Catholic Life - Social Justice and Youth Ministry



St Joseph's immersion experiences

Each year at St Joseph’s we take students in Year 11 on transformative immersion experiences to places where life is very different to here on the central coast. We travel simply and with open hearts to serve however we can. In 2017 students travelled to Mumbai in India and to Warmun in Western Australia.

India ReflectionsIndia reflections

“Going to India was like entering a new world. We were confronted by things we had never seen before, with new places, food, people and heat.”

“Looking back on my experience in India I have learned that our world is so incredibly big which makes my problems seem so small.”

“My most surprising moment came from the people living in the slums of Mumbai.  These people had very little - their homes were nothing more than the cubby houses we used to make in the backyard when I was little, just tin and wood pallets. They were very basic yet families lived here. I expected these places to feel sad or the people living here to be angry or depressed but reality was the complete opposite. These families were full of joy, welcoming us into their homes, they had such strong family units. It really highlighted how different our society is - we spend our lives wanting more, more money, more material things but never feeling fulfilled with what we have. These people had nothing but they had joy and love - they were happy with each other. We can learn so much from these people - rather than thinking those new shoes or that new dress will make you happy just choose to be happy. No amount of material things will ever fill your heart - better to just make the conscious choice to look at everything you do have in your life now - not what you don't.”

“India is an amazingly beautiful and unique country but it's the people that make this immersion such an amazing and rewarding experience. Not only did we meet such great kids over our stay but we learnt a great deal about ourselves - our resilience to cope in confronting situations and how rich our lives are. We live blessed lives and we should be thankful for all our opportunities and for all we have, especially our families and our friends.”

Warmun Reflections 2017

Warmun reflections2“I cannot explain enough how much this trip meant to us students. Not only were we opened to new exciting experiences but the connections we made with the Indigenous community will never be forgotten. I think we can agree that this trip has inspired us immensely and opened our hearts to the Aboriginal community and their amazing culture.”

“My experience from the immersion had a massive impact on my view of the Indigenous culture and the tight connection they had as a community and to their land. One thing that stood out for me was the two-way system which was taught in the school where the students were educated about both Aboriginality spirituality and Christianity, creating a religious foundation for the community to encourage and support future relationships between the different cultures.”

“The land that Gija people had once walked freely upon for thousands of years was pastoralised in the late 19th century – fenced off and divided into cattle stations, forcing the Gija people off their land and more often than not into slavery. These large cattle stations are obviously still in oiperation and one of them, Lissadell Station, is managed by the parents of a couple of white students who attend the school.

My story is concerned with the wisdom of a little Gija boy called Johnny. Johnny is a cheeky little kid with the widest and most infectious smile you’ll ever see and I was privileged one morning to hear about his weekend adventures.  Some talked about fishing down at the river and others talked about what games they had played in the streets. Then a couple of the Abiriginal boys piped up and said “We went hunting on Mackenzies land”. Without hesitation, johnny replied, “Nah, nah, that’s our land and it always will be!"

For a little boy, still so young, to be so confident and proud in making such a statement, truly hit home to me the strength of their connection to land and how they have suffered through dispossesion of it. Johnny’s statement is a testimony that these kids, despite their dreadful history and constant challenges, are an inspiration and source of strength”.

Australian Catholic Youth Festival   

ACYFThe ACYF is a national gathering of Catholic young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia.

The ACYF will take place at Sydney Showgrounds in Homebush from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th December 2017. Students attending the ACYF will miss two school days.

St Joseph’s Catholic College is committed to a large-scale engagement of our students with the ACYF. We believe it to be a vital opportunity to encourage our students in their faith and involvement in the life of the church.

At St Joseph’s we are inviting all students from Years 9, 10, 11 to attend the festival. The students will be prepared before the festival, supervised by our staff during the festival and given opportunities after the festival for reflective evaluation.

Transport: We intend use bus transport. The school will cover the cost of bus transport. Exact details will be available once we have a clear idea of total numbers travelling. Departure time will be around 7 am. The bus will return to the school around 10.30 pm.

Dress: Students will be required to wear appropriate casual clothes for a church event.

