Steven O'Connor - Principal.
Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders
Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in a gathering of Principals and senior staff from Edmund Rice schools across the globe in Ireland. There are 240+ Edmund Rice Schools around the world and this second international congress provided incredible opportunities for staff from many of these schools to gather and collaborate on the Edmund Rice Charism and the opportunities to support each other in our work via this commonality around the world. The Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) Congress was attended by 190 delegates and was conducted mainly at Dublin City University.
The theme of the Congress: ‘Schools for the World – Educating with Hope in our Heart and Hands’ provided all delegates with some amazing insights into the works and communities of Edmund Rice schools across the globe. I relished the opportunities to meet and talk with colleague Principals and other senior staff from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Argentina, India, Canada, the USA and of course, from the host schools in Ireland.
The delegates of the Congress undertook a pilgrimage to a number of special sites relevant to the life and charism of Blessed Edmund Rice. These included Callan, the village in which Edmund was born and Waterford, where Edmund spent his working life and established his first school and the Christian Brothers as a Religious Order. I had visited Waterford before but was struck on this visit with the powerful significance of the work of Blessed Edmund Rice in Waterford in the late 1700s and the mission and purpose of St Patrick’s College, Ballarat in 2023. It was incredibly powerful to walk the same streets that Edmund did, to visit that places where he lived and worked and to gather in communion with all delegates at a beautiful Mass held at the Edmund Rice Chapel at Mount Sion, part of the Edmund Rice Heritage Centre and the resting place of the founder of the Christian Brothers.
Along with 7 other delegates from Australia and South Africa, I visited one of the 97 Edmund Rice schools in Ireland for three days. We were welcomed very generously by our hosts and the visit was enjoyable in so many ways and highlighted in my mind, and in the minds of the other visiting delegates, just how well-resourced the schools in Australia and South Africa are, including our own St Patrick’s.
The Touchstones which guide all EREA schools: Liberating Education, Gospel Spirituality, Justice and Solidarity and Inclusive Community were beautifully expressed and experienced across the Congress. We are very fortunate to belong to the global family of schools connected and bound by the charism of Edmund Rice. It is a charism which enlivens, enriches and encourages our work as school communities and the lives of those who are a part of these communities.
In the last week of this term, as part of our recognition of Pride Month, we will conduct a whole school assembly in which students will explore the touchstone of Inclusive Community. This touchstone says: Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering good relationships and is committed to the common good. This is one of our really important assemblies and I am looking forward to the insights that will be highlighted by our students at this gathering.
The day after I returned home from the trip to Ireland and England, I attended the final performance of ‘Spamalot’ at the Fed Uni Theatre downtown. I was so pleased that my itinerary allowed me to return for the matinee performance of ‘Spamalot’ and was thoroughly entertained, amused and engaged by the production!
I congratulate the cast and crew for the incredible job they did in ‘Spamalot’! It was one of the best school productions I have seen for many years and I am very proud of the efforts of all students and staff involved in this year’s production! I look forward to our next production, which I understand will occur later in Term 4 this year. It is wonderful to see so many students engaging in the Performing Arts and thriving through these experiences!
Special thanks to the staff involved in Spamalot – Mr Glenn Fisher, Mr Fred Wallace, Ms Samantha Bashford-Ledger and Ms Monique Allen. Thanks to these staff for the wonderful work they did with and for our boys, culminating in a spectacular production!
The College continues to monitor closely the proposed payroll tax on ‘elite private schools’ and the potential implications for St Patrick’s College. It appears that the Government has listened to the initial feedback about this proposed change, particularly from the Catholic school sector, and is looking to reconsider the fee threshold it might use to impose the payroll tax on schools. I am confident with the suggested adjustment from the Government, the changes to how payroll taxes are applied to schools will not impact us.
St Pat’s is a really well-resourced school, with some tremendous facilities and a committed and talented staff; and we are a vibrant and positive community, but we are not an ‘elite private school’ by any measure!
Should there be any implications for the College in this, I will keep the community informed.
Geoff Brodie - Assistant Principal, Mission & Identity
It may seem a strange thing to link the faith of St Paul with the send off rule in sport, but I ask you to kindly bear with me. St Paul is not averse to a few sporting images.
