We interviewed the school principal, Katherine
Zerounian; who had much to tell us about the relevance and the life of her
school. We asked her: what is “special” about Jarjum and how it is different
from other Jesuit schools in Australia or elsewhere?
Redfern Jarjum College was established as a Catholic school in the Jesuit
tradition. Here, Ignatian spirituality, characterised by “finding God in all
things”, is being enriched through reverencing and exploring Aboriginal spirituality.
It is a Jesuit-owned Catholic primary school responsible to the Provincial of
Australia. It was established in 2013 by St Aloysius College, another Jesuit
school in Sydney. The goal was to respond to the needs of Aboriginal boys and
girls, many of whom previously attended mainstream schooling but did not have
success in that environment.
them, we provide a programme that is overseen by Jesuit Education Australia.
The relationship with the Jesuit tradition and the Jesuit Province goes
further. Our work is a clear reflection of and commitment to the Universal
Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. I would point out the
preference titled Walking with the Excluded, for instance. Many of the
families that we welcome to Jarjum are experiencing poverty and the impact of
intergenerational trauma. We provide hope to those who struggle to find it; we
clothe and feed the children and meet their daily basic needs; we recognise and
celebrate daily the gifts of each child.