Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 8, 2020

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

After a structured selection process, we are able to announce our new student leaders for 2021.  This is a great personal achievement for these students and a great achievement for the College, and is clearly indicative of the perception of students’ character and spirit by the College staff and their peers.  I look forward to working closely with the new student leaders in working to continuing to improve, strengthen and refine many elements of the College.

  • College Captain … Baden Godfrey
  • College Vice Captain (Academic) … Jack Hodges
  • College Vice Captain (Mission) … Eden Mordike
  • College Vice Captain (Service) … Max Page

We now start the process of selecting our House Captains and House Vice-Captains.

Former Headmaster Br Bob Wallace (1979 – 1988) visited the College last Friday to speak to Year 12, sharing stories of his life as a Christian Brother as well the history of the College. He was joined by former Junior School Principal Mr Michael Moloney. We were privileged to be joined by these two men as it is so important for our students to get to know the stories and the storytellers of the College.  Certain countries, including Australia, have significant individuals describes as their national treasures.  I described Br Wallace and Michael to Year 12 as our own “Eddies treasures”.  It was Br Wallace who gave this very publication the name of “Vortex”, harking back to his airforce days as well as describing a whirling mass of water, otherwise known as an “eddy”. Br Wallace also visited Marist the next day to watch the Eddies and Marist First XV match.  The members of the First XV team were addressed by Br Wallace after the match.  We look forward to Br Wallace’s visit next year.

I hope that many of our parent and carers were able to view the Father’s Day Reflection on our Facebook page. We salute and acknowledge all the fathers, grandfathers and father figures in our community.  As a boys’ school community, we know that it is so important for our boys to have strong role models and be given appropriate examples of the right sense of masculinity.  Not really having known my father, I was fortunate enough to have a very strong relationship with my grandfather who was quite strong in his support of people in need.  I was in awe of what my grandfather achieved in his life, having fought in WWI, then moving his whole family to Australia in the mid 1950’s, securing a job in the Leyland Motors plant in Zetland, Sydney without being able to speak a word of English and keeping this job until his retirement and moving all around Sydney on public transport, all without being to speak or understand a word of English.  My grandfather did not attend school in Italy and was illiterate, but this did not stop him from achieving many things in his life and raising a family in quite daunting circumstances.

Students in Year 9 and 10 have recently experienced two separate seminars on the pressures and demands on adolescent males and how best to deal with these. Year 10 experienced a workshop on “Healthy Relationships” on Friday 21 August and Year 9 participated in a seminar entitled “Secret Blokes Business 1” on Friday 4 September. We received some very positive feedback from a number of parents about these two seminars, especially around the positive way in which their sons spoke about the seminars when they got home that afternoon. At St Edmund’s College we are committed to exposing our students to the concept of “right relationships”, whether these relationships be with themselves, with their families or with other individuals.  A significant element in both these presentations is the skill in making the right decisions. Glen Gerreyn is a writer and speaker, focusing on the development of young men and women.  In his book, “Men of Honour”, Glen Gerreyn writes about decision making for adolescent boys: “… it is imperative to make great decisions (as) with every great decision you make, you actually increase the number of choices that are available.  The more right choices you make, the more choices you get the right to make.  For example if you are fifteen and you have decided you are not going to take school seriously, you will not apply yourself and put in the necessary effort to get good results. You have greatly reduced the number of career opportunities available to you. If you are eighteen and you decide to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and you kill someone, you will go to gaol. You lose the capacity to have total control over your decisions so your choices are narrowed. Negative and / or destructive choices limit the number of available options.  But with every good choice, your options increase and grow”. (Glen Gerreyn, “Men of Honour”, Freedom House Publishing, 2019).

The new Statement of Eddies Pride encourages all of our students from Year 4 to Year 12 to make the right decisions when it comes to striving to achieve their personal best;

  • investing in respectful and positive relationships
  • contributing to a constructive learning environment
  • honouring the College name
  • reflecting on the College motto

In doing this, students open themselves up to even more opportunities and pathways for success and engagement in College life, and of course great preparation for life after school.

This is the final Principal’s Message for Vortex this term.  I will be on leave for the next two weeks undergoing some surgery and recovery in Sydney.  The Deputy Principal, Mr Ian Garrity, will be Acting Principal in my absence.

Prayer (for fathers, grandfathers and father figures)

Loving God,
Please give the fathers, grandfathers and father figures
of the St Edmund’s community:

Your strength to steer them,
Your power to uphold them,
Your wisdom to guide them,
Your hand to protect them,
Your shield for their shelter and
Your angels to guard them.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in Our Hearts, forever

Mr Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea

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