This Sunday we celebrate The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In the Second Reading from Sunday’s Mass, St Paul’s words to the faithful in Corinth guides our prayerful reflection:
The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf. ( 1 Cor 10:16-17)
Australian Jesuit, Fr Richard Leonard, offers these insights:
When we receive the Risen Christ in communion it's not a symbol of his presence or a sign of his life to which we say ‘Amen’. It is Christ who hosts us, who gives us himself so that we might be transformed into His image and likeness. In modern language Christ says to us at every Mass, ‘Here I am, broken and poured out in love for you. Take me. I'm here for you.’ Fr Richard continues: “St Augustine in a sermon on the Eucharist on 9th August 413 wrote that the Mass was about three things: goodness, unity, and charity. Augustine taught that if we were not better people, working for unity and loving each other away from the Eucharist, it fails to achieve its purpose.”
The Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist celebrated every Mass, – including our Thursday lunchtime Masses with Fr Eladio in our College Chapel – is an invitation to freely and responsibility build up the unity of God’s family by accepting the gift of God’s love. Whenever we say yes to Jesus in the Eucharist our lives are enriched and brought to the greater fullness that is the gift of loving God and loving our neighbour (Matt 22:35-40).
Then there is the red card. Importantly, the rules of a game unite all players in the spirit of joyful participation and common purpose. When a player’s action significantly contradicts the laws and spirit of the game the umpire may send that player from the field. This may be for a certain time, or in the case of a serious infringement, for the rest of the game. However, it is the action of the player that has ultimately excluded him from the game, not the decision of the umpire. The umpire is merely manifesting the natural and just consequence of the player’s action – wilful, careless, disruptive – so that the unity of the remaining players may be preserved. The player excludes himself. Sadly, because it has lost one of its players, the game and its purpose of joyful participation is diminished as a result.
The student who disrupts the class and is removed to allow the learning of others to continue diminishes the goodness, unity, and charity of the College community. The student whose actions contradicts the safety and well-being of others – resulting in removal from the daily life of the community - means that the College, in a real way, cannot achieve its purpose because we are not all sharing in the one communion. This is a cause of sadness. Our unity in the classroom, the school yard, are not symbols, but the real, lived unity that creates and sustains our College community.
However, the justice that results in exclusion also requires the mercy and forgiveness that comes from true repentance. Just as the player is invited to consider the impact of his action, and with a renewed commitment to be a better person, choosing to abide in the unity of the game, so too the student is ever invited to be the person who freely and responsibly shares in and contributes to the joys and adventure of the College community. St Paul, if writing to the faithful at St Patrick’s College, may possibly propose:
The unity of the classroom that we value is the communion of God’s love, and our respect between and among students and staff is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that we come together as a College community means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in the one love that God has for each of us, and should share with each other.
Let us pray without ceasing that every person in our community chooses the way of God’s love that increases our likeness to Jesus - building up our community through the justice that is built upon freedom, responsibility, forgiveness, and repentance – so that St Patrick’s College may continue to flourish and achieve our purpose through Faith, Excellence, Tradition and Joy.
Pastoral Care & Wellbeing
Kevin Robillard - Assistant Principal, Pastoral Care & Wellbeing
Men’s Health Week
Men's Health Week takes place from 12-18 June 2023. The 2023 theme in Australia is Healthy Habits and St Patrick's College will have a pastoral focus on the dimensions of health through the week led by our student congress leaders. Student leaders have put together videos, posters and will lead some lunchtime activities to ensure the topic of Men’s Health is explored and challenged through the week. It is important to educate the next generation of young men to ensure they develop healthy living habits and know the importance of looking after their health. The following is an extract of an article addressing the importance of men’s health.
According to the World Health Organisation, men across socioeconomic groups demonstrate unhealthier lifestyle practices, unhealthier dietary patterns, higher alcohol consumption levels and higher rates of injuries and interpersonal violence than women. With men engaging in riskier activities and lifestyle choices they are already at an increased risk of health complications; this increases exponentially when taking into account that close to 60% of men do not regularly see a doctor unless seriously ill. In a 2019 survey from the American non-profit Cleveland Clinic, the extent to which men, in particular, tend to ignore their health was illustrated. Surveying 1174 men aged 18 and older the clinic showed that 72% would rather do household chores than see a door and it was shown that 20% of them admitted to not being honest with their doctor.
With phrases like ‘man up’ and ‘be a man’ still cropping up in 2023, we need to address the ways in which our ideas of masculinity are affecting men’s health on a global scale. These phrases represent the narrow-minded expectation we continue to have of masculinity. Societal expectations and gender roles control the way in which we interact with each other, the way we perceive ourselves and how we perceive others, and their negative impact, cannot be overlooked anymore.
These phrases have historically been used as ways to tell men to step up to their responsibilities, be stronger and control their emotions, this is proving to have a detrimental effect on the mental health and subsequently physical wellbeing of men around the world. Let’s ensure men’s health week helps to change these views and to ensure men are able to seek help and support where required without being seen as weak.
