Posted by Jordan Grantham
on 14 December 2018
The Lasallian Mission Council honoured its 2018 Lasallian Volunteers with a celebratory Mass and Dinner on Saturday 8 December 2018 at The Centre, a heritage retreat and conference venue in Randwick, eastern Sydney.
Over 50 friends and supporters gathered at the end of a yearlong adventure to thank these eight generous full-time volunteers, who bravely spent a post-secondary year transforming the lives of the most underprivileged.
Joanne Nehme, Lasallian Volunteers Coordinator, Amanda Proulx, Assistant Director of Formation and Joel Harriss, Lasallian Youth Minister from St James College, Bentleigh East led a four-day debrief session with volunteers, on the theme of Painting 2018 and Beyond.
The debrief assists Lasallian Volunteers in the considerable transition back to home life after the energy and action of their year of service.
The painting theme was sustained and developed with activities and presentations revolving around painting as an analogy for the development of character and identity.
Each volunteer had the opportunity to share their story on the group and consider how they had grown, as well as potential challenges in the next stage of life.
Significant artworks would focus their attentions for different workshops.
Joel Harriss was himself a 2017 Lasallian Volunteer at La Salle College, Middle Head, Perth, went through previous debrief formation sessions and could share from his knowledge of navigating these formative years and experiences.
"He did phenomenally well in facilitating the program," Amanda Proulx told Lasallian Outlook.
"His personality and natural gifts made him perfect for the program. He really stepped up to the plate and did a great job."
Lydia Avia-Aumua, a Learning and Development Consultant came from yourtown's Brisbane offices, came to present a workshop on self-care, such as managing mental and physical health. Lydia also spoke at the Lasallian Volunteer induction in January when they underwent a week-long
induction program in Sydney covering their roles as Lasallian volunteers, the importance of prayer and reflection and child protection legislation.
Workshops included physical activities, journaling, painting, music, prayer, reflection on scripture and sharing of experiences.
The volunteers were honoured with a farewell Mass celebrated for their intentions by the Parish Priest of Randwick, Fr Peter Hearn MSC and by the presence of senior leaders in the Lasallian family, including Br David Hawke FSC, Brother Visitor of the De La Salle Brothers District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea and Mr Merv McCormack, Executive Director of the Lasallian Mission Council.
Each Lasallian Volunteer was recognised as a wonderful representative of their families, schools and countries.
Matthew Apuda and Rodwill Joe volunteered at La Salle College, Middle Swan in Western Australia, especially assisting Indigenous boarding students. Matthew graduated from De La Salle College, Mangere East (NZ) in 2015 and Rodwill graduated from La Salle Technical College, Hohola, Papua New Guinea in 2016.
Franco De Joya and Lachlan Stewart volunteered at De La Salle College, Mangere East (NZ). After graduating from Oakhill College and Southern Cross Catholic College, Scarborough, Queensland, respectively, in 2017.
Matthew Murrie, Cameron Streeter and Hamish Dykstra volunteered at La Salle Technical College, Hohola, Papua New Guinea. Matt completed his second year as a Lasallian Volunteer after graduating from Oakhill College in 2016. Cameron and Hamish are 2017 graduates of Oakhill College and John Paul College, Rotorua, respectively.
Scott Lealaisalanoa volunteered at yourtown St. Mary's and the Bankstown Community in western Sydney. Scott graduated from De La Salle College, Mangere East in 2015 and has completed his third year as a Lasallian Volunteer, after serving at La Salle Technical College, Hohola and Luurnpa Catholic School, Balgo.