The Toowoomba Catholic Schools Mass Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Graduands was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral  on 14 October 2019. The mass was attended by thirty students from Toowoomba and Warwick.

Those who were unable to attend the mass were students from St John’s School, Roma and St Joseph’s and Stanthorpe.

Sam Elara, Vice-Captain of St Mary’s College is about to complete his education and move onto a new chapter in his life. “I began my secondary journey six years ago at St Mary’s and to finish grade 12 opens the door to many more opportunities for myself. I have a school-based apprenticeship in cabinet making that I started in Year 10 and hope to gain employment with that. I love the College and it was an honour to be made Vice-Captain this year and give back to the community that has provided so much to me and my family.”

Executive Director of Toowoomba Catholic Schools, Dr Pat Coughlan says, “The completion of Year 12 is a milestone to celebrate in all young people’s lives.  Although you may not grasp it fully now, you have a precious gift that over half the world’s population do not have, a world-class education. Something that many people your age around the world can only dream of. I hope the last 13 years have also shaped you to know that this is not a gift to be selfishly hidden away and used to advance only your own personal interests and ambitions.”

The Mass was also attended by Elders from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, parents, teachers, members of Toowoomba Catholic Schools leadership and Regional Councillors and many more. The ceremony included several cultural rituals, including the Smoking Ceremony, Acknowledgment of Country and inclusion of cultural artifacts. Each graduand was wearing a special designed sashes and presented with a medallion as a memento for graduating.

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