2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools

The 2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

On Wednesday 5 June 2024 at 10.00am more than 300 principals, teachers and students representing 69 primary schools from across the Archdiocese of Perth joined the Most Rev. Don Sproxton, Auxiliary Bishop of Perth and Chair, LifeLink Executive, at Newman College’s Auditorium for the “2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools”.

This year marks a very special celebration – the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day. It was exactly 25 years ago that the very first LifeLink Day for primary Schools launch was held.

2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

In his opening remarks, Mr Michael Chiera, Acting Principal, Newman College, warmly welcomed Bishop Sproxton who was celebrating this event on behalf of Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. He explained that the Archbishop was currently overseas attending the Synod in Rome, Italy.

Mr Chiera (representing Principal, Andrew Watson) also welcomed the special guests, the schools’ representatives and those who would be watching the launch online in the future.

Special guests included – the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, Vicar General & Episcopal Vicar for Education, Rev Fr Kazimierz Stuglik, Parish Priest, Floreat/Wembley, Mr Wayne Bull, Executive Director, CEWA,  Mrs Therese Temby, Former Director, Catholic Education WA (1993-2003), Rev Mark Powell, Director, Religious Education, CEWA, Mrs Diana Alteri, Coordinator, Formation for Mission, CEWA, Dr Debra Sayce, Head, Mission Enhancement and Outreach – Archdiocesan Agencies, Mr Mike Kovacevic, Chief of Business Development, CEWA, Mrs Beth Murphy, Acting Vice Principal, Newman College,  Mr Stuart McClorey, Director of Mission & Catholic Identity, Newman College and Mr Ryan von Bergheim, Head of Primary, Newman College.

Mr Chiera said, “One of the great privileges of being a school leader, is the opportunity to be involved in events like this one today. Events, where students from all over Perth, make the choice to come together because we all want to be involved in doing good for others. I want you to think about that for a moment. Take the time…just to look around you…to see just how many young people are gathered here this morning simply for the reason that they want to help and serve others in some way. There’s so many of us!

And now… imagine for a moment, that number again, once you have all had the chance to return to your schools and share the things that you have heard here today. What a wonderful thing it is to have so many young people in our community who want to make a difference for others.  It certainly makes me feel that our future is in very safe hands.

My hope for you all, is that you have a wonderful day today, as we extend to you our Marist sense of Family Spirit, welcoming you all this morning. We are very proud to welcome you all here today into our community, and wish you all the best for a day marked by conversation, dialogue, and perhaps even, new friendships,” he said.

Newman College Year 6 Student Leaders – Evie Bryant and Michael Moschopoulos – lead the guests in a special Acknowledgement of Country.

Following this, Bishop Sproxton expressed his thanks to Newman College for hosting the launch and to Mr Chiera for his warm words of welcome. Bishop Don commenced proceedings with a Prayer The LifeLink Prayer.

2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day
2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

In his Address, Mr Wayne Bull, Executive Director, Catholic Education WA, said:

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of LifeLink Day. That is twenty-five years of Catholic school students learning about the needs of people in the community, and how Church agencies, through LifeLink, respond to their needs.

Over the years students have found creative and inspiring ways to raise funds for this important cause. They have committed time and care to fundraising and have been actively encouraged to demonstrate their support and compassion for those in need. Catholic schools encourage all students to be committed to the common good and contribute to society. LifeLink is a very real way in which our students do this, and I am inspired by their service to those in our community who need support.

I also want to acknowledge the support of our dedicated and passionate teachers and school support staff to providing environments where students can use their unique talents to live the Gospel.

Catholic Schools are an integral part of the Church in our Archdiocese, and it is an incredible source of pride that students have been able to raise $3 million over the past 25 years in support of the Catholic social services and the LifeLink agencies.  What a wonderful testimony to the power of young people when focused on bettering the lives of others. Please give yourselves a round of applause.”

Mr Bull concluded his Address by saying, “The work of the LifeLink agencies is a true reflection of the teachings of Christ, and by supporting these agencies, students not only provide practical support to those in need, but also share the message of hope and love that is central to our faith.

“The Archbishop and Bishop hope that in this very special year of celebration, we will join together to help raise a minimum of $120,000 for our brothers and sisters in need throughout WA.

