Headmaster’s Message – March 18, 2016

March 17, 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians, Friends and Students of St Patrick’s College,

Over the past three months we have been privileged to witness hundreds of people attaching colourful ribbons to our front gate and fence as part of the now-international Loud Fence campaign. We have been equally proud to see this campaign flourish around Ballarat, around Australia and around the world. Ribbons have been tied to fences as far away as Rome and Boston ensuring the Loud Fence is heard far and wide.

Each single ribbon tells its own story and has its own voice. They all stand as symbols of support for all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. St Patrick’s College is committed to ensuring that these ribbons will remain at the College forever.

To ensure that they remain in the best condition possible though we feel that we need to preserve them and ensure they do not succumb to wear and tear through the coming cooler months. As such, in about three weeks time, we will be carefully removing the ribbons from the gates and storing them in the College along with the many hundreds of other ribbons which were collected in May, 2015.

At the beginning of Term 2 our 2016 Student Council will collaborate with senior staff to determine a way in which these ribbons can be included in a permanent installation which will be constructed somewhere visible and prominent in the College grounds.

It is our hope that the permanent placement of the ribbons within the College will be a constant reminder of the bravery of victims and survivors in coming forward and telling their story. These brave men and women are an inspiration to us all.

The details of the final shape, form and location of this installation will be determined following consultation in the coming weeks and months and I look forward to being able to share with our full community the plans as soon as they are finalised.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to attach a ribbon in your preferred colour before the end of term so that it will be collected over the holidays to form part of our memorial. For those who may have already attached a ribbon and wish for it not to be included in the memorial, you are invited to remove it at your convenience within the next two weeks.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday break and look forward to welcoming you back in Term 2. May the good news of the risen Christ be a source of hope and joy for all families over the Easter Season.

Kind regards

Mr John Crowley