Curriculum & Assessment
Luke Corden - Head of Curriculum & Assessment
2023 End of Semester 1 Statement of Attainment Reports
Semester One Statement of Attainment reports will be available for viewing from 4:00pm on Friday 23rd June (last day of term 2) via PAM.
An explanation of the terms used for the report work habits and practices can be found on the home page in PAM in Knowledge Banks/Parent Information.
The teachers of St Patrick’s are committed to real-time, continuous reporting. As a parent, this means that you have access to your son’s performance on all assessment tasks via PAM within two weeks of the assessment being submitted. Feedback for each assessment task has been provided in several forms including assessment rubrics, criterion sheets, annotated assessment tasks, or direct use of the written feedback section within PAM. I encourage each parent to make direct contact with your son’s subject teachers if they wish to discuss elements of the report and in regard to ongoing progress and results throughout Semester 2.
2024 Subject Selection Updates
In 2023, we will be updating our Subject Selection Information and processes. On Friday 23rd June (last day of term 2) along with the Semester One Statement of Attainment reports, families of students in years 8-11 will receive a 2024 Subject Information Pack which will contain information on all the subjects being offered in 2024.
Over the school holidays, you are encouraged to speak with your son regarding his subject preferences next year and explore the possible pathways that he is interested in. Upon the return to school in term 3, we will be running a Subject Information Evening on Thursday 13th July (time TBC) for all current year 8-11 students/parents/families. At this evening families will have an opportunity to find out more information from the Heads of VCE/Senior School, Middle School and VET as well as an opportunity to speak with experts from all Faculty Areas to answer any questions you may have.
More information on this evening will follow in the next edition of the Crest as well as with the Subject Information Packs at the end of term 2.
Monique Allen, Head of Drama
Spamalot & Years 7-9 Musical
I’d like to again thank the cast, crew and staff involved in the hugely successful 2023 college production. The feedback we have received has been immensely positive due to the commitment and talent of all involved. We sold out all four shows and look forward to the announcement of a NEW junior/middle school show for students in years 7-9 in the coming weeks. This production will be performed in our new performing arts centre in Term 4 so keep your eyes peeled for the show message.
VCE Theatre Studies Class Play: Hoods
On Tuesday 6th June the year 11 & 12 theatre studies students presented their Unit 3 play to an audience at Loreto College’s Abbey Theatre in the Mary’s Mount Centre.
Our class performed Hoods at 7pm, with the Loreto College Year 11 & 12 theatre studies class performing The Real Inspector Hound after intermission. It was a wonderful day of collaboration as we shared the theatre, pizza dinner and tips and tricks ahead of the public performance in the evening.
The class was responsible for every aspect of the production; the direction, set design, costume design, props design, lighting design, sound design and of course, the acting. Their performance was extremely moving and covered some dark themes such as domestic violence and poverty.
They should be incredibly proud of their achievements.
Legacy Junior Public Speaking Competition
On Wednesday 7th June three students represented the college at the annual Legacy Junior Public Speaking Competition. This was a fantastic event where students from almost all Ballarat schools competed across two rounds of speeches: prepared and impromptu. All three of our entrants were in year 7 and should be very proud of their efforts, they made wonderful connections with students from other schools and learnt a lot about improving their public speaking. Congratulations to all competitors.
- Brody Gregg – Environmental sustainability
- Fletcher Garner – Homelessness
- Fergus Le Grand – The importance of remembrance
DAV Debating Round 3
The third round of DAV debating was held on Wednesday 7th June at Ballarat Grammar with both of our teams going down to very strong Clarendon teams. As always, the speakers were prepared, humble and eager to learn as they sought feedback from the adjudicators and steady themselves for the final two rounds of competition.
Thank you to Mrs. Trudi O’Callaghan, Mr. Dirk Stickland and Ms. Monique Allen for coaching the teams in preparation for each event.
Jerry Lau - Head of Music
2023 Music Band Camp at Rutherford Park Country Retreat
Last week, we had 45 students ranging from year 7 – 12 participating a three-day Band Camp at the Rutherford Park in Creswick. The purpose of the band camp is to provide an opportunity for our Music students to rehearse and perform with each other across different year levels, instruments, and ensembles, which included the Symphonic Winds Ensemble, Senior Stage Band, Contemporary Band, Intermediate Band, Junior Band, and Percussion Ensemble.
