MSB7782_BenniesBuzz_NOV-2014_Single - page 12

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Bennies Buzz
November 2014
Community Support for the
Philippines Immersion Team
A group of MSB staff and Year 11 students will travel to
the Philippines in December and connect with a range of
communities working among the poor of the Philippines.
Among these are our own Sisters of the Good Samaritan at
Bacolod, who offer learning support for local kindergarten
level children living in extreme poverty to help them
successfully enter primary school.
The Philippines Immersion Team have committed to raising
$1,000 per person to take as contributions, with all monies
raised directly supporting these partner communities. The
costs of the trip are met fully by the students and their families.
The group successfully organised a fundraising evening
in June raising approximately $5,000. Held at the Eastern
City Chinese Restaurant in Pennant Hills, the Philippines
Immersion Team were overwhelmed by the response from
MSB students, staff and families as well as members from
the local community.
Entertainment on the night was provided by ‘Leonine’
made up of MSB Year 12 students Andrea Hajje, Kirsty
Smith and Casey McBride.
Ministry Outreach at Santa Teresa
Over the Easter Break Year 11 MSB students Rebecca
Koelmeyer and Chelsea Spokes and MSB teacher Mr David
Greenwell accompanied 15 students from a number of Good
Samaritan Schools in Sydney on an Indigenous Immersion Trip
to Alice Springs. The experience provided the opportunity for
students and teachers to immerse themselves in the indigenous
life of Santa Teresa and to experience life in Alice Springs.
Santa Teresa is an Aboriginal community located 80km
South-East of Alice Springs - home to approximately 500
Eastern Arrente people. Good Samaritan Sisters – Sister Liz
and Sister Anita work tirelessly in the Catholic community
that was established as a Mission in 1952.
Catholic faith is an integral part of the community, strongly
influenced by their unique Aboriginal identity. The Church is
the centre point of the community and the interior walls are
rich and alive with artworks reflecting both Christian and
indigenous themes.
The group were enriched with insight into the culture and
spirituality of the Arrente people over their four day immersion.
The girls commented that it was a privilege to listen to women in
the community as well as hear the Good Samaritan Sisters share
their experiences and knowledge that no textbook could provide.
Some of the highlights were taking part in a smoking ceremony,
watching as the women in the Spirituality Centre practised their
traditional art and assisting in the Community Centre.
The girls reflected that “compared to our home in Sydney the
community is different on so many levels- we often had to
stop and remember we were still in Australia. On the whole
the trip made us stop and think about life itself, as clichéd
as it might sound. While it would be completely naïve to say
that life is anywhere near perfect, the children are the most
content, the happiest with their lives.”
The group were also able to explore the sights of Alice
Springs including natural attractions, The Royal Flying
Doctors Service, Reptile Park, and a meteorite crater.
A lasting legacy from the trip was the friendships that the
girls developed with students from other Good Sam Schools.
“Those new friendships will stay with us forever. Away from
the TV, phone reception and internet; we bonded with card
games and laughs.”
“The experience has provided us with the passion and
understanding to work in areas of social justice in the future
while creating some amazing memories in the process. We
strongly recommend this trip to anyone that gets the chance.”
Smoking Ceremony
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