Cost:  3 Day Registration $250 per student (No partial registration is possible)


1.       Complete the attached Expression of Interest and Consent form

2.       Hand it in to the finance office along with $50 holding deposit to secure a place for your daughter.

3.       Once the school receives your daughter’s form and deposit they will register her online.

4.       We will then communicate further details with you as we move closer to the festival.

If you have any questions about the festival please contact Mr Kendall Perriam or Mrs Fiona Green at school on 4324 4022. We look forward to our students having an inspirational experience at the festival that they will remember for years to come and we hope that your daughter is able to be a part of this experience.



We thank our school and parish communities for your incredibly generous donations to our Social Justice project #itsinthebag. We were overwhelmed by the huge response we received to our request. We received nearly 200 beautiful bags filled with quality products that have been carefully selected to meet the needs of women and to bring joy. The bags have been picked up from school and delivered to two local organisations for them to be distributed. Here is the letter I received from Brooke Law, a volunteer for Share the Dignity

“I wanted to thank you and your extremely generous students for donated such beautiful bags filled with love and compassion.  Your donation was able to supply a Wyong Charity with its wish for 100 bags, which they will deliver to women and teenage girls who will attend their Christmas lunch.  Furthermore your donation also supplied another local women's charity with 92 bags.  All in all 192 bags, Wow!!

Thank you so much, I'm moved by the generosity within our local communities.  Organisations such as Share the Dignity cannot survive if not for the kindness of schools such as yours.  Please extend my heartfelt thanks to your school community.  School mentors and parents should be very proud of these young women.

Thank you for helping in sharing the dignity.”

Fiona Green
Youth Ministry Coordinator

#itsinthebag4  #itsinthebag3  #itsinthebag2  

Thank you Year 12 2016 for your very kind donation

coast shelter thank you

STUMP 2016

An inner city Social Justice Immersion experience for Year 10 students

Thirteen students in Year 10 have participated in an immersion program in the city of Sydney. This two day program is called STUMP (Short Term Urban Mission Project) and is run by the Salvation Army. The program runs out of Sydney Streetlevel Mission which is a community centre based in Surry Hills. Streetlevel seeks to be a place of community and belonging for people within the inner city of Sydney, a safe place for the lonely to find ‘home’. Streetlevel values a holistic approach to social and personal development, by caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of marginalised people in the inner city community.An inner city Social Justice Immersion experience for Year 10 students

After students participated in workshops on Boundaries and Homelessness they volunteered at Streetlevel in a number of ways which gave them the opportunity to walk alongside community members. The experience was a profound one that instilled in our group an understanding and respect for the marginalised as well as the opportunity to express care and friendship. 

Fiona Green

(Youth Ministry Coordinator)

World Youth Day Assembly

World Youth Day 2016

2015 Trip to India


Please take the time to watch this great video which captures this year's India Immersion.  Thank you to Emma I in year 11 who cleverly created the video.

Click here to upload the India Immersion video.



Cool Stories Supper

School was transformed with rugs, throws, lanterns and candlelight into a relaxing venue for our social justice evening at St Joseph’s. Hot chocolates were served alongside a delicious supper. Our evening called Cool Stories Supper offered a smorgasbord of inspiration and thought provoking stories, artwork, music and spoken word poetry leaving us moved and challenged. Thank you to Will Small a local artist who performed poetry for us. Will is a writer with an ear for rhythm, a heart for justice and a belief in the human act of storytelling. Thank you to Danielle Habib, an advocate for asylum seekers and refugees. Danielle shared some heartbreaking stories about two beautiful individuals from Villawood Detention Centre, who have suffered beyond measure. Thank you Hilda Bezuidenhout, a local Central Coast photographer who grew up in South Africa during apartheid which gave her a great sense for social justice.  Hilda shared some of her powerful and moving photographic images with us. Talent abounds amongst our own students too. Our students spoke, performed, created films, cooked, served and decorated the space. Our Cool Stories supper was indeed a wonderful community night.

Fiona Green

(Youth Ministry Coordinator)


In The Spirit of Mary MacKillop

St Joseph's Catholic College

Contact Details

PO BOX 4041
Russell Drysdale St. East Gosford
NSW 2250, Australia
P: 02 43 244022 F: 02 43 233512