The inaugural EREA Charter Leadership Awards were presented at the Annual EREA Principals’ Mass and Dinner held in Melbourne on Saturday, November 28.
Through the annual presentation of these awards, Edmund Rice Education Australia seeks to recognise the outstanding contribution of men and women in the service of their school communities in support of the vision and mission of EREA. By directly linking these awards to the Charter, we celebrate the many diverse ways that the four Touchstones are brought to life as a powerful expression of the charism of Edmund Rice alive today. In addition, the awards recognise the significant leadership role of men and women in our schools and the impact that their leadership has on the lives of others.
Overall, 32 nominations were received and each person nominated was worthy of recognition for the commitment they make on a daily basis to Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition. The selection panel, comprising representatives from the LERNS Executive, EREA Leadership Team, EREA Board and a school Board Chair, selected four winners from these 32 nominations.
Leonie Hart (St Joseph’s College, Geelong): Charter Leadership Award for Gospel Spirituality
Keith Halpin (St Edmund’s College, Ipswich): Charter Leadership Award for Liberating Education
Jessie Fraser (Ipswich FLC): Charter Leadership Award for Inclusive Community
Geraldine Cullen (Waverley College): Charter Leadership Award for Justice and Solidarity
Leonie, an integration aide at St Joseph’s College, is acknowledged by her Principal for the extraordinary care she exhibits, above and beyond the role description, for the students in her charge. Her dedication to some of the most marginalised in the school community, and their grateful families, has been and continues to be a clear example of the work of Jesus Christ as seen in the Gospels.
Keith is currently the Assistant Principal, Mission and Community at St Edmund’s College. Keith became involved with communities in Samoa following the 2009 tsunami. Since that time he has developed several holistic educational learning experiences and an immersion program, encouraging staff and young people to experience and value cultural differences and to be critically reflective of the justice and peace issues within a developing country.
Jessie is the Social Worker and Chaplain at Ipswich FLC and is acknowledged for her ability to build relationships within the Flexi and wider Ipswich communities for the effective support of young people who are vulnerable and marginalised. In establishing common ground, an agreed set of operational principles within all FLCs, Jessie has been able to develop deep, authentic and genuine relationships. Through her respect for the dignity and uniqueness of each young person, Jessie ensures they access a welcoming educational community.
Geraldine is described by her Principal as an inspiring Social Justice Coordinator who has been instrumental in growing the Social Justice Program at Waverley College to the point where it is an integral aspect of the formal and informal curriculum of the College. Through the program, students, staff and parents are exposed to the injustices which occur in Australia and in the global community and are educated in particular ways to lessen the burden of the most vulnerable.
The contributions made by these remarkable people in their communities was celebrated with due ceremony and great joy. Each award winner received a trophy and a monetary contribution towards their continuing personal and professional development.