A Lived Mission
Papua New Guinea Immersion – 2019
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.1 Peter 4:10
Mission is central to who we are as Lasallians. Service to the “least, the last and the lost” is what we identify with. Our hope is to always expose our students to different cultures where there is great need, and to continue to grow their understanding of the concept of “Lasallians Without Borders”.
As many members of our College community know, last year the “Yaluwo” Immersion to Sri Lanka was postponed due to the sad and unfortunate Easter Bombings. Given that security warnings from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Australian High Commission in Colombo, Smart Traveller and the College’s travel insurers, it was felt to be in the best interest of student safety that the Immersion to Sri Lanka was put on hold for 2019.
However, as an alternative, were fortunate enough through contact with the De La Salle Brothers in Papua New Guinea to establish an alternative arrangement for the 2019 Year 12 group to travel to De La Salle Secondary School, in Bomana.
It was wonderful to travel to with a group of 16 students who were committed to making a difference to the community at Bomana and also to the staff who committed their time and support to our students and the community at Bomana.
Travelling with a large group of students and staff with their hearts in the right place is always profound. If there is one thing to take away from such an experience it is that whilst we can’t always do everything, we can do something, and we can do it well.
The group worked tirelessly day in and day out re-building the old Chapel on the school grounds. A complete team effort support by four local Papua New Guinean tradesmen that supported us on site each day.
Our work also included sanding down and re-painting three classrooms.
The people of Papua New Guinea, and especially the community at Bomana must be thanked for their warmth, hospitality and generosity of spirit. St John Baptist de La Salle reminds us to “often ask God for the Grace to touch hearts,” but was us who left with our hearts touched and spirits moved by the staff and students at De La Salle, Bomana.
Enough cannot be said of the ways each of us was challenged to aspire to be more than we are. Our evening reflections were moments of personal encounter with one another and God, and as a group, kindled the Lasallian spirit within us. Our hearts were touched immensely by the honesty and depth of this sharing.
I wish to thank and acknowledge the following young men for choosing to participate in the Immersion at the end of Year 12, taking up the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the community at De la Salle Secondary School, Bomana;
Oliver Barr, Nathan Barrow, Ben Gibson, Matthew Damches, Liam Jenkins, Tom Kelly, Joel May, Wes Mendes, Morgan Morffew, Ben Nason, Michael O’Dwyer, Kristoff Soliven, Patrick Stanhope, Eli Te Moni, Joseph Ward and Tom Williamson.
Also, the following staff for their commitment and time given to our students and for the way they supported the students and the immersion the entire time we were away; Ms Georgina Dwyer, Ms Lucy Russell, and Mr Chas Thompson. Their constant support, collegiality and care for the students is a demonstration of what it means to have a true Lasallian heart.
Ms Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal — Faith and Mission