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Students wear badges with pride

Teachers Kate Austin (left) and Terri Samford look on as Year 7 students
(from left) Danielle Richardson, Abbey Shields, Olivia Windebank and
Sophi-Rose Green finish off another batch of badges
BADGES of all shapes and sizes have been adorning the uniforms of students at St Anthony’s School, Alexandria Hills.

However, these badges are not promoting their favourite music artists or bands – they are championing the work Catholic Missions does for children in poor countries.

Throughout the school students are wearing their own designer badges of all colours and designs filled with facts about poverty and how Catholic Missions tackles it throughout the world.

Students design and make the badges themselves using the school’s badge making machine and donate a gold coin to Catholic Missions for the privilege.

Year 7 teacher Kate Austin, who came up with the idea, said what began as a simple social justice project morphed into a quest to find out more about Catholic Missions and the work they did with underprivileged children.

After using the school’s badge making machine for smaller classroom projects Kate though to herself: “what if the whole school community got involved”.

“The information they discovered about Catholic Missions and its overseas work was put on the badges for other students and the wider community to read,” she said.

Kate said the Year 7 students ran the badge-making machine at lunchtime as other students came in to design their own badges.

“The students physically make the badges and through this learn some facts about social justice issues and the work of Catholic Missions.

“They are filled which messages and words they can relate to such as ‘there are children like you who don’t have food’ or “some children don’t have clothes or go to school like you’.”

Ms Austin said the idea really took off among students (and some staff) as they saw others wearing their badges with pride and wanted to make their own badges.

“They are even making badges for their mums and dads and other family members,” she said.

Assistant Principal for Religious Education Carolyn Watson said the school started a social justice committee, made up of staff and students, at the beginning of the year.

She said the committee decided to take on projects at a whole school level to help out different Catholic organisations.

“The badges program was the third project the social justice committee undertook in its first year after Project Compassion and a knitting project for blankets for the old,” she said.

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101