Christchurch Catholic Commission of Justice & Peace Annual Competition 2023

For many years now the Christchurch Catholic commission of Justice and Peace has run an annual essay contest for Catholic school students based on Social Justice Week.

2023 CCJP Competition Image

This year we decided to ask Years 7-8 and Years 9-10 to enter into a poster competition instead illustrating the theme; “Peace Begins With You”.

We were amazed at the numbers submitted, which made judging very difficult!! Some very sophisticated posters came forward. The winners were those who showed a profound understanding of what peace is and the origin of peace - God.

What impressed us about all the posters was just how global problems are affecting our tamariki and how well the Gospel message is being taught in Catholic schools. Today’s world and its problems can appear insurmountable but the simple, uncomplicated faith of children has much to teach us, especially about peace.

Years 7 8 Sofia Some Our Lady of Victories Copy
Sofia Some (Our Lady of Victories)
2023 Winning Yr 7 8 Poster Sofia Syme
Year 7-8 Competition Winning Poster by Sofia Syme

The winner in Years 7-8 is Sofia Syme of Our Lady of Victories School. Sofia has won a personal award of $150.00 and $100 as a Class Award. Her poster shows hands reaching out across the world to others in peace and in compassion, regardless of race or colour.

The winner in Years 9-10 is Seyara de Silva of Marian College.

Seyara has won a personal award of $300.00 and $100.00 as a Class Award.

Seyara’s poster gives us the Heart of Love dispersing the love of the Father down through Mary, (Rosary), and the Holy Spirit, (Dove), to ordinary people living their lives. Quite a profound statement. An olive branch completes the picture.

2023 Winning Yr 9 10 Poster Seyara de Silva
Year 9-10 Competition Winning Poster by Seyara de Silva
Seyara de Silva Yr 9 10 Ruby Love Smith Yr 11 13
Seyara de Silva (Left) & Ruby Love Smith (Right) from Marian College

Students from Years 11-13 were asked to demonstrate in an essay; “How does the real, personal peace we need help us to become the peacemakers the world needs?”

Again we were impressed by the thoughts and understanding demonstrated by the students who took part.

The winner in Years 11-13 is Ruby Love-Smith from Marian College.

Ruby put together a peace booklet featuring examples of peace from the lives of people she knew or those whose actions she was aware of. Each example was different but each portrayed how, as individuals we can create a peaceful environment that can extend ever outward.

Ruby has won a personal award of $500.00, a $100.00 Class Award and the Justice & Peace Cup for Marian College.

Ruby's Peace Booklet

We congratulate the winners, their schools and thank all students who entered the competition. We look forward to what you will produce in 2024.

Barbara Te Miha,