Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 10, 2021

“If we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another.” 1 John 1:7

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

It was a pleasure to attend our Presentation Ceremonies over the past few days.  As you are aware, our Presentation Ceremonies were in a very different form this year due to the Covid requirements of separating cohorts.  Awards were given to students in Years 9 and 10 on Monday, with Years 7 & 8 and the Junior School having their ceremonies on Tuesday.  I congratulate all of our award winners for their diligence, determination and effort in their respective academic achievements.

The end of the year always sees some members of staff move on for various personal and professional reasons.

  • Many thanks to our temporary staff whose contracts finish at the end of this year: Ms Eva Lowe (PE and RE), Mr Matthew Mesham (SOSE), Ms Jessica Willoughby (SOSE) and Ms Alice Abrahams (Mathematics).
  • Farewell to Mr Angus Balmaks (Co-curricular Coordinator) who is moving to Daramalan College.
  • Our very special best wishes to those teachers who will be on maternity leave next year: Mrs Holly Ellems (Year 6 teacher) and Mrs Carmela Wilson (Head of RE). Mr Michael Monagle (Assistant Principal, Mission & Identity) and his wife Laura are also expecting the birth of their baby, and we convey our best wishes to them as well.
  • We congratulate Mr Zach Holmes, currently the acting Head of Mathematics, who is moving into the newly created position of Assessment and Data Co-ordinator, and we acknowledge the great work of Mr Pat Langtry who is stepping down from his role of Assistant Principal, Student Wellbeing but remaining on staff here at the College.

Our scriptural theme for 2021 was “If we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another”.   A theme like this reminds us of our identity, our foundations and our directions.  It reminds us that we are all members of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition; that we belong to a College community where we try to “walk in the light”, i.e. we live by the example that has been modelled to us by Jesus Christ and that we are travelling in a direction where we develop boys into young men of vibrant spirit and strong character, by building a spirit of growth, hope, belonging and service. The scriptural theme gives us a coat-hanger where we can hang what we do and what we say throughout the year.  The scriptural theme tells us that we find our strength to do things and achieve things through more than just ourselves. Christ found strength in community; through the people around him.  So for us to be able to do good works, we need to first of all source our strength from Christ’s words and actions (“the light”) and then from the fellowship of the people around us; from the members of our community. By being in fellowship with one another, we are stronger and better for ourselves and for others.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students for another great year – their energy and enthusiasm make a bold statement about who we are.  The spirit of our students is strongly supported and enriched by our parents, and their active involvement in the life of the College.  There was no better way to end the last day of lessons on Tuesday than to hand over a great number of hampers to St Vincent de Paul. This demonstrated the wonderful spirit and energy of our students and their families in wanting to support those families in our community who are in great need this Christmas.  The fact that we ended the year in service to others makes a very bold statement about what we stand for and who we are.

It has indeed been a difficult year.  I know we were all hoping this time last year that 2021 would be an improvement on 2020 in terms of restrictions, but this was not to be the case.  Since this year’s lockdown ended, we have not been able to meet as a whole school with all students in the one venue.  One of my greatest joys is seeing all the boys in one venue and being able to speak with them as one group. Hopefully we will be able to do this from the start of 2022 and have a more visible and tangible sense of community and spirit.

I wish all of our students and their families a very happy and holy Christmas and a relaxing holiday break.  May the love of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, surround you all the times of your life.  Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

Attached to this edition of Vortex is the schedule of opening times for the Uniform Shop during January next year, prior to the commencement of term.  I would ask that you have this handy to avoid disappointment and delays in purchasing items of summer.

Used Uniforms
Now that the school year is over, I would ask parents to consider donating any unwanted items of uniform to our second-hand uniform supply.  I thank our parents for being very generous in the past in donating pre-loved items of uniform.  These items are important for us to assist our families and students in need. Please ensure that any donated items of uniform are washed and pressed.  These can be left with our Reception staff.  Thank you for your consideration.

Dates for 2022

Induction Day for Year 4, Year 7 and new students in other years: Monday 31 January

All students commence: Tuesday 1 February

End of Year Prayer
At the end of this school year we give thanks to God:
For all the teaching and learning that has taken place in our College, both in and out of the classroom;
for the talents and gifts that have been shared and the challenges that have been faced;
for the burdens that have been lifted and the hurts that have been healed;
for the respect and care that have been given.
We give thanks for the friendships that have grown and for those that have begun.
For the faith that has been lived in our daily struggles;
for the hope that has lifted our hearts on the dark days;
and for the love that has kept us going.
We give thanks for the community that we are and we ask you Lord:
Bless our students as they commence their break: may your Spirit keep them safe;
Bless our families as they take their holidays, may their time together leave them with memories to cherish.
Pour out your love on us that we may all return renewed and refreshed next year to continue our journey together.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

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

Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea