20 October 2023

Mary MacKillop Leadership Retreat

Mary MacKillop Leadership Retreat

We are excited to share with you an incredible journey embarked upon by our dedicated 2024 MacKillop House and Vice captains (Captains). As part of our ongoing commitment to empower our student leaders and deepen their understanding of the inspirational figure of Mary MacKillop, our captains recently had the unique opportunity to visit iconic spots (significant to Mary MacKillop’s journey) in Melbourne, the city where Mary MacKillop's inspiring legacy began.

Mary MacKillop, a remarkable woman and a revered figure in Australian history, dedicated her life to providing education and care to those in need, especially in rural and underserved areas. Her incredible story of resilience, compassion, and unwavering faith has continued to inspire generations, making her a fitting role model for our school community.

To provide our house captains with a more profound insight into Mary MacKillop's life and work, they embarked on a journey to Melbourne, a city that holds a significant place in her history. During their visit, they had the opportunity to explore various sites associated with Mary MacKillop, including Providence House the very first property the Josephite Sisters owned, today it is the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre.

The journey began with a visit to St. Francis’ Church where Mary MacKillop was baptised and made her first Communion. We then moved onto what is Called First Providence-this is where Mary MacKillop established a night school for children and providence for unemployed women. The sisters would distribute soup and clothing (it was Melbourne’s first soup kitchen). It was here where Mary MacKillop's journey as an educator and advocate for the underprivileged began. Our house captains had the privilege of walking in her footsteps, visiting her former schoolhouse, (Cumberland Place School also known as the Catholic Poor School), and learning about the challenges she faced in her mission to provide education to all.

We also visited “Little Lon” a very quaint place now but not in Mary MacKillop’s time. This area was riddled with filth, disease, degenerate and corrupt people.

Mary MacKillop's work in Little Lon, a poverty-stricken area of Melbourne, is a testament to her unwavering commitment to helping the most vulnerable in society. In the late 19th century, she and her Sisters of Saint Joseph set up a school and provided much-needed education to the underprivileged children of the area.

Our guide shared stories and insights about Mary MacKillop's life, struggles, and her unwavering commitment to the welfare of others. This first-hand experience has provided our Captains with a deeper and more personal connection to the remarkable story of Mary MacKillop.

Our Captains returned from our journey to Melbourne with hearts full of inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose. Their experience has not only enriched their understanding of Mary MacKillop but has also provided them with the tools to inspire and empower their fellow students. They are now better equipped to share her story and her values, promoting the importance of compassion, education, and faith within our school community.

As we continue to draw from the teachings and example set by Mary MacKillop, we are excited to see our Captains take on an even more prominent role in our school, guiding their peers with the wisdom and insight they have gained from their recent journey.

We look forward to the positive impact this experience will have on our school community and are proud to see our Captains growing as leaders who exemplify the values and principles set by Mary MacKillop. Her legacy lives on through their dedication and their ability to inspire those around them.

In the words of Mary MacKillop, "Never see a need without doing something about it." Our captains have taken this message to heart, and we are eager to witness the positive changes they will bring to our school community as they share Mary MacKillop's story and legacy with their peers.

Some thoughts from our 2024 MacKillop House and Vice Captains.

I really enjoyed our excursion to Melbourne. I thought that the tour to learn about Mary MacKillop's life was really unique and interesting. I found her story really inspiring, and when I discovered she lived so close to my home her story resonated with me even more. I found the ancient artifacts really interesting, and I loved seeing the beautiful architecture and stained glass of the church. 2024 Vice-Captain-Grace Dowie

On Monday we went up to Melbourne where we met with a lady named Anna who’s passionate about Mary MacKillop. She took us for a walk around East Melbourne and we stopped at significant spots to learn a little bit of history about her and the massive impact she had on Victoria and Australia. My personal highlight was learning about the first school that Mary opened and how that really Snowballed into opening many schools. Overall it was an interesting day in which I learnt heaps and had a lot of fun along the way. 2024 Vice-Captain-Tucker Kooloos

On Monday the 30th 4 Mackillop House Captains and vice Captains accompanied by Mrs TP and Ms Losi made their way up to Melbourne. The mission was simple, learn and immerse ourselves into the life of our House Saint Mary MacKillop. Before making the journey up there I had just assumed that Mary was just like every other Saint, she prayed every day, occasionally helped poor people and just went about her life. What I didn't know was just how much she did for her community and the wider Australian population, how much adversary she overcame, how much she had going against her. learning about how Mary MacKillop lived her life so humbly and with the interests of everyone else but herself at heart was truly inspiring. As the day continued to move along my admiration for what she accomplished in her life continued to grow. Overall, it was a successful day and I return to my everyday school life knowing much more about our amazing Saint and a newfound determination to continue her legacy.

2024 House Captain Meg Swinton

On Monday the 30th of October, my fellow house captains and I made the trip up to Melbourne to take part in an informational trip to the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre. Throughout the day we visited the many places Mary spent her time and learned some valuable information that is going to help us share Mary's story with our peers back at school. The day was full of so much information which helped us understand the way that Mary lived and the things that she did for her community as well as the people she visited on her travels. It was a great learning experience that influenced me to support others like she did and I will encourage my peers to serve others like she did too. 2024 House Captain Taj Don