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Thought Leadership – By Principal Mrs Kay Gleeson, Lourdes Hill College , QLD

 “Go and do likewise” 

The Parable of the Good Samaritan speaks to the essence of what it is to be human. It is a story that transcends time and culture to become a symbol of selflessness that is needed in our contemporary world. It teaches us that communities are built by standing up for the poor and vulnerable. 

Its final line “Go and do likewise” is the agitator for us. It challenges us to reflect on the role we play in leading school communities, particularly bodies of students and staff in creating a more just, inclusive and caring society. 

Pope Francis in his Encyclical “Fratelli tutti” (2020), furthers this challenge by encouraging us to go “‘outside’ the self” to find “a fuller existence in another” (88), opening ourselves up to the other. It is in this encounter that we can experience love. The love experienced from this encounter is relational, dynamic and motivates us to seek a better life for the other and in turn communities. 

Creating opportunities for this type of encounter in our school communities, from our youngest students to our oldest, and to our staff, is critical in creating a more just world – to do likewise. Opportunities for students that are developmental, challenging, enabling, and allow them to move from charitable acts to raising awareness, to acting in solidarity, are essential. It is hoped from these experiences that our young people are empowered to take social justice action; steps that have the potential to bring about change. 

However, our students can’t be what they can’t see. The opportunity for staff to be and seek out role models for our students is critical in ensuring that the moments of encounter are authentic, true to our faith tradition, and build fraternal love. Opportunities for staff to be challenged and experience such encounters themselves allow them to experience a fuller existence with the “other,” to understand the impact and the possibilities for change, and to be and sit with the uncomfortable. The value that staff bring from these experiences they bring to students and student’s encounters are transforming and empowering. 

Go and do likewise requires all in our schools to enter into opportunities of encounter. It requires all of us to be present with the other, to be uncomfortable, and to be open to new learnings so that “the strong have something to yearn for and the weak nothing to run from,” (RB 64:19) creating opportunities for change so all may flourish. 

Mrs Kay Gleeson
Lourdes Hill College 


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