From left to right: Our Lady of the Angels’ School Principal Matthew Beacroft with Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, and Deputy Principal Sam O'Leary.
With spring just around the corner, the students at Our Lady of the Angels’ School Wavell Heights have sprung into action, planting Wattle Trees with Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland (31 August), in the lead up to Wattle Day (1 September).
With Her Excellency’s help, the students planted a Silver Wattle within the school playground garden, along with a Brisbane Wattle which was planted in front of the school's newly painted mural ‘A Shining Life,’ by First Nations Artist Stephen Hogarth.
BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns, State Member Jimmy Sullivan MP, Vice President Vice of the Wattle Day Association Mike Gilmour, and Our Lady of the Angels’ Principal Matthew Beacroft attended the planting.
Our Lady of the Angels’ Principal Matthew Beacroft said the Wattle trees will support the school’s natural ecosystem.
“Having Her Excellency choose our school to plant wattle trees that have been in Australia for 25 million years is very special,” he said.
“In line with Pope Francis’ call to ‘Care for Our Common Home,’ these wattle trees raise awareness about the importance of being connected to all of creation.
“Having these wattles at our school will not only provide habitat for native wildlife, adding to the overall biodiversity of our area, but I hope it will also inspire our students to develop a deeper connection to their environment, gaining important insights into environmental conversation.
“We are incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to grow our beautiful native school gardens.”
BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns said both Laudato Si and Wattle Day share a common theme of promoting respect for nature and the preservation of biodiversity.
“Wattle Day holds great significance to our 146 school communities,” she said.
“Not only is wattle the national emblem that represents all Australians, but Wattle Day plants the seeds of national pride and environmental stewardship for our students,” she said.
“Sowing the seeds of empowerment for our students who will inherit the responsibility of caring for ‘Our Common Home.’
Dr Towns added Wattle Day stands as a tribute to the visionary efforts of the Wattle Day League.
“Today we honour their achievements, for within the vibrant blossom of each wattle tree is the story of our nation's spirit, forever rooted in the soil of our shared heritage."
On the day, Our Lady of the Angels’ School Alumni and current Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Visual Arts student Tom Sands live sketched Her Excellency and students planting the wattle trees.
Her Excellency was gifted the artwork in recognition of the event.
The tree planting ceremony was hosted by the Wattle Day Association. Open Minds (previously known as the Queensland Wattle Day League) is a supporter and sponsor of the Wattle Day Association.
About National Wattle Day Association:
The Wattle Day Association is a not-for-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organisation incorporated in the ACT. The first attempt to celebrate a ‘national’ Wattle Day was on 1 September 1910 in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. From that time on, Wattle Day was observed all around the country. It was not until 1992 that 1 September was officially proclaimed National Wattle Day in every State and Territory by the Commonwealth Government of Australia, and in 1988 the Golden Wattle was officially gazetted as Australia’s national floral emblem.
About ‘A Shining Life’ by First Nations Artist Stephen Hogarth:
The mural represents the journey taken to achieve individual and collective goals. It also shares an understanding that with dedication and support all goals can be reached. In the top left-hand corner, the light that is prominently placed, represents the aspirational light that illuminates a collaborative thriving community.
Our Lady of the Angels’ dates to 1950 and is built on hard work of many humble people. At this time people travelled from the outskirts of Brisbane to Wavell Heights, sharing strong values of friendship and peace, taught through many cultures. These diverse dreaming pathways are shared in this art installation.
Our Lady of the Angels’ school charisms are represented by the Presentation Sister Cross in the bottom right and the Franciscan Tao Cross on the left. These symbols acknowledge the founding charisms of the school and church, Presentation Sisters, and Franciscan Friars. The white dots within the circles represent the sharing of that knowledge and its influence between places. The river in the painting is the Brisbane River, acknowledging that our school is situated in Meanjin on Turrbal Land.
To acknowledge our four house groups this painting, their colours are prominently displayed. Bundal is represented by maroon, Meanjin is represented by green, Warraba is represented by purple and Wyampa is represented by blue. This mural shares the storylines of our past and present, and our dreaming for the future. It also acknowledges our profound connections to Christ, Country, Charism and Community.
From left to right. Our Lady of the Angels' School Principal Matthew Beacroft with Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, and BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns. Students were gifted a book from Her Excellency called 'A Place for all Queenslanders.'
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101