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In a powerful display of unity and cultural appreciation, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank has unveiled Stations of the Cross that beautifully blend Christian and Indigenous traditions.

These Stations of the Cross stand as a symbol of hope and mark the beginning of a profound reconciliation journey with First Nations people, embraced by the college community.

The college, rooted in Catholic values, has long been committed to fostering diversity and inclusivity. With the installation of these unique Stations of the Cross, the school aims to highlight the richness and significance of Indigenous culture, ensuring future generations of students truly appreciate and value it.

The Stations of the Cross, strategically placed around the college church, serve as a visible reminder of the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the interconnectedness of faith and Indigenous heritage. Each station combines elements of Christian symbolism with traditional Indigenous art and storytelling, creating a harmonious fusion of traditions that reflect the diverse tapestry of the college community.

Frank McCullagh, the college Acting Principal, expressed his optimism about the impact these Stations of the Cross will have on the campus environment.

“These stations through the unique blending of Christian and Indigenous traditions are a symbol of the hope we share as a college community, as we embrace the reconciliation journey with our First Nations people,” Acting Principal McCullagh said in the video above. “They’re also a very visible reminder of the richness and diversity of our Indigenous culture, which we hope generations of future students at the college will appreciate and value.”

“It’s our hope that they will always serve as a reminder of our shared humanity and our collective obligation as a Catholic college community to support and work towards an Australian nation underpinned by respect, dignity, justice for all,” Acting Principal McCullagh concluded.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by students, college staff members, representatives from Indigenous communities, and Principal Les Conroy also made a special appearance. A smoking ceremony was performed, infusing the Stations of the Cross with spiritual significance, and reinforcing the commitment to fostering mutual respect and understanding.

Fiona Kulparntuwu Kerinaiua, the Stations of the Cross Indigenous artist, was born on Bathurst Island, one of the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin. As a young girl, Fiona learnt her creativity and skills from her mother. She practised traditional Tiwi painting methods, and was taught the meaning of the different crosshatches, lines and dots, along with the stories behind them.

Fiona was also taught the art of weaving by her mother. They would collect the centre of prickly Pandanus leaves and strip them. The roots were used to produce coloured pigment, and the leaves were boiled before weaving into baskets and headbands for ceremonies.

According to a plaque alongside the Stations of the Cross: “Fiona is passionate about her culture and understands the vital importance of passing on her knowledge and skills through engagement with both elders and the youth of the Tiwi community.

“She has exhibited her art in Melbourne for NAIDOC Week and designed stained-glass windows for St Mary’s Cathedral in Darwin.

“St Thomas More College has been enriched through our partnership with Fiona in creating our Stations of the Cross.

“We look forward to further opportunities to develop our understanding and connection to Tiwi Island people and their unique culture.

“We are honoured to display Fiona’s artwork surrounding our beautiful Chapel for our community to enjoy.”

With the unveiling of these unique Stations of the Cross, the college community has taken a significant step forward on its journey towards creating a more inclusive, respectful, and culturally diverse environment. It is a testament to their unwavering commitment to forging a path towards a brighter future, united by a shared vision of respect, dignity, and justice for all.

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, the Way of Sorrows, or the Via Crucis, depict a series of images portraying Jesus Christ’s crucifixion day, accompanied by prayers. These stations originated from imitations of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, which is a symbolic route representing the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The purpose of the stations is to guide Christian believers on a spiritual pilgrimage by contemplating the Passion of Christ. This practice has gained immense popularity and can be observed in numerous Western Christian churches, including those in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions.


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