I am energised after my three days with our Year 12 students in Anglesea last week. It is rare to have the chance to spend time with the adults of tomorrow, and I was very proud to be able to get to know our 134 Year 12 students better. Over the three days of the experience, students were open to the activities presented. I was pleased not to hear over the entire three days any bad language in their interaction with one another, which impressed me enormously. Bad language is never condoned in secondary school, but as part of young people finding their place in the world, it is not uncommon for some to experiment with different forms of expression. Our job as educators, just as it is yours as parents, is to guide them to the best forms of expression. Over the three days, I did not need to speak to any individual about their language, and I affirmed our senior students for their maturity in communication. It was a wonderful three days, and I thank Adrian Newman, Tony Haintz and Martin Ryan who facilitate the experience and all the staff who came away from their families to support our students.
There were very few members of our community regretting that we did not proceed with our swimming carnival yesterday. We aim to provide a strong opportunity for student involvement and to have a positive community experience, and this could not have been achieved. The weather was not conducive to 1,200 people gathering around and in a pool!! I apologise to any families who had plans in place to attend the swimming carnival, but we plan to undertake the event on the rescheduled date of Tuesday 26th February. If the weather is bad on a second occasion, we will need to cancel the carnival and determine other means to select our interschool squad.
Last weekend across parishes in Ballarat we commenced the PARISH STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM 2019. The Program recognises that ‘Parishes are the Heartbeat of the Church’ and all of us, through our involvement in our schools are connected with Catholic Parishes. Damascus sits within the Ballarat East Parish of St Peter and Paul’s Buninyong and St Alipius, Ballarat East. The stewardship program invites us to reflect on what it means to be a member of a parish community. Our new College Governor and Vicar General; Fr Kevin Maloney speaks in the attached clip on the importance of parish life.
Last Friday night was the opening and awards night for the NextGen VCE Arts and Technology exhibition at The Art Gallery of Ballarat. Damascus was once again well represented. Congratulations to Anne and Studio arts photography students Emily Armeni, Taya Letcher & Anastasia Walker. Congratulations also go to Oscar Thomas for the inclusion of his Vis Com work, and to Matt Allen and his student Maison Doll for his Design Technology piece. Congratulations to Sharen and her students Ruby Hyatt and Sian Clifford. Ruby received “The City of Ballarat Arts and Culture Unicorn Lane Award” and Sian was the winner of “The City of Ballarat Arts and Culture 2d prize”.
There was a big weekend of rowing for our senior rowers last weekend in Nagambie. I congratulate all involved on their build-up across the season.
Tomorrow night, Thursday 14th is the VCE and VCAL information evening. If you have a student enrolled in either of these senior certificates, you are strongly encouraged to attend. More information can be found here.
This Friday, 15th February we have our Opening School Mass at 11.30am. Please feel free to come along even if you are not familiar with our Church traditions. It is great to have families share liturgy with us. An invitation to the Mass can be found here. Students are to wear full school uniform and bring a change if they have PE.
Year 7 Camp kicks off next week at the Log cabin camp at Creswick. Students will go out in house groups starting with St Martin Monday, McAuley Tuesday, Xavier Wednesday and Rice Thursday. Families should have all have received information regarding the camp, however, if there are any questions, do not hesitate to contact the College office. It should be a great week for our newest and youngest students to consolidate friendships within their new House groupings
Any families who have a student in Grade 6 who will be seeking a 2020 enrolment, please ensure your application/s are submitted by this Friday 15th February.
We remember in our prayers this week Grace Stephens (Year 11 - currently on exchange) and Max Stephens (Year 8) as they lost their paternal Grandmother late last week; we pray that she is at peace in the loving arms of our God.
We remember all those who need our prayers at this time.
Until next week.,