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Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 5, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I encourage all our students and families to attend our College musical, Little Shop of Horrors. The College has a wonderful tradition of staging popular and successful musicals, with this production looking like it will continue that great tradition.

Little Shop of Horrors is about a down and out, skid row floral assistant named Seymour who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood.  The plant, “Audrey II”, grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B singing carnivore who offers Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien poised for global domination.  Sounds crazy but it works brilliantly.  We have a large group of students and staff working on this production.  You will be rewarded for your support of their hard work and talent with a great night out.

Performance dates are 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 September in the College Hall.  Tickets can be purchased through this link.

2023 Enrolments

Our enrolments for 2023 are progressing very smoothly.  If you are aware of any families who may be considering enrolling their son and have not yet done so, please ask them to contact the Enrolments Office.  This may include families who have a son whose needs are not being met at their present school and may benefit from our Yarwun Gifted Program; or Year 10 students in other schools who would benefit from our Sports Academy Program, or students with an interest in Hospitality who would benefit from our partnership with the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, or students with an interest and talent in Rugby League who would benefit from our partnership with the Canberra Raiders.

Financial Assistance for Families

Some of our parents may not be aware that the ACT Government offers some financial assistance to school students at government and non-government schools.  This is done through the Future of Education Equity Fund Years P–12. Information about this assistance can be found at this link.   Of course, parents who require specific assistance with College fees are encouraged to contact the Finance Team at the College to discuss the possibility of fee concessions, or you may wish to contact me to discuss your situation.

Congratulations

We congratulate the following students for their achievements and wish them luck in their endeavours:

*Kado Ramalli (Year 6 Clancy) and Brayden Kent (Year 6 Haydon) have been selected in the Under 11’s  and Under 12’s Southern Country Pride side, participating in the Oztag City vs Country tournament in November.

*Steve Nealon (Year 9 Haydon) and Evan Richards (Year 9 Mulrooney) have been selected in the ACT Capital Football Under 15’s and Under 14’s teams, with National Championships taking place in Coffs Harbour, NSW next month.

*Lachlan Cheney (Year 8 Mulrooney), Hunter Harlor (Year 12 Treacy), Liam Guthrie (Year 12 Mulrooney), Ethan Guthrie (Year 10 Mulrooney), and Kyler Peisley (Year 7 Mulrooney) for representing the ACT and St Edmund’s College at the School Sports National Swimming Championships in Brisbane this week.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Last Sunday was a significant day in the tradition of the Catholic Church, with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I would like to share with you a beautiful reflection by the Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli, who considers the meaning of the Assumption for us.

“Today we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This very special feast of Mary is, in fact, really a feast of Our Lord Jesus: what happened to Mary at the end of her life is the direct result of what Christ did at the end of his earthly mission. The Assumption of Mary is a mirror of the Ascension of Jesus – the glorious reward of a live lived for God.

From the beginning of Christianity, the Church has understood herself to be a community brought into existence by Christ and sustained in the love of Christ. For this reason, the very first task of the Christian community – our first task – is to remain in a relationship of life and love with God. In this regard, Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, is our primary point of reference. It is from Mary that we learn of our bond with Christ. What God saw and loved in Mary, God sees and loves in his Church. So, our identity as the Christian community is bound up in the life of Mary.

Mary’s assumption, her passing body and soul into heaven at the end of her life, reveals the destination of all who, by their lives, have shown they belong to Christ. Our human destiny is not ultimate destruction – our human destiny is eternal life. As Christians, we believe in Mary’s assumption because it is proof to us of this ultimate destiny for all humanity. But this hoped-for destiny is conditional on our being like a mirror to Mary: faithful, humble, hopeful, trusting.

Mary’s assumption is our encouragement. In her lived example we find a way of living that is transformative and sanctifying: it changes our lives and binds us closer to God. In the midst of the ordinary circumstances of our lives our spiritual Mother points the way to her Son, our redeemer. Through her we can learn to live in this passing world focused on our goal in heaven.  Our Lady Queen of Heaven, pray for us.”

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God,
who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
the Mother of your Son,
body and soul into heavenly glory,
grant, we pray,
that, always attentive to the things that are above,
we may merit to be sharers of her glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 4, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Our students in Year 10 and Year 11 are needing to make some very important decisions in the next few weeks.

Year 10 moving into Year 11 2023

Year 10 students will soon commence the process of discerning the direction of their senior study.  This is a significant process, with students considering their senior pathway and package of subjects.  They will of course be guided carefully through this process by a number of people within the College – the Heads of Faculty, Heads of House, the Careers and VET advisers and our Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning.

Of great interest to students this year is the number of partnerships we have to enhance student pathways.

  • The College has partnered with the University of Canberra through the new St Edmund’s College Sports Academy. This provides an opportunity for our students to consider a sports-focused pathway that offers direct, non-ATAR entry to a number of undergraduate courses at the University of Canberra. This means that a tertiary pathway is now open to students who may not have necessarily considered a tertiary education, or who were wanting a more tailored, individual approach to their tertiary pathway. Students interested in this pathway should speak to Mr Joel Richardson (Head of Health and Physical Education) in the first instance. Please feel free to inform families not currently at the College of this great new partnership and invite them to contact the College for further details.
  • St Edmund’s College is partnering with the Canberra Raiders through our Sports Science program. The Raiders partnership will provide a clear connection between St Edmund’s College and the Canberra Raiders for students playing Rugby League, maintaining and engaging these students at a high level both academically and physically. Regular on-field training will be developed by College staff and the Canberra Raiders. Students will participate in Rugby League Gala Days and have a clear representative program. Whilst this partnership is aimed more at students in Years 9 & 10, it also has significant benefits for senior students. Students interested in this pathway should speak to Mr Justin Giteau (Health and Physical Education teacher) in the first instance. Please feel free to inform families not currently at the College of this great new Rugby League pathway and invite them to contact the College for further details.
  • The College is also in partnership with the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra. This partnership will allow our Hospitality students to immerse themselves in all aspects of the Hospitality industry, engage in real work opportunities and work alongside experts in the Hospitality field to develop their skills and competencies, be mentored and coached and build their professional network. This is a wonderful initiative for our students, providing a unique opportunity for them to broaden their skills and options. Students interested in this pathway should speak to Ms Rebecca Jarman (Hospitality teacher) in the first instance. Please feel free to inform families not currently at the College of this great new Hospitality pathway and invite them to contact the College for further details.
  • Of course, we continue our pathway for gifted students through the Yarwun Gifted and Talented Program. If you are aware of a family outside of the College who may benefit from the Yarwun Gifted and Talented Program, please advise them to contact the College (Mr Tim Bibbens in the first instance) to discuss this program.

