John Paul College encourages awareness of Social Justice among Staff and Students
John Paul College has a rich and proud tradition of student-led social justice initiatives.
The College’s focus on ‘social justice’ is the embodiment of our Catholic faith. It is the John Paul College community’s lived expression of the teaching of Jesus to care for the poor and marginalised in our society. The core of this philosophy is to be Christ to those in need and see Christ in those we serve.
Students at John Paul College are provided with a range of avenues with which to express their commitment to social inequalities. The college has a student-led and driven social justice group for interested students from Year 7 to 12. Further to this, the College facilitates a number of volunteer opportunities both within the College and in the local and international community.
Throughout the year, the College student leaders of each of the four houses manage fundraising efforts for their house charities. Each year the student body raises well over $10,000 for charitable causes. The annual Social Justice Assembly highlights the work of the college community for those less fortunate than ourselves.
The JPC Community Companion
In 2014, the JPC Community Companion was launched. Students raised money to buy and fit out a food trailer. Staffed by both student and staff volunteers, the JPC Community Companion goes into the Frankston community to provide those in need with food, drink, conversation and support.
In 2015 the JPC Community Companion received the prestigious Order of Australia Association Schools' Project Award (Mornington Peninsula Branch). The association seeks to foster love and pride in active citizenship. This perfectly describes the work done by the wonderful student volunteers on the Companion. John Paul College received a $500 grant for the Companion as part of this award.
International Mission Immersions
John Paul College provides opportunities for students to live out our call to service through a variety of Mission Immersions. Students travel with staff to work with our brothers and sisters in Christ in some of the most impoverished communities and locations in the world. These programs began in 2012 and there have been a total of 15 international Mission Immersions to date (as at 2019).
The Philippines Mission Immersion is an opportunity for year 11 students to travel Manila and join the work of one of John Paul College’s founding orders, the Faithful Companions of Jesus (fcJ) as well as other religious orders. Engaging with the community that lives beside the largest rubbish tip in Manila and in orphanages, disability and aged care, our students open their hearts to the struggles of so many in our world.
The Timor Leste Mission Immersion is an opportunity for year 10 students as they join in the work of the Salesian religious order. Predominately in schools and orphanages, our students serve in teaching and outreach throughout the area of Laga. Our students are ambassadors for our community and our care and concern for others throughout the world.
Mission Action Day (M.A.D)
Each year our Year 12 College Leadership team together with our Senior Youth Ministry Team organize fundraising for house causes. Mission Action Day is organized by our students aiming to not only raise funds but also awareness on issues of social justice whilst promoting true altruism in giving. In recent years, the student body has also been successful in conducting the MAD Fete and Twilight Market inviting all from our local community to be a part of important fundraising where 100% of all money raised goes directly to the charities identified. The House Charities are:
· Chaminade House – Marianist education and outreach in Ranchi, India
· D’Houet House – fcJ Learning & Development Centre, Manila, Philippines
· Olsen House – Salesian education and outreach in Laga, Timor Leste
· Turner House – The John Paul College Community Companion Food & Outreach Trailer