College News

Care for Creation

Throughout 2020,  St Mary’s College Ipswich will reflect on the theme Care for Creation. Staff and students are encouraged to find ways to live the theme each day, caring for the environment, themselves and each other.

Year 12 student Hannah Stoakes has designed artwork to reflect this idea and capture the spirit of the theme. “Last year I was approached by (Assistant Principal Religious Education) Ms Hammond – who often noticed me sketching in class – and was give the opportunity to design an image for the theme. I jumped right on board and was eager to start,” Hannah said. “I was given complete creative freedom, which was challenging because I feared doing it wrong. In the end, one of my sketches from the idea brainstorming was approved and I worked on improving it to what it is now.”

The image features hands sheltering the Earth and seedling to protect it and help it grow. The hands have been left untouched, with no colour or markings to make them representative of everyone at St Mary’s College. The Rosary drapes over the hands to symbolise the College’s Catholic heritage, and the sprout represents the hope for creation which we aim to protect.

Hannah’s artwork is featured on the cover of the Student Handbook, acting as a daily reminder to practise Care for Creation. “When I was informed that my design would be used as the art for the cover of the handbook I was shocked and ecstatic! It was nerve racking to start the year and see this image that I created everywhere, but I was surrounded by people who supported me,” she said. “Mainly, I’m just honoured that I was given that opportunity to express myself through my art and create something for others to enjoy.”

As a school community, St Mary’s College is engaging in several initiatives to Care for Creation. Containers for Change bins have been introduced to the school grounds, allowing plastic bottles and cans to be recycled, as well as raising money for local charities. Students are encouraged to dispose of all their litter responsibly using the correct bins, and to try and minimise the amount of packaging they bring in their lunchboxes.

Students will also focus on caring for each other – God’s creations. College Captain Daniele Stark has asked all students to focus on small acts of kindness to build a more caring community. “Smile at your peers, guide those who are lost, hold the door open for someone. These small acts have the power to change someone’s life, even if it’s just for a few seconds,” Daniele said.

Personally, Hannah is committed to honouring the theme. “In the mindset that even the smallest things can make a difference, my family and I strongly believe in the principle of  reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle,” she said. “We grow and produce various ingredients ourselves including herbs, eggs and vegetables, add food scraps to the worm garden to be broken down and used as fertiliser, and reuse, repurpose and recycle what we can.”