A fresh new look for Loving for Life in 2021

11 Feb 2021

By Contributor

A facilitator is pictured in discussion with pupils of St Joseph’s School, Northam, in August 2019. Photo: Supplied.

“Before, I thought that marriage was just a piece of paper, but now I realise it is so much more.”

This was the comment made by a Year 11 student at a Catholic secondary school after participating in a programme run by Loving for Life last year.

As a not-for-profit entity based at the LJ Goody Bioethics Centre in Mount Hawthorn, Loving for Life WA has continued to support the work of Catholic schools and develop educational programmes and resources to increase understanding of healthy, positive relationships and wellbeing from a Christian perspective since 1992.

After a year of reflection and review brought upon by the challenges of face-to-face delivery, Loving for Life sought to develop new resources, update its programme offerings, and re-launch its brand for 2021.

The organisation held its 2021 “Re-launch” event on 9 December 2020 at the Oxford Hotel, Leederville, attended by representatives of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA), the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Project, and leaders in Catholic schools.

The new approach will incorporate greater flexibility in how modules are presented, an expansion of modules to meet the needs of primary-school-aged children and active recruitment of young people to train and work as presenters for Loving for Life.

The love of Christ inspires the foundation of the work of Loving for Life to support young people to become all that God has created them to be.

The programmes support schools in sharing knowledge and developing skills for young people to strengthen their friendships, family relationships, and communities.

Tina Jack (standing) has been the Director of Loving for Life WA since 1996. Photo: Supplied.

Tina Jack, Director of Loving for Life, said its success over several years was primarily achieved by engaging with students in small groups, as they conversed on often susceptible topics.

“Programmes are structured to lead students to understand what makes us whole people, what is a healthy sexuality, and how we can have true happiness in healthy relationships,” she told The eRecord.

The programmes and modules are evidence-based and adhere to the CEWA guidelines for teaching sexuality in Catholic schools.

The content undergoes regular review and assessment with LJ Goody Bioethics Centre Director Rev Dr Joseph Parkinson.

Loving for Life continues to receive and be grateful for the support of Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton and the Knights of the Southern Cross WA.

Information sessions and presentations on related topics, relevant to the formation of young people during their adolescent years, have been offered to parents, adolescents, community groups and schools since 1992. By the time Loving for Life had celebrated 25 years of operation in 2017, it had worked with more than 50,000 students, parents, and teachers at 26 metropolitan and nine rural schools in WA.

Its affiliate partnership with Loving for Life New Zealand has enabled its content to be delivered to more than 19 schools and 1900 students throughout Aotearoa.

Loving for Life has delivered programmes to a range of Catholic schools in both metropolitan and rural schools across WA including Aquinas College, Bunbury Catholic College, CBC Fremantle, Holy Cross College, Lumen Christi College, Mercedes College, St Anthony’s Primary School, St Joseph’s College Northam, St Brigid’s College, and St Joseph’s College Albany.

Facilitators are chosen for their ability to meet the students at their level; many students respond positively to the compassionate and respectful approach.

Students of Catholic schools can engage in Christ-centred educational programmes run by Loving for Life WA. Photo: Supplied.

“As a faith-based organisation, we are committed to helping young people discover their dignity and worth as they grow and mature. Students create their vision of what they want for themselves in relationships and are affirmed when they see how closely this aligns with what God wants for them,” facilitator Clare Cox said.

A Holy Cross College Year 9 pupil shared a personal testimony saying that the topic that stood out most for them was when we spoke about what made a whole person.

“We were told about intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional aspects of our nature.

“I realised that before this, I was part of the group that looked at one aspect of a person and not their whole full self”.

A Bunbury Catholic College Year 9 student also echoed the previous student’s sentiment. “The best thing about this programme is being able to talk about confronting issues and finding answers.”

“Towards Loving” is the Year 7 flagship programme of Loving for Life and has seen the most demand from schools.

It brings students and their parents together, providing an opportunity to discuss the changes that occur as a young person enters adolescence on their journey towards adulthood.

If you wish to know more about the programme content, how to become a trained facilitator, or find out how to book a Loving for Life programme, email: info@lovingforlife.org