Principals Update Week 1
Posted: 18-Apr-2018

It is great to commence another term and to welcome back the great young people and staff of Damascus College.  The weather of the past few days has been in stark contrast to the beautiful autumn weather that we enjoyed for most of the holidays. 

As a faith community we are still in the Easter Season – I was fortunate to attend the Easter vigil in Warrnambool with my immediate and extended family.  The vigil is the Mass on the evening before Easter Sunday and it opens with a service of light.

The lighting of the fire and the Easter candle go back to rites that long preceded Christianity. The candle, carried with loving reverence and lyrically praised in word and song, is a sign of Christ, "the light of the world," and celebrates the victory of light over darkness that humanity has ever longed for. “To live by the light of Christ” is the motto of Damascus College and it invites us to continually return to the Easter story and the triumph of life over death and light over darkness.  It is in this spirit of hope and joy that we approach this second term of 2018!

Yesterday we gathered at Llanberris Athletics facility for our House Athletics carnival.  It was great to see students competing to the best of their ability and earning valuable House points.  It was a positive event and this morning we are just confirming results and will announce Age Group Champions and the winning House later in the day.

On the last Wednesday of last term we conducted the Lap of the Lake running event around Lake Wendouree.  On that afternoon over 850 students ran and/or walked the lake. The overall results were;

1st place – Rice

2nd place – McAuley

3rd place – O’Collins

4th place - Xavier

Juniors ran 4 km and intermediate and senior students ran 6 km. Age group winners were;

Junior Girls – Olivia Daly, 17.41, McAuley   

Junior Boys – Lachie Humphrey, 15.09, Rice

Inter Girls – Annabelle Fletcher, 29.49, Rice            

Inter Boys – James Mavity, 24.49, McAuley

Senior Girls – Eliza Lepair, 25.38, Rice                    

Senior Boys – Charlie Carr, 27.51, Rice

Sam Rizzo – 14.27, Rice                   

Year 12 student, Sam Rizzo is to be congratulated on his achievement making the final of the T53-T54 1500m event at the Commonwealth Games.  I am sure Sam was aware of the enormous community support and pride in his success at this highest level of his sport. Congratulations Sam on a remarkable accomplishment!!

I welcome back our Year 10 and 11 travellers and staff members; Min Myers, Sr Marie Davey and Andy Robertson from their three week tour of France and Switzerland.  They arrived home on Friday and it is great to have them back safely.  I thank Min for the work that leading a trip such as this requires over the past two years and Andy, Min and Sr Marie for giving their time so generously over the holiday period. I congratulate the students on being great ambassadors for the College and look forward to hearing more of their travels.

Our 2018 Timor immersion team are conducting a Car Boot sale this Saturday 21st April in the Car Park here at School – if you are interested in taking part, more information can be found here.

As we return this term we are seeking families’ support of our Catholic identity by asking you to complete a series of surveys to address our Catholic identity and improve the student and community faith experience.  This series of surveys is conducted by the Leuven University in Belgium and is part of an international study.  The surveys take 30-45 minutes and it would be greatly appreciated if families were able to participate.  The link to the surveys can be found here

On the staff front we welcome Dan Cook who has assumed the role of Office Manager over the holidays.  Many of our parental and broader community will encounter Dan as you contact the front office and I know you will make him welcome.  This week we also welcome pre-service teachers Hugh Macauley, Carli Lewicki, and Anna Haintz, former College Captain and daughter of staff members; Tony and Gayle. We welcome back from leave Angela Hoban and Brendan Doyle. 

If you are an existing family that has received an offer for an enrolment place for Year 7 for 2019 - I remind you that the final day for acceptances is this Friday, April 20th.

Next Wednesday, 25th April is ANZAC Day and as such it is a Public Holiday for all members of the College.

Can I remind families of the Mothers’ Day Mass and breakfast that is taking place on Thursday, May 10th and encourage you to try and fit it into your already busy calendar. More information about the event can be found here.

Students are required to be in full Winter uniform on Monday 30th April – this means long pants for boys, Winter skirts and tights for girls and track pants with the PE uniform for both.  I have seen a couple of skirts that do not comply with our length requirements, which is to the knee, already this week. Following up uniform infringements takes valuable school resources away from the core business of learning and teaching and creates awkward and unnecessary conversations with students and families.  Please ensure all students come to school each day in the correct school uniform.

Parents may also be pressured to purchase a rain jacket.  This item of uniform was introduced to cover the expensive blazer, as students walk to and from school or as they wait at rural bus stops.  It is an optional item of uniform and cannot be worn throughout the day as we provide dry spaces around the College for students.  I just thought it was timely to reinforce the College’s position on the rain jacket.

If you have a child in Year 10 who has Work Experience coming up and the paper work has not been returned to the College, could you please attend to this as a matter of urgency.

Our Deputy Principal, Chris Grant and his wife Rhiannon welcomed their fifth child, Chelsea into the world last Friday.  I congratulate the Grant family on behalf of the entire community and wish Chelsea a life filled with love and joy. 

Staff member, Jason Harrison was married over the holiday period and I congratulate Jason.

We remember the family of Alex (Year 7) and Patrick Western (Year 9) in our prayers on the passing of their paternal grandfather.  May the God of comfort be with their entire family in this time of loss.

Until next week …







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