1431 Sturt Street Ballarat, Victoria, 3350
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Headmaster's Message - February 7, 2019

author: John Crowley

7 Feb

Headmaster's Message - February 7, 2019

Dear Parents, Carers, Staff and Students of St Patrick’s College,

May I begin my first Crest editorial for the year by extending all members of our community a warm welcome to 2019! How quickly each year passes, with our summer holidays now a distant memory. I hope all families have had an opportunity for some rest and relaxation over the new year. 2019 promises to be an exciting year at St Patrick’s College.

Firstly, and most significantly, we warmly welcome our newest members of the St Patrick’s College Community. Last week, 231 Year 7 students were officially greeted in our first gathering for 2019. We pray that their time at St Patrick’s is one of hope and joy and look forward to the contribution they make to the fabric of this great school. We also welcome all new students throughout years Years 8-12 who commenced last week, including our 78 Boarders! I hope your start has been positive and that you have been made to feel welcome.


Staffing Update

There are many important things to mention in my first Crest for 2019. One of the most significant is to also offer a warm welcome to our new staff for 2019.  They are:

Courtney Simpson (Science), Glenda Morris (English and Humanities), Brianah Walsh (English), Ann-Maree Hannon (Assistant Director of Library and Information Services), Kate Brusamarello (Humanities, English and Religious Education), Casey Coghlan (Religious Education, English and Humanities), Pietro Angeli (Humanities and English), Michael Goss (Religious Education and English), Brian Hayes (Year 12 Study Centre Coordinator, and teaching in Applied Learning), Bettina Pritchard (First Aid Officer), Tim Snibson (Instrumental Woodwind Teacher), Tom Clark (HaPE Trainee), and Jude Jeandet (Faith in Action Trainee).

We also welcome back the following staff who return from a period of leave: Ros Rajki, Shandelle Gerdtz and Ebony Corden.

We hope our new staff enjoy their time at the College and wish them all the very best.

In addition to our new staff, I would like to draw your attention to those staff members who are taking up a new position in 2019. They are as follows:

Director of Studies – Julia Petrov

Director of Applied Learning and Pathways - Damian Kinnersly

Director of Administration- Tom Ferguson

Director of ICT - Stuart Lethbridge

Director of Library and Information Services - Leonie Darken

Head of Humanities - Matt Miller

Head of Science Steph - Parsons

Head of Arts - Jared Lynn

Year 10 Coordinator - Joe Carmody

Year 11 Coordinator - John Sullivan

Year 12 Coordinator - Shane Murphy

Year 7 Coordinator - Margie Dodd

Year 9 Coordinator - Sam Cue

First XI Cricket - Steve Biggin

First XVIII Assistant Coach - Jarrett Giampaolo and Steven Biggin

First XVIII Coach - Gavin Webb

Sustainability Coordinator - Michael Weadon

Domain Leader - Staff formation Gerard Sullivan

Domain Leader Liturgy - Mitch Leviston

Mission Facilitator- Anne - Marie Driscoll

Laundry Coordinator - Jo Crick

Boarding Gap Student - Daniel Lombard

Also, Mike Silcock, our Director of Boarding, now takes on line management responsibilities for our Indigenous Office and the additional role of Overseas Student Coordinator.

2018 Academic Assembly

Please keep in mind that our 2019 Academic Assembly will be held next Tuesday, February 12, in the College Br W. T. O’Malley Sports Centre Gymnasium at 9.15am. We look forward to formally recognising our high academic achievers from last year, including our College Dux, Sam Williams. Attending parents and carers are asked to arrive at 9.00am to be seated on time.

Head of the Lake

Our rowers and their coaches have been incredibly busy preparing for the annual Head of The Lake which will be held on Sunday, February 24 at Lake Wendouree. This year, our Year 12s will be cheering on our rowers from the other side of the finishing line.  It is important for parents to be aware that this will be a student-only area. As always, our Year 12 students will need to ensure, as representatives of the College, that they set an exemplary standard of behaviour.  Further details around this event will be provided by our Deputy Headmaster, Mrs Elizabeth Ryan, in due course.

Important information regarding students with Anaphylaxis

Earlier this week the College sent home some information for parents to fill in regarding the Individual Student Anaphylaxis Management Plans. Parents should check this information carefully and add any necessary updates, uploading this information to PAM by the end of this week. If, for whatever reason, parents are unable to upload this information to PAM, please send it in an envelope marked attention to Bettina Pritchard, First Aid Officer, via your son, to the Student Reception Centre. There are a number of parents who need to update their EpiPens, which have expired, or their Management Plan in consultation with the family GP.  Those parents required to provide these additional updates have been contacted by the College this week. Can all queries regarding this important documentation please be directed to our First Aid Manager, Bettina Pritchard: bpritchard@stpats.vic.edu.au

Expressions of interest in joining a Committee of the College.

