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When the City Meets the Country

August winds, colds and flus, midweek holidays; it must be EKKA time again. The Brisbane Exhibition is a living, breathing institution in our city. We all have our fondest – or most negative – views on the show. Showbags, sideshow alley, strawberries and cream, fireworks and bull parades. I recall countless hours spent pouring through the showbag guide looking for bargains, or desperately trying to influence my teachers to disregard the booklet we needed to fill in on our school EKKA excursion. The bringing together of two communities, the city and the country, is a wonderful event of energy, laughter and learning.

Fortunately, we experience the benefits of being an inclusive community every day at Ambrose Treacy. Our school population is not made up of 850 young people with the same backgrounds, interests and talents. Each boy brings his own story and gifts to our community. We may not always appreciate all of our differences, but they play an important part in our school community and culture. It is a part of our calling to be an ‘authentic Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition’ and by being ‘inclusive’ we feel we are facilitating the real world in the midst of our own campus. Our diversity inspires our richness.

This vision is one inspired by the work of Jesus, Edmund and Ambrose. Moreover, it is also moulded by great ladies; including St Mary McKillop whose feast day was last week. Historical context suggests that Mary and Ambrose were contemporaries whose paths would’ve crossed in Brisbane. Both would’ve walked the streets of Brisbane in an attempt to establish inclusive schools that cared for those in most need. Mary would eventually take this vision to North Sydney, whilst Ambrose’s legacy is obvious in all states of Australia through EREA schools. Just as in the late 19th century, we continue to be shaped by those around us. Therefore, it is fitting that our community is inclusive and genuine; preparing our boys for the real world which awaits them.

Matthew Warr, Assistant Dean of Formation
warrm@atc.qld.edu.au