MSB9159_Bennies Buzz_NOV-2016_hi-res - page 23

It was a proud moment for Mount
St Benedict College when Year
11 student Elizabeth Khoury was
presented with a highly commended
award at the Dame Marie Bashir
Peace Awards. The Awards are open
to girls in NSW (Years 10-12) who have
made a significant contribution and
displayed leadership in the areas of
harmony or social justice. There were
only twelve recipients in the state.
Elizabeth was nominated by the
College as a worthy candidate because
of her great energy and commitment
in social justice and promoting
harmony within the community. A
strong advocate for women’s rights,
Elizabeth was key in producing a video
about domestic violence to educate
others on this issue. She has educated
both the College community through
facilitating smaller groups within the
College as well as addressing the
whole community at assemblies.
Elizabeth is also passionate and
involved in other social justice issues.
She has been involved in working
with refugee families through a
variety of programs as well as taking
opportunities to be involved in Vinnies
Van. A strong and confident voice
within the College community she is
known for her strength of character
and passion for promoting harmony
and justice for all.
Elizabeth confidently addressed
the awards ceremony on the United
Nations International Day of Peace.
An excerpt of her speech is below:
Social justice is, as I see it, a deeply
personal issue that connects every
individual to a communal conscience.
….My personal social justice adventure
began with becoming a member of
the AGSA Student Network Alliance,
a group which encourages young
women to challenge a woman’s place
in the world and explore our passions
concerning the rights of women.
Bringing the work of the Alliance back
to the College was something I was so
proud of; I was bringing back deeply
entrenched issues that could affect the
future of the amazing young women
around me and I wanted them to be
educated and proactive.
After establishing a College based
team of girls who have discovered
their own interest we began to take
on bigger projects reaching further
into the community. From our viral ‘1
Minute’ domestic violence video to radio
interviews, our work has spread further
and further. My deepest passions lie
with the advocacy of women’s rights
and promoting equality. Some of my
greatest experiences at school have
come from my work within this area
and has allowed me to grow personally
and professionally.
Elizabeth receives highly commended at
the Dame Marie Bashir Peace Awards
Year 11 student, Sylvia Burgess-Tate
travelled as part of the Broken Bay
Diocese pilgrimage to World Youth Day
(WYD) in Kraków, Poland. The pilgrimage
began in Italy and Sylvia was thrilled to
visit the Benedictine Basilica of St Paul,
reporting that hidden at the back of the
church was a large statue of St Benedict,
and another one in a small chapel.
Along for the ride with Sylvia was
the College’s Jubilee bear who was
renamed for the trip ‘Francesca’ in
honour of Pope Francis!
230 pilgrims from the Diocese of Broken
Bay gathered together in Krakow for
the official WYD events including daily
catechesis and the Opening Mass. Sylvia
reported that her group decided to leave
the Papal Welcome early to avoid the
crowds, and to their surprise, the Pope
drove past, only about 5m away!
The group’s travel to the WYD vigil site
was a pilgrimage in itself, a 17 km walk
in the scorching heat with 1.7 million
fellow pilgrims. Sylvia described the
sea of a million candles glowing and
stretching out as far as the eye could
see, as one of her favourite moments of
the whole pilgrimage.
“I have made lifelong friends, visited
places that I will never forget and
experienced God in an amazing way,”
said Sylvia.
Sylvia’s World Youth
Day Pilgrimage to
Kraków, Poland
Sylvia pictured with St Agatha’s
Parish Priest, Father Paul Durkin
Sylvia with College
Bear ‘Francesca’
Elizabeth pictured with Dame Marie
Bashir and Jackie Duncan, MSB Assistant
Principal-Dean of Students
Summer 2016
Bennies Buzz
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