Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 6, 2024

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

2024 Scriptural Theme: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10)

Last week we enjoyed a public holiday here in the ACT in recognition of Reconciliation Day, a part of National Reconciliation Week.  I sincerely hope that members of our community recognised the day as more than just a day off work and school.  National Reconciliation Week (NRW) began in 1993 as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation, supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched the first official NRW, and in 2001, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue national leadership in reconciliation efforts.

In 2001, around 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge to support reconciliation, an event mirrored in cities and towns nationwide. I was privileged to join the walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge with many colleagues and students from the school in which I was working at that time.  The energy and motivation for change was palpable.  The following information is adapted from the Reconciliation Australia website:

Today, NRW is celebrated nationwide in workplaces, schools, community organizations, and by individuals from 27 May to 3 June, marking the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds, and actions of all Australians. We all have a role in building respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The 2024 NRW theme, “Now More Than Ever”, reminds us that the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must continue. Despite divisive moments, disengagement is not an option. We need to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation. Reconciliation supporters must defend the rights of First Nations peoples, call out racism, and amplify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.  This is an essential foundation of the St Edmund’s College Reconciliation Action Plan.

Careers Expo & Year 11 Information Night
Many thanks to Mr. Trent Masters (Careers and VET Coordinator) and Mr. Tim Bibbens (Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning) for organising these two significant events. It is crucial for our students to be well-informed and aware of their options, and I hope these events will inspire them to consider their future opportunities and identify the appropriate pathways to achieve their goals.

Our senior school boasts a robust and diverse program where both tertiary and accredited learning pathways are equally valued, supported and encouraged by our dedicated teaching staff. Our partnership with the University of Canberra through the St. Edmund’s Sports Academy further enriches these pathways, offering students the opportunity to study a suite of subjects that lead to direct, non-ATAR entry into selected undergraduate courses at UC. Additionally, our collaboration with the Canberra Raiders provides yet another avenue for tailored learning during Years 11 and 12. These partnerships enhance the already strong academic program we provide in our senior years.

We welcome enrolments at the senior school level, so if you know of families interested in having their son join us at the beginning of Year 11, please encourage them to contact our Enrolments Officer as soon as possible.

Congratulations to …
Beau Gibson (Year 8, Mulrooney) recently represented the ACT at the Australian Gymnastics Championships for Level 8 Under 14. The ACT team secured the Gold medal over NSW and Victoria. Individually, Beau excelled by winning the bronze medal for the all-around category. He also achieved success in specific events, earning a silver medal on the pommel and vault, and bronze medals on the floor and high bar.

Henry Rettig (Year 7, Rice) for recently earning his black belt in Taekwondo. Henry has dedicated several years to practicing Taekwondo, training multiple days a week. He is now excited to further develop his skills and aspires to become a Taekwondo instructor at his club.

2025 Enrolments
If you are aware of families contemplating St Edmund’s College for their sons’ education next year, regardless of the year group, I encourage you to direct them to our Enrolments Officer, Ms. Rhiannon Muir, as our places tend to fill quickly (last year, we had waiting lists across several year groups).

Student Drop Off and Pick Up
Parents are not to use the staff carpark (off Canberra Avenue) to drop or collect students before and after school. This is a dangerous place for our students to be moving through and we would like to keep this area for staff only. There is plenty of room around the perimeters of the school for drop off and pick up, especially Barrallier Street, Frome Street, Blaxland Cresent, and Wills Street (not McMillan Crescent).
Afternoon pickups from the front driveway are also problematic with cars blocking McMillan Crescent from Canberra Avenue. Again, I would ask these parents to consider organising your son to wait for you at a suitable place around the perimeter of the school. Thank you for helping to keep our community safe.

Prayer for Reconciliation
God of all creation,
As we journey together in this Great Southern Land,
we pray for healing, forgiveness and unity,
creating a path of good will, with justice and compassion.
Jesus, through the power of your love, you have given us the courage, wisdom and strength to share our gifts and talents in humility;
in peace and understanding we reconcile with each other.
Creator Spirit, we come together in prayer and thanksgiving for the many blessings we have received. Allow your Spirit to wash over us and give us strength to walk together as one.

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

Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea