Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
This Friday 20 September, students across the world are encouraged to take action to entice their politicians to be more proactive in combating climate change. You will have read or heard about the school strike that has been planned for Sydney on this day. In fact, there are 4,638 actions across 139 countries. This is not a strike about a local or whimsical issue. It is about an issue of significant impact and a concern for the entire world.
The whole notion of striking to draw attention to climate change was originally created by an exceptional teenager, Greta Thurnberg. Greta began her political action in her homeland of Sweden and her message and action have travelled across the globe. Whilst we all are responsible for our own efforts to reduce our greenhouse emissions, there is an urgent need for politicians in power and with influence to enforce the necessary legislation and action to tackle the problem. The appetite to action continues to be a challenge in our political arena. For example, one of our own politicians, Craig Kelly, a Liberal backbencher, claims there is no link between climate change and the drought NSW is currently facing. In fact, he believes it is all a lie. The science on climate change, caused by human action is compelling. It must be very difficult for the Morrison Government, who has accepted the evidence, to bring about significant change when members within their own party continue to deny the situation.
As a Good Samaritan College steeped in Benedictine tradition, reverencing the Earth is an essential part of our charism. Sr Veronica McDougall wrote in The Good Oil of September 2019 that “at the heart of these global crises is the fate of the whole of God’s creation, including humanity- those given the responsibility to care for and steward the Earth.”
At the recent Pacific Island Forum, many leaders of Pacific Island Nations had hoped for a strong statement and commitment to the end of coal fired power. Regrettably, this never eventuated and our Prime Minister said he couldn’t as he was “accountable to the Australian people”.
It thereby becomes important that our politicians hear the message loud and clear that the Australian people are very concerned about climate change and are ready for some stronger action. Our girls will not be going on strike this Friday but they will be hosting events on the College top oval to draw attention to the need to protect the environment. There will be an opportunity for students to sign for action. This document will be sent to our parliamentary members as evidence of our stand for action against climate change. Sadly, if there is no change in our current activities, the world of our children’s children will be a very different world to the one we have the privilege to live in now.
As this will be the last edition of the Inside Out for this term, I wish you a good break and restful holiday with your daughter. I wish the Year 12 students the very best as they finish their final preparations for the HSC and we will continue to support and assist them through this period.
I will finish with a reflection from Pope Francis:
“We must never forget that the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone”.
Sue Lennox - Principal