Principal's Update - Week 11
Posted: 27-Mar-2019

I am enjoying eating fresh figs off the tree at home at the moment. They are a brief culinary joy, a joy that is significantly diminished by the sharing I do with the possums and birds of our neighbourhood. Last Sunday’s gospel from Luke 13:1-9 included a parable about an unproductive fig tree, which the patient gardener, God, demanded the orchard owner give more time and resources to enable the tree to bear fruit. In these times of instant gratification, it is so easy for us to discard things that are not immediately productive or rewarding. The scripture invites us into the long journey and reminds us that we need to direct energy and resources towards those things that we want to bear fruit. Our young people can be like that, sometimes we cannot see the progress that we would hope in different elements of their development, but that is when our love needs to be greater, and we need to turn more time and resources towards them. We need to be patient gardeners to enable our young people to flourish and be prepared to wait for them to bear fruit at a time that we cannot prescribe, but we can provide the nurture that is needed along the way.

Last Thursday we finally had a beautiful day for a Damascus sporting carnival, the House Athletics (after the rescheduling of the Swimming and the Head of the Lake). There was a great level of engagement by students and staff worked hard to provide these opportunities for participation. Results and age group champions will be announced at next Tuesday’s whole school assembly for Xavier Day. There was a significant number of records broken last Thursday, and I congratulate students on their achievements.

It was great to hear of the success of our Energy Break Through team in Wonthaggi over last weekend. The ten students who attended the 24-hour race, came home delighted with their result. Their success was magnified by the fact that their team comprised of students from Years 7 to 11 competing against Open age teams in the Human Powered Vehicle class. It was a wonderful effort, and I thank staff leaders; Alan Strange and Rachel Beardall, and the wonderful group of parental supporters that facilitated the opportunity.

Year 7 Reflection days are taking place from Tuesday to Friday of this week with students and staff going off campus to take time to reflect on their relationships with God and one another. This is another important opportunity for our newest students within the transition program here at school.

Our Timor team are busy building up their knowledge, skills and fundraising efforts ahead of their immersion experience at the end of next term. I thank staff members Rebecca Anderson, Caroline Nolan, Jayde Tangey, Simon Carroll and Tony Haintz for facilitating the planning day on Sunday.

Our VCAL team under the leadership of Tom Inverarity have headed off today for their three day Melbourne Immersion experience. There is an exciting series of activities planned for the rest of the week, and I wish these students and staff well for this fantastic opportunity.

At 6.00am this morning our Division 1 and Division 2 senior boy’s rowers, their coaches and coxes flew up to Sydney for the Rowing Nationals Regatta. They have arrived safely and are looking forward to getting on the water to compete in their heats ahead of the finals which will take place on Saturday and Sunday. To view the LiveStream, the link is:

The end of season Rowing dinner will take place at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club, next Thursday 4th April from 6.30pm. Tickets are $45 each which includes a buffet dinner. Drinks are available at bar prices. Tickets may be purchased from reception here at school up until next Monday, April 1st – Please advise of any dietary requirements on booking. Students may tell you that they need new clothes for this event – this is not the case; it is a chance to dress up, but does not require new attire!
Our debaters kicked off the Debating Association of Victoria competition last night with the first debates of the season. I wish these students well for their team development over the coming weeks.

I congratulate Benjamin Wright (Year 10) on his winning submission in the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize. Ben will join the group of 22 students to visit Vietnam and Singapore from Saturday following the end of the term, and he will undertake a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Vietnam and Singapore. To find out more about the exceptional submission that Ben made, click here. Damascus staff member, Brendan Bawden has also been selected for the second time to accompany this tour – this is a great affirmation of Brendan’s commitment as a History teacher, and we wish both Brendan and Ben well for this fantastic opportunity.

I also congratulate Jessica Sainsbury (Year 10) who is set to attend the World Scout Jamboree in the middle of this year in the United States with an extra week’s scout camp in Calgary, Canada. This is an exciting opportunity for Jessica, and I congratulate her on her selection. More information can be found here.

There was a great weekend of reunions with the class of 2009 on Friday night, members of the class of 1979 on Saturday and 43 of the 82 members of the class of 1969 sat down for lunch on Sunday. Each event was filled with genuine appreciation of the development of the College and for the foundations, this community provided for their education. I thank Korina Hegert for her facilitation of these reunions and Sarah Boswell, Erin Marshall and Natasha Adams for their support of the events.

Sustainability Coordinator David Neate is facilitating a Sunset Walk through our beautiful bush which was planned for this Friday (March 29). However due to poor weather this has been postponed. Please keep an eye out for further communication around the new date.  

Students have been reminded that the maximum forecast temperature for the next week will not exceed 25 degrees, as such they are expected to wear their blazer to and from school. Support for this from home is appreciated.

We welcome Ingrid Nett, Liam Ollerenshaw and Carly Young who are doing placement at Damascus currently.

We remember in our prayers Jason Harrison (staff) and his family on the passing of his Grandmother over the weekend. We keep all those who seek our prayer close.

Until next week …


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