Principal's Update - Week 1
Posted: 09-Oct-2019

Welcome back to Term 4 of 2019! The year is racing, and there are still so many activities and so much learning to take place for students across these coming weeks. I have returned from a very positive four weeks leave with my family refreshed, and it is great to hear of the success of Damascus Day in the last week of last term. I congratulate the SRC and Jayde Tangey on the activities of Damascus Day afternoon and Cathy Prunty, Tony Haintz and the RE team on the success of the Mass. I wish to acknowledge, Chris Grant for assuming the responsibilities of Principal in my absence and I thank Tony Haintz and Martin Ryan who assumed the respective Deputy and Assistant Principal roles.

On Monday, I was fortunate to meet with the Year 12 students who are planning their final assembly, and it was fantastic to hear of their appreciation of the exam opportunities that were facilitated by the College over the break. I thank VCE Coordinator, Matthew Hallowell and Assistant Principal of Learning and Teaching, Ashwin Pillai for enabling these opportunities.

On Monday night the Year 12 VCE Drama students performed their solo performances ahead of their performance exam today, and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they undertake the first of the end of year exams. Andrew Seeary accompanied students to their exam today, and their nervousness regarding this assessment was very natural.

Families of Year 12 students should have received an invitation to the formal assembly on Wednesday, 23rd October from 1:30pm. If you have not, please contact the Administration office.

While we begin the process of concluding one group of students’ education, this Saturday, we will welcome for the first time the 2020 Year 7 students for a morning of testing and assessments. Families with a student coming into Year 7 should have received a communication outlining the details of the morning. If you have any questions please contact the Administration office.

On Sunday, as I prepared to return to school, the second reading at Mass spoke to me regarding my vocation as an educator. It was a letter from St Paul for whom Damascus is named, and it was to Timothy. The letter was written from Paul to his friend Timothy when he was imprisoned prior to being martyred, but it is the spirit of hope in sharing the Christian message that jumped out to me as I return to our Catholic school community;
Paul wrote

6 That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands.

7 God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.8 So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God

13 Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, look after that precious thing given in trust. Second Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
I pray that as a community, we can continue to fan the flame of the gift of God with the help of the Holy Spirit.

It was exciting last night to welcome parents to the inaugural meeting of the parent rowing committee. The College community is very appreciative of the contribution of the parents who are able to support the committee and those who have taken on executive roles; Mary Vanderlinden as President, Tanya McKay as Treasurer and Yasmin Lloyd as Secretary. The season launch BBQ on the 24th October at 6.00pm was significant on the agenda last night.

On Friday evening the families of the 2020 Timor Immersion Group will gather for a shared meal in the staff room. Students and families of previous immersions are welcome to attend. More information can be found here.

In the last two days we have had the experience of the typically variable Ballarat Spring weather. Students are permitted to wear their summer or winter uniform for the first two weeks of this term, so if you feel that the weather is decisively cold, encourage your student/s to wear their winter uniform.

On the uniform front, please do not allow students to come to school in the wrong uniform. It is time-consuming to follow up and creates the potential for conflict, all of which distract from learning and teaching. We go to significant lengths to be explicit about uniform and need families support. Of particular concern this week has been the wearing of black socks by some students and summer dresses that are too short. Could I ask for families support in this area please.

To support your student, please log into the Parent Access Module (PAM) and check your student/s interim reports and the current status of their Learning Area tasks. Parental interest in student achievement and support to meet deadlines is critical to student success.

There have been a number of families affected by bereavements over recent weeks. Retired long term staff member Loui Bressan, lost his Mum late last week in Sydney and we remember Loui and his wife Sandi in our prayers. Charlotte (Year 11) and Tom (Year 9) Ashley also lost their paternal grandmother this past week, and we remember the Ashley family in our prayers. Lisa Meade who is a regular member of our staff team lost her Mum over the weekend, and we remember Lisa, Brett, Josh (Year 10) and Ellie in our prayers. We pray for all those who mourn, that they may be comforted by the presence of the God of peace.

We extend a prayer of joy to staff member, Barb Perry who became a grand-parent over the holiday break.

Until next week …


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