CBC Fremantle | In Touch

Developing global leaders

"Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationships and committed to the common good."

At CBC, every term we focus on one of the four Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Touchstones that capture the charism of our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice.

This term we highlighted the Touchstone Inclusive Community, which celebrates the diversity of our local neighbourhood while embracing the global perspective.

In our small pocket of Fremantle, what this means for the young men at CBC is that we foster and nourish an environment where everybody feels safe, secure and accepted. By getting it right in our corner of the universe, we can look outward to other communities, other countries, other people – 'the other' that we often allude to – because we are all God's children and we all have inherent dignity.

As part of Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders we are engaged with an international community of Catholic schools educating young people from many different faiths and cultures in more than 20 nations around the world. We provide opportunities for our students to stand in solidarity with people from all walks of life and to particularly experience profound shifts in awareness of the plight of the marginalised, the exploited and the underprivileged who do not have a voice of their own. We do this in order to develop tomorrow's strong, compassionate and generous citizens and leaders committed to the common good.

This week our Year 11 students have been thinking hard about their futures as community leaders and men of substance. They are currently engaged in selecting the Prefects and Captains of 2020, which involves writing and presenting persuasive speeches to their cohort in preparation for the election process. This is not an easy task, requiring confidence, self-reflection, authenticity, astuteness and a great deal of courage. Above all, the challenge requires a passion to serve their community. There are all sorts of leaders – quiet and unassuming leaders, loud and dynamic leaders, in-between leaders – but the fire of service is alight in all of them.

As a huge fan of sport, like many others, I watched Steve Waugh's incredible cricket career roller-coaster through the decades until his retirement in 2004. In his early days, Steve Waugh was an enigma – a talented, yet at times underperforming cricketer, who appeared very insular. Despite this shaky start, he went on to receive a number of top honours at the international level of the sport. He is considered one of the most successful Australian cricket captains of all time – his achievements include leading his team to a record breaking 16 consecutive Test victories. Despite a modest start to his test career as a batsman, he is one of only 13 players in the history of the game to have scored more than 10,000 Test runs.

Waugh was always cool and collected both on and off the field, and his unorthodox decisions as a captain sometimes earned him criticism, but they were more often than not crucial to the success of the team. He was prepared to put it all on the line; he led with grit and determination.

As incredible as his sporting achievements are, it is the man behind the mask who most affects me, because Steve Waugh was a leader in all aspects of his life. It was while he was in India that Waugh visited a community and experienced a profound shift in his social justice perspective. He was fortunate to meet Mother Teresa and his determination to help make the world a better place became his major focus after he put his decidedly shabby baggy green cap to rest. From the simple step of sponsoring a World Vision child, within three decades he had discerned where he thought the greatest need was and the Steve Waugh Foundation now provides incredible and invaluable ongoing support to children who are suffering from rare medical conditions.

A leader responds to the needs of the community. Steve Waugh was a brilliant captain because he not only had the urge to beat the opposition but also go beyond the limitations of his self, his team, the game, the world. He was a man of Inclusive Community, beyond borders; Australian of the Year in 2004, but a man of the world. There are no boundaries with a true leader – Steve Waugh still serves the global community with the same quiet attention to detail that led the Australian cricket team through one of its truly golden eras.

INCLUSIVITY AT CBC

At CBC during Term 3 we honoured Inclusive Community with several events. Our Family Mass, invited our parents, students and staff of diverse faiths and backgrounds to gather together at St Patrick's Basilica to celebrate Mass. The Year 8 Retreat was facilitated by our Year 11 students, and the focus of the day was for boys to identify and develop their unique talents and how they all contribute to the community.

We are particularly proud of our Immersion programme at CBC. Immersions tick all the EREA Touchstone boxes – Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarity, Liberating Education and Gospel Spriituality. Students learn not only about the cultures in which they are immersed, but also about themselves and each other. Our Kiwirrkurra Immersion students returned at the beginning of Term 3, with the international immersions to Peru and the Philippines leaving in a few weeks' time for their great adventures. These incredible experiences provide valuable lessons in faith, leadership, service and inclusivity amongst many, many others, and we are grateful to the staff who make this happen for and to the communities who welcome our boys.

As educators of the leaders of tomorrow, as a faith community that seeks to follow the example of the greatest humanitarian in history, and with the support of our CBC families, we will continuously work towards a global community where everyone can feel included and accepted. Everyone – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, financial status, religion, race or football team. We don't always get it right, and there are many reasons why. Some people are naturally reluctant to speak up and hide their differences or are ashamed of a perceived inadequacy. History cast a shadow over minority groups and keeping a low profile has been a matter of survival for many people over the ages. We must learn from the heinous mistakes of the past, we must care for each other and we must develop leaders who will approach the future with genuine love and compassion for everyone in their community.

Neil Alweyn
Vice Principal – Mission and Identity


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