There will be a Year 11 2023 Information Night at the College on Wednesday August 17 commencing at 6pm (see this link).  We will be providing an overview of the pathways available to Year 11 and 12 students at St Edmund’s College and some information with regards to study packages and course selection in the lead-up to subject selection meetings. Head of Faculties and other members of staff will be on hand to answer questions about specific courses and to offer their advice and expertise.

This evening is open for all current Year 10 St Edmund’s Students and new, prospective families who are looking at enrolling at St Edmund’s College in Year 11, 2023.

Student Leadership – Year 11

Students in Year 11 have commenced their discernment of student leadership positions for next year.  This is always a very exciting time in the life of the College, as we witness a large number of students wanting to represent their fellow students by leading the College in some way.

Our model of leadership at the College is based on the concept of servant leadership. St Edmund’s College strives to teach and to embody the pattern of servant leadership exemplified by Jesus Christ. Jesus explained to his followers that their practice of leadership was to be distinctly different than the self-seeking, self-serving, and domineering style of leadership often found in the world: “Whoever would be first among you must be servant of all” (Mk 10:42-44; Mt 20: 25-28).

Good leadership motivates and mobilises others to accomplish a task or to think with creativity, vision, integrity and skill for the benefit of all concerned. Servant leadership serves others by investing in their development and wellbeing for the benefit of the common good. Thus, good servant leaders serve their community through investing in others so that together they may accomplish a task for the greater good.

To best exemplify the concept of servant leadership, since last year our Captains positions have been aligned to one of the four Touchstones from the Charter of Edmund Rice Education Australia. The College Captain has stewardship for Inclusive Community; the Academic Vice-Captain has stewardship for Liberating Education; the Mission Vice-Captain has stewardship for Gospel Spirituality and the Service Vice-Captain has stewardship for Justice & Solidarity. Thus, by their very nature, the Captains lead the school in areas that are very closely related to gospel values and Jesus’ mission.   The Captains will be supported in their stewardship roles by the House Captains and Vice Captains, and by their peers and teachers.

Congratulations

Congratulations to Mr John Owens, our acting College Advisory Council Chair, who has now been appointed as our permanent Advisory Council Chair.  We look forward to working closely with John and the Advisory Council in setting the direction and vision of the College for the next few years.

Solemnity of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Each year at around this time, we celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s beloved first saint. We celebrate the important role Mary Mackillop played in making education accessible for children in our country. Mary MacKillop devoted her life to ensuring a holistic Catholic education for children from rural, poor families.  She was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square, Rome on Sunday, October 17, 2010.

Mary MacKillop was an ordinary woman who lived an extraordinary life. She was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne on January 15, 1842 to Scottish immigrants Alexander and Flora MacKillop and died in North Sydney on August 8, 1901.

After living what she described as “a most unhappy” early life, largely due to financial hardship, Mary moved to Penola, South Australia at age 18 to work as a governess for relatives. There she met Fr Julian Tenison Woods and they set up a school for underprivileged children before going on to establish the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart – the first religious institute established by an Australian. The Order grew and the Sisters travelled the countryside setting up schools, orphanages and other good works for those in need.

In 1871 Mary was excommunicated following a dispute with the Bishop of Adelaide, but the following year, the Bishop lifted the excommunication order and exonerated Mary of any wrongdoing. She travelled to Rome by sea in 1873/74 to have the rule of her Order approved by the Pope himself.

Today, there are about 800 Sisters of St Joseph, still working with the poor and marginalised in Australia, New Zealand, Timor Leste, Scotland, Ireland and Peru.

Even at the time of her death, those who knew her, or knew of her extraordinary work, spoke openly of her holiness – her heroic goodness. The official Cause for the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop was begun in 1925. In January 1995, Pope John Paul II beatified Mary during a Mass at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney. This followed official recognition of a woman being miraculously cured of cancer after praying for Mary’s intercession. The recognition in December 2009 of a second miracle, also a woman being cured of cancer, ensured Mary’s path to Canonisation.

St Mary MacKillop’s impact on Australian education was remarkable.  She was a trailblazer and a leader who passionately advocated for the education of underprivileged children and children in remote areas where others either would or could not go.  For such children and their families, Mary opened a door of hope into the future.

Source: https://www.columban.org.au/media-and-publications/articles/features/2019/saint-mary-mackillop-feast-day

Prayer

Ever generous God,
You inspired Saint Mary MacKillop
to live her life faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and constant in bringing hope and encouragement
to those who were disheartened, lonely or needy.
With confidence in your generous providence
and through the intercession of Saint Mary MacKillop,
we ask that our faith and hope be fired afresh by the Holy Spirit
so that we too, like Mary MacKillop, may live with courage, trust and openness.
Ever generous God hear our prayer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 3, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last weekend saw a celebration of community and spirit here at St Edmund’s.

The Blue and White Ball was a tremendous success last Friday evening at the Hellenic Club. My sincere thanks to the very large number of parents and old boys who attended and supported the Old Boys and Friends Association.  We also had many staff in attendance.  I know from talking to parents on Friday night and throughout Heritage Day on Saturday that they had a wonderful time. It is events like the Blue and White Ball that often act as a barometer for community spirit within a school, and we certainly had an extremely high reading on the barometer. Our guest speaker was old boy Troy Gray (Class of 1990) who delighted everyone with his stories. Music was provided by old boy Keiran Sloan (Class of 1994) and his band Big Boss Groove and the MC was old boy Matt Percy (Class of 1991). It truly was a great night, reflective of the strength of our community spirit.  We also raised a fair amount of money for Karinya House and Home.  Thanks to the committee members who worked hard to get this event up and running after a few covid-related false starts, especially members of staff Mrs Michelle Taylor and Ms Bridget Cusack.  We are extremely fortunate to have Matt De Jongh at the helm of the Old Boys and friends Association.  Matt is a great supporter of the College and works tirelessly to ensure that the sense of community spirit with parents, the old boys and members of the wider community is strong, healthy and active. My great thanks to Matt for his work with the Blue and White Ball and with Heritage Day.

