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Indigenous graduates on the right path

Indigenous students gather at St Mark’s Church, Inala, for graduation Mass
INDIGENOUS Year 12 students from Brisbane Archdiocese’s Catholic school community were asked to “dream it, believe it, live it” at this year’s annual Indigenous Graduation Mass

More than 90 students joined peers, parents and staff at St Mark’s Church, Inala, for the Mass concelebrated by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools chaplain Wally Dethlefs and Iona College Chaplain Oblate Fr Pat Dwyer.

Staff from BCE’s Ngutana-Lui Cultural Centre welcomed the graduates and other guests to country with music performed by the choir from Mary MacKIllop College, Nundah.

Fr Wally said the Graduation Mass, which focused on the theme “It’s Your Journey”, was an opportunity for indigenous students and their families, supporters and mentors to gather together and celebrate their educational achievements.

He said it was also a chance for younger indigenous students to see their peers graduate and take inspiration to follow in their footsteps.

For many of the Year 12 students they were the first in their families to graduate.

Tony Murdoch, who graduated from St Columban’s College, Caboolture, said it was great to see so many indigenous students finishing school.

“It’s a good thing, as not many indigenous students actually have the privilege to go to school,” he said.

“II think it’s awesome to see so many students graduating and to represent my college as an indigenous student was a great privilege.”

For Fallon Blewonski from St Peter Claver College, Ipswich, hearing her mother, Simone speak as part of the celebration was her proudest moment.

Fallon, who wanted to study drama and teaching at university, said there was an amazing feeling inside the Church as she spoke.

“To hear her speak about me like that was so great,” she said.

“She just got out of hospital the day before, but she insisted on coming to the Mass and speaking.

“It was very emotional and inspiring,” she said.

The guest speakers encouraged the graduates to continue on their journey to success and to pass it on to younger generations.

They highlighted the hope for the future for the graduates as they acknowledged education as the springboard to a better life.

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