Principal’s Message: Term 1, Week 2, 2020

Principal’s Message: Term 1, Week 2, 2020

Vibrant Spirit.  Strong Character.  Tailored Learning

To the friends and families of the St Edmund’s community,

Welcome back to all of our students and families.  It is an understatement to say that the school holidays were not the most relaxing of times.  The news of bushfires, the loss of lives and properties and the ensuing poor air quality has made the last couple of months a time fraught with danger, concern and grief. I hope with all sincerity that the regular routine of being back at school and a focus on learning and all related school activities can give our students a sense of stability and confidence.

Added to the events of the last few months was the recent hail storm in Canberra, with the severity of the hail storm being centred on the surrounds of the College.  Unfortunately we have been faced with a significant amount of damage to the College buildings.  We had around sixty windows broken, all skylights broken, significant water damage to carpets and ceilings, damaged electrical wiring, significant damage to our roof tiles and the list goes on. Fortunately repairs to some of these areas have already started.  Some repair work will be carried out during the term, with the more complex repair work being carried out in the next school holidays. I thank Samantha Brady, our Director of Business Services, and her team for their work in pulling together all aspects of insurance and repair work to ensure that we were ready to welcome our students on the scheduled dates.

The poor air quality continues to be an issue in our area. We have put in place a daily system of monitoring the air quality and communicating our plan for the day to our students, staff and parents.

Despite all of this, our students have started well.  We welcomed our new students last Monday, and welcomed back all of our students last Tuesday. We also welcomed our new families last Wednesday evening at our New Families Welcome function. Our new students and families now become part of the rich tradition of St Edmund’s College – the oldest continuing Catholic school in Canberra in its 66th year.  The College begins this year in a very strong position and I look forward to working with our students, staff, parents and wider continuity in further bringing “Edmund’s to the fore” throughout the year.


Year 12 2019 Achievements

Our Year 12 cohort of 2019 finished the year in a very impressive manner.  The icing on the cake was the overall ATAR achievement at the very end of the year.  17% of our Tertiary cohort achieved an ATAR of 90 and above and 40% of our Tertiary cohort achieved an ATAR of 80 and above.

Congratulations to John Larkin on being recognised as our Dux for 2019.  John achieved an ATAR of 98.5.  John provided us with this statement regarding his time at ST Edmund’s and his future plans:

“In the future I plan to study a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences at the Australian National University. This is because of my interest in Mathematics and Physics which began while I was studying at St Edmund’s College. In my senior years I was involved in the First XI Football Team, the St Edmunds and St Clare’s Combined Colleges Concert Band and the Snowsports team. These activities brought my focus to areas other than study which maintained a healthy balance in my life. All subjects that I participated in my senior years I found challenging and rewarding.

I plan to travel to Japan and develop my writing and speaking skills that I learnt in Japanese. I hope to not only read many novels but also to appreciate their deeper meaning and context as I learnt in Literature. I hope to study Mathematics and Physics from the important foundations that I learnt at St Edmunds. I found the best part of school was being able to hang out with friends inside and outside of class, friends that I hope to have for a long time.”

Congratulations also to our students who achieved an ATAR of 90 or above: Leyao Zha, Symon Refuerzo, Lachlan McLeod, Andrew Barr, Patrick Burns, Jasper O’Brien.

On 17 December last year I had the pleasure of attending the annual BSSS Recognition of Excellence Ceremony at Llewellyn Hall where Year 12 students across the ACT were acknowledged in their respective fields of excellence.  Congratulations to the following St Edmund’s students for their achievements: Patrick Burns (Contribution to BSSS Student Forum), John Larkin (Academic Studies), Reuben Misner (Vocational Studies), Samuel Sergi (Digital Technologies), Justin Teng (Community Service).


2019 Presentation Ceremonies

Our Presentation Ceremonies were held on Tuesday 10 December last year for our Junior School and Years 7 – 11.

I would like to congratulate and acknowledge students in Years 7 – 11 who achieved significant academic awards.  The Andrew Robertson Award was achieved by students who gained a Gold Award in both Semester 1 and 2 for academic achievement.  Congratulations to the recipients of this award for 2019: Year 10 Baden Godfrey, Year 8 Roy Kuchel, Year 9 Rory Forbes. Congratulations also to the students who were awarded Dux in each year group for 2019:  Year 7 Rory Forbes, Year 8 Tristan Borghouts, Year 9 Andrew McFarlane, Year 10 Baden Godfrey, Year 11 (tied) Lawson Burn and Daniel Fisher.

The Junior School acknowledged students who achieved first place in each class as well awards for improvement in each class. The Spirit of Edmund Rice Awards were presented to the following students: Year 4 Lucas Regan, Year 5 Sonny Lauvao and Year 6  l’amafana Meki Siaki. Congratulations also to the following students who were presented with special awards: Jesse Borghouts (Junior School Sportsman of the Year); Sonny        Lauvao (Dr Paul Kildea Award) and Koby Bird (The Inaugural Patricia Doyle Award for Leadership).


Staff 2020

I would like to acknowledge the following members of staff on their new appointments within the College for next year: Mr Tim Bibbens (Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning),  Ms Rhiannon Gardiner (Teaching & Learning Support), Ms Rebecca Jarman (Careers Advisor), Ms Ashleigh Kerin (Head of English), Ms Klara Manenica (Head of Mulrooney House), Ms Frances Sargeant (Head of Science), Mr Fred Zarb (Acting Head of O’Brien House – Semester 1).

We give a very warm welcome to the following new members of staff:  Mr Michael Brennan (Science), Ms Claire Devlin (English), Ms Tanisha Elliott (Mathematics), Ms Kate McGinty (Food Science/Hospitality), Mr Terry Nixon (Facilities Manager), Ms Janine Skrbinsek (Mathematics), Mr Jeff Vayo (English/Religious Education).

It is also with much pride that I welcome three new members of staff from the Class of 2019 in part-time capacities.  Joining our staff team this year are:  James Olney, Creative and Performing Arts department as our Music Assistant; Hayden Pepper, Youth Minister and Samuel Sergi , Digital Marketing and Publications.


Scriptural Theme 2020

We continue the concept of having an annual scriptural theme through which we can focus our thoughts, behaviours and relationships.  Our scriptural theme for this year is “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Christ – put into practice (Philippians 4:9)”.  It is Jesus’ example that we constantly reflect on and share with our boys.  The model of life  provided by the words and actions of Jesus creates an environment for all members our community to celebrate our rich Catholic tradition and to look forward with faith, optimism, compassion and hope for the future.


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.


Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever


Mr Joe Zavone
College Principal

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