The Heritage Day events on Saturday were also a great success. We commenced with the Old Boys Mass in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel. My thanks to Mrs Margaret Thomas and Ms Caroline Devlin for the beautiful music at the Old Boys Mass in the morning; to Mrs Rebecca Jarman for catering for the old boys’ morning tea, to Mr Fred Zarb for showing the old boys around the College and to our chaplain Fr Chris Eaton for celebrating Mass. We had a good number of old boys at the morning tea, especially the Class of 2002 who had their 10-year reunion that day.  Ms Bridget Cusack prepared a very special display of old photos and memorabilia which was loved by the old boys.

We were blessed with perfect weather and had a wonderful day of rugby, culminating in another victory for our First XV.  My deepest thanks to the large number of parents, old boys and staff who attended.  The student behaviour was great and there was such a strong display of sportsmanship through the day demonstrated by both our boys and the Marist boys. I was so impressed with the sense of healthy and positive rivalry on the day. I have written to Mr Matt Hutchison, Headmaster of Marist College, to thank him for a day of great sport, sportsmanship and friendly rivalry. School spirit was indeed tangible and strong on Saturday.

My thanks to Co-Curricular Manager Mr Lee Boswell for the set up on Saturday, ensuring everything was ready to go early in the morning; to our First VX manager Mr Trent Masters for his organisation and structure of events surrounding the First XV and of course to Mr Neil Roberts, our First XV coach, especially for the  design of the Heritage Jersey, sponsored by Tiffen and Co. The war memorial theme of the Heritage Jersey was a very special touch.  Of course, congratulations to our First XV team for their Heritage Round victory, keeping hold of the Heritage Cup for another year. Photos of the day can be seen on our social media pages and Mrs G Photography Facebook page (thanks so much to Kelly Grainger for her wonderful photography and for the many hours she puts into capturing the spirit of the College so beautifully).

Community spirit and school spirit are developed and built both in and out of the classroom, and we are blessed to have a depth of spirit here at St Edmund’s.  I was quite proud to hear this from our own community and from visitors on both Friday and Saturday, and through the many emails I have received since the weekend.  This was also reflected on Saturday as I walked former principal Br Bob Wallace from the main building to the grandstand; he was quite impressed that every single student who walked past us greeted us verbally – a “very good sign” according to Br Bob!

St Edmund’s College Prayer

Dear Lord,
Grant that we may live each day to the full, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Let us cast away all worries and concerns into your Divine care.
Christus Lux Mea
Give us strength to confront all challenges that we face with hope and faith.
Let our community seek truth in all that we search for.
Christus Lux Mea
Let us stand for others always giving generously without counting the cost.
Amen

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 2, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I am very much looking forward to our Blue and White Ball this coming Friday, followed by our annual Heritage Day this Saturday, 30 July, where all our Rugby matches will be against Marist College here at school.  The last time we had a “normal” Heritage Day was in 2019, with the last two years either being cancelled or heavily modified due to covid restrictions at the time.

Heritage Day kicks off at 10.00 in our Chapel with the Old Boys Mass celebrated by our College chaplain, Fr Chris Eaton. All old boys and their families and friends are invited to this Mass. This is followed by morning tea, tours of the College (depending on demand) and then a series of reunions with old boys catching up with each other, either at school or at another venue.  We then have the main games of the day at around 3.00.  Both the First XV Rugby team and the First XI Football (Soccer) team will be playing on College fields at around the same time.  We had outstanding attendance at our last normal Heritage Day, and I encourage as many members of our community as possible to be there on the day and celebrate a day of old boys’ spirit, community spirit and of sporting talent and sportsmanship.

We will have a special assembly on Friday 29 July to clarify with students the appropriate behaviour and attitude for the Heritage Day games, and especially for the First XV game in the afternoon.  Some of the points covered in the assembly will be as follows:

  • Students spectating are to wear full winter uniform (no variations at all).
  • All students are to demonstrate positive sportsmanship throughout the whole day, and especially during the First XV Rugby game in the afternoon. Students not demonstrating good sportsmanship and appropriate behaviour will be asked to leave the grounds.
  • This demonstration of good sportsmanship is particularly important at times when the opposition scores a try or kicks for goal.
  • Students are to be respectful in their dealings with the opposition players and spectators – not using derogatory language or negative physicality before, during and after a game, including not booing during a game.

We would also expect all our old boys attending to behave in a similar manner, supporting the expectations of the College. We are very much looking forward to a great day on Saturday.

Congratulations

Congratulations to Jesse Borghouts (Year 9, Treacy), James Eppelstun (Year 9, Clancy) and Shannan Tardrew (Year 9, Treacy) who were selected to represent the ACT at the U15 School Sport AFL Tournament in Albury, NSW.

Congratulations to Luke Sakamoto (Year 10, Rice) who has been selected in the Under 16 ACT School Boys Team for soccer. The competition will be held for a week in September in Sydney.

Congratulations and many thanks to Ms Caroline Devlin (English and RE teacher) for organising a large collection of books to be sent to Trinity Catholic College in Lismore.  Trinity Catholic College has been devastated as a result of the floods in Lismore, with facilities ruined, resources lost and students attending school at another site.  Ms Devlin delivered the books herself during the last school holidays.

Canberra Avenue

I must express my great thanks to members of our community and the community of St Clare’s College for the wonderful support of the e-petition regarding the safe crossing of Canberra Avenue.  We now have over 500 signatures which means that the issue can be raised and discussed at the Legislative Assembly.  I also thank the Leader of the Opposition, Elizabeth Lee MLA, for sponsoring the e-petition and for her support of the issue. Hopefully we can look forward to a positive outcome, allowing our students to cross Canberra Avenue in safety, whether this be a 40kmh school zone or other options.