“I’m confident we can achieve this goal, together. I wish you every success and hope you enjoy LifeLink Day 2024,” said Mr Bull.

The Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, Vicar General & Episcopal Vicar for Education provided guests an insight into how LifeLink Day was established, what the gaols of LifeLink Day were and how successful the Archbishop’s initiative had been over the past 25 years.

Fr Vincent said “The Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Catholic Schools Initiative was officially launched on the first Wednesday in June in 1999, during WA Week celebrations, and it has been launched every year since on this same day.

Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey wanted to share the good news of how the Church responds to, and cares for, people in need within the Archdiocese of Perth.  He especially wanted young people attending our Catholic Schools, to have a deeper understanding of, and personal connection with, the services and support being provided to our brothers and sisters in need in the community.

A meeting was held with the (then) Director of Catholic Education WA, Mrs Therese Temby, who I am delighted to say, is a very special guest joining us here today. Mrs Temby enthusiastically embraced the Archbishop’s ideas and goals, and after a great deal of consultation with CEWA, LifeLink Day came a reality

Fr Vincent said “Therese, we would not be celebrating 25 years of LifeLink Day without your leadership, understanding and support. We are delighted that you could be with us for this celebration

On behalf of Archbishop Costelloe SDB, Auxiliary Bishop Sproxton and LifeLink, the Vicar General presented Mrs Temby with a gift of appreciation, a beautiful floral arrangement.

Fr Vincent acknowledged and thanked three important people who unfortunately couldn’t be present for the special celebration, but said without them, LifeLink and LifeLink Day would not exist today.

Most Rev Barry James Hickey, Emeritus Archbishop of Perth

Rev Monsignor Michael Keating, former Vicar General, Archdiocese of Perth

and Mr Jim Thomas, former Financial Administrator, Archdiocese of Perth

Fr Vincent said, “Their leadership and support is remembered, and appreciated.

Fr Vincent continued, “There is no question that the Archbishop’s LifeLink Day Initiative has been, and continues to be, a resounding success. Of course, we would not be celebrating this 25th anniversary milestone without the ongoing support and much valued partnership with CEWA. We thank Mr Bull and everyone at CEWA for their continuing support.

But it is to all of you gathered here today that we offer the greatest praise and thanks – our Archdiocesan school principals, teaching staff and students. You have collectively and enthusiastically embraced LifeLink Day.  Over the past 25 years, thousands of students have received ‘the good news on the good works of our LifeLink agencies’ and you have joined together to demonstrate your love, care, compassion and generosity for our brothers and sisters in need.

You have clearly shown that at the heart of Catholic Education, is Catholic Faith’,” he said.

2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

Rev Mark Powell, Director, Religious Education, CEWA, reminded those present that LifeLink Day is both an educational and a fundraising initiative.

He said, “Through LifeLink Day, students attending Catholic schools in this Archdiocese are encouraged to learn more about the very real ‘need’ which exists in the community, and how the Church responds, through our LifeLink agencies and on behalf of us all, to this need. 

Schools and students are actively encouraged to demonstrate their support and compassion for our brothers and sisters in need by undertaking or participating in special fundraising events.

Last year, our Archdiocesan schools raised $107,747.03 for LifeLink Day. Thank you all for your generosity. Please give yourselves a round of applause.

The generosity and passion students in Catholic schools have for supporting those less fortunate than themselves really is a sign that Jesus is alive and well in Catholic schools and that young people want to build a better world.

I would like to congratulate you on your projects this year. There has been so much work and research gone into them. I hope you all learned about the work of our Lifelink agencies and how they support people in need in the Archdiocese.

As ambassadors for LifeLink, I want to encourage you to do a few things when you go back to your schools.

When you go back to school, please thank the classes for their projects and the work that has gone into them; Remind everyone that although LifeLink Day is officially launched today, schools can hold fundraising activities throughout the school year. Remind everyone that to help celebrate and share LifeLink Day in your school, a number of resources have been uploaded to the LifeLink website. This inlcudes posters which have been personalised with each school’s name.

Finally, we need to remember to keep the LifeLink agencies and the people they support in our prayers.

Seeing you all here reassures me of how lucky we are to have such wonderful young people in our schools. All of you offer signs of hope for the future, because by following Jesus and opening your hearts to serve others,  you create a better world for all.

I wish you all a very Happy LifeLink Day and hope that you all have an educational, enjoyable and enriching experience,” said Deacon Powell.

