Glass cross links sea, land and spirituality

Students and staff from Notre Dame and Prendiville with the Manjaree Cross

Indigenous university students have collaborated with high school students to create a glass cross designed to showcase the link between spirituality, culture and family. Source: University of Notre Dame Australia.

The students from the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, and Prendiville Catholic College in Ocean Reef, Perth, took nearly two months to create the Manjaree Cross.

It was unveiled last month at the university's Manjaree Place, which is a culturally-appropriate space designed to encourage interaction among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and to provide a sense of belonging to Notre Dame.

The cross hangs adjacent to the 5.5m long mural painted by local Fremantle Nyungar artist Neta Knapp and Notre Dame students in December 2017.

Notre Dame student and project leader, Dana Anaru, worked with students Tash Victor and Danielle Thurlow on the first phase of artwork, capturing Aboriginal spirituality through the use of bold colours, diverse symbols and depictions of culture of Country.

They focused on colours of sea and land, as well as intricate symbols of creation, collaboration and rebirth. The cross also features three large rings, representing the University’s Fremantle, Broome and Sydney campuses.

Based on their design, students in the glass-making program at Prendiville Catholic College completed the work with expert guidance from teacher Lynn Vroombout.

The university's Rommie Masarei said the Manjaree Cross not only symbolises Jesus’s love for humanity and for all life, but is tangible recognition of reconciliation at work at the university.

“Each time we walk into Manjaree Place, we’re reminded of the deep and profound spirituality of Aboriginal people across this continent, many of whom hold faith and culture within their hearts, and the connective love and support for each other within the Notre Dame community – which also extends way beyond these walls,” Mrs Masarei said.

President of the Notre Dame Student Association, Dylan Gojak, said the special glass cross will be constant reminder of the importance Manjaree Place has within the Notre Dame community.


Spirituality, culture, family – defining attributes of Manjaree Cross (University of Notre Dame Australia)

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