BCE celebrates Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander 2022 Graduates


​BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns with BCE Year 12 2022 graduates. ​

With only days left until the Term 3 break for the Year 12 Graduates of 2022, the schools of the Archdioceses of Brisbane joined together last week (Friday 9 September) at the Cathedral of St. Stephen to celebrate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates of 2022 
156 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are this year graduating across 50 Catholic schools. 
BCE’s Executive Director Dr Sally Towns said the graduates were celebrated and congratulated for their perseverance throughout their senior years, adding that it was wonderful the graduation occurred in person for the first time in two years, after COVID-19 impacted the ceremony in previous years. 
“I would like to first start by acknowledging Aunty Joan Hendriks as this was the first year we have celebrated at the Cathedral without her after she sadly passed in 2020,” she said. 
“She has had such a huge impact on not just the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, but wider community 
“Like Aunty Joan Hendriks, our graduating students of 2022 have shown resilience and determination, and throughout their Year 10, 11, and 12 schooling years have persevered in the face of the pandemic.  
They’ve demonstrated a willingness to get involved and the flexibility to try new things in co-curricular initiatives such as ministry, STEM, performing arts and sport.  
These graduates are our 2022 leaders, standing up for what they believe to be right and just, actions which reflect this year’s NAIDOC theme to Get up! Stand up! Show up!  
Caring for community and common home, they’ve also made many special friendships along the way, some of which will last a lifetime.  
I wish our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduating students all the best in the next stage of their journey.  
We will pray for them as they seek to make their mark in the world.”  
Southern Cross Catholic College Scarborough parent Nicole Kirwan, said her children have been at BCE schools since prep and that she enjoys the sense of community BCE has created for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Nicole’s daughter Eva is graduating in 2022, while her son Hunter is in Grade 10  
My children are so connected to Country,” she said. 
They’ve have had a rich school experience, having the opportunity to experience both Traditional Dance and learning Didgeridoo through a variety of BCE programs 
Due to their schooling experience, my children feel empowered and speak up about their heritage. 
“Seeing my children now being able to pass on the knowledge they were taught in school to the younger students is a proud moment for me as a mother.” 
The graduation service featured a Liturgy, Acknowledgment of Country by Uncle David Miller and performances by the Ambrose Treacy College Aboriginal Dance Group and the Mabuyag Dancers, followed by a light lunch. 


Top stories