By Jordan Grantham, Catholic Outlook, October 2016
Five years ago, Miriam Makowiecki was a small-town girl from rural Queensland. Little did she know her life would be transformed at Campion College, Australia.
Miriam was attracted by the deep study of the humanities provided, which focuses on the wisdom and truth within Western civilisation.
Despite being dux of her school, she was yearning for deeper learning that nourished her mind and soul.
“The educational philosophy of the Liberal Arts made far more sense than the utilitarian nature of education I experienced in high school,” Miriam said.
Highlights of her time at the college include Campion trips to Italy and India, working with St Teresa of Kolkata’s Missionaries of Charity, and leading the social activities of the student association.
“Most importantly, I met my husband, Mark, at Campion and I’m not the only person who has been blessed to find a spouse,” she said.
In a practical sense, Miriam found that “the Liberal Arts were in fact the perfect preparation for teaching”.
The daily Mass at the college is the only event at noon. Students are free from classes and lunch, allowing them to attend. This experience deepened Miriam’s faith, facilitating personal growth and love of Christ.
“Having the Mass as the central point of the whole experience led to a lot of self-reflection and this, in turn, changes one’s perception of the world – at least it did for me,” she said.
Miriam is now the President of the Alumni Association, which held the annual Alumni Reunion from 9-11 September 2016. Forty people attended from as far afield as Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Wagga Wagga and Albury. This coincided with the college’s 10 Year Anniversary celebrations.
Events included a night at the historic Cricketer’s Arms Hotel, Prospect, and an alumni football match. A special highlight was the Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday morning.
Many alumni joined the Campion Schola for the Mass. Several Campion Schola alumni are ongoing members of the Cathedral Schola, both of which are conducted by St Patrick’s Director of Music, Bernard Kirkpatrick.
A ‘Ten Years of Talent Show’ concluded the weekend, sharing an astonishing range of talent. Campion alumni have received offers to the Conservatorium of Music, scholarships to the University of Wollongong, job offers at Cirque du Soleil, performed in the Sydney Youth Orchestra and won national partner dancing competitions.
Post-Campion, most pursue postgraduate study, with multiple students winning faculty medals, valuable scholarships and pursuing doctorates.
“The degree is completely non-prescriptive in terms of postgraduate activities, so there is a lot of variety,” Miriam explained.
Multiple alumni are working in education, media, politics, academia, law and managerial roles. There are also alumni in formation for priesthood and the religious life and many alumni who married each other.
“My husband proposed to me on New Year’s Eve, a few weeks after graduation,” Miriam shared. Suffice to say, there were fireworks.
“I’m now a mum and my experience at Campion plays a part in how I journey down this new path in my life. The education at Campion permeates all aspects of my life, not just my teaching.”
An invitation to ‘Come and See’ on Wednesday 5 October 2016
High school students from the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond have the chance to experience tertiary education for one day at Campion College’s ‘Come and See Day’ on Wednesday 5 October 2016.
Campion College is the first Liberal Arts College in Australia, providing a Bachelor of Arts degree in an authentically Catholic environment, as well as a Diploma of Liberal Arts and a Diploma of Classical Languages.
Dozens of students are expected from the Augustine Academy, a liberal arts school offering courses for secondary students.
The day will commence with Mass and a free catered lunch either in the Dining Hall or on the beautiful outdoor deck area. This will be followed by lectures, tours, Mass with the students, and information about scholarships.
Students can apply to attend Campion College and go through an interview on the day.
The event commences at noon and finishes at 4.30pm.
For registration and further details click here or tel (02) 9896 9300.