From the Assistant Principals
Posted: 30-Oct-2019

Timor Leste Cupcake Day 2019

Social justice is at the heart of our Christian faith and cannot be separated from living witness to the Gospel hope for a better world found in the life and the message of Jesus. In terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society, individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice. Our society is the global community. As Timor Leste moves into the celebration of 20 year of freedom, we remain embarrassed by our comparative wealth and opportunity in the “lucky country.” But it is possible to act on community development and increase the potential for young people in one of our nearest neighbours. That is what Cupcake Day is all about - making a difference.

The annual day of cooperation between Damascus College and Emmaus Catholic primary school to support the parish schools of Ainaro in Timor Leste was held on Friday 25th October. It is action for social justice. It was a great success in terms of cooperation with Year 10 students from the Damascus College Immersion Team for 2020 and Grade four student from Emmaus baking and decorating cupcakes in the food technology rooms at Damascus College.

Sales of cupcakes at recess and lunch raised in excess of $768 for our near neighbours in Timor Leste.

In Ainaro, Emmaus has a friendship school called Sao Paulo Primary School and Damascus College has a friendship with Santa Maria Secondary College.

Sales of cupcakes at recess at Damascus College and at Emmaus Catholic Primary school at lunch break raised much needed cash for resources for our friends.

Written by Mr. Tony Haintz - Assistant Principal Catholic School Culture

College Uniform

It has been a pleasure greeting students in the warmer spring conditions which have presented themselves this week. The mornings are often my favourite part of the day where you get the opportunity to have informal chats about what is happening in the lives of students. My favourite topic is still the Richmond Football Club, and their record-breaking premiership win. The mornings also provide an opportunity to observe the pride in how students present themselves in wearing their school uniform.

 This week I was questioned by a number of students when I approached them for wearing the incorrect socks to school. The students politely asked how a pair of ‘black globe socks’ was going to impact on their ability to learn in the classroom. A reasonable question which is often used by students when they are challenged by their TA or classroom teacher for wearing the incorrect uniform.

Damascus College is a proud community which continues to evolve as an inclusive, progressive and innovative learning environment. The uniform is an internal and external representation of the community in which our students belong. Internally House Leaders have found that when students are wearing their school uniform correctly there are less behavioural issues and greater connectedness amongst students. When lines start to be blurred such as wearing incorrect socks, the incorrect hair ribbon and incorrect skirt lengths, students sense a drop in standards and in turn expectations of them. This can then infiltrate into the classroom where students begin to accept standards which are not reflective of their potential learning ability. As parents we are all aware when we take short cuts in one area we generally see repercussions in another. Externally wearing the uniform with pride represents our place in the broader community. The uniform is the public façade of how the community see our College. Wearing the uniform with pride confirms Damascus is a learning environment that students are proud to be part of and where personal pride and presentation is valued.

I would ask that as parents /carers you too share the same values that we ask of our students. Accepting close enough is good enough when you see your child leave for school can commence a cycle which is difficult to break, and potentially go well beyond secondary school.

The two boys whom I spoke with earlier this week were gracious enough to admit that they had been apathetic in preparing themselves for school and could sense their motivation was waning. It was pleasing to see that the following day they presented themselves immaculately ready to prepare for end of year exams.

Over the coming weeks, there will be some information on subtle changes to our uniform regulations which aim to reflect consistency in male and female options. There will be more information regarding this in future newsletter reports.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish our VCE students all the best for their upcoming exams. This can be a potentially stressful time for students and parents. Please be assured that support services at Damascus are still available for students throughout the exam and post-exam period. 
Written by Mr. Andrew Robertson - Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing

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