Principal's Update Week 6
Posted: 20-Feb-2019

Sunday’s Gospel from Luke 6:17-26 presented the Beatitudes. Each of the statements which are sometimes termed as the “Be attitudes” begin with the adjective Blessed. We are in many ways, a blessed people – we live in a safe country with good nutrition, education and health services. The “Be attitudes” encourage us to practice gratitude, but not just to be grateful – to look to where we can help those who need our help. There are so many things taking place this week for us to be grateful for, that we need to take the opportunity to thank God for the gifts our life in Australia provides.

It has been great to get out to the Log Cabin Camp at Creswick this week, to see our Year 7 St Martin and McAuley students. Rice and Xavier students head out today and tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing them. It is a very busy two days for our youngest students, they all appear to be having an awesome time with their new classmates, and I thank Ann and Brendan Bawden, the House Leaders and teachers for facilitating this opportunity.

It was an exciting day at Lake Wendouree last Saturday when the Damascus Open Men’s rowers won the Victorian School Boy Open Championship. I congratulate all the boys on the way they rowed on Saturday and look forward to our full squad participating this coming Sunday in the Head of the Lake Regatta. Hopefully, we can emulate the success, but ultimately it is about students giving their best and enjoying their rowing, and that is where the real success will lay!

The Head of the Lake is a big day in the Ballarat interschool sporting Calendar. Members of the Damascus community have the opportunity to band together and support with pride Damascus students who have been preparing for the last six months for the Head of the Lake Regatta. This year 15 crews, who have trained hard to be a part of this competition, will represent the College. The Head of the Lake tradition comprises support groups known as “spit crews” to cheer on their respective peers in the regatta. Damascus has a tradition of celebrating the success of every rower who competes regardless of which school they come from – all rowers have worked hard! This is a lovely feature of our program. The regatta begins at 9.00am this Sunday. If your student would like to be a member of the Spit Crew but has not gained permission, could they please see Head of Sport, Nicole Hexter tomorrow.

Next Tuesday we have our re-scheduled Swimming Carnival at the Eureka Aquatic Centre. As per the newsletter a fortnight ago; students are to arrive at school as normal in the morning, and they will be transported to the pool from Damascus. The swimming sports, as with every weekday, is a compulsory school day for all students. The sports are an excellent opportunity for students to live life to the full. Not everyone is a talented swimmer, but there is a diverse range of activities to encourage student participation. It is not uncommon for students to put pressure on parents and guardians not to attend school on these days, but it is imperative that parents stand firm and point out that community events are an important opportunity to learn and to build both team and school spirit.

Our focus throughout our sports program across the College is on participation. The team that has the greatest level of participation has invariably been recognised as the overall winner at the carnival. Students that do not attend school on Tuesday without a legitimate reason will not be eligible to attend College formals or extracurricular activities such as ski trips. Non-attendance will preclude senior students from leadership positions in 2020.

Parents are very welcome and encouraged to attend at any time throughout the day. Given the levels of UV at the moment, please ensure students have adequate skin coverage, sunglasses and a hat for the day. We will provide sunscreen on the day, but please ensure that students have good access to their own refreshments and sensible sun protection.

I wish to flag for Year 7 families the “Meet the Teachers” evening that will take place next Thursday 28th February. Could you please put this in your diary as it is a key element of the Year 7 student induction for 2019. Details can be found here. 

It was great to be able to induct our student leaders at Mass last Friday, and I congratulate them on their appointment and thank those parents who were able to join us for the celebration. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with Tess Arber (Year 8) and her family in the recent loss of her Grandfather. We also remember in our prayers this week the family of our Assistant Principal Ashwin Pillai whose father in law was buried last Thursday. We remember Ashwin, Lucy, Xavier and Elijah in our prayers.

Until next week ….


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