July 22, 2021
by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor
Lockdown and Remote Learning v5
Welcome back to Term 3. This certainly is not how I wanted the new term to commence and I am conscious that returning to lockdown and remote learning yet again, is less than an ideal way for the College to operate and for students to learn. Having said this, it is vital that we continue to follow the public health orders and follow the advice and guidelines set by the Health authorities and the State government. I know that we all hope and pray that we will be able to return to a normal routine and be back on site as a school community as soon as possible.
I am keen to acknowledge the professionalism of staff and thank them for their efforts in shifting to delivering their classes remotely via MS Teams without much warning at all. I am grateful that staff have the commitment and capacity to do this, ensuring the continuity of learning for our boys as best we can. I also thank all boys for the positive and resilient response they have shown to the latest lockdown and period of remote learning.
I have been able to live stream a couple of times to the boys this week. In these messages, I have stressed the importance of all boys trying to remain positive and making the most of the remote learning while it is in place. I have also encouraged them to maintain some form of regular exercise, a healthy diet and to be kind to themselves, their siblings and of course, their parents.
If any student is struggling with remote learning or any aspect of being once again in lockdown, I have encouraged them to reach out to the College to seek the support from staff. There are many staff who are there to support our boys through this – subject or pastoral care teachers, Year Level Coordinators, Heads of Faculty, Directors of Schools and the College Counsellors. Please make contact if assistance with any aspect of remote learning is required.
In addition to the support from College staff, students and parents can access support from a range of external agencies. Catholic Education Ballarat (CEB) has published an overview of the support agencies available for secondary students. Click Here to access this list of resources.
Congratulations to Ben Nash (Year 12) on his recent success in the ABC Friends Essay Competition. Ben’s essay was placed in the top three of all applicants and this was recognised at a recent ceremony before we went into lockdown. Well done, Ben!
As the Tokyo Olympic Games commence this week, I am very proud that two Old Collegians have been selected to represent Australia in their respective sports!
Congratulations to Nathan Sobey (SPC 2008) for being selected in the Australian Men’s Basketball team, the Boomers, to compete in these extraordinary Olympics. Nathan is the first Old Collegian to represent Australia in Basketball in the Olympics.
I also congratulate Josh Coward (SPC 2015) who has been selected to represent Australia in the Men’s 7s Rugby team at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Josh is the first SPC past student to be chosen in Rugby to represent Australia.
I congratulate both Nathan and Josh and wish them all the very best as they compete at the Olympics in the days ahead.
Rugby at SPC 2022
Earlier in the year I asked the current students (Years 7-11) if they might be interested in playing Rugby Union if the College offered it again in 2022. The feedback and indication was very positive and therefore, I am pleased to advise the community that Rugby will be offered as a College sport again next year. I anticipate that we will run three teams – a Junior, Intermediate and Senior team. These teams will again, compete in the Victorian Schools’ Rugby Union competition which the College had previously participated in – and often, very successfully! As Principal, I am keen to ensure that we offer opportunities which enhance the educational experience of our students and which cater for their interests. I am looking forward to welcoming Rugby back as another code of football to the College next year.
One of the highlights of the semester break for me was watching Ash Barty’s performance and ultimate success at the Wimbledon Championships in the UK. More than the spectacular form on the court and the magnificent tennis which characterised Ash’s incredible Wimbledon campaign this year, her disposition and presentation as a young professional tennis player and as a young Australian was simply exceptional! Like many, I was struck by her humility and grace – at every stage, Ash acknowledged her success as a direct result of a team effort, as a result of the guidance and support she receives from her entourage. How refreshing and what a wonderful role model for all of us!
Again, like many others, I was thrilled and somewhat moved to witness the achievements of a fine young woman, a First Nations woman, a wonderful young Australian and an exceptional athlete achieve a lifetime dream via winning the final at Wimbledon. I remember very well and with great admiration the success and the wonderful example of Yvonne Goolagong Cawley. How inspiring was Ash Barty’s tribute and acknowledgement of her lifetime heroine and role model? Simply exceptional and entirely remarkable!
In Ash Barty’s incredible success and her conduct through this, there is much for us to observe and admire. Her humble and gracious approach stands her apart from so many. I hope that in our success as a school – whether that is in sport, in our academic programs or in our cultural opportunities, that all of our boys will be characterised by similar characteristics. Being humble in victory and gracious in defeat often is an indication of someone’s true character – a character which is admired and respected by all!
Mr Steven O’Connor