EREA Charter Leadership Awards recipients announced
On Saturday night Principals and EREA leaders gathered in Melbourne for our annual Thanksgiving Mass. At the conclusion of the mass the EREA Charter Leadership Awards were presented to the 2018 recipients.

These Awards recognise people from our school communities who exemplify the very best of what a Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition can be. The Awards attracted many nominations from across our network.

This year’s recipients are:

Justice and Solidarity – Sherrie Rodricks (St Patrick’s College, Strathfield)

Sherrie Rodricks has been a staff member at St Patrick’s College for 11 years.

During her time at the College she has been heavily involved in (and an integral part of) the awareness and development of social justice initiatives within the College Community.

Some of the many ways Sherrie demonstrates authentic leadership in support of the mission are EREA are: She is the Social Justice Action Group Facilitator at St Pat’s and coordinates the group’s magazine, ‘It’s Time’ collaborating with both students and staff members to prepare the publication; Sherrie regularly helps to organise, facilitate and participate in Social Justice Days for various cohorts; She has assisted with the Year 10 Justice Forum, where speakers from external community organisations (e.g. Catholic Mission and Women’s Refuges) attend; Supports the Year 11 Community Service Program liaising with St Vincent’s de Paul, Salvation Army shops, Red Shield Appeal, and the Blind Golf association; Sherrie was part of a group that established the College’s new sustainability garden; Assists in the organisation of various College social justice events such as Detention for Detention, Christmas Hampers for the needy, St Vincent’s de Paul Winter Appeal, Winter Sleep Out, Reconciliation Week; Organises visits to aged care facilities and visits to Lucas Gardens (a facility for students with profound disabilities); Organises the College’s involvement in Clean up Australia Day events; And if that’s not enough, outside of school time, Sherrie has organised Gala days for former refugees new to the community – particularly Sudanese kids; and Every Monday after school Sherrie attends a special homework help group in Lidcombe.

Her Principal, Craig Wattam writes:

“Sherrie is a highly respected member of staff, by both her peers and the student body. She is kind and very generous. Her calm and thoughtful manner makes colleagues and students feel at ease, welcomed and important”

Inclusive Community – Fran Harding (Deception Bay, FLC)

Fran Harding worked at Albert Park FLC from 2007 until 2015 as a Kitchen Coordinator, Families Room coordinator and Chaplain. Fran is a mother of 8, and a grandmother to many. At the age of 70, Fran resolutely completed two Government mandated units of a Diploma of Youth Work to allow her to continue her work as a Chaplain. She is well known for reaching out to each and every young person she comes into contact with, making them feel loved and valued; never forgetting a young person’s birthday, baking birthday cakes, writing letters and cards to young people and families, making home visits, preparing hospital bags for young pregnant women and welcome home packs for young teenage mothers and people setting up house for the first time. In addition, Fran wrote and delivered the Independent Living Skills unit, which is now a registered Queensland Certificate of Education Course with the QCAA.

Soon after retirement at 72 Fran was invited to work part-time at Deception Bay FLC where she has worked two days per week from 2016 – 2018, and where her love and care have once again been deeply valued in the community. In this role Fran has continued to support young people through cooking, craft and sewing classes, and one-on-one intensive literacy support, as well as continuing to bake cakes to celebrate each member of the community’s birthday, and providing wisdom, care and guidance to staff and young people alike. Fran has also recruited three elderly members of the local parish to provide weekly volunteering for the Flexi’s literacy support program.

In 2017, Fran took part in EREA’s Let’s Talk immersion, and having been deeply moved by this experience, shared her powerful insights within her school community. This experience also helped shape Fran’s recently published book: The Accidental Australians.

Perhaps the last word should come from some of the young people who supported this nomination: Fran is a beautiful soul and I wouldn’t be getting better if it wasn’t for her; She’s helped me more than anyone I’ve met in a very long time; Fran is a godsend to our community. She impacts positively on every single person, staff, young people and babies; She doesn't try to change people's lives, she just DOES change people's lives because of her total acceptance and compassion; She is like the glue that holds everyone together.

