October 29, 2021
by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor
A Strong Commitment to Child Safety
The safety and wellbeing of all students, staff and visitors to St Patrick’s College is of vital importance. It is an issue that we grapple with regularly and that we take very seriously. As a registered and accredited school in VIC, there are many important legislative requirements which guide the development of various policies and procedures at the College, as we strive to provide a safe, secure and inclusive school community. Importantly, the child safe standards which govern all schools in Victoria also sit very comfortably with the Touchstones of EREA, which obviously, have a strong influence on the College.
The College has developed over time a series of policies and procedures which promote and support a safe and positive environment for all students. These policies are reviewed regularly internally by College staff, the School Advisory Council and externally by EREA and the VRQA.
Recently, the College went through an external two-day review of our policies and procedures around child safeguarding. This review was conducted by a VRQA panel reviewer and was commissioned by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria; all EREA schools are going through this review process to ensure that all policies and procedures in EREA schools are up-to-date and reflect the standards and legislative requirements.
This process involved meetings and conversations between the VRQA staff member and students, staff and parents. The initial feedback from the review has been very positive and reflects the thorough policies and procedures in place at St Patrick’s.
Our boys are encouraged to approach any member of staff if they feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened in any form as a student at the College. It is important that they communicate with or report to staff any concerns around their safety and wellbeing or that of any other student or member of the College community. Often, they will express this concern to their parents at home and again, we encourage parents to get in touch with the College to let us know about the issue so that we can address it as quickly and thoroughly as we can. This partnership in this context, is crucial.
To assist with this the College has a number of trained Child Safety Officers. The staff currently in the College with this specialised training are:
- Mr Hamish McCrum – Acting Deputy Principal and Director of Senior School
- Mr Mike Silcock – Director of Students and Director of Boarding
- Mr Michael Busscher – Director of Middle School and
- Mr Gavin Webb – Director of Junior School
Students are reminded of these staff via posters in classrooms and corridors and are encouraged to approach any of these senior staff if they have any concerns about their safety and wellbeing.
Farewell the Class of Year 12, 2021
Last Wednesday, October 20 the College farewelled the Year 12 class of 2021. I was really proud of how the young men of Year 12 approached and participated in the events across the day; from the early morning breakfast outside the O’Malley Gym, to our leave taking ceremony at the close of the day. I thanked them during the course of the day for the many contributions they have made to the College during the time as students. I wish to add to this by thanking them for the wonderful spirit of enjoyment and gratitude they displayed on their final day of classes last week.
I wish them all the very best for their final exams and for their future beyond St Pat’s!
I was delighted to read of the success achieved by 10 St Patrick’s students at the recent National Chess Championships. This is the second time only that a team of Chess players from SPC has made it through to the Nationals. At the end of the championships, our team finished in 12th place, which is a wonderful outcome!
Congratulations and well done to the following members of the team:
- Adam Severino
- Ben Collier
- Toby Clack
- Jack Sheehan
- Darcy Williams
- Sean McMahon
- Lachlan Wills
- Jack McLenny
- Hugh Ollerenshaw and
- Rorey O’Kelly
Very proud of this team and the outcome!
Mr Steven O’Connor