Gospel

Last Sunday’s Gospel gives us the origin of the Lord’s Prayer.  It is ironic that the most significant prayer in Christianity has such humble beginnings.  Many of the world’s most famous speeches have a great, inspiring story and background about them, either about how they were written or when and where they were presented. In Luke 11:1-13, the narrative details to the background to the Lord’s Prayer are very sparse. Luke very casually says that when Jesus uttered this model prayer, it happened one day when Jesus was praying in a certain place. The disciples see Jesus in prayer, and one of them asks Jesus to teach them how to pray.  There was something about watching Jesus pray that made the disciples want to learn how to pray as Jesus prayed. There was something special about the prayer life of Jesus, with the way he prayed showing something of his relationship with God the Father.

The prayer that Jesus gave the disciples is what we call the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father.  It is so rich in its simplicity. We pray for five things in this prayer, (i) the hallowing of God’s Name, (ii) the coming of the kingdom, (iii) daily bread, (iv) to be forgiven on the basis of the fact that we are ourselves engaged in acts of forgiveness all the time, and (v) that we are not led into temptation.

In Matthew’s version of Jesus teaching the prayer to the disciples (Matthew 6:7-9a), we learn that Jesus also says to the disciples, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”.  I have taught in Catholic schools now for about 37 years now, and most times that I have heard people pray the Lord’s Prayer (either staff or students), it has always seemed so rushed and tokenistic that it means virtually nothing.  Jesus has given us a very simple but powerful prayer – let us immerse ourselves in its simplicity and power and take our time in praying this prayer, pausing after each phrase and reflecting on exactly what we are praying for, and not be like the “babbling pagans” who just pray for the sake of praying.

Prayer

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 1, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

It was a pleasure to welcome our students back to school at Tuesday’s assembly. It was also wonderful to welcome fourteen new students to the College community.  It is always heartening to see such large numbers of new students commence at the beginning of a new term and inspires confidence in what we do here at the College and how we do it.

I received some exciting updates on two of our old boys during the last few days.  Eddie Osei-Nketia (Year 10 Class of 2017) ran the 100 metres heats at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 10.08 seconds, not only qualifying for the semi-finals but also breaking national record that had stood for 28 years, achieved by his father Gus.   Finlay Bealham (Class of 2009) played in the Irish Rugby team that beat New Zealand last week, when Ireland secured its first Test series victory over the All Blacks, winning the deciding international 32-22 in Wellington.  We are very proud of Eddie and Finlay, congratulate them on their remarkable achievements and look forward to many more great achievements to come.

We have two significant events at the end of July.  The Blue and White Ball is being held on Friday 29 July at the Hellenic Club.  This is a great opportunity for current parents, former parents and old boys to get together for a dinner, dancing and a chance to catch up. I look forward to seeing as many parents and old boys there as possible.  Link for further details: Blue and White Ball

On the following day (Saturday 30 July) we have Heritage Day, our annual Rugby match against Marist College but also a day of reunions and catch-up for old boys.  Heritage Day commences with an Old Boys Mass, morning tea and a tour of the College, followed by opportunities for old boys to reunite with their peers and watch the First XV game against Marist followed by privately organised reunion activities. Link for further details: Heritage Day

We will have a special assembly on Friday 29 July to clarify with students the appropriate behaviour and attitude for the Heritage Day games on Saturday 30 July, and especially for the First XV game in the afternoon.  I will share these expectations with parents and carers next week and ask that you support us in these expectations of maintaining and displaying a positive sporting spirit as well as respecting the players and spectators of the opposing side, culminating in an enjoyable and collegial day full of positive experiences.

Parents and carers are by now aware of the attempts of the College to ensure a safer way for students to cross Canberra Avenue. If you have not yet contributed to the e-petition (which means that the issue will need to be raised and discussed at the Legislative Assembly) and would like to do so, please click on this link: ACT Legislative Assembly – Current e-Petition  I am well aware of  community attitudes to 40k zones, but I don’t think we are asking too much for the Government to consider this or other options for the safe crossing of our students.

Today we held a very special NAIDOC Week Assembly with special guests Aunty Matilda House and Wendy Brookman. It is of great importance for us to dedicate a special assembly to the issues of recognition, respect and reconciliation. The theme to this year’s NAIDOC week is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! I explained to students at the assembly that it is important to look at the language of this theme – the use of imperative sentences here is so relevant, “get, stand, show”, strong action words.  Get up! Don’t just sit down and allow these experiences to continue to happen to our brothers and sisters.  Don’t just sit and think about it – do something. Stand up! Be seen, be visible, be loud in your support and advocacy of our brothers and sisters.  Don’t just talk about it – do something. Show up! Walk alongside our Aboriginal sisters and brothers. Be with them.  Have the strength to be seen to be an advocate, a supporter and a fighter for equal rights, human rights, respect, recognition and reconciliation.  At the moment Australia is not getting up quickly enough, it is not standing up tall enough and it is not showing up often enough to ensure that the history, culture and achievements and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are celebrated, recognised and supported. We are Edmund Rice people – we are people who, like Edmund Rice, stand for others in a strong and practical manner.  Our Touchstones, our College prayer and even our College song talks about who we are – so let us be the best Edmund Rice people we can be by supporting the goals of NAIDOC Week with the ultimate goal of everyone in this country being in right relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week Prayer
God of all wonder,
we pause in the busyness of our days to listen deeply to the wisdom of this land and those who belong to it.
May our minds be open to dialogue,
may our hearts be open to transformation and
may our hands do the work of reconciliation.
We ask that the Spirit accompany us on our journey of healing on these lands, seas and waterways;
We also ask the Spirit of peace be with all those who are living a life of fear, dispossession and distress.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus our brother and friend.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 9, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

It is with a great sense of excitement to know that we have officially launched a wonderful new partnership with the University of Canberra through the new St Edmund’s College Sports Academy.

This is a new era for the College, providing an opportunity for our senior students to consider a sports-focused pathway that offers direct, non-ATAR entry to a number of undergraduate courses at the University of Canberra. This means that a tertiary pathway is now open to students who may not have necessarily considered a tertiary education, or who were wanting a more tailored, individual approach to the tertiary pathway.

