Principal's Update Week 5
Posted: 28-Feb-2018

Sunday’s Head of the Lake was a great event in our College Calendar. Students work hard in a team sport that requires 100% commitment over nearly six months. The students’ efforts under trying conditions were affirmed by a wonderful cast of families, staff and peers on Sunday and each Damascus representation was exceptional. I congratulate all the rowers on their achievements and acknowledge our Division 1 Open Girls crew on their second placing in the Head of the Lake – Damascus has been second in 2017 and 2018. A win for us is just around the corner!! I also acknowledge the Year 9 Division 1 boys on their win in that class. I thank all the coaches for their consistent support of our students and Sharon Waters on her leadership of the program.

This week is another week of exciting opportunities - I encourage Year 7 families to attend tomorrow night’s Meet the Teacher event. The evening will commence with the induction of Year 7 students and the announcement of the Year 7 SRC members at 6.00 pm. Families are then encouraged to join the staff for a BBQ tea at 7.00 pm. I remind families that this event is to provide the opportunities for students to introduce their teachers. We hope that if families have had the opportunity to meet the teacher in a social and positive context, then families can approach the class teacher with confidence if there are any concerns regarding the teaching and learning program. We hope to see you tomorrow night. Sausages will be available for a gold coin donation to Timor Leste. Specifics for the evening can be found here:

Meet the Teachers Evening Meet the Teachers Evening (306 KB)

It was a great privilege to be able to visit our Year 7 students each evening last week while they were out on camp at Creswick. It was great to see friendships being consolidated and hear their enthusiastic stories regarding the activities of each day. Ann and Brendan Bawden facilitated a great week of activities and I thank them for their leadership and all the staff who contributed to this camp over the week.

The Ballarat Associated Swimming carnival will take place this afternoon at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre. I am looking forward to attending to support our squad of talented swimmers.

The Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project (ESCIP) is coming soon to Damascus College. The Catholic University in Leuven, was commissioned by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) to design a process and tools, based on sound research, to accomplish the goal of understanding our current Catholic identity and envisage where we might like to see it in the future. It has been four years since we last used the tool to understand Catholic identity at Damascus College in this way.

Quite soon the whole school community will be offered the opportunity to be involved in the process. But how is Catholic identity described in the tool? There are a number of approaches or scales used to describe Catholic identity in ESCIP. The first of these compares belief (and non-belief) with how religious belief (or non-belief) is experienced. Does someone believe in God, or not? Is there a transcendent God involved in the structure of someone’s philosophy of life? Is religious belief (or non-belief) being processed in a literal or symbolical way? There is a short YouTube animation that explains this.  Details of how to complete the survey will be sent later.

There are other scales that will be described in future newsletters. It is an exciting time for us. I hope that you follow the roll out of ESCIP and find it engaging.

Concurrent with the rollout of the ECSIP, next Monday we have the Bishop of the Diocese, Paul Bird visiting Damascus on a pastoral visit as part of his parish visitations. We look forward to making Bishop Paul welcome and showcasing the College.

I wish Brendan Doyle (staff) well as he heads off on some well-deserved Long Service Leave for the rest of term one from Thursday. Brendan will be replaced by Kerryn Wehrung for the duration of his absence.

We remember in our prayers all those who need and seek them.

Until next week …


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