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Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 7, 2020

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

We farewelled our Year 12 students last Friday in a special and memorable manner. The Graduation Mass and Assembly were held here at school, with both events livestreamed for family members and for the rest of the school community to watch and engage. Each student was presented with a Graduation Stole upon his procession into the Hall at the commencement of Mass, with the names of all members of this year’s graduating class printed on the inside of the stole. There are many versions of the origins and symbolism of a stole, but most people agree that a stole indicates mission and service, so our Year 12 students are commissioned at their graduation to continue to serve in the context of the values we hold dear here at St Edmund’s College. This was the inaugural year of the presentation of the stoles and I am sure this will become an important tradition for us.

I would like to share with you the address given by Patrick McFarlane, our outgoing Vice Captain, Mission.  Patrick has captured beautifully the way in which the EREA Charter Touchstones have been woven into the lives and actions of our students:

“Today we are not to cry because it is over, but we are to smile because it has happened.” (Dr Seuss)

Good morning Mr Zavone, members of staff, beloved parents and family as well as my brothers in Year 12. Today is an opportunity to open our minds to the memories which have paved our paths thus far. It is also a day to open our hearts to being vulnerable in moving into a future which we may not yet know. Regardless of what successes await in our futures, the one thing that will be at the foundation is this moment right now. Regardless of where you end up or who you are with, it is the Eddies Brotherhood that each of us holds dearly, that will last an eternity. This opportunity to reflect is one which we are seldom given. But now we are given the opportunity to reminisce about our journeys up until this point.

 For me, personally, I think of the Touchstones and how our cohort has led the way in living out each of these. Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarity, Liberating Education and Gospel Spirituality. Each of these has had a profound influence on our schooling journeys. Inclusive Community is the one that will always stand out to me the most. It is uniquely an Eddies quality that every boy belongs somewhere. I know we may have our own cliques and friendship groups, but this has proved insignificant as there is a place for all of us. Looking out today, I see young men who will graduate and succeed at uni, who will start full time work, who will take time off to travel, or who will play competitive sport. In this uniquely diverse cohort, everyone fits in one way or another, proving Mr Foskett’s words that when it comes to mateship “close enough is indeed good enough”. One memory of our inclusive community that I am constantly reminded of is in Year 4 when I was in an argument with one of my mates, a much younger Sam Gibson came over to me and encouraged me to make amends. It is this spirit of companionship that will forever bind us in such moments of doubt.

 Liberating Education has had a profound influence on our cohort in the recent years and has expanded our cohort, recognising academic prowess in various facets of College life. The opportunities that each of us has been given to thrive is undeniable and is something for which I am truly grateful. Some of you have been accelerated into this graduating class as a result of hard work and maturity in your prior lives. Today and forever you will be an important part of the graduating class of 2020. The curricular mobility that we are offered is also unrivalled, with the opportunity to study: maths, sciences, languages, the arts, hospitality, sports development, technology and social sciences. The teachers that are involved in liberating our education deserve our thanks for their efforts for what was, for some of us, a memorable nine years. For me personally, I would like to thank Ms Maher, Mr Burke, Mr Metcalfe, Mr Langtry, Ms Millar and Bob Bacchetto for the roles that each of them have played in contributing to my academic and personal growth. The personal relationships and the underlying care of our teachers is what has allowed us to graduate today as one of the most influential cohorts at Eddies.

 Justice and Solidarity is the Touchstone that we have lived out by showing leadership, serving the school and community, and demonstrating sociability. These efforts may have been measured by logging community service hours, where some of you served as a sport coach, helped out with Vinnies, stayed around for tutoring after school or helped with other school events. Whatever it may have been for you boys, each one of you have developed a strong sense of social consciousness which we hold you in good stead for the future. This giving attitude is further reflected in our embodiment of Gospel Spirituality in the way that we challenge ourselves to grow as young men. The Gospels, through the lens of Jesus’ life, show the value of servant leadership and overall presence in the community. This virtuous offering of our time has had a profound effect on the other boys in the school and in the community. Our presence is always marked and received well by the younger boys in the school. The way they react and light up when we play touch footy during the Buddy Program or the infectious smiles of the kids during Marymead last year will forever be a highlight for me. Part of Gospel Spirituality is also embodied by moments like this, where we can reflect. Every Thursday morning at mass, I can vouch that these moments were vital in clearing my mind in what was a difficult year. Our schooling journeys have embodied the Touchstones in some way or another and will continue to shape the men that we will become.