The Sports Academy is a package of subjects with certain majors and minors. Although it is a sports-focused package of subjects, students will also have the flexibility to include a number of subjects from other areas of interest to make up a truly individual, tailored learning experience. This will lead to direct, non-ATAR entry to a number of undergraduate courses at the University of Canberra.

Our students will also engage with students and staff from the University in a number of fields to expand areas of knowledge and practice and to develop and refine skills. This will take place through workshops, practical activities, school visits, coaching and mentoring.

The Sports Academy program commences this year, as we already have a number of students in Year 12 with the appropriate bundle of subjects to transition to the University of Canberra in 2023.

The Sports Academy adds to the diverse number of pathways and opportunities already offered to students here at St Edmund’s.  It continues and reinforces our aim to tailor learning opportunities to individual students and their individual needs.  Other tailored learning opportunities and pathways within the school include:

  • Our Gifted program with various forms of acceleration (including radical acceleration)
  • AsBAS – school-based apprenticeships which commence in Year 10
  • Offering modified programs to students with specific learning needs
  • The flexibility in the delivery of elective subjects in Years 9, 10, 11 & 12
  • Our flexible timetable for students who are elite athletes
  • And two new exciting partnerships with community organisations which will be announced shortly.

Schools can no longer continue to be enclosed, stand-alone educational institutions.  In order to best serve the needs of their students, schools must have real-life links with specific areas of their local community.  Links to the community improve student engagement, improve academic outcomes for students, enhance the social wellbeing of students and broaden their vocational options and skills.

We sincerely thank the University of Canberra for partnering with us in this very important way, and we look forward to many years of learning from each other, learning together and tailoring educational pathways for our students.  We are planning for further expansion of the partnership program with the University to benefit a wider range of students at the College.

In particular I give much thanks to Mr Joel Richardson for his integral role in assisting to form the Sports Academy, Mr Tim Bibbens for his advice in forming the subject package, Mr Trent Masters for his input at the official launch and to Andrew McFarlane, our College Captain, for his wise words to the media at Friday’s launch.

Links to the media launch of the St Edmund’s Sports Academy can be found here:

WIN News

The Canberra Times

The College Facebook Page

Upcoming Community Events – Return to Eddies
We have two significant community events at the end of July.  The Blue and White Ball is being held on Friday 29 July at the Hellenic Club.  This is a great opportunity for current parents, former parents and old boys to get together for a dinner, dancing and a chance to catch up.

On the following day (Saturday 30 July) we have Heritage Round – Reunion Day, our annual Rugby match against Marist College but also a day of reunions and catch-up for old boys.  Heritage Day commences with an Old Boys Mass, morning tea and a tour of the College, followed by opportunities for old boys to reunite with their peers and watch the First XV game against Marist followed by privately organised reunion activities.

The links are below for further details.

Blue and White Ball  Friday 29 July (evening event)

Heritage Round – Reunion Day Saturday 30 July (day events)

Uniform Shop
The Uniform Shop will be open for one day only in the holidays as this is normally a very quiet time seeing that there is no seasonal transition.  It will be open on Friday 15 July 8am – 12pm

  • The last day of trading for Term 2 is Friday 24 June 8:00am – 12:00pm
  • First day back in Term 3 is Monday 18 July 8:00am – 12:00pm
  • Home delivery will not be available during the holidays.

Term 2 Holidays
As usual, next week is the annual Professional Learning Week for our staff, with a range of presentations and workshops throughout the week.  As this week is the final week for students until Term 3, I wish all of our students and families a very safe, relaxing and enjoyable break.

Prayer for the Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi (celebrated on Sunday 19 June)
Let us pray
for the willingness to make present in our world the love of Christ shown to us in the Eucharist.
Lord Jesus Christ,
we worship you living among us
in the sacrament of your body and blood.May we offer to our Father in heavena solemn pledge of undivided love.May we offer to our brothers and sistersa life poured out in loving service of that kingdom where you live,with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.
Amen

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 8, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Our annual Edmums Soiree was held last Friday, and what a great night it was!  Despite the chilly weather outside, our guests were cosy in the venue in Civic, enjoying good food and drink and of course good company.  And everyone left with a gift!  It was so encouraging to see the Eddies community in such good spirits.  My thanks to all our mums who attended (including some mothers of old boys) and to the team of Lauren Reid and Rhiannon Gardiner for their wonderful organisation, assisted on the evening by Brenda Galvin.

It was also wonderful to attend another significant community event on Tuesday evening of this week, with the culmination of our Sacramental Program held at St Christopher’s Cathedral.  About 31 of our students experienced the sacrament of First Holy Communion and/or Confirmation, with another three students having been baptised into the Catholic faith the week before.  My heartfelt congratulations to all these students and their families on their very special experience, and my thanks to Michael Monagle and Bridget Cusack for leading our students and their families through the program.

The sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are examples of God’s personal way of approaching and relating to us human beings. By this we mean that God chose to share the divine life with us not in an invisible or purely ‘spiritual’ way, but through persons, events and things we can touch and experience through our senses.

Congratulations
Congratulations to Jack White (Year 10, Mulrooney) for being selected in the Australian Secondary School Rugby League Championships U15 team.  Jack will be competing against teams from other states in Redcliffe, Queensland in early July.  We wish Jack all the very best.

EREA Learning Statement
Three weeks ago I introduced you to the new EREA Learning Statement. The Learning Statement is designed to provide a context and guide to what we value in teaching and learning for all EREA schools around Australia. It provides six liberating practices which schools consider when co-creating the conditions, dispositions and relationships in learning.  The final two liberating practices are:

Liberating Learning Design
Where schools design and develop innovative learning environments, whether physical and/or virtual, the learner is free to access and engage in multiple pathways ad contribute to a dynamic, connected educational community.

Liberating Spiritualities
In exploring meaning and purpose in life, the learner is free to grow in their understanding of themselves, and their relatedness with God, mothers, Earth and creation, through experiences grounded in wonder, awe, contemplation, and action for justice and the common good.

