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Setting high standards in many different ways

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Glenelg parishioner and St Aloysius College graduate Clare Peterson had her work cut out for her in Year 12 but not just because of her studies.

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A member of St Aloysius’ Justice and Mercy group, Clare spent much of her final year involved with activities such as the Fairtrade fortnight hot chocolate stall, growing and delivering herbs from the school garden to the Adelaide Day Centre, attending domestic violence walks and conferences, and participating in a winter sleep out.

She was duly rewarded with a Governor’s Commendation – one of eight presented to students from Catholic schools in 2017.

Throughout her secondary schooling Clare took up various social justice causes and also achieved her gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which included a trip to the Tiwi Islands. In addition, she was the SRC president for St Aloysius College and represented the school in various sports including football, volleyball and athletics.

Clare, who has helped with reading and the children’s liturgy at Our Lady of Victories Church, said she was passionate about “raising awareness and promoting action on pressing social issues”.

“We donated our own blankets to the Adelaide Day Centre to support the homeless and through this I gained a deeper understanding of some of the stigma and stereotypes surrounding this marginalised group of society.

“I also had the opportunity to volunteer at the centre and meet some of the extraordinary people who work so tirelessly to provide help there,” she said.

While she hopes to study a double degree in law and international development at the University of Adelaide, Clare is planning a gap year in 2018 and will continue working at the Orange Spot Bakery while also taking on a part-time role as social justice coordinator at St Aloysius College.

Principal Paddy McEvoy described Clare as “an outstanding young Mercy woman with a strong commitment to social justice”, which was highlighted when she was presented the college’s Catherine McAuley award last year.

Other recipients of Governor’s Commendations from Catholic schools were:

Benjamin Fitzgerald, St Michael’s College, achieved five merits in the research project, physics, specialist mathematics, mathematical methods and chemistry. Ben was voted one of the Year 12 school leaders and was an integral part of the senior leadership team focusing on supporting a range of social justice issues. He was also involved in a school sporting teams and the music program. Ben attended the 2017 National Youth Science Forum, where he participated in sessions on entrepreneurship and critical thinking. This year he is taking a gap year in which he will try to “figure out what I would like to study in university”.

Sebastian Macaspac, Cardijn College, is a member of the Seeds Uniting Church where he is youth leader for more than 1000 people. He volunteers his time as a musician and sound engineer. He is also involved in Riding for the Disabled Australia, where he rides and leads the caring of the horses every Saturday. He was a school captain at Cardijn and plans to study veterinary bio-science at the University of Adelaide.

Ingrid Mowbray, Kildare College, was house captain and a peer support leader. She helped to mentor others in and outside the classroom. Ingrid has volunteered for the Leveda Art program and worked with Lighthouse Disability, creating art murals for the charity’s community houses. This year she hopes to study a double degree in law and international relations at the University of Adelaide.

Flynn Pisani, Rostrevor College, was recognised for being an outstanding role model at Rostrevor. As head prefect he has spoken at public forums and worked with fellow prefects, senior college leaders and younger students in the junior school. He was awarded a lifetime leadership and service award for his contributions and outstanding dedication to the college. Flynn was a member of the 2016 Indian pilgrimage where he spent nearly a month working with marginalised people in various cities in India. This year he plans to study in the field of engineering.

Claudia Floreani, St Ignatius’ College, achieved merits for the research project, economics and biology. Claudia was involved in a wide range of co-curricular activities. She attended the United Nations Youth National Conference and received the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award. She was twice a State finalist in the Legacy public speaking competition; a semi-finalist in the Rostrum public speaking competition; national finalist in the UN Youth Voice Public Speaking Competition, and a national finalist in the plain English speaking competition. She works at Hope’s Cafe, which supports refugees in the local community.

Cassandra Larobina, St Ignatius’ College, achieved six merits in accounting, biology, chemistry, mathematical studies, psychology and the research project.

Joshua Taylor, Xavier College, was house captain in 2017. This role saw him further serve his house and college by presenting at assemblies, Masses and liturgies. Joshua showed great initiative in proposing, organising, running and refereeing the college’s first lunchtime seven-a-side soccer competition. He starred as Corny Collins in the college production of Hairspray and represented the school as the drummer in the Xavier College Little Big Band.

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