Mission Report – May 30, 2019

May 29, 2019

This week is National Reconciliation Week, with the theme -Grounded in Truth. Walk Together with Courage-. It is also Catholic Education Week, with the theme -Listen with the Ear of your Heart-. In a unique moment that brought these two commemorations together, Year 12 student Myles King, addressed the Reconciliation Week Boarding Dinner. I offer the words of his heart for your contemplation.

Good evening Mr Hill and Mrs Ryan, Mr Silcock, Staff, our parents, friends and my fellow boarders. I would also like to extend a particularly warm welcome this evening to our non-Boarding Indigenous families. For those that don’t know me, my name is Myles King and I have been a boarder here at St Patrick’s College since year 8, 2015.

Community brings us all together this evening. Specifically, for us, our Boarding and Indigenous Communities. Both are huge parts of our lives: it requires a great deal of resilience, respect and self-confidence, which are all important qualities, critical to building and strengthening community. Last Monday, Mr Silcock highlighted that Reconciliation can only be considered authentic or meaningful when it is done together. Each year we bring our two communities together on this occasion and we all hope that this can be reflected on a much bigger scale, in time.

Since then, I have grown in self-confidence, enriched by meeting new people and making new friends, not just in Boarding, but across the much wider communities of the College and Ballarat, particularly through playing football for Redan. I have had my eyes opened to so many opportunities, some personal, some sporting, but none bigger than the opportunity to better my education. My school back home exists with no more than 30 students and three staff. I knew even back then, that for my own personal growth, I would need to leave home, journey south, to join St Patrick’s College. I have missed home, my family and friends, but I know that this is what was the right thing for me, and I have made memories that will last with me a lifetime.

Many of our boarders have taken the opportunities presented to them; be it in the classroom or on the sports field, in the College or across the wider community, and, if I was to offer any words of advice to those who follow me and my Year 12 cohort, it would be to take the many opportunities presented to you, even if they force you out of your comfort zone, with both hands, to enhance your Boarding and learning experience.

From the beginning of this year we have continued to build upon the legacy that has been set down in the past, the act of giving to others within the wider community. We have supported a range of initiatives already this year, understanding the importance of supporting others and recognising the privilege afforded to us. This has been done by volunteering our time at events and programs such as, The Smith Family’s Koori Learning Club, The Mother’s Day Classic and the RSCPA Million Paws Walk. We have also adopted new initiatives within the Boarding Precinct with a -‘House System’, the aim of which is to bring our Boarders together to form new friendships across all year levels.

Tonight, we again celebrate the growing cultural diversity, that this year included our first international Boarder, but that is not limited to Boarding, but is also across the wider College community, understanding the importance and impact it has on us all. Reconciliation is not something that can simply be achieved. It is a growth mindset that must be embraced by all -“ and to do that we must take the journey together. Thank you all for joining us this evening and thank you for being part of our community.