Inspiration for the EREA Learning Statement
The EREA Learning Statement sources its inspiration and structure from four liberating educators and practitioners: Jesus of Nazareth, Edmund Rice, Paulo Freire and Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann.

Faithful to his tradition, Jesus of Nazareth interacted with a range of diverse learners in a variety of contexts, he challenged structures in the way in which he created learning opportunities which recognised the dignity of each person and connected with the lived experiences of each one.

Edmund Rice, encouraged by the work of Nano Nagle (founder of the presentation Sisters), challenged political and social structures by providing an education which recognised the dignity, potential and wellbeing of the individual, empowering each learner to participate more fully in society.

In articulating a Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire proposed that dialogue, partnership and engagement, within the learning context, created an atmosphere of hope, love, humility and trust.  This approach is key to individual learners being equipped to critique their own lives and, in collaboration with others, to experience mutual liberation.

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann addresses the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a voice in the sharing of knowledge.  Her concept of Dadirri, a way of life emphasising deep listening, provides an ancient insight into contemporary, transformative educational practice.

Upcoming Community Events
We have two significant events at the end of July.  The Blue and White Ball is being held on Friday 29 July at the Hellenic Club.  This is a great opportunity for current parents, former parents and old boys to get together for a dinner, dancing and a chance to catch up. On the following day (Saturday 30 July) we have Heritage Day, our annual Rugby match against Marist College but also a day of reunions and catch-up for old boys.  Heritage Day commences with an Old Boys Mass, morning tea and a tour of the College, followed by opportunities for old boys to reunite with their peers and watch the First XV game against Marist followed by privately organised reunion activities. The links are below for further details.

Blue and White Ball Friday 29 July
Heritage Day Saturday 30 July

Latest Pelican Magazine
The Pelican is our alumni magazine where we share stories and profiles of our old boys and former members of staff.  The current edition of The Pelican includes profiles of the following people and can be found here.

The Pelican, Semester 1 2022:

  • Troy Gray, Class of 1990
  • Joshua Pako, Class of 2011
  • Jamie Haynes, Class of 1992
  • Lisa Gersbach, current parent
  • Michael Moloney, former long-term member of staff
  • Josh Vaughan, Class of 1993

If you know of an old boy or are an old boy who would like to share his story, please let me know at principal@stedmunds.act.edu.au

Prayer for the Holy Trinity (Trinity Sunday was celebrated on Sunday 12 June)
Loving Father,
you sent your Word,
to bring us truth,
and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know,
the mystery of Your life.
Help us to worship You,
one God in three Persons,
by proclaiming and living our faith in You.
We ask you this, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 7, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last Wednesday we marked National Reconciliation Week in a very special way, with students participating in the Sea of Hands activity. The Sea of Hands is an iconic symbol of reconciliation and a way for communities all around Australia to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and events.  The first Sea of Hands was held on the 12 October 1997, in front of Parliament House, Canberra.  It was created as a powerful, physical representation of the Citizen’s Statement on Native Title – a petition circulated by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group (ANTaR) to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation.

Our Sea of Hands activity added to the nearly half a million hands planted across Australia in support of reconciliation. The hands now symbolise community support for reconciliation, rights and respect. Planting a Sea of Hands is an act of recognition – of identities, cultures and history.  Many teachers commented on how well our students participated in this event and on the meaning and poignancy of the messages.  We look forward in continuing our marking of reconciliation with our annual NAIDOC Assembly at the beginning of Term 3.  Again, thanks to Ms Ashleigh Kerin for leading the co-ordination of our Sea of Hands event.

Last Wednesday evening saw us meet with the families new to the school at our annual New Families Welcome event. This was an informal, social gathering of families new to the school for them to meet other families and to meet with members of the College staff. It also allows us to receive feedback about our transition processes.  Many thanks to those parents who attended.  We enjoyed good company and good conversation over beautiful food prepared by our Hospitality department, led by Mrs Rebecca Jarman and ably assisted by Justin Smith (Year 12), Mason Thorpe (Year 11), Mr Alex Hausen, Mrs Audra Martin and Ms Rachel Lemon. Many thanks also to the members of staff who attended and made our new families feel welcome: Alana Beard, Samantha Brady, Monica Day, Linda Goth, David Kelly, Klara Manenica, Michael Monagle, Joel Richardson, Fred Zarb, Tessa Zarb.  I am most grateful to our staff members who, during a very busy week, braved a very cold night to continue our spirit of hospitality and welcome.

Winter Uniform
Earlier in the week I wrote to all parents of students in Years 7 – 12 to clarify some of our uniform expectations.  Whilst most of our students wear the correct uniform well, some of our students are seeking other options of clothing. The only items of warmth that students in Years 7 – 12 are to wear are the endorsed College jumper, blazer, puffer jacket and beanie.  Students may wear their own dark coloured gloves if they wish to do so.

Items of clothing which are related to College co-curricular activities are not College uniform.  For example, students may have hoodies or jackets that are related to a previous sports tour, or a sports team. Even though these are related to College activities, they are not part of the official College uniform. Only endorsed items of College uniform are to be worn.

No other beanie is to be worn except the endorsed College beanie. Again, students are wearing beanies that either have nothing to do with the school or are related to co-curricular College activities.

The College puffer jackets have been very popular, with the Uniform Shop running out of stock, but I have been informed that these will be available again at the commencement of Term 3.

Thank you for your co-operation in assisting us in having our students wear the correct items of uniform.

Congratulations
Congratulations to the following students have been selected in the ACT Schoolboys Rugby squad. This is an opportunity for rugby players, who attend school and are aged from 16 to 18, to compete at the Australian Schoolboys Championships: Henry Alsworth (Year 12, Treacy), Archie Blaney-Brown (Year 12, Rice), Matthew Davis (Year 12, Mulrooney), Taua Fagatele (Year 11, Haydon), Faimoto (Anthony) Lemisio (Year 12, Haydon), Andrew McFarlane (Year 12, Clancy), Liuaki ae Lotu Percival (Year 11, Treacy), Wheru (Logan) Pou (Year 12, Treacy), Deveraux Tapelu (Year 11, Mulrooney), Abraham Tuli Year 12, Treacy), Shane Wilcox (Year 12, Haydon).

