Headmaster’s Message – March 21, 2019

March 20, 2019

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

St Patrick’s Day celebrations

On Sunday March 17, the College hosted a number of Old Collegians for lunch to celebrate the feast day of our Patron Saint, St Patrick. It was a lovely occasion where many fond memories of school life was shared between those present. In addition, our entire student and staff community joined Bishop Paul Bird and Father Anthony for Mass in the Br W.T. O’Malley Gymnasium last Friday. After our celebration, our Year 12 class of 2019 were presented with their badges, a tradition going back many years at the College. Bringing our entire community together for such a celebration is always a time of great joy. I would like to acknowledge the many students and staff who gave of their time and talents very generously to ensure it was a memorable day for all involved.

Changes to the Sign-In Processes for visitors to the College

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring the strongest possible child safe culture within the College, we seek to continually review and improve our processes. From Monday, March 25 the College will be refining its sign-in procedures for visitors. As well as the current practice of visitors being asked – in certain circumstances – to provide evidence of a Working With Children Check, the College intends to utilise photographic software to take a visual record of visitors when they sign in. Photographs will be stored on the College’s sign-in system (in line with the College’s existing privacy and information collection policy). This technology is used across schools currently. Further to this, visitors will be asked to sign a short statement while a visitor, including around child safety, OHS and respectful behaviours.

Staff will be working to ensure prior notice of visits is given to College Reception so that visitor tags can pre-populated, to fast-track this sign-in system.

It is not the College’s intention to restrict access to the College but, in refining its sign-in processes, the College can ensure that appropriate steps are taken to meet its legislative duties and to continue to provide the safest possible environment for our boys.

Music Camp 2019

Last Friday, more than 40 music students ventured down to Cave Hill creek Beaufort for a three-day band camp designed to perfect the performance standards of each ensemble. From all reports the students participated admirably and are well placed for another busy year of performances.

I would like to acknowledge our Head of Music Fiona Wilson along with Katrina Bird, Claire O’Brien, Tim Snibson, Penny Kaletsch and Roger Knight for their commitment to the music program and ensuring such rich opportunities continue to be offered to our boys.

Anaphylaxis Management: our shared responsibility

Parents and carers of students that are at risk of anaphylaxis should be aware that, in response to Ministerial Order 706, it is College policy and a requirement of legislation, that students who attend the College must have supplied the College with a valid EpiPen and a current anaphylaxis action plan for their personal use.

Parents who have not provided a copy of their current anaphylaxis action plan to the College are asked to please do so as a matter of priority. If parents or carers have any questions around anaphylaxis management at the College, please contact Mrs Bettina Pritchard on 5322 4455 or email bpritchard@stpats.vic.edu.au

Heads of Wellbeing Conference

On Wednesday this week, over 80 Heads of Wellbeing from various Edmund Rice Education Australia Schools across Australia attended a three-day Conference at St Patrick’s College. Organised by our Deputy Headmaster, Ms Elizabeth Ryan, Mrs Kerrie Leach and Mrs Jo McKee, the conference was a great success, featuring many high-profile guest speakers with a high level of expertise in the area of student wellbeing.

Have a great weekend

Mr John Crowley