This morning it was great to have breakfast with students, staff and families within the shed that has housed the Energy Breakthrough (EBT) program over recent years. This program has a twenty-plus year history for Damascus College and is the legacy of long term staff member, Mark McLean. This morning the program was re-launched as the Damascus College Sustainable Racing Team. Program Leader, Alan Strange, who also has a twenty-year involvement in the program, spoke of the goals to build up the holistic learning of the young people and to do so in a way that was sympathetic to our environment. Students; Jett Upton (Year 7); Patrick O’Beirne (Year 10) and Hannah Martin (Year 12) shared the benefits of the program from a personal perspective. Staff member Rachel Beardall also shared the importance of the program from her own school experience to her current leadership role within the program. It was a great event with really fantastic support from the entire community, and I thank everyone who contributed and acknowledge the leadership of Alan Strange, Rachel Beardall and Ashwin Pillai.
Tomorrow, August 15th is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. It is a feast that celebrates the blessed status of Mary as the mother of Christ; it is a celebration that allows us all to recognise and revere the women within our lives. In a world where events like Mother’s Day often get dominated by commercial interests, the Feast of the Assumption allows us the chance to reflect on the role of the important and loved women within our life. My Mum’s birthday is this week, and I have always found it to be a lovely synergy that her birthday coincides with this beautiful celebration of women.
I find the traditional prayer to Mary is a source of comfort and I put it before you this week as an encouragement to take a short time in prayer to affirm the role of the women in your life.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed are thee among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners,
From now, until the hour of our death
Year 11 Retreats took place on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and the reports that I received was of a reflective and engaging experience for all. I thank Retreats Coordinator, Adrian Newman for his organisation of these different retreat experiences and all the RE teachers and other staff that supported this series of learning experiences.
Tomorrow our Music camp kicks off out at Rutherford Country Retreat. I thank Maria Russell and the music team for their preparation and wish everyone well for the experience.
It was a great privilege to be able to attend the BAS Cross Country at Ballarat High School last Wednesday. Our students competed admirably with Mia Lepair securing second place in the intermediate girls. Well done Mia.
This week our debating students are participating in the South Street finals, and I wish Elarin Johnson, Finn Mauriks, Eloise McGifford, Megan O'Beirne and their support staff member, Nicole Burness well for this competition. Loretta Kaval is also supporting Georgia Newman (Year 11) for her Royal South Street Speech Competition this Thursday.
There are a number of other curriculum-based excursions this week, which I encourage families to follow through PAM.
It has been lovely to welcome Finnish Exchange student Anni Vilo to Damascus College as part of the Rotary Exchange program. Anni is with us for the next twelve months, and we look forward to her contribution to our community.
We extend our prayers to all who need them
Until next week …