with CAPA to display our students’ creativity.
The Benjamin Gilmour film-making groups are well on their way, with participating students having written their scripts and call sheets and already filming. The plan was to film some classroom scenes next Friday, until realising it might look a bit odd with half the students in their pyjamas for a ‘You Have a Friend’ fundraising mufti…
Speaking of which, two of our students are making a short documentary about homeless people in our area. They interviewed an amazing woman who, after the deaths of her grown son and partner, found her situation spiralling into homelessness. She never saw that this was how her life would turn out; she and her partner had been comfortable and planning to travel the world. It’s been especially prevalent in our media lately – the alarming rise of a new demographic of the homeless – women from their mid-fifties up who, having often raised their families and held down jobs, have found themselves caught in an impossible position in which they can’t find anywhere affordable to rent.
Another woman who’s agreed for the students to film her, suffered from domestic violence and wanted to be clear that every homeless person has their own unique story. Our students are endeavouring to go beyond stigma and stereotypes to explore some of those unique stories. I’m very proud of their desire to make a difference through a creative response, and received the below from one of the women shortly after their interview.
“Gidday Melaina, those two kids were absolutely amazing! I must admit I was a bit worried about seeing them, but they really are a credit to their families and their generation.”
In the last newsletter I wrote that stories are humanising and that libraries can and should be a venue and force for deepening empathy and connection. So recalling a reflection Danny delivered at a Caritas liturgy (focussing on our responsibility to care for each other at every stage of our lives – as child, brother or sister, parent etc.), I was struck by the reminder about what we’re here for. To amass stuff? To inspire insta envy? Or to reach out to those behind and to those ahead and care for our precious future generations? As a teacher, I know I’m not alone in enjoying our young people’s sense of justice, care and compassion, and the way there are so many varied experiences provided for them at SJC in which they can actively participate in making a difference.
Ms Melaina Faranda