Wow! What an amazing experience over two days as 160 Teachers, Principals and Catechists gathered from all across Australia to share their experiences and to gain new ones in MJR.
As this was the first MJR conference to be held outside of Hobart there was an element of the unknown in regards to numbers attending. To have 160 registered delegates was an amazing outcome. That number included 9 from the NT, 23 from Rockhampton Diocese (including representation from the CEO), 20 from Maitland/Newcastle Diocese as well as CEO reps and 9 from one school alone – Holy Family in Skenner’s Head (Lismore Diocese).
The highlight of the two days for many was the opportunity to witness MJR lessons modelled with an actual class across three different age groups. Jason Perry modelled a Grade 5/6 lesson on, ‘Seeing the good and the God in ourselves and others’; Peter ‘Mitch’ Mitchell modelled, ‘W.E.S.T and the Spirit of Jesus (SoJ)’ for Grade 3/4’s and Marty Ogle modelled ‘My Friend Jesus’ for Grade 1/2’s.
Many schools were invited to present formal presentations to the group about how MJR works in their school settings. This included schools such as St Andrew’s Ferny Grove and St Francis Xavier Runaway Bay who had presented at previous days in Hobart.
Individuals also presented how they use MJR and this included Liz Celegato, a Teacher’s Aide from St Ambrose’s School in Brisbane presenting her work for K-2 students. Many delegates said that seeing these resources made them more aware of the potential for MJR in the lower grades and two Principals were so impressed with her work that they offered her a job at their schools!
Overall, the feedback regarding the two days was extremely positive and the mood in the room and during break times reflected that. Planning for 2018 conference in Hobart is already underway and feedback from this experience will shape the next event including the structure and guest speakers.