2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

In her presentation, Mrs Diana Alteri, Coordinator, Formation for Mission, CEWA, provided an overview of the special project primary school students were asked to participate in this year.

For LifeLink Day each year, the Archbishop invites primary schools and students to participate in a special project, one which builds greater understanding about the work of the LifeLink agencies, and how the Church responds to our brothers and sisters in need in the community. These projects, we hope, also provide an opportunity for you to show your creativity in a fun and imaginative way.

Your task this year was to Research the LifeLink Agencies via the website and learn more about the issues people in need face here in the Archdiocese of Perth, and how LifeLink agencies respond to that need.

Then, in small groups, students were asked to discuss how we are joined together as God’s family,  and that God loves everyone equally.

You were asked to create “paper people” using the template provided. Each boy and girl represents a different person supported by the LifeLink agency you researched. On one paper person you were asked to write down the different needs  that are supported by a specific LifeLink agency, the name of the agency  and how it practically supports people in this Archdiocese. On the front of the other paper person, you were asked to write a prayer or special message of hope to someone in need.

We are delighted to be able to share some of your creations here this morning. On behalf of Archbishop Timothy and Bishop Don, congratulations on your outstanding efforts… let’s take a look at some of your work now,” said Mrs Alteri.

St Mary’s Cathedral Special Event

At the end of her presentation, Mrs Alteri announced a very BIG event planned  to celebrate the primary students  creative works for LifeLink Day this year, and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day.

Mrs Alteri said, “On the Feast of St Mary of the Cross, Thursday 8 August 2024, Bishop Sproxton and the Very Rev Fr Sean Fernandez, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral,  will host a special Liturgical Service at St Mary’s Cathedral for representatives of our Archdiocesan Primary Schools.

St Mary is remembered for her compassionate and tireless support for Catholic education and of course for helping our brothers and sisters in need. One of her favourite quotes which is often repeated is …“Never see a need without doing something about it”. So it is appropriate this event will be held on her Feast Day.

Letters of invitation will be sent from the Bishop’s Office next week, inviting primary school principals and two student representatives from each school to join him for the brief Service which will commence at 6.00pm in the evening.

At approx. 6.30pm, we will then gather outside the Cathedral and countdown to ‘the big surprise’.  On the exterior of the front of the Cathedral, large colourful  images will be projected celebrating the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross, LifeLink Day, the work of the LifeLink agencies, and importantly, examples of your creative paper people containing messages of hope for those in need.

This visual spectacle will run continuously for one hour and will light up the night around the Cathedral, and will be displayed each night for three consecutive nights – 8 August 2024 to 10 August 2024 – and will be presented from 7.00pm to 8.00pm,” she said.

In closing the launch proceedings, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton expressed his sincere thanks to all the schools and students who were present, and to those who may be watching the video of the launch online at a later date.

I know the Archbishop will enjoy seeing all your thoughtful, creative and compassionate paper people projects on his return home, as much as I have today. Thank you for taking the time to discover more about the work of our LifeLink agencies, and for your generous support of our brothers and sisters in need through your fundraising efforts. I am confident that together, we can and will achieve the Archbishop’s goal of raising $120,000 in this celebration year,” he said.

Bishop Don then officially launched LifeLink Day 2024 for Primary Schools and extended a Blessing to all present.


One Last Surprise

Bishop Sproxton had one last surprise for the guests when he announced, I have a special gift for every school from Archbishop Costelloe. The Archbishop wanted to personally recognise, acknowledge and thank Catholic Education WA and our Archdiocesan schools and students in this milestone year, the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day. He commissioned these beautiful plaques which contain an engraved acknowledgment

Bishop Sproxton personally presented Mr Chiera, Acting Principal of Newman College, with his school’s plaque and invited all the schools present for the launch to collect their school’s Plaque from the tables at the front as they left the launch today.

Schools not represented at the launch will receive their gift by courier from the LifeLink office.

“My congratulations to you all for your enduring support of LifeLink Day,” said Bishop Sproxton.

2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day
2024 Official Launch of Archbishop’s LifeLink Day for Primary Schools Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of LifeLink Day

Primary School Resources

We have pleasure in providing the following resources to help you and your school participate fully in LifeLink Day 2024.

Comments are closed.