Principals Update Week 2
Posted: 26-Apr-2018

Yesterday we paused as a nation to commemorate those who have given their lives that we enjoy the peaceful and privileged lifestyle that we do today.  Damascus students laid wreaths at both the Cenotaph in Ballarat and at the ceremony in Buninyong and they did so reverently and proudly.  I thank those student leaders who made themselves available; School Captains Sean O’Beirne and Ellie Carroll whilst Year 12 students Caitlin Forbes and Sarah Mann laid the wreath with Ash Pillai. 

The student population gathered with staff on Tuesday as we commemorated ANZAC day here at school with a liturgy led by the student leaders.  It was a prayerful and respectful gathering and I am continually affirmed of the hope for the future out of the reverence of the young people of the College.  I pray this week;

“God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks to you for the peace and security we enjoy, which was won for us through the courage and devotion of those who gave their lives in time of war. We pray that their labour and sacrifice may not be in vain, but that their spirit may live on in us and in generations to come. That the liberty, truth and justice which they sought to preserve may be seen and known in all the nations upon earth. In this Easter season, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us. Amen.”

Thank you to the more than 120 families who completed the Enhancing Catholic Identity Project survey.  This is a really important tool to inform the development of our Catholic Christian identity over the years to come.  Your willingness to actively contribute is greatly appreciated.

Can I remind families of the Mothers’ Day Mass and breakfast that is taking place on Thursday, May 10th and encourage you to try and fit it into your already busy calendar. More information about the event can be found Here.

Last Tuesday we conducted our House Athletics Carnival at Llanberis Regional Athletics centre. It was a wintery start but turned into a pleasant afternoon and the level of competition was excellent - all day there was a very strong rivalry with O'Collins coming out victors ahead of Rice, then McAuley and Xavier. I thank and congratulate Nicole Hexter on her organisation and the committed band of staff that supported her. Student conduct was exceptional and there were a number of records broken on the day! Congratulations to O'Collins on a wonderful team effort. The Ballarat Associated School carnival will be conducted on Friday at Llanberis where hopefully all students that qualified will participate and we hope to have a strong Damascus representation. Parents are encouraged and invited to come along. 

Age group champions were:

Age

Male

Female

U13

Harry Miller

Alice Lepair

U14

Tim Collins

Grace Charry

U15

Jack Bambury

Mia Lepair

U16

Alex Rofe and James Mavity

Kaitlyn Balazic

U17

Ben Neumann

Crystal McDonald

U20

Jake Currie

Alyssa Britten

I congratulate these talented athelets and all students who participated to the best of their ability throughout the day. 

It was a big weekend of activities for the College.  Congratulations to the Timor crew on the Car boot sale on Saturday.  It was great to see new ideas flourishing and such great success across the event.

It is reunion season at the moment and if you are a community member who was a part of class that graduated in a year ending in an “8” it would be great to see you at a reunion.  This coming Friday from 6.30 pm is the reunion of the class of 2008 and on Saturday is the class of 78 from 2.00 PM.

On the staff front this week, we welcome back Sharyn Wolfe from well-deserved Long Service Leave. Erin Copeland will finish up on staff this week and I wish her well for the future.  Replacing Erin is new staff member, Sarah McKnight who will teach Year 9 Core Group One for Mathematics for the rest the year.  Sarah has been on staff for the past three years at Clarendon College.  Catherine Richardson takes over the Year 8 ESTEEM classes from Erin for Core Groups Two and Three. Catherine joins us most recently from the Ballarat Tech School and taught for a number of years at Ballarat Grammar prior to that.  I look forward to these new staff joining our team. Jane McKendrick has reduced her teaching allotment for the rest of the year and I appreciate that Angie Crace will continue Jane’s excellent work with Year 8 English classes until the end of May. Familiar face, Kerryn Wehrung will assume the allotment for the rest of the year. This affects student in Year 8 Groups Six and Eight. It is great to welcome both Angie and Kerryn to the staff. 

An opportunity exists this week at the Cathedral Hall for members of the Catholic community, which is all of us, to learn more about the forthcoming Plenary Council 2020.  A plenary council is to provide for the pastoral needs of the people of God and provide an opportunity for dialogue and reflection to form the Church of tomorrow.  More information about the Plenary council can be found at http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/ .  Next Wednesday at 10.00 AM and 7.00 PM Redemptorist priests will facilitate these discussion and all are invited to attend.  

Finally, Students are required to be in full Winter uniform for next Monday, 30th April – this means long pants for boys, Winter skirts and tights for girls and track pants with the PE uniform for both.  I have seen a couple of skirts that do not comply with our length requirements which is to the knee already this week. Following up uniform takes valuable school resources away from the core business of learning and teaching and creates awkward conversations with families when this follow up happens.  Please ensure winter skirts are knee length. 

We pray this week for the family of staff member Sally Wright on the passing of a loved Aunt.  We pray also for the family of Abbi O’Keefe (Yr. 12) on the recent passing of a grand-parent also the family of Miekah Pitcher (Yr. 8) on the passing of a great grand-parent. Prayers are also extended to the family of Hannah Magee (Yr. 9) at the recent loss of a loved one. May the God of peace be with each of these families in their time of grief. 

Until next week….. 

MATT

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