Next week, I will join 16 other leaders of Josephite schools on a 'Journey to the Heart'. Principals will gather in Fitzroy, Melbourne, to walk the streets that St Mary MacKillop walked and receive a guided tour of the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre which is very near to where she was born. The following day we embark on a pilgrimage to Penola, where she established her first school with Fr Julian Tenison-Woods, via Portland, where she lived and taught for a time.
As a P-12 College, we are members of the Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools (AJASS) which spreads across the country and to New Zealand as well. The mission of this group is to maintain the message and witness of the Sisters of St Joseph and St Mary MacKillop. We are fortunate as school leaders to be consistently guided by the nuns in North Sydney and Melbourne, and as many are aware we have commenced sending our senior school students and staff to residential events at Mary MacKillop Place in Sydney.
I often speak to all of our students about enacting the 6Ps of Mary MacKillop in the way that they approach their membership of our community and how they ensure that they continue to grow and improve. It is important also that I model these. This journey is about partnership with fellow school leaders who share my mission, and enhancing our passion to lead our school as Mary MacKillop led. It is also about collective possibilities and how we can, as a group of schools across the country, maintain the presence and witness of the Josephite spirit in 21st Century Australia. It is also about prayer - which for me is very important - and the opportunity to be a pilgrim in the place where she first discerned to become a nun and establish the Sisters of St Joseph.
I will be maintaining a video diary so that our College community can share in the journey and get a feel for the places where St Mary MacKillop walked.
Thank you all for your ongoing support for our wonderful College.
Mr Chris Gabbett