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Edmund Rice Education
About an Edmund Rice Education
Ignatius Park College is a member of the Edmund Rice Education Australia network of 48 schools, which support over 35,000 students in all states and territories of Australia. Our College is also part of an international network of Edmund Rice schools called Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB), which teach over 200,000 students across 20 countries at over 280 schools.
An Edmund Rice Education instills lifelong values, offer a liberating education, based on a Gospel spirituality within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity. Students in Edmund Rice Education schools are connected nationally and globally to other students living the same values.
Schools in the Edmund Rice tradition offer a distinctive Catholic education philosophy. In 1802 Edmund Rice founded Mt. Sion School in Waterford, educating the youth of Ireland and starting the Christian Brothers. Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) was established in October 2007 and is the governing body of all Edmund Rice schools in Australia, which are the schools previously administered by the Christian Brothers.
All schools and educational entities in the Edmund Rice tradition across Australia are unified by a Charter which comprises touchstones giving ideals authentically linked with the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice and which underpin the ministry in the schools and educational endeavors in Church mission. The Touchstones of the Charter are: Inclusive Community, Liberating Education, Justice and Solidarity and Gospel Spirituality. These Touchstones are lived daily in every Edmund Rice school.
EREA was established with the intention of independently governing the implementation of the educational mission of the Christian Brothers in Catholic Education while empowering lay people to become increasingly involved in the leadership of the future educational work of the Brothers.
The opportunity for Edmund Rice Education Australia is to reinforce the distinctive values of Edmund Rice Education in Catholic Education through a national and unified network of schools and educational entities throughout Australia. To ensure the charism, or living spirit, of Blessed Edmund Rice could be identified in school communities, they developed four Touchstones of an Edmund Rice Education.
We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all.
We invite people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.
Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationships and committed to the common good.
Justice & Solidarity
We are committed to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spirituality of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised and the earth itself.
More information can be found at www.erea.edu.au
Who was Edmund Rice?
Born on 1 June 1762 in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, Edmund grew up in a relatively well-off Catholic family at a time when Ireland was under British rule and anti-Catholic Penal Laws were in force.
After receiving his initial education, Edmund joined his uncle's business in providing supplies for the British Navy and Army at Waterford. He became very wealthy. After his uncle's death, Edmund inherited the business and got married. Sadly, his wife died not long after giving birth to their daughter.
Edmund realised that education was essential to liberating young men from their circumstances. This led him to sell his business and begin to instruct poor boys living on the streets of Waterford. He provided food, clothing and education for 200 to 300 students. His curriculum was designed to help students work in business and commerce, and build their spiritual practice knowledge of the Bible. The opportunity to become educated changed many boys' lives.
Edmund Rice was a radical revolutionary who believed that by opening the hearts and minds of boys and young men, they would be filled with the hope that they were free to build a better life for all.
Before long he was training the men who responded to his invitation to join him in this enterprise. When Br Edmund Rice died in 1844, 117 brothers made up the small congregation that had grown up around him.
Br Patrick Ambrose Treacy was selected to lead a small community of Brothers in Australia in 1868. In 1875, the Brothers arrived in Queensland and opened St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, thus beginning their association with Queensland Education. Gregory Terrace began as the first Catholic Boys' Secondary School in the colony.
Throughout the years the Christian Brothers opened several day and boarding colleges throughout the state and in recent years have consolidated their commitment in this area. With a rich tradition in provision of education, the Brothers expanded their commitment to other ministries as well.
Pope John Paul II beatified Edmund Rice at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Rome, on 6 October 1996 and he became known as Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. His official feast day is May 5.
In October 2007, the congregation of Christian Brothers handed over governance of their schools in Australia to the board of Edmund Rice Education Australia.
“Live Jesus in Our Hearts – Forever”
Acknowledgement of Country
The Ignatius Park College Community would like to humbly acknowledge the Wulgurukaba peoples on whose land our College is located, as well as the Bindal peoples on whose land many of us live and travel across daily. We respectfully thank the elders of this traditional land both past and present for guiding us through the journey of time to where we are today.