Wellbeing Report – October 6, 2016

October 5, 2016


It has been one of the wettest and coldest starts to Term Four, with more cold weather coming next week. For the first two weeks of this term boys may choose to still wear their long pants. The official uniform for Term Four is shorts, which will begin. The challenge of the warmer months is that boys wear their shirt tucked in, top button and tie worn correctly. Please make sure when your son leaves home that they correct attired, wearing their uniform with pride. It is very important that the boys model good behaviour and correct uniform attire outside of the college as well as within. Thank you for you support with this.

Student Leadership

It was wonderful to see the new Student Council for 2017 recognised and inducted last term at The Transfer of Leadership and Awards assembly, with proud parents in attendance. Coordinating and supporting student leadership at the college is one of my most enjoyable responsibilities and I believe authentic student voice starts with recognition of student leaders and support for the boys as they find their -‘leadership legs’.

With this in mind our final assembly of the year, On November 8th, will have a focus of student leadership and inducting our 7-11 Student Congress leaders. At this assembly Mitch Tuddenham, 2017 School Captain, will announce the goals, hopes and dreams of the Student Council for 2017. Mitch, and the two 2107 Vice Captains, Nick Stuhldreier, and Josh Duggan, will induct the Yr 8-Yr 11 Student Congress Leaders for 2017. One of the initiatives and of the 2016 Student Council was to increase the student voice of the Student Congress and for 2017 this begins with the recognition of these students on November 8th. Parents of Student Congress Leaders will be invited for this day.

Mental Health Week, 9th October -15th October- Why Mental Health Matters

Put simply, it does not matter how intelligent we are, how talented we might be at sports or how rich we are. If we are not content in who we are, if we do not surround ourselves with a positive network of friends and family who support us to look after your mental and physical health, we will not thrive. This does not mean that we all have to become famous, or national sporting stars, the list goes on-¦

What this does mean is that without working and supporting each other, without asking for help when we need it, without acknowledging that something is not right, we can find ourselves in an unhealthy state of mind and /or body. It is easy when we break a leg, or get a cold. In society it is much more difficult when we feel down, cannot get out of bed, are not sleeping well for no particular reason or just lose our energy to hang out with friends or enjoy all life has to offer. We all experience ups and downs in life.

Being mentally healthy means developing the resilience, the emotional awareness and bravery to ask for help from our network of friends and family when we need to do so. I would not cope in my own life without this ongoing support. I seek it out at new workplaces and I make sure that I talk about my ups and downs with close family and friends. I also make a promise to myself each day to enjoy life for all it has to offer. Some days it is easy to do this and other days much more of a challenge. This is quite ok as this is part of living a full and flourishing life.

For all the above reasons (and more) this is why Mental Health Week next week matters.

The Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria) states;

Mental Health- Week- aims to activate, educate and engage Victorians about mental health, through a week of interactive events across the state, including an official launch, community festivals, art exhibitions, music, theatre and seminars.

From its beginnings in 1985, the week has grown to encompass hundreds of events, organised by a multitude of individuals,- community groups and service providers throughout the state.

Much of the effort of running Mental Health Week comes from dedicated volunteers committed to promoting mental wellbeing, furthering knowledge about mental health and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness.


Next week Mr Brad Murray, our Pastoral Care Coordinator, and our new Student Wellbeing group of student leaders from Yrs 10-12, will facilitate a school assembly devoted to Mental Health. The boys felt that this was such an issue that needs to be de-stigmatised and next week begins this journey for St Patricks College. This positive initiative is one piece of the pie in helping our students (and families) to develop their own mental health. Our opening prayer, developed by Mr Brodie, the message from the boys and guest speakers are all designed to support our students and families to focus in mental health, just as you would attend training to improve at your chosen sport or study for an exam or work hard on a major assignment.-

Additionally, there will programs on the ABC television throughout the week, focusing on stories of mental health, again raising awareness, understanding and de-stigmatising mental health. Please take up this opportunity if you are able to over the next week with the following TV guide link.


And finally a group of Year 10 boys will attend -‘Mental Wave’, on Wednesday 12th of October. This is a workshop offered by Ballarat Health Services and some of our students are part of the Youth Forum who have organised the day.

The reason why we see this as so important is it is part of our calling to the Mission of the Catholic Church. We want all the boys (and families) who attend St Patricks College to feel included, to be liberated in their education and experience a Gospel Spirituality, as our staff walk with the students, just as Jesus Christ would have done.

Thank you for all the close partnerships as parents you allow us to form with you and your sons. We are indeed privileged and look forward to the boys continuing to thrive at St Patricks College.

Take Care, God Bless

Gerard Sullivan

Deputy Headmaster – Wellbeing