Continuing the Tradition
Edmund Rice used his position of advantage to fund the education of those less fortunate than himself. The order of Christian Brothers he founded was committed to providing education to those who were otherwise unable to afford it. Colleges such as St Patrick's were established to provide quality education on an affordable basis ensuring the advantage of a good education was available to the broadest range of people.
While St Patrick’s fees represent great value and a wonderful opportunity for young men from a cross-sections of our society, the reality is that there are some who were unable to consider St Patrick's as an option due to financial constraints. The Brothers, mindful of the mission of Edmund Rice made places available for these young men at reduced or no cost to their families.
Many young men over the years benefited from the Brothers' generosity, in the tradition of Edmund Rice. The Brothers went about their work quietly so we will never know how many young men benefited from their work and how great a difference these actions made.We gain some insight into the benefit of the Brothers' approach from the few beneficiaries of their work that we do know of, including:
- Professor John Mattick, a recipient of the Luceat Award, head of the world renowned Garvan Institute and a leader in the field of molecular biology, is one Old Boy who benefited from the opportunity offered to him by the Brothers. His groundbreaking work in genomics and the benefits for human health is something the Brothers can rightly be proud of.
- The Hon John Brown has also benefited from the opportunity offered to him by the Brothers. John had a long and distinguished career in politics representing the Federal seat of Parramatta, serving as a minister in the Hawke government. He continues to take an interest in public life and serving his community.
The tradition commenced by Edmund Rice continues, as the College regularly assists parents in need ensuring that their boys continue to enjoy the benefits of a St Patrick’s education. The Vestra Bursary Program is designed with this in mind.
It is one way in which the College makes explicit its connection with the tradition of the Christian Brothers in line with the Strategic Plan.
The Vestra Fund has been established in conjunction with the College, to allow the College Community, including Old Boys, with the opportunity to participate in the Bursary program and to be a part of the tradition of Edmund Rice. Tax deductible contributions made to the Vestra Bursary Fund will be used to pay the educational expenses of bursary students attending St Patrick's.
The selection of boys who would not otherwise be able to access a quality education is done in a structured way to achieve positive outcomes. Supporting the Bursary Fund is a great way for Old Boys to reflect on the benefit that they have gained from St Patrick's and to give something back in return.
The Vestra Fund is an outstanding example of how Our Community can connect with the past by continuing the traditions of the Christian Brothers and how we can connect Old Boys and the College.
More information about the fund is available on the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission by clicking here.
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