Principal's Update Week 3
Posted: 02-Aug-2018

The production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat that closed on Saturday evening was a great celebration of Damascus young people and their capabilities. In the production, students of our College showed talent, persistence, camaraderie and genuine support for one another and I congratulate everyone who was involved in some way. Standing in the foyer at the conclusion of many of the shows, it was great to witness the joy from people exiting and I shared with pride to the students that the entertainment that they had provided was genuinely appreciated.

It takes the entire College community to put on such an event. I must extend my appreciation to Maria Russell as Director on what was a really engaging show. Maria was supported by a generous team; former School Captain- Chiara Angeli, Staff members; Nicole Burness, Vicki Rowe, Andrew Seeary, Adrian Newman, Jason Harrison, Tony Haintz, Taneka Gardiner, Anne Griffin and a multitude of others. I must also acknowledge the tireless contribution of parent Kris Carroll who was present every day for the season of the show and made an enormous contribution to costuming with Vicki; together with SLC and Rob James for their generous support of the technical aspects. One of the great aspects of this show was the number of talented musicians from within the student population who gained a real appreciation of being part of the musical team for a production, conducted by Adrian Newman. The stars of the show were the students of Damascus College. The energy that the performers and musicians exuded and the obvious delight that they gained from their participation was commented on by many who saw the show. There has been a great feeling of pride associated with the production! Well done!

This week it has been wonderful to see so many families present to look at subject selection for 2019 with the respective Teacher Advisor to ensure that each student has selected the subjects that best suit their skills and abilities while preparing them for an appropriate post school destination. If you have questions following this week’s interviews do not hesitate to speak further with the Teacher Advisor or Careers Coordinator; Jo Lawrence.

Over the past couple of weeks students have commenced training for the 2018/19 Rowing season. Students have begun their pre-dawn workouts and there is a significant interest in Rowing amongst the student population. At this stage the College is still seeking interested persons for the role of Rowing Coach. It is desirable that coaches have some experience as rowers themselves, but they will be supported to obtain Level 1 coaching skills, so previous coaching experience is not necessary. If you feel you may be able to offer some support to coaching rowers, please contact Head of Rowing, Sharon Waters through the College Office.

Next Wednesday August 8th in the afternoon Damascus is hosting the BAS Cross Country event. We wish all those students well in their competition.

2019 is a year for school review. As a part of that process, we have been very appreciative of the parents who completed the Enhancing Catholic School Identity project survey earlier in the year. Currently 100 families will also randomly have received an Insight SRC survey on general aspects of school life. It would be appreciated if families could complete these surveys either on line or in the hard copy form provided and return to the College. If you have any questions please contact Deputy Principal Chris Grant.

Deb Larsen has leave planned form next Monday for the next two weeks and we wish her well for the break. She will be replaced by David Myers for the duration of her leave. Nicole Burness has six weeks leave from next Monday and she will be replaced by Sue Gordon for the duration. I wish Nicole well! This week we welcome back Megan Grant, Barbara Kelderman and Wayne Forster, who return from Long Service Leave.

College Counsellor, Christie Stevens moves on from Damascus next week with Tuesday being her final day. Christie has worked at Damascus in 2015 and then rejoined the staff at the start of 2017. She has always been friendly and professional in her engagement with students and we wish her well as she moves into this next stage of her professional progression and thank her for all the support she has provided to students over her two and a half years at Damascus.

Charlotte Hayward, Megan O’Beirne, Brooke Gannon, and Cooper Guinea headed off to Royal South Street Debating yesterday at the ACU Aquinas Campus. The students were generously supported by Public Speaking and Debating Leader, Ashleigh Brown.

Next Monday afternoon at 5.30pm there is a meeting of prospective 2019 Timor Leste Immersion students and their families. This meeting will take place in Room 7208.

There is a Year 9 Footy Codes excursion that culminates with the Richmond – Geelong game on Friday and a Year 11 Legal excursion on Wednesday.

Dad’s are invited to the Father’s Day Mass and Breakfast on August 30th, information on the event can be found here.

It was great to attend the Catholic Youth Festival with 60 of our Year 10 students last Friday at Federation University. I was very proud of the way that these young men and women engaged with the day and the presenters and their willingness to learn about different aspects of the Catholic Faith tradition.

On Sunday the Gospel was the familiar scripture of the Feeding of the 5,000. It must have been an extraordinary event, as it is treated as significant in all four of the Gospels. As I have sat with the Gospel this week, I have been struck by the fact that all four gospels make a point of saying that nothing was wasted. In fact, 12 hampers of leftovers were collected. It resonates with the current SBS series; “War on Waste” and our Christian imperative to care for our common home. I encourage families this week, to continue the conversation around your family table about ways that we can continue to reduce our environmental footprint, by reducing the amount of food that we allow to go to waste.

I ask for your prayers for staff member Jane McKendrick who lost her brother this week. Also for your prayers for Keran Mewett (staff) and her family on the passing of Keran’s Dad.

Our prayers and thoughts go to Laura Lee (Year 8) and her family on the recent passing of her Great Grandmother. We also remember in our prayers the Poulter family and their many friends on the tragic passing of Lachlan over the weekend.

May the love these men experienced and shared in life, provide comfort in this time of loss.

Until next week …

MATT

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