Each year, at the beginning of September, Marian College celebrates Founders Day (Brigidine Celebration Day), where the community looks back at the tradition and work of the Brigidine Sisters who started the community 63 years ago. They also look at all that has been achieved from very humble beginnings in Ireland.
Principal Ray Pisani says the legacy that they now have is to honour and live out their core values in all that they do each day.
“We live out their vision of working together as a community to respect the dignity of all as well as the world around us,” Mr Pisani says.
“This year we have focused on the value of Justice and given all that we have been through in 2020 we decided to also incorporate the value of Hope. We aimed to celebrate our heritage and at the same time look for hope on the journey ahead, not knowing exactly what that may look like.”
Traditionally, the day would start with a school mass and there would be year level gatherings to focus on the theme followed by a carnival in the afternoon. The day would include sharing of information of the tradition, an extensive number of different food options and carnival rides to enjoy.
However, in a COVID world, the Marian College community had to imagine a different way of how this day would look.
“We felt that it was important to ensure that our milestones, or key calendar dates, did not just go by because it seemed too hard to do something,” Mr Pisani says. “We had to look and find different ways to celebrate.”
So they did, and this is what they came up with …
The day started with a digitally presented opening celebration that consisted of key aspects of normal school gatherings, for example a liturgy. Then they received messages of hope from their sister schools from all over the country. The presentation also included greetings from a number of people including the executive officer of Catholic Education Melbourne, Mr Jim Miles, and guest musical appearances by Father Rob Galea and Shane Howard from the band Goanna fame.
All students were invited to engage in a range of activities linked to the Marian College heritage and theme. These involved a level of creativity, design, construction, cooking, performing music and even acting out some of the stories that link to their history.
Mr Pisani says he hoped that this part of the day would take students away from their laptops, work with their friends, and even go and do some of the activities outside.
“While not overtly stated in the theme it was clear that this day was also a time to focus on our own wellbeing and do something a little different to the current daily life.
“At the conclusion of the day students submitted their achievements and we will acknowledge and celebrate their efforts at the end of the term.
“In organising this day, and in celebrating what it means to be a member of Marian College, we have accepted that COVID-19 has provided us with many challenges as individuals and as a community. However, in the end it has also presented us with the chance to think differently and reshape what the road ahead may be for all of us. That has to be a good thing.”
Marian College, 196 Glengala Road, Sunshine West. Inquiries: 9363 1711 or www.mariansw.catholic.edu.au