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Beyond the Classroom

The FIRE Carrier Program

16 May 2024

Bunurong Schools Commissioning Day 

24th April 2024

The eight schools in the Bunurong Schools partnership (Family School Partnerships in the Frankston area) and staff from Padua College gathered at John Paul College, Frankston, for their Commissioning Ceremony. The day began with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by the Bunurong Elders. We then proceeded indoors for the Commissioning Ceremony, where each school contributed their altar cloths to the shared altar.

Over a hundred students participated in the morning event, and the new FIRE Carrier students and staff were commissioned to become future FIRE Carriers.

What is the JPC FIRE Carrier Program?

By FIRE Carrier student leader Samanatha 

The dream of the FIRE carrier program is to promote respect, fairness, and inclusion for the Aboriginal people. At John Paul College and our Bunurong cluster schools we have many students taking part in the FIRE carrier program, every year we all take part in a number of excursions which help strengthen our knowledge about the Aboriginal peoples, often these are led by elders from the local community. FIRE carrier students are students who share a passion for learning about Aboriginal culture and history and are committed to sharing this knowledge and promoting reconciliation within and beyond our school community.  

Fire is the heart of aboriginal culture; it represents the spiritual connection between individuals to mother earth and ancestors. It is around the fire that dream time stories are told and laws are taught. The three core values of the FIRE carriers are: 


Cultural recognition and Awareness 

And practical reconciliation and justice'

What is the FIRE Carrier Charity?

By FIRE Carrier student leader Abby 

'The opening the doors foundation is an organisation led by the 1st nation community and supports education for aboriginal students. It allows students to fully participate in activities and education. They also support the child’s family with the correct uniform, schoolbooks, IT equipment, stationary, support for the parents for the child future, plus other essentials. 

By providing support and being led by the wishes of families and on the ground Aboriginal support networks, students are able to attend the school of their choice, with correct uniform and equipment. This is vital to the self esteem of our young ones.

​The achievement of a successful and culturally appropriate academic experience allows the potential to radically alter the systemic and generational disadvantage currently being experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The goal of this organisation is that indigenous youth will be proud of their ability to learn and that they can make a positive impact on their community, no matter their race.'