The three-day program started off with a range of sessional and ensemble rehearsals run by our ensemble leaders and instrumental staff in the mornings. After lunch the students prepared and performed at two local primary schools, St. Michael’s PS, Daylesford and St. Augustine’s PS, Creswick. Special thanks to Mrs. Katrina Bird and Ms. Eleanor Parry who engaged our little audiences in a range of interactive activities during our performances. The feedback from them were evidently sensational with many of them feeling inspired to learn a musical instrument and simply yelling out “I want to go to St. Patrick’s”.
In the afternoons, students enjoyed bonding with each other in a range indoor and outdoor activities before dinner. After our evening rehearsals, students participated in mixed groups with junior and senior students, alongside with a staff table including our deputy principal – Mr. Ric Brodrick, enjoying two nights of music trivia. These consisted of a variety of music genres relating to significant artists, bands, composers, theme songs from movies and TV series. Congratulations to table one for winning the trivia and a massive thank to all our Music captains, James Shaw, Riley Cudby, Callum Ballesty and Eammon Curran, for their leadership and diligence in organising such successful and engaging trivia for us.
On day three, we focused on fostering a strong identity and tradition of what it means to be a St. Patrick’s student within the music department. Students attended a mass band rehearsal guiding our juniors to learn our College Song for the first time and participated in a marching workshop conducted by Mr. Peter Gunn who is an old collegian and ex-military, as part of developing the culture of serving our Ballarat community. We also started preparing our upcoming annual concert item as a mass band with over 40 performers. Here is a link to watch the “Highlights of music band camp 2023”:
Lastly, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Adam Jackson and the staff at Rutherford Park for their excellent services. Another massive thank you to Mr. Tim Snibson, Ms. Karina Dunne, Ms. Jeanean Pritchard who worked tirelessly to support our musicians throughout the camp. To our music administrator, Mrs. Sonya Roberts who worked tremendously hard behind the scenes to ensure all details and logistics sorted, and our visiting music staff, Mrs. Katrina Bird, Mr. Hugh McKelvey, Mr. Will Stephens, Ms. Eleanor Parry, and Mr. Thomas Forsyth, I commend on your professionalism and effort in providing such a fantastic experience for our musicians to grow and learn from each other musically and personally. This simply cannot be accomplished without you all. Thank you so much.
Jeanean Pritchard - Head of Arts
Yr. 9 St. Patrick's College Students Embrace the Last of Autumn's Beauty Through Vibrant Plein-Air Painting
In appreciation of nature's changing hues, our Year 9 art students recently ventured outdoors to make the most of the last days of autumn. Armed with paintbrushes and watercolours, our young artists immersed themselves in the vibrant colours of the season to engage in plein-air painting.
The plein-air approach was pioneered by John Constable in Britain around 1810, but it became fundamental to Impressionist artists such as Monet in the 1860s and 1870s. The purpose of painting outdoors was to accurately capture the light and colours of the environment.
Eager to try their hand at plein-air painting, our students aimed to capture the essence of autumn through their study of the crimson, gold, and orange foliage of Chapel Court.
Josh Ebbels - Basketball co-ordinator
This week our Intermediate Basketball team contested the VCC finals out to emulate the feats of our Senior team.
Our big man Brock Healy was only able to play limited minutes (or none at all) due to sickness which put us up against some big boys with Tes Luol as our only centre.
We played some amazing minutes, against some tough teams but struggled to put two solid halves together. We made it to the final game against Parade College and after outscoring them in the second half we went down in a narrow loss.
That meant we came third and Parade and Berwick played off for 1 and 2.
I am very proud of the boys who had to dig deep and play 5 games in quick succession. They did SPC proud!
Next Tuesday our Year 7-8 Team competes for their chance to win a VCC title ...... a talented bunch of boys who know how to work hard for each other! Can't wait!!
A massive thanks to Mr Jason Lappin (and the sport team) for their ongoing support and encouragement of the Basketball program!!
Football tour to Ireland & London - Easter 2024
Howard Clark, Coordinator of Football
Football Tour to Ireland & London - Easter 2024.
The Football tour to Ireland and London is scheduled for the Easter holidays of 2024. All interested families are encouraged to attend. Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 in 2024 are permitted to apply.
Further information on the Tour can be found here: https://www.stpats.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/SPC-Ireland-2024.pptx
To apply fill out this survey monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCZ3TMP
Leigh McKee - Rugby Co-Ordinator
1st XV Rugby Match Report
St Kevin’s College 2nd XV vs St Patrick’s College 1st XV
June 3 2023
Lewin Reserve, Glen Iris
Forfeits from Trinity and Xavier College had deprived the 1st XV of a game for 3 weeks. Players and coaches were all fervently looking forward to playing.
