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Bordertown High School hosts RE seminar


Students at Bordertown High School learnt about ethical fashion and workers’ rights at a seminar conducted by the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults (COYYA) this month.

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The seminar followed a request from the school’s pastoral support worker and Bordertown parishioner Cathy Hinge for COYYA to run a Religious Education seminar at the school.

The rural parish of Bordertown in the State’s South East is part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide but does not have a Catholic school.

The town does have a Catholic church, however, which is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019, and a vibrant Catholic community.

With a number of Catholics attending the local school, Mrs Hinge said she thought it would be good to have COYYA run a seminar. Youth Ministry support officer, Holly Roberts was happy to oblige and chose the topic of ethical fashion for the seminar which she ran with Young Christian Workers representative Umes Acharya.

The pair looked at the issues affecting the fashion industry today, workers’ rights, what can be done about the issue of exploitation and how it relates to the students in their everyday lives. They also introduced the students to the ‘see, judge, act’ philosophy of Joseph Cardijn.

“It was the first time we’ve ever done one of these presentations in a non-Catholic school so it was a bit of a test and it went well,” Holly said.

“It gives us the chance to come out and chat to the kids and expose them to the elements of Catholic faith that they wouldn’t usually see.

“We don’t get out to rural places like Bordertown very often. Although places like Bordertown are part of the Archdiocese they can feel disconnected from the metro area.

“We try and do at least one or two trips every year so we can be there for the whole of the Archdiocese.”

Staff from Bordertown High School said the session was great and very inclusive of everyone and their different beliefs.

“It was a good seminar. I’m Catholic and a few of the teachers and students are but there are others with different faiths,” said
Mrs Hinge.

“Things like the see, judge, act philosophy from Cardinal Joseph Cardijn have been working for years and are still adaptable even today, and not just for Catholics but everyone.

“It covered a range of different topics from sustainability, social media and practical faith. For many young Catholics social justice is their way into faith so it is good for them to have this chance.”

Holly and Umes held two sessions at the school on June 11 with students from Year 8 to 12.

Feedback from students also was positive.

“It was informative and very interesting,” said James King, who is Catholic.

Another Catholic student, Caitlin Kupke, said the seminar “taught us to be thankful for the rights we have here in Australia”.

Holly said hopefully COYYA would head back to Bordertown again for other seminars in the future.


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