James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange
An investment in student life and well-being
In an Australian first, James Sheahan Catholic High School has installed a state of the art, high high-performance tarmac; the most advanced acrylic sports surfacing system on the market and the only one in any school in the country.
The $750,000 Laykold Masters GEL surface covers 6,000 square metres and provides a performance based, force reduction and high energy return, to reduce fatigue and improve recovery times.
Peter Meers, School Principal, believes the new courts are an investment in infrastructure, and equally, an investment in student life and well-being.
“As a Catholic school we live our faith, and as teachers, we strive to deliver a first class education to our students. At Sheahan, we also understand that physical well-being, teamwork and pursuing ‘personal best’ are critical to preparing our students to face life’s challenges and meet life’s opportunities with courage and grace”, said Mr Meers.
“This wonderful facility enriches the Sheahan school journey. We feel blessed to be able to provide it and the kids love it!”.
Sheahan on a mission!
Year 8 students spent two months this year learning about Catholic Mission Australia and why we, as Catholics, are obliged to serve and to assist others. This culminated in a Catholic Mission Expo held on 31st October, when students had just two hours to raise awareness and as much money as they could for Catholic Mission.
Exploring the 2017 World Mission Month Appeal, Y8 examined the current plight of children and women in Bujuni, Uganda; Pope Francis’ call to mission; the School’s principal Mercy and Lasallian values of courage, compassion and hope; and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. This was carried out as a Project Based Learning activity and led up to the authentic experience of hosting the Expo.
Students created resources such as posters, brochures and banners reflecting the issues in Uganda and the reasons behind our obligation to serve others. This was also a project for Y11 Catholic Studies students, who learn about this before Y8 start this topic and then create a 50-minute lesson to teach to Y8 students, as their introduction to Catholic Mission and the Expo. Y11 is also part of the support on the day of the Expo. This year they ran a stand that used Catholic Mission’s ‘360VR boxes’ giving interested visitors a 360-degree sight and sound experience of Uganda.
As part of the Expo, the students also designed fundraising activities which included ‘Pin the Hair on Mr Pauschmann’ (the Principal), sponge throwing and a range of other games, and a sausage sizzle and other food stalls. Thanks to the support of the entire school community, who are encouraged to visit the Expo, $3,227.70 was raised!
We were privileged to have Bishop McKenna open the Expo with a mini-liturgy this year and also welcomed many other special guests including Fr Greg Bellamy, Sr Helen Saunders, Mr Angelo Belmonte, Mrs Lorraine Short, Br Peter McIntosh (former Principal at JSCHS), Br Colin Griffin and Ms Sally Neaves (Rahamim). Catholic Mission’s Mr Marcello Marchesini, filmed the event and interviewed participates and this will be available on YouTube shortly!
The Diocese of Bathurst’s Director of Catholic Mission, Mr Mike Deasy, also assisted with and attended the Expo. He extended his congratulations to the Y8 students and the teachers in the RE Department for the time and energy invested in the organisation, planning and presentation of the Expo and the transformation of the School’s quadrangle into a ‘mission information marketplace’.
“Catholic Mission was once again very appreciative of being associated with such a successful mission awareness event at James Sheahan Catholic High School during World Mission Month”, he said
Sri Lanka Mission Team
Fifteen students and three teachers from James Sheahan are taking on a mission to help disadvantaged children in schools in Sri Lanka. The students will travel to war-affected Mannar in northern Sri Lanka to help in 10 schools run by the De La Salle Brothers Catholic teaching order. The De La Salle brothers have a strong association with James Sheahan, having founded the school alongside the Sisters of Mercy. This annual mission experience is self-funded and the students fundraise throughout the year to purchase educational resources for the children.
Sponsor Child Fundraiser
During the first week back at school this year the James Sheahan students were involved in a fundraiser to sponsor three children; Hellen from Guatemala, Jeremy from Indonesia and Olivia from India. The fundraiser, organised by our Mission Leaders, Hannah Khalil and Caleb Hewitt, involved students drawing a large scale map of the countries these children were from and each year group covering the map in coins.
$2,100 was raised through this initiative, which is enough to sponsor each child for 12 months. This money will go towards helping remove the children and their families from poverty through access to food and clean water, education and medical care.
Christmas Gift Appeal 2015
In the lead up to Christmas 2015, James Sheahan students organised a Christmas Gift Appeal for children of the Orange community. These gifts made Christmas brighter for many local families and were delivered by St Vincent de Paul. Students coordinated this within roll call groups and each group was responsible for purchasing and wrapping the gifts. The spirit of giving demonstrated by the students was overwhelming, with over $4,000 donated. The gifts ranged from bikes, scooters, dolls and doll houses through to nappies, school bags and stationary supplies.
During 2015 James Sheahan students organised and participated in a local all-schools Blood Drive. Over the course of two terms, 87 students donated blood, saving 247 lives.
This is a tradition the students would like to continue, with Y11 students training to become Red Cross Youth Ambassadors and organising groups of three students each week to donate blood. This is particularly important during winter months when donations from the public substantially decrease. The students are aiming to save 400 lives during the 2016 Blood Drive.