Principal's Update Week 7
Posted: 14-Mar-2018

Tonight Damascus College will host Luke McKenna for families. Luke’s presentation on ‘Thriving with Grit’ aligns with the College’s strategic priorities to support students through progressive and innovative learning and teaching that maximise educational outcomes for all. Luke will work with all the students of the College across Wednesday and Thursday and with the staff team prior to the parent information session this evening. It is a free event, however gold coin donations to Timor are appreciated. The evening commences from 7 pm in the John Shannon Centre.

It was great to hear reports from the senior VCAL students of their positive camp experience in Geelong last week. The learning outcomes for students required the effective organisation of the camp with all the compliance requirements that going off campus entails. There was very positive learning and I congratulate all who were involved and thank the staff team and Applied Learning Coordinator, Tom Inverarity.

Next Wednesday, 16 senior French Students, Maureen Myers, Andrew Robertson and Sr Marie Davey head off to France and Switzerland for an in country language immersion. This is an amazing learning opportunity for our students and we look forward to hearing of their adventures as they tour these beautiful countries. We wish them well for their travels and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Last week we welcomed a class of students from Reunion Island to the College where they joined our students for a day of activities. Reunion Island is a French speaking nation and have visited us several times previously. I thank Languages Learning Area Leader Alysoun Smalley for her facilitation of this visit.

As we progress on our Lenten journey, mindful that the Easter story is a story of hope and resurrection we remember those who are vulnerable in our world. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising appeal, bringing thousands of Australians together to support those in need. Many of the projects supported by Caritas are visible on the website. This week a young indigenous Australian woman, Evangeline is featured for week 4 of Lent. Evangeline is strengthening Aboriginal culture in the remote Northern Territory community of Beswick (Wugularr), while making a living for herself and creating opportunities for her community. Evangeline was employed by the Caritas Australia supported Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation and quickly rose to the role of Senior Artsworker. To appreciate where the funds raised by Damascus College are providing genuine support, the videos prepared for Caritas for each week of Lent can be found at

Can I please implore families to drive cautiously on our campus? We realise that traffic movement can sometimes be difficult and this first two weeks when Federation University returns is always challenging for us. Unfortunately, I have witnessed some concerning incidents of parents dropping students off in traffic on Geelong Road or on the roundabouts amongst the buses on the site. Please always be mindful that student safety should always come before other pressures in life.

On Thursday or Friday of this week, Year 7 students will head off to Melbourne Aquarium to support their learning about the class novel Blueback. I encourage parents to log into PAM to ensure permission is granted and, if you haven’t done so already, that the medical information is up to date.

As the Rowing season draws to a close this weekend with the School Girls Regatta in Geelong, I am pleased to announce that the Damascus Senior Girls Division One crew will compete at the Rowing Nationals in Sydney next week. I congratulate all our rowers on their participation this season and wish those rowing this coming week well.

This past week Damascus students have been well represnted in other BAS sporting finals. Our second 11 cricketers played off in the grand final for the third consecutive year and unfortunately were again runners up. I congratulate all the boys on their efforts last Thursday.

Megan O’Beirne of Year 8 won the Henderson Tennis Shield for the second consecutive year last Thursday. Megan won her semi-final 8-1 in the morning and progressed to win the Grand Final 6-3, 6-1. Congratulations Megan on a great result.

Staff members Erin Copeland and Irene Polglase have both indicated that they will finish up their teaching and learning support roles respectively from the end of term. Both staff members have made very valuable contributions and I am appreciative of their work. I have commenced the process of seeking appropriate replacements for the start of second term.

We remember staff member, Sue Leaney and her family in our prayers this week as they grieve the passing and celebrate the life of Sue’s father in law. May he rest in peace.

Until next week …


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