EREA Learning Statement
Two weeks ago I introduced you to the new EREA Learning Statement. The Learning Statement is designed to provide a context and guide to what we value in teaching and learning for all EREA schools around Australia. It provides six liberating practices which schools consider when co-creating the conditions, dispositions and relationships in learning.  The next two liberating practices are:

Liberating Voice and Agency
When individual voice is deeply listened to, respected, and included in decision-making processes, the learner is free to develop the confidence, resilience, optimism and agency to fully determine their learning aspirations.

Liberating Potential
When learning experiences are informed by each person’s story, strengths and passions, the learner is free to contribute to and participate in challenging, individualised learning plans that orient their goals towards personal growth.

Next week we will look Liberating Learning Design and Liberating Spiritualities.

Upcoming Community Events
We have some very important community events coming up. This Friday (10 June) we have our annual Edmums Soiree, an opportunity for our mothers, grandmothers, carers of current and ex-students to get together for a great social evening with great food, drink and wonderful company. Please click on this link for further details and booking arrangements for Edmums Soiree.

We have two significant events at the end of July.  The Blue and White Ball is being held on Friday 29 July at the Hellenic Club.  This is a great opportunity for current parents, former parents and old boys to get together for a dinner, dancing and a chance to catch up. On the following day (Saturday 30 July) we have Heritage Day, our annual Rugby match against Marist College but also a day of reunions and catch-up for old boys.  Heritage Day commences with an Old Boys Mass, morning tea and a tour of the College, followed by opportunities for old boys to reunite with their peers and watch the First XV game against Marist followed by privately organised reunion activities. The links are below for further details.
Blue and White Ball Friday 29 July
Heritage Day Saturday 30 July

Latest Pelican Magazine
The Pelican is our alumni magazine where we share stories and profiles of our old boys and former members of staff.  The current edition of The Pelican includes profiles of the following people and can be found here.

The Pelican, Semester 1 2022:

  • Troy Gray, Class of 1990
  • Joshua Pako, Class of 2011
  • Jamie Haynes, Class of 1992
  • Lisa Gersbach, current parent
  • Michael Moloney, former long-term member of staff
  • Josh Vaughan, Class of 1993

If you know of an old boy or are an old boy who would like to share his story, please let me know at principal@stedmunds.act.edu.au

Prayer for Pentecost
The Church celebrated Pentecost last Sunday, one of the most important feast days of the year that concludes the Easter season and celebrates the beginning of the Church.  In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is the celebration of the person of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Jesus, who were gathered together in the Upper Room.  A “strong, driving” wind filled the room where they were gathered, and tongues of fire came to rest on their heads, allowing them to speak in different languages so that they could understand each other. The Holy Spirit also gave the apostles the other gifts and fruits necessary to fulfill the great commission – to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations. It fulfills the New Testament promise from Christ (Luke 24:46-49) that the Apostles would be “clothed with power” before they would be sent out to spread the Gospel.

Come, O Holy Spirit by John Henry Newman
Come, O Holy Spirit.
Come as Holy Fire and burn in us,
come as Holy Wind and cleanse us within,
come as Holy Light and lead us in the darkness,
come as Holy Truth and dispel our ignorance,
come as Holy Power and enable our weakness,
come as Holy Life and dwell in us.
Convict us, convert us, consecrate us,
until we are set free from the service of ourselves,
to be your servants to the world. Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 6, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

As we are near the end of National Reconciliation Week, it is important to recall the significance of such an event.  National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for Reconciliation Week are highly symbolic, as they commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. Reconciliation Week is a time of year where the process of reconciliation is highlighted, but of course reconciliation is an ongoing matter. It must be at the core of what we do as individuals and as a society, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s Reconciliation Week theme is Be Brave. Make Change. This is a challenge to us all to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for all.

As a school, St Edmund’s College plays its part in building relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.  Our main strategy through which we do this is our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Narragunnawali is the framework in which schools develop their RAPs.  The Narragunnawali RAP framework outlines a sustainable, whole-scale approach to driving reconciliation in education by building relationships, respect and opportunities in the classroom, around the school and with the community alike. I thank Ms Ashleigh Kerin for leading the co-ordination of our Reconciliation Action Plan.

On Wednesday of this week we will mark National Reconciliation Week in a very special and important manner.  We will have a description of this event in next week’s Vortex.

Congratulations
Darcy Borghouts (Year 7, Treacy) has been selected to represent the ACT in the U12s AFL side in Adelaide in August.   Darcy will play against teams from all other states in the competition.  Congratulations to Darcy for this outstanding achievement.

We are very pleased to announce that the following students have been selected in the U18 Brumbies Academy Squad. We congratulate these students and wish them well. Liuaki ae Lotu Percival (Year 11, Treacy), Henry Alsworth (Year 12, Treacy), Matthew Davis (Year 12, Mulrooney), Faimoto (Anthony) Lemisio (Year 12, Haydon), Fiti Fiti (Year 12, Haydon), Taua Fagataele (Year 11, Haydon), Wheru (Logan) Pou (Year 12, Treacy), Andrew McFarlane (Year 12, Clancy), Deveraux Tapelu (Year 11, Mulrooney), Shane Wilcox (Year 12, Haydon).

EREA Learning Statement
Last week I introduced you to the new EREA Learning Statement. The Learning Statement is designed to provide a context and guide to what we value in teaching and learning for all EREA schools around Australia. It provides six liberating practices which schools consider when co-creating the conditions, dispositions and relationships in learning.  The first two liberating practices are:
Liberating Pedagogies
Within safe and flexible learning places, supported by positive relationships, the learner is free to participate in and lead experiences grounded in collaborative processes, critical thinking and creative problem solving.

Liberating Achievement
When excellence and improvement are viewed in a variety of ways and evidence of success is gathered interpreted and celebrated holistically, the learner is free to pursue a strategies-based learning pathway informed by high expectations and personal ambitions.

Next week we will look Liberating Voice and Agency and Liberating Potential.

