Last week Brisbane Catholic Education hosted the Powerhouse of Leaders event at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
It was the third time we had run this event, and by far the best. It aims to inspire our Year 12 school leaders to not only connect with the Catholic Church and experience quality liturgy and celebration, but also to engage them with how they can use their roles as school leaders to empower their fellow students. Throughout the day, the students, who come from across the Brisbane Archdiocese, are challenged to explore their potential.
This year, after an atmostpheric Welcome to Country, the students and teachers participated in a liturgy led by our new Archbishop, His Grace Mark Coleridge, in his first official event in his new role. His Grace told the group of Year 12’s that they are not just the church of the future, but the church now – and that one of the things God is asking is that young people provide leadership in the Church. This leadership is what he saw at the World Youth Day gathering. Archbishop Coleridge went on to say that just as we refresh the screen on our computers, the Church sometimes requires refreshing also, and that young people are the ‘refresh button’ that will enable the church to remain new. He also spent time explaining to the students that as Digital Natives, the Year 12 leaders would be able to lead the Church into the future, and be missionaries in this new Digital Continent that Pope Benedict has spoken of.
We had the amazing gospel singing of Vocal Rush, supporting talented students from our schools lifting the liturgy with their magical voices, and first class multimedia produced by Smoke Creative.
After this, the students and teachers laughed and cried along with the two keynote speakers, Khoa Doh and Robyn Moore.
Khoa recounted his fascinating life story, and shared with the students his irrepressible optimism and passion for helping others. His determination to succeed and to share this success with his family and with others who also face obstacles in their lives inspired the students, who shared their thoughts using Twitter and Todays Meet in an activity after he spoke.
Lunchtime saw the students party with Bang Crash Tap, and just chill out and enjoy the beautiful weather in New Farm Park, meeting new friends from across the Archdiocese.
In the afternoon, Robyn Moore captured the student’s imaginations, and the awe and delighted surprise that was palpable when she revealed to them that she was the voice of Blinky Bill was incredible. Using warmth, humour and plain old common sense, Robyn gave the students many ways to deal with the ‘Crap’ life can deal any of us, and her passion for her work was obvious.
As the students ended their day with a closing liturgy and a boogie along with the Rush band, it was clear to see from their faces that they had participated in what was for them, a transformational event.
For those who may have missed it, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has spoken about his vision for the Brisbane Archdiocese in his Press Conference with Apostolic Administrator Geoffrey Jarrett at Wynberg, Brisbane, Queensland, 4 April, 2012. View it here: http://vimeo.com/catholicbrisbane/review/39750949/bca9ce40bd
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