Students, staff and parents across the junior and secondary campuses of Southern Cross Catholic College in Brisbane have united in a shared celebration to mark the Feast Day of the school's patron, Mary Help of Christians.
The celebrations are held each year on May 24 and coincide with Reconciliation Week when communities around Australia remember the anguish felt by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who were part of the stolen generations.
Mary Help of Christians is the Patron of Australia and students learned more about how the infant Church in Australia turned to Mary when there were few Catholic priests in the country and the Rosary helped to keep the faith alive.
On Patrons Day, students led a ceremonial dance to honour Indigenous Australians and the artwork on display had a strong Australian theme, featuring a Rainbow Serpent alongside the icon of Mary of the Southern Cross.
Students, staff and parents also joined in games on the beach and college oval before coming together for a BBQ lunch.
On Thursday 26 May, the college community also marked National Sorry Day, flying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at half-mast to remember the ongoing anguish felt by the stolen generations.
Southern Cross College has a proud commitment to Indigenous Education, reflected in its Garanyali program.
This includes an afterschool homework club and other initiatives aimed at promoting a culturally inclusive and supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the school.