 I would like to end with expressing how grateful I am for my experience here at Eddies. Firstly, I would like to thank Sam Gibson, Corey Davis and Tyler Greenhalgh whom I have led alongside this year. It seems like dumb luck that I shared a leadership role with three of my best mates, for which I am eternally grateful. Each of you boys will succeed in your lives because of your individuality, your drive, your ambition, and I wish all the best to you. I would like to also thank the teachers and boys that have made my life here so much easier. I will be forever indebted to your work and am so grateful for everything. And finally, I would like to extend my thanks not only to the parents and family who are in attendance today but also to those watching the live stream for being excellent role models for your boys and guiding them to this point in their lives. It would be remiss of me not to mention my own family during this time, to my mum, dad and to the rest of my family for their unconditional support and care, thank you. Now that it is over, some tears may be shed, but let us be glad and smile for the many fond memories we now hold”.

Watch Patrick MacFarlan’s Speech Below…

Major Year 12 Awards

Congratulations to the following students for achieving one of our Year 12 Major Awards.  These were presented at the Graduation Assembly and reflect the vibrant spirit and strength of character of many of our students.

2020 Therese Kitney House Shield: O’Brien House

Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award: Samuel Gibson

This award encourages the development of behaviours and attributes considered critical in Australia’s leaders of tomorrow. The award recognises students who demonstrate leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader community, and who display strong values, such as doing one’s best, respect for others and “mateship”, values considered integral to both the ADF and Australian society.

ANU Psychology Award: Lawson Burn

This award is presented to the top Psychology student in Year 12.

Principal’s Awards:

  • Tristan Fox
  • Ryan Hoare
  • Benjamin Morrison
  • Benjamin Morris
  • Daniel Fisher
  • Brendan O’Sullivan

The Principal’s Award is presented to Year 12 student who is deserving of special recognition for his contribution to a dimension of College life. This includes but is not limited to academic achievement, leadership, academic effort, service, religious life or co-curricular contribution.

Adam Darmody Award: Leo Marris

This award is presented to a Year 12 student for contribution and service to the College in the field of Creative and Performing Arts.

Sportsman of the Year: Angus Jones

This award is presented to a Year 12 student who has contributed and excelled in and across the Sport and Co‐curricular program.

Oldfield Cup: Lachlan Brayshaw

This award is presented to a member of the Graduating Class of Year 12 for outstanding commitment to community service.

Archbishop O’Brien Cup: Patrick McFarlane

This award is presented to a member of the Graduating Class of Year 12 for Outstanding Christian Leadership.

The Denyse Gibbs Award for Conspicuous Effort in Studies: Richard Alvarez-Baumann

This award is presented to a member of the Graduating Class of Year 12 who has made a consistent, sustained and conspicuous effort in his senior years of studies.

The Byrne Award: Samuel Gibson

This award is presented to a member of the Graduating Class of Year 12 for the demonstration of personal integrity and initiative within the College and its community.

The Blue and White Award: Noyal Saji

The recipient of this award is chosen by the Graduating Class of Year 12. It recognises a student in Year 12 who captures the essence of an “Eddies Boy”. The recipient is characterised by the enduring qualities of humility, respect, resilience and honour. It affirms the qualities of unselfishness, loyalty, mateship and pride.

A Prayer for our Year 12 Students

Source: https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/graduation-and-graduates

Gracious and caring God, our source of light,
we ask for your almighty hand to be upon our Year 12 students as we send them forward.
With their classes and grading now complete,
may they strive toward excellence in all they do.
With the applause quieted,
may they celebrate and lift up those around them.
With the speeches concluded,
may their voices rise up to pronounce peace and justice in the world.
With the fanfare ceasing,
may they find bliss in future endeavors and adventures.
With senior secondary studies over,
may their achievements grow and enrich their communities.
As people of Edmund Rice,
may they discover holiness in the midst of life’s blessings as well as life’s challenges.
As their careers and tertiary studies commence,
may they conduct their life’s work with exceptional skill and integrity,
inspired by the light of Christ,
from this day onward.

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

Joe Zavone
College Principal
Christus Lux Mea

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