Gospel Spirituality – Trevanna Cooper (CBC Fremantle)

Trevanna Cooper has been a vital part of the CBC Fremantle Community for 37 years and in the midst of helping to champion the charism of Edmund Rice in the College, Trevanna has promoted Gospel values and spirituality for generations of students, staff and parents.

As a long time facilitator of liturgies and retreats, especially Kairos, Trevanna has modelled a strength of faith and deep love that enables students to experience God in a very profound way.

As Jeremy Peris, current staff member and Old Boy says, “Mrs Trevanna works without great fanfare, but every student and teacher she works with feels valued because of who they are and what they are doing. She helps without hesitation and guides with a gentle, but determined hand. I feel lucky to have had the support of Mrs Cooper through my time as a student of CBC Fremantle and now as a teacher here.”

In her role as Librarian, Trevanna daily models compassion, welcome and patience in all her interactions. She is constantly developing new skills to facilitate the changing needs and interests of boys. The CBC library, known as the Ideas Shop, continues to evolve and to engage students in meaningful ways.

As an active member of both the WA Edmund Rice Wisdom Group and the Edmund Rice Network, Trevanna continues to bring together all aspects of the Edmund Rice charism in the West. Her strong servant‐ leadership has encouraged the College to make links with other ministries, such as ER Mirrabooka, which works with migrants and refugees, and Tuart Place, that supports people abused in institutional care. Principal Domenic Burgio reports: “It was a moment of great joy for us as a community to have clients from Tuart Place attend our last two Eddie Rice Days. To hear one gentlemen say that “if you had told me I would ever step into a CBC school again, never mind have a lovely day, I would have laughed”, was heart‐warming.

Liberating Education – Kaleb Taylor (CBHS Lewisham)

Kaleb Taylor epitomises what it means to provide an education that is liberating and hope filled. In his role as the Aboriginal Mentor as CBHS, Kaleb has dynamically changed the landscape of the College and enhanced the cultural capacity of students, parents and staff through his great passion, vision, energy and enthusiasm.

Kaleb’s involvement in the school is not limited to his substantive role. He supports retreats, staff development days, student gatherings, traditional smoking ceremonies, reconciliation ceremonies, dance workshops, connection to country and leadership camps, music performances, Gifted and Talented Projects, social justice initiatives, school assemblies, liturgy programs and post-school programs, to name a few.

He regularly consults with and collaboratively works with the Aboriginal community and is well respected within his circle of Elders and mentors – primarily for his willingness to embrace and pass on culture so authentically. Kaleb is an emerging leader in his own community and he is person that many young people turn to for advice and inspiration.

At Lewisham, Kaleb’s contribution has been significant. Just to highlight a few of his many achievements: Each year Kaleb orchestrates a production of indigenous talent encompassing oratory, music, dance, and art at the annual NAIDOC assembly; He can often be found team-teaching across a variety of KLAs and visits classrooms as he proudly provides the platform for all to learn and be immersed in Aboriginal culture; He has introduced Aboriginal house totems and indigenous house crosses, He organises the annual Deadly Gadigal Aboriginal Gathering dinner and Awards night hosted by the school for Aboriginal families and the local mob. It is at this dinner that school proudly acknowledges the many wonderful personal achievements of Aboriginal students.

Kaleb was also involved in the development of EREA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy response document and has led workshops at a number of schools as well as unpacking this document and helping CBHS develop its own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Belief Statement.

As one colleague commented: “Kaleb’s vision and expertise sees the Liberating Education touchstone resonate strongly because of his array of talents and dynamic presence - and CBHS is the richer for it.”

Charter Leadership Awards 2018
L-R: Graham Goerke (EREA Board Chair), Kaleb Taylor (CBHS Lewisham), Trevanna Cooper (CBC Fremantle), Fran Harding (Deception Bay, FLC), Br Paul Oakley (EREA Council President), Wayne Tinsey (EREA Executive Director).
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