World Day of Social Justice
The United Nations has recognised tomorrow as the World Day of Social Justice for 2021.
Our tradition and deep commitment to social justice is an integral part of who we are. It is framed by our School Motto, Utilis in Ministerium (Useful in Service) which is grounded in an Anglican Christian worldview.
In 2016, we undertook a review of our Social Justice Program to: review and define the purpose of our program, develop a framework and document the key initiatives. The review highlighted the importance of actions that are based in a learning relationship, not a charity focus. Hence the change of name to the CGGS Service Learning Program that has been developed using the CGGS Service Learning Framework.
In our framework we highlight that service begins with two premises. One is about the nature of the person and the other, the nature of power. Service must always increase the freedom, the autonomy, the dignity and the power of those being served. At its core it is about authentic relationships.
One of the organisations that we have had the great privilege to work with since 2016 is The Green Gecko Project in Cambodia. This project was established to assist families in Siem Reap to help their children attend school rather than commencing work at a young age. The facility also has an extensive vegetable garden to produce food for members of the community and a program to upskill parents to assist them to earn an income.
For many years (until the pandemic arrived), multiple groups of students have travelled to Cambodia to visit Green Gecko and to work and learn with the students, as well as work in the vegetable garden and learn about the local community. We certainly look forward to the day that we can return.
Last Sunday in The Age, I was interviewed for an editorial about Open Days, however I focused on the strengths of our school and the importance of diversity, in our own community and in the way that we work with others. The article can be viewed here. I mentioned our work with the Green Gecko Project in the article and last night I was incredibly moved to read their response to the article on Facebook which I have included below.
At Camberwell Girls, through serving others, we learn about our local community, the global community and ourselves through commitment to our values in action. We are clearly guided by our Service Learning Framework in establishing and building long lasting connections with others and honouring the most Christian ideal of service.
With best wishes,
Chair of School Council
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On behalf of the School Council, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr Nikita Weickhardt as the new Chair of School Council.
Dr Weickhardt’s appointment comes following the decision of the incumbent Chair, Ms Christine Cussen, to step down from the role to pursue other professional and personal interests. The School is greatly indebted to Ms Cussen for her leadership of School Council since being appointed to the role of Chair in April 2018. Ms Cussen was first appointed as a Councillor in August 2005 and will continue to serve as a member of the School Council to ensure a smooth transition to Dr Weickhardt.
The selection and appointment of Dr Weickhardt to this important role was facilitated through a formal and comprehensive selection process. I would particularly like to thank Dr Helen Rawson, Mr Sam Page, Mr Tony Cant and Ms Christine Swan for their contributions to this process.
Dr Weickhardt, an engineer and, a current parent of the School was first appointed to the School Council in July 2019 as an Archbishop-in-Council appointment. Dr Weickhardt will be an inspirational leader. She is personable, forward thinking and will be dedicated to the role of Chair. I invite you to join me in congratulating Dr Weickhardt on her new appointment.
With best wishes