At St Patrick’s College we have a number of specialised committees which provide important advice and support to the College to ensure we continue to offer a superb educational experience for all boys. These committees include: The College Foundation, Finance Committee, Public Relations Committee, Buildings Committee and the Old Collegians Association. If you have expertise in one of these areas and would like to be considered for membership when a vacancy arises, please contact Jo McKee: jmckee@stpats.vic.edu.au or 53224412.

Plenary Council Information Session 2019

Catholic School Parents Victoria would like to invite parents and carers of children who currently attend Catholic schools to one of two Plenary listening and dialogue sessions in Ballarat in February. This is a unique opportunity for parents/carers to contribute to shaping the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. Plenary listening and dialogue sessions have been organised specifically for parents and carers of children in Catholic schools. This is an opportunity for parents/carers to come together as important members of Catholic school communities to spend time thinking and talking about their experiences of faith, life and the Church. The sessions will be led by an experienced Plenary facilitator from the Diocese of Ballarat and responses will be collected, collated and submitted to the Plenary Council 2020 by Catholic School Parents Victoria. 

Further information about the Plenary Council 2020 can be found at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au. Parents and carers are able to submit their own

Cost: Free

Venue: St Patrick’s Hall, St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat – 3 Lyons Street South, Ballarat Central

Parking: Available at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Meter parking available in Lyons Street South and Dawson Street.

Two session times available: 1pm – 2.30pm or 5pm – 6.30pm.

RSVP: 20th February 2019.

For further information, contact Rachel Saliba (Executive Officer), Catholic School Parents Victoria on 03 9267 0458 or email tosecretary@cspv.catholic.edu.au.

Shrek Rehearsals have commenced!

Earlier this week I was thrilled to attend a rehearsal for our 2019 joint St Patrick’s/Loreto College production of Shrek! I was incredibly impressed at the musicianship and energy of the cast and look forward to another wonderful production in May this year.

Strategic Directions 2019-2021

Shortly, all families will have received a copy of our new Stategic Directions2019-2021. A critical part of this document are our newly formed Foundational Statements. These are defining proclamations of who we are as a College community, carefully discerned through many hundreds of conversations and meetings over an 18-month period with staff, students, parents and Old Collegians. They are a mature commentary on what is essential to life at St Patrick’s College and as an EREA school.

We should never underestimate their significance to our work over the next three years.

They are dual in nature.

There are those Foundational Statements that identify features of St Patrick’s College that we live through our actions and must continue at the College. That is not to say that there can’t be improvement in these areas, but they have been identified as strong and positive features of a Catholic education in the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice at the College. And there are those Foundational Statements that speak to a desire for change. A change in attitude, culture, emphasis. Some of these speak to the boys directly, other statements speak to staff and all members of the community. They represent a yearning for something different.

There are a number of new initiatives which have been carefully planned for in 2018 and are ready to be launched. It is envisaged that these will have a significant and positive impact on our boys. They include the Year 12 Study Centre, the newly established Student Assistance Centre, a number of new positions including the Director of Studies and Mission Facilitator roles and our clearly identified goals in Learning and Teaching, Wellbeing, Mission and those goals set by every Head of Faculty. All of these in combination, together with many others, will give depth and shape to our Foundational Statements.

I wish all students well as they begin their 2019 journey at St Patrick’s College. It promises to be another wonderful year full of many opportunities. I would encourage all boys to be involved and to experience life to the full at our great school this year.

Awakenings Religious Education Curriculum

Please click on this link for an information package for all families regarding our Awakenings Religious Education Program taught at St Patrick’s College. I include a brief snippet of this information here and encourage you to read the PDF at the link above at your convenience. If there are parents and carers with questions about our Awakenings program, please contact our Head of Religious Education, Mr. Nathaniel Winfield: nwinfield@stpats.vic.edu.au

 “The Awakenings Religious Education curriculum has been supporting faith education in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Ballarat for over ten years. A reshaping of this curriculum recognises the search for meaning within the complex world in which students navigate their lives.

An informed religious response to the search for meaning and the questions of life often competes with influences coming from media, peers and other aspects of the modern culture in which students live.

Effective religious learning occurs in a supportive setting that recognises and celebrates difference through respectful listening and dialogue with others. In this setting, Catholic beliefs and teachings are presented as viable options and influences in a student’s identity formation and quest for fullness of life”.

The Role of Parents

The Catholic Church recognises parents and caregivers as a child’s first educator in faith. In terms of Catholic education, they play an essential role in the religious learning of their child.

Opportunities in personal faith development, learning and participation are available through liturgy, sacramental programs and prayer provided within the parish/school environment.

Parents are invited and encouraged to participate in these opportunities when offered by their local school or parish.

Finally, we pray as a school community for God’s Grace on our 2019 school year. May God continue to bless each member of St Patrick’s College with hope and optimism as we begin this journey together. May God hold us all in the joy filled moments of our day, our week and our year, and in those moments when times are difficult, in the knowledge of his unending love for each of us.

Have a great weekend.

Mr John Crowley