Wellbeing Report – March 17, 2016

March 17, 2016

Edmund Rice Day – Thursday, May 5

St Patrick’s College is a Catholic school in the tradition of Edmund Rice. Service of others, being just, at the margins, compassion and stewardship are some of the characteristics that lie at the heart of our identity.

Our annual Walkathon is a tangible expression of this identity, enabling all our students and staff to work together towards raising a significant amount of money for some very needy causes.

The aim of the Walkathon is to raise money for the following beneficiaries:

Edmund Rice Centre – St Albans

Edmund Rice Foundation Australia

Edmund Rice- Camps- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


It is hoped the College can raise in excess of $40,000 in 2016.

This will only be achieved with the support of all members of the community. To achieve our aim all boys will need to raise at least $40.

You can support the boys’ efforts by donating money to them.

Booklets to raise money will go to each boy in pastoral groups next week. Please give what you can.

This last fortnight staff and students and no doubt parents have been tested, stretched and maybe even stressed as a very busy term draws to a close. What a great term of achievements and learnings for all of us. I have really enjoyed my first term at St Pat’s and look forward to all the new set of challenges that lay ahead for me. Resilience has held me in good stead.

Resilience (An excerpt from a speech I delivered at St Patrick’s Day)

There is a particular quality that we all need to develop to live our lives to the fullest. Resilience. This is a life long journey and it starts when you are young. How resilient are you?

Resilience is the ability to cope or -‘bounce back’ after encountering negative events, difficult situations, challenges or adversity and to return to almost the same level of emotional wellbeing. It is also the capacity to respond to difficult circumstances and thrive. ( Benard,1996, Burns, 1996, Fuller 1998, Luthar 2000, Johnson 2008)

St Patrick is a great example of resilience. In today’s world we might think that he was a troubled boy. We would not have been surprised if he turned to a life of crime and drugs. However we have named our Catholic churches and schools in honour of him, not just in Ballarat but throughout theworld. St Patrick turned to God and rose above his low, slave-like status to be a great man, a great leader and one of our most important saints, particularly in Australia.

He developed resilience, believed in God and made a difference in the world.

So, how do get up when you are knocked over?

What do you do to build up your inner strength, not just how big your muscles are? Your muscles only go skin deep.

What do you do when you are disappointed or things do not work out the way you have planned?

1.Find a Sense of Purpose in Your Life

In school you have the chance to find out what you would really like to do and work towards it.

2.- Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities

No one hangs around a whinger very long. Coping with stress and recovering from difficult events requires believing in yourself.

3.- Develop a Strong Social Network

My dad said to me once, -‘Nice people attract nice crowds’. So be nice, be fun, be normal. When things go wrong you need people who you can trust and tell you what you need to hear.

4.- Embrace Change

Change is going to happen. Growth is optional. The more open to change you are the more possibilities there will be for exciting and new journeys just around the corner.

5.- Be Optimistic

Have conversations that are solution focused. No one will hang around someone who explains all the problems but has no answers. St Patrick was positive, amidst the darkest of times.

6.- Look After Yourself

This means exercising regularly, sleeping well, eating well. It also means having a break from study or work, going to a movie, ringing up that really funny mate and having a chat.

7.- Establish Goals

When you are confronted with a problem or crisis break it down into sizeable chunks. Come back to it and set some goals and work towards them.

8.- Keep Working on Your Skills

Resilience may take time to build. The good news is that anyone can be successful but it requires bouncing back and going to places and directions you have not considered.

What is stopping you now?

Every individual here today needs resilience.

Every individual can develop resilience.

How resilient are you?

How resilient do you really want to be?

The rest of your life is up to you.


Enjoy the Easter Break with your families, remembering the Easter story of Jesus who gave so that we may live.

Thanks for all your support.

Take Care, God Bless

Mr Gerard Sullivan

Deputy Headmaster – Wellbeing