Headmaster’s Message – August 10, 2018

August 9, 2018

Headmaster’s Address to Chris Nolan Academic Assembly- – August 7

Welcome to all of our invited guests, parents, guardians, grandparents, friends, staff and most importantly, our students. In offering this greeting, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of this great land – the Wathaurong People. We pay our respects to elders past and present for their care of the land. May we walk on it gently and respectfully. I would also like to acknowledge the Christian Brothers who have educated countless generations of young men at St Patrick’s College over the past 125 years.

Today we celebrate enthusiastically those students presented with a Chris Nolan Award, and a Headmaster’s Excellence award and congratulate them on their dedication to learning. In recognising these students we are celebrating those elements that can’t necessarily be measured through a final calculation of results, but which are so clearly present within each student and so essential in the development of a positive attitude of engagement with one’s learning. Things such as a spirit of collaboration with their teachers, where each student has placed a value on teamwork and embraced the idea that we work together with our teachers, support staff and parents in the partnership of education.

An attitude of hope and never giving up, so beautifully presented to us into the example of Chris Nolan, and his inspirational parents Mary and Jack. Our ongoing relationship with the Nolan family is now so woven into the fabric of who we are as a school.

We are celebrating sacrifice and hard work. The idea that everything in life worthwhile takes effort and perseverance.

Each of you will know that the community of SPC has been working hard over the past 12 months to plan for the next three years of development at the school across many areas. As part of this planning we have asked many within our community, including a number of students, to reflect on the question of who we are at St Patrick’s College? What do we stand for? What do we want for each of you throughout your journey of education? – For, in reflecting on what our community stands for and finds essential to our mission, we can begin the process of choosing pathways, initiatives and actions that will allow us to achieve these. I am proud to say that very shortly the College will release to our community, those 16 or so Foundational Statements that give a clear insight into who we are and our hopes for each of you and our community.

Without spoiling the moment, I want to share three of these with our students now. They are significant, important statements that need to be heard clearly. And while I am the spokesperson, I want each of you to remember that these are the words that have come from conversations with hundreds of people within our community over the past 12 months. They are, if you like, the sum of our combined wisdom.

We value and celebrate the gifts and presence of every student at the College.

As students with a wonderful variety of gifts and talents, we recognise that success in learning can be achieved across many pathways at SPC, including in VCE, VET, in a Trade and in VCAL.

As you follow your pathway through the College, we want each of you to reach your full potential as learners, display personal excellence in all you do, be challenged to ever-greater levels of hard work and perseverance and be proud of your achievements.

I wish each of you well, particularly our Year 12 students, as you continue your learning journeys through Term 3. To each of you I offer the following: In 26 years of teaching, ten of them as a Principal, I have never met a student who hasn’t been rewarded for hard work and dedication towards their studies. In the end, the proudest achievements one has in life is when they can say, at the end of a long journey, that no stone has been left unturned.

As most of you will now know, for half of the week I have moved my office into the O’Malley Wing, at the intersections of Years 7, 8 and 9. It is now the highlight of my week to be able to spend time with you, chatting about your day and how you are progressing with your learning, and to be present to witness some outstanding teaching going on in classrooms throughout the day at SPC.

Finally, we wholeheartedly congratulate of musicians who represented the College with pride at the Sydney Bands Festival recently, winning three silver and one gold medal, our First XV rugby team as they contest the Grand Final of Division 1 of the VSRU competition against St Kevin’s College at Xavier College this Saturday, and our First XVII Football Team as they prepare for the Grand Final at the MCG against St Bernard’s College on Saturday, August 18.

Walk gently boys and God bless.

Mr John Crowley