An upper-primary and secondary school in the Roman Catholic tradition, St Augustine’s College (founded at Brookvale in Sydney in 1956) is based upon the Gospel of Christ. It is a college founded by the Order of St Augustine (established in the year 1256), and now enrols about 1,200 students. It looks to the Christian emphases that St Augustine of Hippo (356 – 430 AD) preached and promoted.
The College website has explained, “The spiritual life of St Augustine's College is the essence of our existence. Our responsibility is to nurture the spiritual, social, educational and social justice values of the boys and staff, shepherding them to be sensitive to God in their lives. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a great campaigner against injustices in society.”
“We as a College community place social justice as a prominent issue and highlight awareness with ongoing projects and fundraisers throughout each school year.”
“The College’s social justice program is called the ‘SEA’, which stands for Service, Education and Awareness. Service - Jesus was the model servant of leadership, washing his disciples' feet. Through serving those less fortunate than us, we learn humility. It is our aim through Education that students are provided with opportunities to better themselves as they learn about the work with social justice issues. Through Awareness of injustices in society, students strive to help others and make the world a better place for those less fortunate than themselves.”
This year brings with it the tenth anniversary of the SEA program. Over the past nine years the College has supported many projects, including on-site involvement the Augustinian Sisters’ TMMR Orphanage at Bulacan in the Philippines, and the Disabled Service Association in Nepal. ln 2015 a team of twenty-six staff and students travelled to Cambodia to continue the maintenance of the Who Will Village and their ongoing assistance with the orphans. Another team of staff and students went to Vanuatu to refurbish the Women's Resource Centre and maintain the village water tanks following the devastation from the earthquake in Vanuatu in October 2015. In December 2015 ten students and three staff members went to Tanzania to build a new classroom at a school that has many orphans, who also took part in this construction task.
The College's SEA program very much raises a social justice interest among all students throughout the school year, and these overseas journeys to assist physically overseas are but just one part of SEA's awareness-raising task. A final comment from the College: “As we move forward in 2016, we give thanks for the opportunities we have to learn, love and grow in the likeness of Jesus. Together, through our Social Justice Programme, we continue to encourage our boys to put word into action and be loyal to the Catholic and Augustinian values which are the inspiration of all that we do.”