The Social Justice initiatives at St Mary’s College are guided by the work and leadership of our APRIM (Assistant Religious Identity and Mission) and our Social Justice Coordinator. We have a student leadership team who initiate and drive a lot of the student activities. Alongside this there is a strong link with the Religious Education curriculum with each year level having a specific focus. These foci include areas such as understanding homelessness, poverty, eco-justice, indigenous perspectives and micro-credit. Throughout the year we support our local chapter of Vinnies and the Moore Street Centre for homeless.

In Year 11, our students have the opportunity to participate in Service Learning. This is a week long program that sees students assigned to work in community organisations such as nursing homes, Meals on Wheels, Hutt St Centre. In addition to this students can apply for one of three immersion experiences – Oak Valley indigenous community in Maralinga area of remote SA; Vietnam in Ho Chi Min City at the Phu My Orphanage and Cambodia in Battambang at the Matakaruna Centre. The relationships with these three communities has been forged over many years and St Mary’s College is seen as a valued partner in their work. The reflection of the students engaged in all of these service and immersion experiences reinforce the value of such experiences in opening the eyes of young people to a life beyond what is their usual experience.

Clare Nocka