Principal's Update Week 7
Posted: 05-Jun-2019

This Sunday, as we relax into the long weekend, our Catholic community will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church, where the disciples went out to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. It was a message that was heard across the barriers of race and language. The feast of Pentecost brings to a close the season of Easter, and we now carry the spirit forward here at Damascus and throughout the Christian community.

The spirit was very present at the Timor Leste Trivia night last Friday. A broad cross-section of the community got behind our immersion team to raise funds for the people of Timor. Students fund their trip and money they raise goes towards supporting Health and Education. Thank you to everyone who has supported Timor over the past twelve months, and we look forward to hearing of our teams’ experiences on their return. A special thanks to Simon Carroll for his Master of Ceremonies role on Friday night and Mr Dean Kittelty of Kittelty Auction House for his donation of time to auction off a range of items. It was a great night!

Our student population were fantastic in their support of Shave for a Cure last Friday to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. The SRC students did an excellent job of organising the event with the fantastic support of SRC Leader Jayde Tangey and House Leader Isabelle Miller. Students coerced Mr Mark Courneyea to part with his substantial locks and Mr Paul Briody to part with his sizeable beard. Well done to everyone who supported the event.

Congratulations also to Gerard Macklin, Andrew Robertson and Andrew Seeary who received their 30-year award for service to Catholic Education at the Catholic Education Week dinner on Friday night. Gerard was invited to respond on behalf of all the thirty-year recipients, and it was reported he did it with great dignity, pointing to the ministry within Catholic education as being one of developing the whole young person and highlighting the joy that comes from working for the betterment of others. Congratulations to Andrew, Andrew and Gerard – we are indeed fortunate to have you amongst our staff team!

Andrew Seeary did not get to the dinner on Friday night as Year 12 drama students were performing their ensembles in the Valda Ward Auditorium. I congratulate the senior students on some truly creative pieces capturing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody!

The Indonesian Immersion team had their final meeting on Monday night before their departure on Friday 21st June. I thank Brendan Bawden for his preparation of the tour over the past 24 months.

On Thursday evening there will be the first meeting of the 2020 French study tour. Languages Learning Area Leader, Alysoun Smalley will work with interested families on what this immersion experience entails. The meeting will be in Staffroom from 5.30 pm; interested families are encouraged to attend.

Congratulations to Matthew Snibson on winning the BS Badminton Singles championships last Thursday in a competition where Damascus students featured prominently. Thanks to Nicole Hexter for her facilitation of this opportunity.

It was great to have such excellent support for our Rowing Review last week. We will now work through the recommendations from the reviewer and consider the implications for our coming season.

Our Year 11 Music students will perform in the Valda Ward Auditorium on Thursday evening from 6.30 pm. Visitors are most welcome to witness these senior music recitals.

Today the appeal against the conviction of George Pell will commence. The community at large continues to be saddened and deeply affected by the horrors of child sexual abuse. I am very conscious of how difficult this appeal must be for everyone, but particularly for victims and survivors of abuse within our Church and our education community. The appeal will feature prominently in the media, and this may affect members of our school community. External professional support is available through Relationships Australia; an external government-funded counselling service that provides support for victims/survivors and their families - 1800 052 674. If you feel your student is affected by the media surrounding the appeal, please contact the College, and we will connect your student with our Wellbeing team.

Next Monday is the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday, and then next Wednesday is a student free day for all except senior students undertaking a Unit 3/4 study who will sit the general achievement test (GAT). Information for students sitting the GAT can be found here.

 It is a very busy assessment time, and I encourage parents to support their students by following the Learning Areas section of the Parent Access Module within SIMON, which can be accessed through the Damascus College website. Students will commence their new academic semester on Monday, 17th June.

We will celebrate our first St Martin House Day next Tuesday, and I look forward to the showcasing of student talents within our Green House next week.

We extend our sympathy and prayers to Kristen and John, Finn (Year 12), Tristan and Xavier (Both Year 9) Clonan on the passing of Kristen’s Dad. We also pray for Gail Petrie and her husband Rob and their family on the passing of Gail’s sister last week. May, each person who has died rest in peace in our loving God’s care.

Until next week …

MATT

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