With several players absent the game had been reduced to a 14 a side game and, once again, several players had to show their versatility by playing out of position.
St Pats started slowly and seemed a little lethargic before they really kicked into gear. The first SPC try came through a steady build up of blind side phase play which eventually created an opportunity for Liam Morrison to crash through just after 5 minutes.
The next ten minutes saw plenty of opportunity for St Pat’s but they were unable to finish off their good work and to St Kevin’s credit they were able to turn the ball over and consolidate somewhat with effective work at the breakdown and secure ball carries.
A lineout opportunity came for SPC on the 15-minute mark. Cayde Constable’s long throw over the top of the jumpers landed in Toby Pearse’s arms. A strong runner, Pearse was able to bust through the SKC defensive line and put the ball down for the visitors second try. Card had no difficulty sealing the extras.
Upon resumption of play St Patrick’s were able to march the ball up the field with plenty of strong runs from the forwards. The likes of Pearse, Morrison, Constable, Charles, and Eskdale were taking their opportunities to break the gain line, put the hosts on their heels and create room for the backs. Card, McIlwaine, Watkins and Jackson worked well together and were gaining valuable metres. McIlwaine took off on a lateral run toward the right side touch line and sliced through before being brought down inside 22 which put SPC within striking distance. It was fitting that, in this phase of play, that the try should be scored by a forward. SKC looked more concerned about a potential backline move and while trying to shore up their defensive line did not recognise the SPC forwards organising a pod on the blind side of the ruck.
Hooker, Cayde Constable, received the ball close to touch, broke through a tackle and was able to secure the 5 points close to the left hand upright at the 18-minute mark. Card scored the conversion to give St Pat’s a 19-point lead.
St Kevin’s are a proud school with a proud rugby tradition and they came out swinging at the restart. The game became very physical, and the referee had his hands full trying to control the verbal niggle that was starting to creep in. The occasional scuffle threatened to break out into something more serious. After several warnings by the ref both sides decided to let their rugby do the talking. It was at the breakdown where players tried to exert their authority. Being overly exuberant and overtly aggressive saw both teams being penalised for being “off their feet” at the ruck.
St Pats was able to hold their nerve and they embarked on a drive that began in their half and after multiple phases were able to secure a penalty and take the lineout option on the opposition 22. The throw was caught by Lachie Brodie and brought to ground, a maul was able to force the defenders back several metres before Toby Pearse was able to peel off and step his way through for his second try right on half time. Card secured the 2 points to give SPC a 26-point lead.
Half Time SKC 0 – SPC 26
The second half could not have started better for the visitors. St Kev’s dropped the catch from the kick off. The forwards monstered the opposition pack and Will Card was able to take a sniping run from the base of the scrum to score beneath the posts and then convert his own try.
St Kevin’s rallied somewhat to put the SPC line under pressure several times, but the defence held firm. Both teams were struggling to move forward, and the game was played between the 22-yard lines for almost 10 minutes. St Kevins won a lineout almost on halfway but knocked the ball forward off the feed. St Pats took the advantage offered by the ref and got the ball to fullback, Oskar Kaletsch, on the wing. Kaletsch took off and showed incredible speed to blitz the SKC line and run beneath the posts for the try. Card converted from directly in front and St Pats had now extended their lead to 40.
Eight minutes later St Kevin’s was penalised for a high tackle and SPC played on with the advantage and after several phases Oscar Watkins found himself in space and was able run through the St Kev’s defence to also jot down beneath the posts and another simple conversion attempt for Card.
With the game firmly in their grasp the Paddy boys took their foot off the gas a little. They allowed the home side to move the ball easily up the field and gave away some silly penalties at the breakdown. SKC forced a lineout on the opposition 5m line and after only one phase run the ball in for a converted try.
A disappointing way to finish for St Pats, but they had held the opposition to zero for more than an hour and had managed to score seven tries which underlines their dominance on the day.
Full Time SKC 7 – SPC 47
Tries: Pearse 2, Morrison, Constable, Card, Kaletsch, Watkins
Conv: Card 6/7
Sustainable School Shop
Don't forget the Sustainable School Shop is a terrific place to buy & sell second hand text books, uniforms, calculators, musical instruments sports gear and more.
It is Australia's No 1 website for secondhand school items.
There is a special page set up for St Patrick's College items:
School holiday opening hours.
The Uniform Shop will be closed the first week of the school holidays.
We re-open Monday 3rd July, 2023.
Old Collegians Association
Expressions of interest are invited to join the St Patrick's Old Collegians Association Committee.
To find out more please email email@example.com
St Patrick's College Community Notices
St Patrick's College Community Notices