LEADERSHIP in “the Marist tradition” was in the spotlight recently.
More than 30 students representing eight Queensland schools spent a weekend in Brisbane from January 22-24 in leadership formation before school resumed.
Schools represented included not only host Marist College Ashgrove but also Mt Maria College, Mitchelton; Trinity College, Beenleigh; St Teresa’s College, Noosaville; St Peter Claver College, Riverview; Chanel College, Gladstone; Marist College, Emerald; and St Augustine’s College, Cairns.
Co-ordinator of the Young Marists in Brisbane Christian Nobleza described the environment of the weekend as “unique”.
“Leaders from … Marist-affiliated schools and colleges across Queensland … meet each other and gain an understanding of the Marist story, its spirituality and mission,” he said of the annual event.
“By combining guest speakers, dynamic conversations, team-building activities and engaging prayer experiences, the gathering enabled participants to unpack different styles and understandings of leadership in creative ways.
“Across the weekend, there were also opportunities where the student leaders could develop personal goals for the year ahead, as well as cast out a vision for what their leadership would look like in their respective school communities during 2010.”
One of the weekend’s highlights was the commissioning Mass celebrated by Passionist Father David King.
“The Mass was particularly significant because for the first time we were able to have a large number of Marist Brothers partake in the occasion,” Christian said.
“… And it really served to highlight the co-responsibility that both the brothers and student leaders share in advancing the Marist story in this time and place.
“To symbolise this, the four local superiors of the Marist Brothers communities around the Brisbane area commissioned and anointed the student leaders with blessed oil.”
After the Mass the student leaders and invited guests shared in a “formal dinner” with the launch of the annual Marist Solidarity Campaign.
“It’s a major initiative each year which seeks to directly connect Marist-affiliated schools throughout Australia with the projects and communities within the thirteen countries in the Asia-Pacific region where the Marist Brothers have a presence,” Christian said.
Australian Institute of Management Young Manager of the Year and former school captain of Mt Maria College, Mitchelton, Allison White was the keynote speaker for the event.
“We were keen to involve Allison because of her own connection to the Marist story,” Christian said. “(This) … continued after she graduated from Mt Maria when she took part in an immersion experience in Cambodia and more recently with her involvement with the Marist Solidarity Office in Brisbane.
“The students were enthused and challenged by Allison to think about what difference they could make in their school communities through the leadership roles.”
The Vocations and Marist Life Team of the Marist Brothers Sydney Province traditionally hosts the annual gathering.
Student leaders will next meet in such numbers in October.
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