Principal's Update Week 4
Posted: 08-Aug-2018

You may have noticed the attached image upon entering the visitor reception at the College. The work is titled “To live by the Light of Christ” and it is painted by former student Seona Murnane (class of 1995). The work is a result of the Alumni Art Project which seeks to engage Damascus College Alumni (including alumni from Sacred Heart College, St Paul’s College and St Martin’s in the Pines) in the life and community of Damascus College, through the exploration of the school’s motto ‘To Live by the Light of Christ’.

The project commenced in 2014 with the College engaging the services of a past student or staff member each year to create a piece of artwork to be displayed in the Visitor Reception area of the College for a 12 month period.

It is a bright and fresh image, Seona’s artist statement reflects – “To live by the light of Christ, for me, is to live by one’s own values and beliefs. My family provided me with strong values. I was raised in a Catholic family, attended Catholic schools for 13 years and for one year of university when completing my Diploma of Education. I see myself as culturally Catholic. This art work has allowed me to stop, reflect and be present. There is a hill that I always look for when on the train travelling between Ballarat and Melbourne. I reminds me of a Fred Williams landscape. It is located near Millbrook (Black Hill). This artwork began with me wanting to paint the landscape of the hill, the curves and the trees sprouting from the earth. The painting also includes the map of the roads I took to find the Hill by car, this reflects the journey that we are all on and how we can live by the light of Christ or can be spiritual as we navigate our ways through life….…viewers are invited to reflect and be in front of this painting and interpret the landscape for yourself.”

If you get a chance to come by the College reception, I encourage you to spend a moment reflecting on Seona’s work and where your life’s journey meets the light of Christ.

Thank you to those families who have already contributed to the Insight SRC data collection, this provides invaluable information to the College for our 2019 school review. I am travelling to Hamilton today to spend three days within the Monivae College community on their school review in preparation for our 2019 review process. If you did receive the randomly generated survey, it would be appreciate if you could complete it either in hard copy and send back into the College office, or online.

Yesterday, students submitted their subject selections during TA time. This is the next step in the process of planning for 2019. Students who have made applications to fast track will have their applications assessed over the coming weeks and will be informed of the outcome.

There are a range of opportunities for senior students coming up in relation to Open Days. Open days are an important opportunity to help foster in students some understanding the suite of tertiary opportunities available. I believe the best time to be visiting Universities is in years 10 and 11, as it can help focus subject selection and provide incentive for senior pathways at Year 12. A link to a full list of University open days as well as advice on how to get the most out of the Open Days can be found here.

The opportunity to attend free VCE lectures at Australian Catholic University here in Ballarat has been offered to students studying Unit 3 & 4 for the September holidays. Students can pay a lot of money to attend these in Melbourne – I encourage students to make the most of this local opportunity to ensure a solid preparation for their VCE exams. More information and the booking option can be found here.

I congratulate Year 12 student, Sam Rizzo on being named FedUni WestVic Academy of Sport Male ‘Athlete of the Year’ for 2017/2018 at the Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club monthly presentation dinner. Sam claimed back-to-back titles, capping off a highly successful year with strong performances on the international and national stage throughout the past 12 months. Well done Sam!

Can I remind families that the Damascus College staff will participate in our annual Faith Development day, next Friday 17th August.This day is a student free day. This year the staff are working with Jesuit priest Fr Richard Leonard.

Nicole Burness and Deb Larsen have commenced leave this week. Nicole will be replaced by Sue Gordon for the duration of here leave. Deb will be replaced by David Myers (a second David Myers!). We welcome Sue and David.

There was a Year 9 Footy codes excursion to the MCG on Friday night and I thank Wayne Forster for his preparation of this event and the other staff who supported the excursion – the Tigers were lucky to get home!! Gerard Macklin is facilitating the Year 11 Legal students’ excursion today in Greg Dow’s absence and I thank him for his efforts.

This afternoon our Cross Country runners will compete in the Ballarat Associated Schools Cross Country here at Damascus. I thank Nikki Hexter and Rod Mathews and all who have supported our running team and I wish them well for healthy competition today.

Year 11 students will take part in their Retreat experience on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Can I ask Parents of Year 11 students to ensure that permission has been completed via PAM as soon as possible.

We pray for Nicholas Fletcher (Year 7) and his family on the recent loss of his Great Grandmother whilst our prayers and thoughts also go out to Jack Bambury (Year 9) and family on the loss of a beloved family member.

Until next week ….

MATT

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