Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 1, 2020

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

Welcome back to the start of Term Four. I hope all of our students had a well-deserved break. Personally, it is so good to be back after a month away, part of which was for medical leave.  It gave me the opportunity to recharge my batteries, physically and mentally. As always, we have a busy term ahead and already things are happening at full pace. As a staff we meet on a regular basis to articulate the common vision we have for the boys in our care. The rich educational experience that is offered here at St Edmund’s College can only be enhanced by the wonderful spirit, enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by the staff in all our discussions. As always it is a pleasure to see the boys back from their holidays, happily catching up with their friends and the staff.  I thank Mr Ian Garrity (Deputy Principal) for acting in the role of Principal during my leave late last term.

Co-curricular life

It is absolutely wonderful to see the musical finally being advertised and ticket sales being extremely active.  I would encourage all of you to go along and be part of the audience for Beauty and the Beast.  My great thanks to Mr Nigel Palfreman, Mrs Margaret Thomas and the team for their significant efforts in putting the musical together.  I congratulate this year’s team for their endurance and persistence, especially not knowing when or if they would ever perform and rearranging performance details to fit a COVID environment. I very much look forward to being a part of the audience and enjoying our students perform for us.

Of course one of the highlights at the end of last term was our First XV victory against Marist College in the Rugby Grand Final. The team was coached by Mr Neil Roberts and assisted by Mr Denzil Fox, captained by Daniel Shaw in Year 12 and managed by Tracey Brown and Mary Jane McLeod.  With two undefeated seasons, some of these players have never lost a game in the First XV. There are very few teams at this level who win a Division One competition undefeated, and this is testament to the hard work not only by the boys in the team, but by Mr Roberts and Mr Fox who have worked tirelessly in their training, skills development and motivation of the team.

Congratulations also to our U16 Blue team on their Grand Final win.  Many thanks to the coaches, Jason Pepper (parent) and Billy Carberry and manager, Natasha Cotter (parent) in giving of their time to get our boys to the grand final level.

Congratulations of course to all of our teams in the Basketball, Football and Rugby competitions – the players, coaches, managers and supporters. Our co-curricular life adds much to the spirit and character of the College and I am forever grateful to those who give of their time in adding to our co-curricular life.

The holidays saw a small group of boys trekking through Namadgi National Park for three days (and two nights) as part of their Duke of Edinburgh experience. My great thanks to Ms Tanisha Elliott, Mr Michael Brennan and Mrs Marinda Venter in accompanying the boys on this extraordinary experience and encouraging their learning of new skills and forging of new friendships.

Staff news

Our Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing, Mr Pat Langtry, will be on leave for the next four weeks. Pat’s wife Von is undergoing major surgery this week, followed by some extensive chemotherapy.  Pat will be on leave to care for Von on her journey of recovery and rehabilitation.  We keep Von, Pat and their family in our prayers and intentions.

Congratulations to Ms Frances Sargeant (Head of Science) on the birth of son Lachlan, born on 5 October.  We send our very best wishes to Ms Sergeant and her family.  Mr Michael Brennan has been appointed Acting Head of Science during Ms Sargeant’s maternity leave.

We congratulate Mr David Mead who has been appointed to the substantive role of Head of Mathematics and to Ms Claire Devlin who has been appointed to the substantive role of Head of Clancy House.  Last term Mrs Lisa Millar was appointed to the substantive role of Head of Diverse Learning.   We welcome back Junior School teachers Mrs Holly Ellem and Mrs Natalie Jane from maternity leave.

Identity and Mission

Congratulations to Mr Michael Monagle (Assistant Principal, Mission and Identity) and his team for a very successful Stay Over (replacing the annual Sleep Out for this year due to the COVID environment).  There were a large number of students who attended this worthwhile event.  It is so important to keep our students aware of social issues outside of the school, and even more important to have our students involved in supporting Karinya House – a cause that supports homeless women and children in particular.  We need to keep reminding our boys of the context of the society and world in which they live, and their role as males in this world.  We have all very recently seen the actions and repercussions of Year 12 students in a very prestigious school in Sydney – students who are either not aware of or have chosen to ignore their role in their society.  All of us must continue to remind our boys of the appropriate nature of masculinity, of the nature of right relationships and the many positive contexts in which these can make an important difference. Supporting a cause that is female -focused is an important step in this.

EREA School Renewal

For three days this week the College will undergo the EREA School Renewal process.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of this week we welcome representatives of Edmund Rice Education Australia and from the Canberra -Goulburn Archdiocesan Catholic Education.  The EREA School Renewal is a comprehensive process leading to continuous improvement in key areas of school life related to the EREA Charter and Touchstones.  The School Renewal presents a structure of accountability to the Church, the Christian Brothers and EREA about the Catholicity and expression of charism within the College.  There is also a secondary accountability with the Strategic Directions of EREA, as a reporting methodology to the EREA Board.

The Renewal Panel will examine a number of our major documents and policies as well as speak to representative groups of staff, students, parents and ex-students.  The panel will present its recommendations to the College Leadership Team we will work to incorporate these recommendations into our Strategic Plan and Annual School Improvement Plan.

Prayer for the Start of Term 4

Dear Lord, help us to live each day
quietly, easily.

To lean upon your strength
truthfully, restfully.

To wait for the unfolding of your will
patiently, serenely.

To meet others
peacefully, joyfully.

To face tomorrow
confidently, courageously.


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

Mr Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea

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