EREA Touchstones: continuing the legacy of Edmund Rice

As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, CBC Fremantle embraces the four guiding Touchstones of the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) charter. The Touchstones perpetuate the legacy of Blessed Edmund Rice, the founder of  the Christian Brothers, and capture the character and culture of EREA schools.

At CBC, the Touchstones lay at the heart of the College's philosophy of excellence in education and exemplary pastoral care and are deeply embedded in every aspect of the transition of today's boys into tomorrow's gentlemen.

An education at CBC Fremantle challenges its graduates to be independent thinkers with the courage and persistence to confront injustice in our society.  It decries the mediocrity so often prevalent in popular culture, and encourages our young men to discover what has worth in this world and to place value upon it. To nourish this development, the College fosters a culture of critical thinking, resilience, selflessness, accountability and inclusivity, concepts that  are clearly articulated in the four EREA Touchstones.

To be effective in the development of tomorrow's gentlemen, the Touchstones are designed to be active values in order to become more deeply embedded in the students' understanding of their own self and identity. That is, the Touchstones are engaging, dynamic learning adventures which, in an environment of unconditional  support, encourages the confidence to take appropriate risks and to be engrossed in the experience.

The experience is often challenging and confronting, but the inevitable outcome is a deeper compassion and empathy for humanity.

While CBC Fremantle incorporates the Touchstones in all areas of the curriculum and co-curricular activities, the College's Immersion programme is a particularly powerful means of facilitating a deeper understanding of the world, thereby providing the momentum to make it a better place.

The College offers Immersions to Kiwirrkurra in the Pilbara and Maasin in the Phillipines, while Lima in Peru was recently added to the programme. Many CBC students have had their lives changed  irrevocably by the opportunity to stand in solidarity with people living in poverty or  in marginalised communities. The experience  is often challenging and confronting, but the  inevitable outcome is a deeper compassion  and empathy for humanity.

The Touchstones

 Liberating Education

We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences so that  through critical reflection and engagement  each person is hope filled and free to build a better world for all. 

The Touchstone of Liberating Education  builds awareness of oppression and marginalisation on the community and  global level and seeks to enable students  to challenge dominant cultural values and  ask the difficult questions. Skills such as  critical reflection and independent thinking encourage confidence to confront injustice  and the tenacity to persevere when challenged. In action, Christian Service Learning provides a particularly tangible commitment to this Touchstone, with  students being able to engage in activities  that assist members of the community  who are in need. Understanding the  plight of the marginalised cultivates an appreciation of privilege and a commitment to building a better world for all, while providing service gives students a true  sense of integrity and purpose.

Gospel Spirituality

We invite all people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.   

At CBC, we believe that Gospel values are immutable and may be embraced  equally by people of all faiths. The teaching of Jesus promotes the inherent dignity of  all, while encouraging empathy and a commitment to non-violent practices.   Spirituality is considered to be a way of living  that is open to and energised by a connection  to the sacred love of God. By equipping students  with a passion for justice, a heart for compassion  and desire for peace, as modelled by Jesus  Christ, tomorrow's gentlemen are challenged  to live with a spirit of gratitude and joy that reveres the sacredness of all things. 

Gospel Spirituality is honoured through  the College's Liturgical celebrations that  affirm faith traditions and a strong community spirit. Developing skills of reflective practice  and contemplation allows space for growth  and self-awareness.

Inclusive Community

Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationships and committed  to the common good.

Building a better world begins with building positive relationships in our community. Nurturing the dignity of every member encourages open and honest connection, which strengthens understanding. This can result in challenges to our own personal values, which can be unsettling and confronting, but can also offer the greatest opportunities for growth by forcing us to reconsider our preconceived ideas.

In the tradition of Edmund Rice, who was committed to breaking down barriers that perpetuate the social divisions of an unjust world, for more than a century CBC has sought to offer affordable education with excellent pedagogy, providing students with the best possible environment to realise their potential, no matter what their background may be.

The College honours this commitment at all levels, with a programme of events, service opportunities and social and behavioural policies that nurture healthy relationships. Positive role-modelling and leadership from senior students contribute to a climate of respect and friendship where students appreciate their own role in building a welcoming and accepting community.

Justice and Solidarity

We are committed to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spirituality of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised and the Earth itself.

As a faith community, CBC is inspired by the deep humanity modelled by Jesus Christ, who honoured the love of God by advocating for the marginalised and speaking out against injustice. In the light of the teachings of Jesus, affirmed by the prophets in the Old Testament, we understand that God's love extends to all of creation and we are called to live in respectful harmony with the Earth.

CBC's faith formation and religious identity brings authenticity to the College's justice and service programmes that provide opportunities for the young men at the College to open their hearts and minds to the plight of people in need in our community and around the globe. Indigenous Education activities and Immersions encourage the building of deep relationships of solidarity and a lasting commitment to justice and peace.