Slice of heaven
Spending time with Aboriginal students in schools across NSW is my greatest pleasure.
I now have another: spending time with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in special schools.
A few years back I had the great pleasure of spending a little time with the students of Mater Dei Special School at Camden.
This school located in picturesque rural Camden is Special with a capital "S".
The school caters in the main for children with intellectual disabilities with some having multiple disabilities. It is K-12 with a catchment area of 40kms radius.
Although the educational side of things is considered important, teaching of life skills takes centre stage.
All the automatic things we and our children do on a daily basis are a part of the curriculum like shopping and cooking.
The difference is the pleasure and sense of accomplishment these wonderful children are experiencing that we have lost.
God works in mysterious ways and these children are giving us the gift of looking through their eyes at the wonderful the things in life that we all take for granted.
Some things that stood out for me on the day were:
- The caring, understanding nature of Frank Pitt and his staff, and the cheeky smiling faces of the children;
- A little Aboriginal fella following Frank Pitt out of class wrapping himself round his legs and looking up with a big cheeky grin;
- A young boy named Owen coming up to me and telling me his name. I then told him mine was Frank. To which he replied "you look tired Frank "and he was right;
- Some boys arriving back from a shopping trip where most had purchased one of the essentials of life, "chocolate"; and
- A volunteer sitting on the floor with a bunch of seniors teaching them one of life's most important life skills. How to play poker.
Two things that I will always remember from Mater Dei are special people with special gifts and love.
Frank Pearce, Bega
Freedom of expression
I agree with former Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs about "Israel Folau's right to express his religious view", albeit irrational, hurtful and based on fairy tale beliefs, comfortably sitting in his luxurious pad.
However he conveniently omitted to mention the liars, cheats, charlatans, impostors, sociopaths, phonies, tricksters, exploiters and most of all the paedophiles, rife (but mostly hidden) within the churches including his own.
Bernard Lagarenne, Merimbula
Red Cross meeting
The Bega branch of the Australian Red Cross will be holding its annual general meeting on Wednesday, August 7 at 10.30am at the Red Cross Rooms, Church St, Bega.
All members and volunteers are invited to attend this meeting,to hear how all their hard work over the past 12 months has helped the community.
Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to assist at the tea rooms, saleyards and the blood bank when visiting.
If you are interested, please contact Val Eaton on 6495 9922.
We look forward to seeing you on the 7th.
Yetty Mitford-Burgess, Tathra
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