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High school students take over Jesuit publication

Michael McVeigh  |  04 September 2019

Six Catholic school students have contributed their insights and stories to the Spring 2019 edition of Australian Catholics magazine, distributed in schools and parishes across Australia last month.

The students took part in an internship program at Jesuit Communications in May, planning and writing articles for a special youth edition with the theme ‘Family life’.

The editors, with their families and teachers, gathered for the launch of the edition with Jesuit Communications staff at the Jesuit Province Office on Tuesday 27 August.

Jesuit Communications Director Monika Lancucki welcomed the students and their families at the launch, reflecting on the value of the internship program for the students and for Jesuit Communications.

‘This program offers students an opportunity to experience what it is like to work in publishing, as a journalist and as an editor’, she said.

‘It also offers the participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the power of words and language, their ability to influence, build awareness, shape attitudes and ultimately change behaviour. It also offers insight of the need to do that responsibly, with due consideration of the harm and good words and language can do to others.

‘But what I would like to share is the incredible value that the interns bring to us at Australian Catholics. To publish a youth edition with any degree of authenticity we need to embrace the voices and perspectives of youth. You who see the world through a very different lens to us. Youth who will inherit the world from the generations that have gone before it. And youth who have great hope and dreams to shape a better tomorrow. This is what you bring.’

Australian Provincial Fr Brian McCoy was also at the launch, encouraging the students to keep sharing their voices with the world.

Australian Catholics has been running its internship program since 2011. Each year the magazine turns one edition of the magazine over to high school students to be guest editors. Many of the young people who have been part of the program have gone on to be part of a young writers community, writing regularly for Australian Catholics and other Jesuit Communications publications including Eureka Street.

The six students involved in the program this year were (pictured from left) Chiara Fankhauser and Abbey Maffescioni from St Ignatius College, Geelong; Beatrice Van Rest from Avila College, Mt Waverley; Elise Ho from St Aloysius College, North Melbourne; and Mieke de Vries from Avila College. Kyla Dwyer from Kilbreda College, Mentone, could not make the evening.

Working with the students during the internship program were Jesuit Communications Editorial Consultant Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ, Australian Catholics Editor Michael McVeigh, and Eureka Street Assistant Editor Neve Mahoney, who was a part of the internship program herself back in 2014.

You can find their stories in the latest print edition of the magazine, or at


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