Headmaster’s Message – October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016

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

It has been another momentous week in the life of St Patrick’s College with the highlight being Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Mass where we farewelled our Year 12 Class of 2016 and wished them all the best for their coming exams.

Throughout 2016, our Year 12 cohort have led the College impressively and their impact will leave a lasting legacy. They arrived as fine young boys in Year 7 and graduate after 6 years of education at St Patrick’s College aimed at raising them to the status of great men.

It is our often-quoted mission at St Patrick’s College to –Raise Fine Boys to the Status of Great Men– and, as school life winds to a close for more than 200 Year 12s, it seems a pertinent time to revisit the meaning behind that calling.

In a world where the media headlines often document the failings of men, many of whom hold or aspire to positions of immense wealth and power, it is important that we are acutely aware of presenting strong role models to our students and educating, wherever possible, around positive male behaviours, so that we continue to inspire all students along a journey to become -great men-.- –

Of course, it is first necessary to define clearly what is meant by -great-. It is not dependant on whether someone is successful in a financial sense, nor is it linked to a specific occupation. I am sure we could all think of examples where someone has achieved large scale financial success, or held a position of authority, and yet we would consider him a long way from being great.

Similarly, a lack of materialistic success (money, fame, power) does not imply an absence of greatness. A man can live his life in a small regional town, raising a wonderful family, working an enriching job, contributing positively to his broader community and be considered a truly great man.

In describing someone as -great-, there is a depth of character present in that person. There is a strong conviction in terms of respectful behaviour towards all; a way of being that embraces the values of honesty, integrity, sincerity, hope and love. It is our vision that, in –Raising Fine Boys to the Status of Great Men-, our definition of greatness at St Patrick’s College is framed from a perspective of concern for others, and not from within. –

In revisiting our Mission here, we are aiming to work with students to become true leaders and to become role models for other boys. We want to continue to inspire and motivate all students to develop a positive vision of manhood, one where compassion, service to others, a willingness to work towards the greater good, a desire to unite, and a calling to embrace everyone in a spirit of welcome and inclusivity outshines all else.

This week, we have started a journey to further explore, as a College community, the qualities inherent in a -great man-. We hope to reaffirm the values we want to develop in all students throughout their journey at St Patrick’s College. – We will implement a process to ensure a variety of student voices, from all year levels are heard and listened to.

We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated staff, I am in the process of consulting with them to contribute to the discussion around their definitions of greatness and to reflect on how we guide the boys in our care along that journey each and every day. We intend to grasp the full significance of this feedback as a staff body.

Then, in the coming weeks and months, we will invite you, our parents and guardians to join us on this journey and to contribute your thoughts to the vision of manhood we want to develop.

Our hope is that, in exploring and re-assessing our mission statement of –Raising Fine Boys to the Status of Great Men-, we can come to appreciate the greatness within each student, to continue to develop young men in the spirit of our Gospel calling and Edmund Rice in preparation for their participation in a world beyond the school borders and to inspire the men the world needs.

I look forward to joining you all on this journey of conversation

Yours sincerely,

John Crowley