Students and staff from St Francis Catholic College, together with invited guests, attended a liturgy on the permanent site at Edmondson Park, where the first sod of soil was officially 'turned' last Thursday.
Uncle Ivan Wellington, Aboriginal elder and patron of Wellington House, commenced proceedings by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and performed a traditional Smoking Ceremony.
“Today is symbolically about breaking the grounds for the school, the first gamut where we’ve had years K to 12 on the same site. It is a sign of the time and a sign of the needs in the future,” Uncle Ivan said.
St Francis Catholic College, whose site is positioned in the middle of the Edmondson Park community, is the newest school and first of it's kind in the Diocese of Wollongong. The P-12 school is currently open but temporarily situated at St Benedict's Catholic College in Oran Park. It will move to the Edmondson Park site in 2018 with student enrolments from Kindergarten to Year 8.
Other guests present at the ceremony, many of whom were influential in establishing St Francis, included Fr Linh Nguyen (Parish Priest- Macquarie Fields), Mr Peter Turner, Mr Peter Leuenberger (Assistant Director Edmund Rice Education Australia), Br Jeff Regan (EREA), numerous staff from the Catholic Education Office, McIntyre Civil and JDH Architects.
Along with representatives from the public media, students took along their own devices to interview guests about their involvement in the St Francis journey. Listen to some of their interviews in Student Journo.