A warm welcome is extended to all children, their parents, extended families and friends to St Damian’s parish and school community.
We acknowledge that parents are the children’s first educators and consider ourselves privileged to work in this partnership. The school has a long history of valuing its traditions and unique culture. As our world changes we are changing our approach to learning and teaching, as we believe in educating our students for life.
We pride ourselves in providing quality education which nurtures each child’s spiritual and educational growth, within a supportive and caring environment. We accept that it is our responsibility to provide a balanced curriculum that is relevant to the individual child and will enable each to actively participate and contribute to an increasingly changing world. At St Damian’s we view ourselves as a ‘Community of Learners.’
Father Vincent Le, the staff and I anticipate that all who become associated with St Damian’s will find it a safe and exciting place to be and learn.
Alive in the Spirit, we journey together, engaging with the present, shaping the future.
St Damian’s Catholic School Vision
St. Damian’s Parish Primary School was established in April 1966 under the auspice of the Sisters of the Order of St. Clare (Poor Clares), who came from Sydney for the express purpose of conducting the school and establishing a religious community to assist in the building of the new Parish. Sister Angela was the first Principal for two years followed by Sister Germaine and then Sister Louise. The first lay Principal was appointed in 1982. The school has been under the care of lay Principals from this time.
St Damian’s school derived its name from Damian and Cosmas who were twin brothers born in Arabia. They were very famous students of science and both became excellent doctors.
Cosmas and Damian showed great charity to all and treated their sicknesses to the best of their ability. They never accepted any money for their services and for this reason, they were called “The moneyless ones.”
Chemists, physicians, surgeons and dentists regard the holy brothers as their Patron Saints. Their feast day is September 26th.
In 1966 when the founding parish priest, Fr. Dunlop, chose St. Damian as our patron saint, we were the only parish in Australia dedicated to St. Damian.
Our School Community
St. Damian’s School is part of the St. Damian’s Parish. We work together to support the well-being and growth of all members of our community.
St. Damian’s School also prides itself on its links with the wider community through connections with Whittlesea Council and our local State member for Bundoora, Loyola College, St as well as outreach programs such as the Bundoora Extended Care. Parent involvement is always welcomed, encouraged and valued.
St. Damian’s Parish
St. Damian’s Parish Priest is Father Vincent Le and the Parish secretary is Lina Parisot. The Parish office is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm.
(03) 9467 2797
St. Damian’s Parish Mass Times
Saturday Vigil 5.30pm
Sunday 8.00am and 10.00am
1st Monday each Month 9.15am
Monday – no Mass
Tuesday – 9.15am
Wednesday – 9.15am
Thursday – 9.15am
Friday – 9.15am
(Friends Igniting Reconciliation in Education)
Vicki Clark – Co-ordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (1990-2015) had a dream that all Catholic schools throughout Melbourne would be active change agents for Reconciliation. In 2012 twenty one North Eastern Zone Principals undertook a spiritual and cultural journey to Lake Mungo in NSW. Lake Mungo is a significant landmark and spiritual place for Aboriginal people. Mungo Man and Mungo lady were discovered in the Willandra Lakes at Lake Mungo. The remains are the oldest anatomically modern human remains found in Australia to date, about 40,000 years.
Since this Lake Mungo immersion experience, the Principals of these schools committed to ensure that Reconciliation would be given a high profile in their schools. They were commissioned as FIRE Carriers in a special ceremony on the banks of the Yarra River at ‘Amberley’ in Lower Plenty. Since then, the twenty one schools in the N/E region have in their own way, added a unique value to their school’s curriculum, by commissioning both students (4 x Year 5 students) and teachers, to be actively involved in constructing and upholding their school FIRE carrier covenant. This document states the ways in which they will undertake these actions.
What truly is remarkable and exemplary, is not only that this zone is the only zone in Victoria that has the commitment of all schools, but also the fact that all twenty one schools unite in a special way. Early in each school year following the Commissioning Ceremony of the new FIRE Carriers, the schools have a day where the students and FIRE Carrier teachers come together in a joint day of cultural learning. This is an opportunity to gather and meet each other. They meet Aboriginal community members and elders and learn about the Aboriginal culture of their local area. The number of FIRE Carrier Schools is continuously growing as schools recognise the importance and value of fostering cultural awareness and understanding of our First Nation People. In 2019, there are over 100 FIRE Carrier schools both primary and secondary.
The FIRE carrier initiative has opened many doors for FIRE Carrier schools. These schools have made some special connections with Aboriginal communities, people and organisations. Students and teachers can learn together and the learning experiences are enriched because of the relationships formed. Our students and teachers know that ‘Once a FIRE Carrier always a FIRE Carrier’. They will carry on their commitment to reconciliation beyond their primary school years.
At St Damian’s we take pride in fostering reconciliation through many areas of our curriculum- the Arts, English, Humanities, and Religious Education. We aim to provide many experiences where students are immersed first hand in cultural learning, through meeting Aboriginal community members who share their stories, history and spirituality. Excursions and Incursions with cultural content provide students with real knowledge both historical and contemporary.
Staff Professional Learning
At St Damian’s, staff are also provided with opportunities to further their knowledge through both individual and whole staff professional learning days. Some of our staff have been to Lake Mungo, Healsville Sanctuary, Melbourne Museum, Amberley and recently a cultural Learning day ‘Walking the Birrarung’.
At St Damian’s, we are guided by our annual FIRE Carrier covenant which outlines our initiatives. This is very closely aligned to our RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) registered with Reconciliation Australia.
We have a mutually supportive relationship with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry along with Whittlesea Council Reconciliation Group (WRG). Our students attend community events organised by the council such as Sorry Day. The WRG also acts as a support to our initiatives and consultative group to our RAP.
Election of FIRE Carrier Leaders
Our Year 5 FIRE Carrier students are elected annually and it is their commitment and passion that assists in driving our planning for school events like Reconciliation Week and other events throughout the year.