Before the Flood
As you may recall, a fortnight ago I wrote about the school’s commitment to meet the challenges outlined in Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si and Call 4 of the IBVM to live sustainably and discern what is enough. The first step to meeting these challenges is quite simple in principle – we just need to buy/use less stuff. Less energy and fuel is then used for manufacture and transport – and this, of course, reduces our carbon emissions. Simple? Yes! Convenient? Not usually, no. And herein lies the problem – it is generally too much trouble, requires too much organisation and we fall back on time-savers and convenience. But at what cost? And who is impacted?
Perhaps if we bore witness to the impacts of our excessive consumption at both ends of the chain, manufacture and disposal, then we might rethink our actions more readily. Here in Australia we are not choked by smoke from industry or land clearing as in other nations. Our water treatment facilities provide high quality, potable water and our landfill is located conveniently in someone else’s backyard. Imagine how we might feel if the rising seas were encroaching on our shores and threatening to displace us from our country and culture. Of course, this is the reality of other people in our world.
On Wednesday, we held a screening of Before the Flood, the National Geographic documentary with Leonardo Di Caprio, in which the dire consequences of climate change and pollution were highlighted as well as some solutions explored. It is a very powerful film and one which I recommend you watch, if you haven’t already done so. Aside from the reduction in biodiversity, those who will and do feel the earliest impacts of climate change are our poorer brothers and sisters. The ecological education of our students is a priority articulated in our Strategic Plan and a shared responsibility across all curriculum areas. Following the screening, all students engaged in robust discussion with their teachers and peers across a number of faculty areas to evaluate their own lifestyle and fire up to take action. Hopefully, these discussions will continue at home.
The timing of the screening has coincided with the start of Lent, which is most appropriate. Lent is a time to take up new challenges and change habits for the better – a time for intentional conversion. In the words of Pope Francis, ‘Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home. Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others’. As we enter this period of Lent, you might like to view this Lenten Carbon Fast calendar that has daily suggestions on how you can reduce your negative impact on our planet through simple acts.
No more talk, no more excuses. Individually you can make a change; collectively that change is multiplied. The power of the people is quite something and, in Leonardo’s words, ‘we are the last best hope for Earth’.
Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield
Project Compassion Update
Our Shrove Tuesday pancake stall this week was a roaring success – we raised $529 in a single lunchtime! This is an amazing effort on behalf of our student volunteers who gave up their lunchtime to cook and serve the school community. It is also an amazing way to begin our season of giving during Project Compassion and Lent.
The money we raised yesterday will fund the following projects:
$300 – Art supplies for one art healing worship supporting First Australian communities to address their trauma in Australia.
$450 – Provide resources for one child with disabilities so they can attend school for a year in Vietnam.
$50 – Provide a first-aid course for one person to help protect their family and neighbours during natural disasters in the Philippines.
$75 – Provide one family with one piglet and training on caring for the pig, allowing them to generate a stable source of income in the Philippines.
I look forward to seeing our school community continue to be a generous and grateful one.
Ms Rosanne Timmins
Social Justice Coordinator