The Southern Cross : March 2010
The Southern Cross March 2010 Page 19 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au schools ROY S RETREAT: 2010 ECUMENICAL RETREATS One Day Retreats: Praying with the Mystics March, June, September and December Venue: St Martin's By the Sea, Berwick St Port Noarlunga South. Cost: $20 Desert Retreats in the Flinders Ranges: April, July and October The Desert Retreats are silent Retreats in the Ignatian tradition. The venue is 20km north of Wilpena Pound. Each retreatant has their own comfortable bedroom. Weekend Silent Retreat, 'In the footsteps of the Mystics': Nunyara, Belair Fri evening 18th- Sunday afternoon 20th June. One Day Retreats: Praying with the Prophets: June and September Cost: $20 per Retreat day Roy's Retreat is an ecumenical centre promoting contemplative practice in the Christian mystical and prophetic tradition. FOR REGISTRATIONS OR A 2010 PROGRAM: email@example.com or phone (08)85564686 or PO Box 142 Willunga SA 5172. To learn more about Roy's Retreat: www.roysretreat.com Away from the hustle and bustle of Glen Osmond Road is the small school of St Raphael's which, in the eyes of principal Leanne Lawler, is "a real little gem" in Catholic education. Now in her second year as principal -- the first year in an acting capacity -- Leanne says ever y day she looks for ward to going to work and being par t of such a wonder ful community. "We're ver y close to the city but at St Raphs it's a quiet and safe village. We have a unique feeling here," she explains. With only 225 children running around in their navy and grey uniforms, teachers, their students and families form a strong bond that lasts well beyond the primar y school years. "You know the name of ever y nanna and ever y cousin and ever y child here," Leanne laughs, adding that a trip to the local supermarket with your name badge on can lead to long chats with locals who attended the Parkside school and have fond recollections. Not that Leanne would ever miss the oppor tunity for a chat. Her warm, welcoming manner immediately puts you at ease and soon you too feel par t of the wonder ful little community she oversees. Born and bred in Canberra, Leanne admits she wasn't really sold on the idea of teaching at first -- until her older brother who was a teacher star ted telling her the wonder ful, and sometimes funny, stories of his work with children. Leanne had her eyes set on a career in journalism but early in her studies she felt the profession was "too cut throat" and so instead, switched to teaching and found she loved it. "I think you are born a teacher -- if you love children and love learning, it's the per fect job. "I don't think there is another profession, except perhaps nursing, where you get so much back each day. It's the joy each day of working, communicating and simply being with the children that makes you want to teach." To illustrate her point, she recounts the recent star t of a $2 million BER project that will bring to the school a fabulous new outdoor learning area and librar y resource centre. However, on the first day when the builders arrived some Year 1 students rushed up to Leanne, concerned that there were strange people in their beloved yard and "did she know what was going on?" and if she did, "did she have a plan?". With a smile on her face, Leanne assured her little charges that she had known the builders were going to be there and yes, she had seen a plan for the project. "They really are a laugh a minute," she says. Having been involved in the Catholic school system throughout her own education and as a teacher for 25 years, Leanne says her life has revolved around combining her love for the Church and children. "It's really been a simple journey in many ways. I have loved being involved in church life and in schools." She has taught at 13 parish schools over the years throughout the metropolitan area, Adelaide Hills, Mt Gambier, Canberra and Mackay, Queensland. Married to Daniel, who is the principal of St Paul's College in Gilles Plains, Leanne finds most of her time outside of school is spent running around their three sons James, Thomas and Adam who all attend Blackfriars Prior y School. Dinner time provides enter taining conversation about the Catholic school system and she laughs that the boys are completely au fait with talk of BERs, finance and matters concerning curriculum. However, in a bid to maintain some normality on the home front, the Lawler household has a designated "school free time", where school talk is forbidden and normal family life takes over. As for the coming year at St Raph's, Leanne is adamant that while it is small, it is impor tant for it to continue to hold true to its values and be a strong Catholic parish school. She says what the students -- and parents -- hold dear is the strong community feel and that will continue to be at the hear t of the school. "Students here have exceptional social skills for their age and they are ver y friendly and confident -- they have a love of learning and we don't want that to change." Continuing our series on principals, LINDY McNAMARA visits St Raphael's and chats with Leanne Lawler about what makes her small, near-city school unique. Tucked away in Parkside SNAPSHOT St Raphael's Glen Osmond Road, Parkside R-7 coed Established: 1889 by Sisters of Mercy. Enrolment: 225 Mission: To work in partnership with parents and the Church to educate children for participation in a changing society. TRANQUILITY IN THE CITY: St Raphael's principal Leanne Lawler with students Nikolas Cleverly and Poppy Baldwin. Photo: Kate Elmes World of the Spirit Art Exhibition 2010 Fringe Event p sent dbyth AdeladeCo l g o DivinityI Location: Adelaide College of Divinity Campus 34 Lipsett Terrace, Brooklyn Park in the Chapel of Reconciliation / Room S1 Dates: Fri, 5 March: 7-9 pm LAUNCH Sat-Sun, 6-7 & 13-14 March: 11am-5pm Twenty five local artists explore and celebrate the multiple meanings and expressions of the world of the spirit using a wide range of perspectives, including original paintings, sculpture, textile art, photography, wood and glass.