Principal's Update Week 3
Posted: 24-Oct-2018

Apologies everyone, in the excitement of yesterday I forgot to send the newsletter to our very supportive office team, so the spirit of what I intended to say was …

Yesterday marked the final day for the Year 12 students of the class of 2018, and it was a day that marks the next stage in life’s journey. Thirteen years of primary and secondary schooling draw to a close and exciting opportunities await. We pray that for our Year 12’s, life’s journey will be filled with wonder, joy and challenge and that as young men and women, each student knows they are accompanied by a loving God and that they continue to be nurtured and sustained by people who love and want the best for them. I wish the class of 2018 all the very best as they prepare for the exams that lay ahead. For those who have completed VCAL or Non-scored VCE, we wish you well in pursuing employment or further training. May God bless the graduates of 2018 and may you all live extraordinary lives in the light of Christ.

On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The Prime Minister not only said sorry to the people for the hurt they have suffered, but he also acknowledged and recognised their courage in telling their stories. These brave people were able to speak out and asked for help. It has meant that many of those who caused the harm have been brought to justice, and other children have been saved from harm. It has also helped us as a community to learn from the past so that we can do our very best not to let this happen again. On Monday, as a school, we prayed for all those affected by the abuse. If the national apology causes distress at any level within your family unity, please access support through 1800 Respect - Call 1800 737 732 or Lifeline - Call 13 11 14.

The prayer that we prayed this week was shared by the Diocese of Wollongong;

Loving God
We pray for the people in Australia who were hurt as children when they were supposed to be loved and cared for.
We give thanks for their courage and strength in telling their stories, and we pray for their healing.
We also give thanks that through their stories, other children have been saved from harm.
We pray that we all learn from the past so that we can do our very best not to let this happen again.
We offer this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This week the College also recognises the beautiful surrounds in which we sit, as we celebrate Enviro Week. There has been a range of activities including reflecting on student surveys, recognising the Eco Warriors across the school who empty the recycled paper bins, recycling mobile phones at the office, compost bin trials in the canteen, opportunities to purchase plastic free recyclable cups, and a sunset walk on the Myrnong trail. I acknowledge the leadership of Sustainability Coordinator David Neate and the Green Group here at the College.

There were some wonderful celebrations across the College on the weekend. It was great to welcome back past students of St Paul’s College. I thank and acknowledge the students who played the exhibition basketball match and who showcased the EBT program and the families who transported them. On Saturday night there was a wonderful turn out for the 20-year reunion of the Energy Breakthrough (EBT) Program. It was great to see Mark McLean and Alan Strange so appropriately recognised on this evening and I thank everyone who supported it. Our Development team of Sarah Boswell, Korina Hegert and Natasha Adams have been working tirelessly in preparation for these events.

Tonight (Thursday 25th) is the second and final Information evening for prospective 2020 enrolments. If you have a child currently in Grade 5, I encourage you to come along to this Information evening from 6.30pm. More information can be found here.

Families should have received information regarding TA interviews next week. Monday 29th October is a non-teaching day; please take this opportunity to meet with your TA regarding your student finishing the year positively. Bookings must be made via the PAM APP - click here to go to the log in screen.

Marcus Probert commenced on Monday as a new staff member in the Wellbeing team. Marcus joins us from leading wellbeing in the tertiary sector and running his own private practice. We welcome Marcus to Damascus.

We also welcome back this week long-term staff members Rod Mathews, and Ann and Brendan Bawden from leave. It is great to have these staff back from a well-deserved break.

We pray for all those who need our prayer and especially those senior students as they enter their exam period. We keep Lillee Barendsen (Yr 7) and her family in our thoughts and offer prayers on the recent loss of her Great Grandmother. I extend the sympathies of the community and prayers to the Vanderlinden family; Ryan (2017), Hannah (Yr 10) and Lily (Yr 8) on the passing of their paternal grandfather.

Until next week ….


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