Upcoming Community Events
Please click on the link below for important upcoming community events. I encourage all of our parents to attend these events and continue the strong community spirit we have here at Eddies.
Edmums Soiree Friday 10 June
Blue and White Ball Friday 29 July
Heritage Day Saturday 30 July

Latest Pelican Magazine
The Pelican is our alumni magazine where we share stories and profiles of our old boys and former members of staff.  The current edition of The Pelican includes profiles of the following people and can be found here.

The Pelican, Semester 1 2022:

  • Troy Gray, Class of 1990
  • Joshua Pako, Class of 2011
  • Jamie Haynes, Class of 1992
  • Lisa Gersbach, current parent
  • Michael Moloney, former long-term member of staff
  • Josh Vaughan, Class of 1993

If you know of an old boy or are an old boy who would like to share his story, please let me know at principal@stedmunds.act.edu.au

Student Free Day
You would have received an email message from Mr Ian Garrity, Deputy Principal, advising you that next Monday 6 June is a student-free day. The last term has been a particularly difficult term in terms of covid-related absences, with our staff being asked to do much more than is normally expected of them in terms of student supervision.  We have worked hard to maintain and continue a normal environment in our teaching and learning program and have not had to resort to online learning or combining very large groups of students, as other schools have done.  This has had the consequence of taking away much valuable time from our teaching staff normally devoted to preparation, administration and marking. A student free day will allow our teaching staff to catch up with work to ensure the continued delivery of a high-quality teaching and learning program for the remainder of the term. We have not made this decision lightly.

Students are to stay at home on this day. There will not be any lessons prepared for this day. Students should take to opportunity to continue with current assignments and assessment tasks. Parents whose work circumstances prevent them from having their children at home can send their children to school. These students will be supervised by College staff in the Library. Please note that there will be limited activities prepared for students so they should bring their own materials (e.g. assignments, reading materials etc.). Students attending schools are to wear their uniform.

Prayer for the Ascension
Last Sunday we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus.  The first chapter of Acts of the Apostles describes the ascent of Christ from the Earth to the Heavenly realm. According to Acts, the ascension of Jesus takes place 40 days after the resurrection in the presence of his disciples.  Christ is risen up after advising them to stay in Jerusalem until the arrival of the Holy Spirit. In Christian doctrine, the ascension is correlated with the deification of Jesus, meaning that through his ascension, Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God, “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”

Lord Jesus Christ,
Right before your Ascension into Heaven you told your apostles to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth upon receiving the Holy Spirit.
May we be similarly inspired to spread your Gospel message in word and deed, according to your will for us.
And may we do so prudently and joyfully, with your help, your guidance, and your grace!
And remembering this glorious event, help us to seek what is above, Heaven, where you are seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 5, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last week I attended the Annual EREA National Principals Conference in Wollongong.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Co-Creating Confidence, Agency and Freedom”.  The keynote speaker was Emeritus Professor Robert Gascoigne from the Australian Catholic University, who spoke on the topic What Do We Mean By Liberation? Professor Gascoigne presented some ideas and concepts around a contemporary interpretation of liberation – in particular, what should we have freedom from and what is our freedom for?  His discussion around what we have freedom from focused on being liberated from the constraints and limitations of commercial media, from ignorance, deception, self-abasement, fear and prejudice.  These are of course important concepts particularly when we look the pressures and expectations placed upon our young people today.  The discussion around what is our freedom for looked at some very strong ideas focusing on the sense of purpose and fulfilment we achieve when we work towards being liberated.  Professor Gascoigne listed the following as those things that we should value in our freedoms – we need to maintain our freedom for …

  • fellowship and solidarity (with ideas around service, community and citizenship)
  • discernment (of traditions, of true and false, of our own calling)
  • moral integrity and courageous self-giving
  • a creaturely response to God and being made in God’s likeness (with ideas of awe, wonder, joy, delight in goodness and the beauty of creation)
  • love (of neighbours, community, family, friends and partners)

Later in the day we were introduced to the new EREA Learning Statement, designed to provide a context and guide to what we value in teaching and learning for all EREA schools around Australia. In short, the EREA Learning Statement provides six liberating practices which schools consider when co-creating the conditions, dispositions and relationships in learning.  I will share with you a little more detail for each of the liberating practices over the next few weeks. These six liberating practices are:

  • liberating pedagogies
  • liberating achievement
  • liberating voice and agency
  • liberating potential
  • liberating learning design
  • liberating spiritualities

We had two Year 11 students join us for the Principals Conference on the day in which the Learning Statement was launched.  Damian Jelfs-Smith and Lachlan Vearing were asked to share their response to the Learning Statement from a student’s perspective.  Damian and Lachlan spoke in a very confident, articulate and well-informed manner, sharing their thoughts and comments with all EREA principals across Australia.  Congratulations to Damian and Lachlan for their very impressive representation of the College. Many thanks also to Mr. Tim Bibbens for accompanying the boys to the Conference.

Community Events
Please click on the following links for information for these upcoming events:

New Families Welcome Function Wednesday 1 June (evening)
Edmums – details to be issued shortly Friday 10 June (evening)
Heritage Day Saturday 30 July

Gospel ReadingJohn 14:27

Last week’s Gospel saw Jesus give his new commandment – that we should love others as Jesus loves us.  This is a great challenge for all of us, especially where we often like to love others in our own way, with compromises and conditions. In a particular way, this week’s Gospel sees Jesus provide us with a guide to support us in loving others the way he loves. “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”. The Holy Spirit is a powerful part of who God is and is a support to the love that Jesus asks of us. We need the Holy Spirit in our lives as a conduit to become who God created us to be, and through the Spirit’s power we have aid in all situations. Without the Spirit, we are powerless.

Towards the end of this Gospel passage Jesus utters his famous words, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”. But He explains that this is not peace as the world knows it; it is a different kind of peace. For many people, the definition of peace is the absence of conflict or trouble. Jesus’ sense of peace goes beyond this.  The peace that Jesus was talking about means rest, quiet or a stillness in your heart. It is not the absence of trouble, but it exists in spite of trouble. This peace pushes through all the disturbing circumstances that life can throw at us. It gives us the ability to endure and be calm even in the face of turmoil. This peace doesn’t eliminate conflict or trouble, but gives us the ability or inner confidence to endure through it.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea