Year 11 Legal Studies Excursion to Dandenong Law Courts
On Thursday 12 September, the Year 11 Legal Studies class attended the Dandenong Magistrates and Drug Court. Here they witnessed two approaches to sanctioning. In the Drug Court, students had the opportunity to observe defendants who are to undertake a program aimed at rehabilitating them, breaking the cycle of crime that is underpinned by their drug use.
The students were also shown a problem-solving approach where the Magistrate takes a key role in helping the offenders to avoid jail and work towards abstinence and a clean record devoid of reoffending. This system has a 40% success rate of offenders cleaning up their act and staying out of jail. The presiding Magistrate spoke to the students about his role and explained how this is a more effective way of dealing with drugs and mental health issues rather than the traditional methods of imprisonment. He said it encourages greater accountability and supervision. The program’s immediacy swiftly providing eligible offenders with an environment that is supportive, safe and life reforming.
It was also most fortunate the students heard from a Drug Treatment Order Participant who was in attendance as part of his conditions. The man gave his perspective on the program, having had served three years in jail. He said it made him accountable, supported and he felt he was not alone. The Magistrate concluded by emphasising the destructive nature of drugs on young lives, their relationships and the community as a whole.
Finally, the students moved on to the more traditional, adversarial side of the court process. Students witnessed the reality of the custodial process of bail, contesting charges, remand, whilst also hearing the manner in which Magistrates balance the rights of the victims, rules of evidence and other factors they take into consideration when sentencing offenders.
Overall, the court visit allowed all students to see the way the legal system touches the lives of so many and how it is not as glamorous and smooth as it is represented on American crime dramas.
Mrs Sarah Blaschak-Brooks
Year 11 Legal Studies Teacher
The “Good News” for our Senior RE students
This year has seen the introduction of four new Year 10 Religious Education units.
- Jesus — Why is He so special?
- The Gospel Code
- The influence of religion on Art and Music
- The Church — Past Present and Future
Students have been novices in these courses and enjoyed the fruits of the Year 10 teachers’ labours to flesh out engaging lessons.
For example, students explore the unique words, actions and ministry of Jesus in Jesus — Why is He so special?. How was He so different from others of his time and era to the extent that actors have risked precariously hanging from a cross to depict his life, death and resurrection on the Hollywood set? If Jesus lived next door, what impact would He have on you, and your neighbourhood, and how would you feel, and the community be influenced by his presence and actions? An interesting point to ponder!
The Gospel Code unlocks the ‘secrets’ behind the author’s intent of the Gospels. Writing in such an era AD, the audience was far different, with a different lifestyle culture, and outlook on life, a time capsule removed from an audience of today. This unit steps back in time to unlock the hidden socio-cultural influences on the texts, looking also at themes the author emphasized.
Michelangelo could “see the figures” inside the marble before he sculpted it. Devout Christian Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music is heavenly at its best, full of passion and poise. Indeed, the artists and musicians of history through to today’s inspirational painters such as Sieger Koder and modern Christian musicians including evangelical rappers, all have influenced the rich tapestry of art and music and blessed us with their work. The influence of religion on Art and Music was taken on by creatively minded men and their comrades who were interested in dipping into this unit for its colour and beat!
The fourth unit, The Church: Past Present and Future, explores the early Church (its rifts, splits and reformations); the current branches of the Church in a state of flux and reform; and thirdly, students projecting their own voice, vision and contribution toward a future Church.
The other “good news” in the Religious Education department, is that these Year 10 students will have a choice in Year 11, 2020 of Unit 1 or Unit 2 Religion and Society. Unit 1 explores Australian Indigenous spirituality, from the beginning, and the introduction of other religions into Australia. The current Year 11 Unit 2 Religion and Society has a strong ethics theme weaving through it. Year 12 students will have a combined Seminar Program and Community Engagement (Ministry Options) Program launched next year also.
How privileged we are to serve our Senior Years men a holistic Curriculum, fuelling their intellectual, physical and spiritual enrichment here at De La Salle!
Ms Kathryn Holewa
LATL – Religious Education