Director of Faith & Religious Studies

As part of Salesian College Sunbury’s ongoing commitment to advocating social justice issues through the promotion of Gospel values and a life centered on the person of Jesus Christ, we endeavor to provide students with opportunities that allow them to gain a sense of solidarity and connectedness to organisations that work within our local community. These organisations are focused on the direct welfare of those who are marginalised and/or experiencing personal hardship.

For many years now, the College has formed a strong relationship with a number of charitable organisations within the community; in particular the St Vincent De Paul Society.  Our “Winter Woolies”, “Tinnies for Vinnies”, Christmas hamper and toy appeals are now well known throughout our college community. The generosity shown by our families to actively support these appeals has been much appreciated by the St Vincent De Paul Society and their branch here in Sunbury.

In the past two years, senior students have also attended Ozanam Community Centre is North Melbourne. It is a service of VincentCare Victoria and provides a wide range of support programs to homeless and marginalised men and women.

Our students have been attending Ozanam Community Centre on a Friday to offer assistance serving the lunchtime meal to clients who access VincentCare. With resources often stretched, Ozanam Community Centre has appreciated the support the college has provided in numerous ways. Just as important is the exposure our students get to the hardship and personal crises that many people face on a daily basis. I know that a number of our students often return from their community service activity very reflective of what they have encountered and are willing to declare their intention of wanting to “do more”. This is heartening to see and hear in our young people.

With this in mind, the College wishes to demonstrate its support for Ozanam Community Centre and their associated services. You may have heard recent radio advertisements promoting St Vincent De Paul’s Society “big winter sleep out” aimed at executives of companies inviting them to sleep rough for a night to experience what it may feel like for the many vulnerable and marginalized in our society who face this hardship on a daily basis. We too feel that it is also appropriate to extend this activity and experience to our students as well.

Last year we had our first “winter sleep out” here at the college, which raised much needed food supplies for Ozanam Community Centre. This year we intend to undertake the winter sleep out again on Friday 16 June.

Ozanam Community Centre are looking this year for Coles Myer Gift Cards of any donated amount. Due to Ozanam Community Centre undergoing an 18-month major renovation, the need to stock the pantry for food parcels has been replaced by clients and support staff going shopping to buy the essential items clients need.

The college is committed to supporting VincentCare. The sleep out by students and staff is one way of doing this. We intend to donate gift cards on the evening to the representative of Ozanam Community Centre as our way of supporting this vital service. 

If you would like to donate a Coles-Myer Gift Card to Ozanam Community Centre, please contact me directly on 9744 0058.

Stephen Connelly
Director of Faith and Religious Education