Acting Headmaster’s Message – March 1, 2018

February 28, 2018

As a school in the Edmund Rice tradition, and given we have a large number of students and parents who are new to the community, it is important to take some time at the beginning of each year to reflect on our charism – that special gift from God that is fundamental to our story and culture as an authentic Catholic school.

We are an important member of a large family of schools in this tradition. While St Patrick’s College is unique in many ways within our local community of Ballarat, we share a common relationship with other Edmund Rice schools across Australia: we are connected through our desire to live out the charism of Edmund Rice in a very real way in our everyday lives. It is a very special relationship that we share.

The newly renewed Edmund Rice Education Charter is intended to assist its schools to offer a liberating education, based on a Gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity. In this way, schools in the tradition of Edmund Rice share in the prophetic mission of the Catholic Church to continue the work of Jesus and bring good news to the poor.

The Charter use four touchstones to describe the culture of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition which is striving for authenticity. These Touchstones help us set our direction and define our goals as, following Blessed Edmund’s example, we continue to reflect and to seek to make the Gospel a living reality in our communities. Living these Touchstones gives Edmund Rice Education Australia a special position in educating for liberation and possibility.

At St Patrick’s, we to aspire to be faithful to four touchstones of the Charter:

Liberating Education

We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all.

Gospel Spirituality

We invite all people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.

Inclusive Community

Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationship and committed to the common good.

Justice and Solidarity

We are committed to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spirituality of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised and the Earth itself.

These Touchstones are important in our story at St Patrick’s College. They help us to set our direction as a school: they inform our conversations, our decisions, our relationships, our programs, our policies and our daily lives. The Touchstones are a lens through which we bring our Catholic tradition into the lives of the young men we are privileged to teach.

Boat Race weekend:

The week of Boat Race, culminating in last Sunday’s Head of the Lake, is a source of great joy for many in our community.- For a relatively small number, it is a time of learning about what it is to be a respectful and honourable young man.

The efforts of all the boys who rowed on Lake Wendouree last Sunday, and in particular the success of the Open boys in winning the Boys’ Head of the Lake, reflects the commitment, effort and knowledge of all associated with the St Patrick’s College Boat Shed. I would thank Mr Brendan Scott, Mr Jamie Bobrowski and Mr Alex Thompson for all they have done in leading and developing the 2017/2018 rowing program. They have been very well supported by the parents of the Rowing Committee and many Old Collegians and current SPC staff each of whom have contributed much to create such a successful program. Congratulations to the Boat Shed!

Mr Stephen Hill

Acting Headmaster