Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 8, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I received some very disappointing news last week regarding our attempts to create a safer zone for our students who cross Canberra Avenue of a morning and afternoon.  The e-petition to make Canberra Avenue a 40k school zone has been denied.  The has been an acknowledgement by the by Minister Chris Steel that students from St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College need to cross Canberra Avenue (either by walking or riding), but no action will be taken to make it a school zone. He also acknowledged that the other streets surrounding the school are a school zone, which is of absolutely no consequence at all to those students crossing Canberra Avenue.  The only glimpse of hope is that Minister Steel finishes the response by stating that there will be a review of the traffic movements in the area (yet another one!) and that there could be consideration of other possible interventions, such as a controlled/signalised pedestrian crossing.  To use a colloquialism, I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.  I am disappointed and frustrated that an attempt to create a safer environment for our students to cross has been neglected.  I thank the many hundreds of parents and community members who have supported us in this campaign. I have reprinted Minister Steel’s letter below (the letter is addressed to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly as it is the Clerk who presents the petition to the Assembly).

Response to petition from Minister Chris Steel:

Mr Tom Duncan Clerk ACT Legislative Assembly

Dear Mr Duncan

Thank you for your letter of 2 August 2022 regarding petition 18-22, requesting the reduction of the speed limit to 40km/h on Canberra Avenue between Barrallier Street, Griffith and Hume Circle (intersection of Canberra Avenue, Wentworth Avenue and Sturt Avenue, Griffith).

The ACT Government acknowledges that St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College are located adjacent to Canberra Avenue and that some students walking and riding to school cross Canberra Avenue. Several streets surrounding St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College are already currently designated as school zones, including parts of McMillan Crescent, Blaxland Crescent and Barrallier Streets.

Canberra Avenue is a busy arterial road that transports approximately 20,000 vehicles per day at an average speed of 60km/h. Over the past seven years, a total of 23 crashes were reported on this road section, three of which resulted in injury, and none involved pedestrians.

Given that Canberra Avenue is a main arterial route between Canberra and Queanbeyan, the current reduced speed limit of 60km/h is appropriate. Introducing a 40km/h speed limit on this road section is unlikely to be an effective measure without extensive traffic calming measures, which are incompatible with this road’s arterial function.

However, Transport Canberra and City Services will undertake an internal review of traffic movements in this area to inform consideration of other possible interventions, such as a controlled/signalised pedestrian crossing.

Chris Steel MLA Minister for Transport and City Services

2 November 2022

Student Leaders’ Formation Day

On Tuesday of last week we held our annual Student Leaders Formation Day with our new leaders for 2023.  The formation day focuses on students becoming aware of their own leadership skills and styles, developing these skills and applying these skills to a school setting. The afternoon session saw the Junior School leaders join the senior leaders in looking at how we can animate and strengthen the messages that arise from some of our foundational documents – the Statement of Eddies Pride, the annual Scriptural theme and the four Touchstones. My thanks to the students leaders who engaged in the day with a great positive sense, and to the staff members who worked with our leaders – Mr Michael Monagle, Ms Monica Day and Ms Bridget Cusack.

Year 12 Graduation

Last Friday’s Year 12 Graduation events were a highlight of the year.  For the first time for a few years, we could return to having the graduation events in their full style rather than a restricted event.  The three events (Mass, Assembly and Dinner) ran very smoothly and marked a significant manner in which to celebrate and farewell our Year 12 cohort. We have some unique and special traditions which take place on Graduation Day, such as presenting each Year 12 student with a graduation stole, on which is printed the name of every student in Year 12; and of course, the presentation of the Old Boys tie during the Graduation Dinner.

We also continued the “new” tradition (commenced last year) of students signalling their end of school life by ringing the bell.  This bell was a gift from last year’s Year 12 students, and is rung by students and staff when they commence their time at the College and when they leave the College.

This is how the bell was introduced to the College community last year by the 2021 College Captain, Baden Godfrey, “In Irish mythology, bells symbolise both a beginning and an ending. We, as the Graduating Class of 2021, would like to present the College with this bell, the symbol of which has a strong connection to our Irish heritage as a school and also to connects us in knowing that when something ends, another begins. For us, our time at school is formally coming to an end yet it is the beginning of the next chapter of our lives. After us, members of our community, students and staff, are invited to ring this bell to celebrate the beginning of their time here at the College and also to acknowledge the end of their time here too. So in hearing this bell, we know that even when life changes, we are always connected to the Eddies community. May this gift from the Graduating Class of 2021 ring out with shared memories and of the past, celebrations of the present and hope for the future. 

Go gcoinneoidh Dia iad siúd a chloiseann é i dtearmann a láimhe.  May God hold those who ring it in the palm of His hand.”

Major Year 12 Awards

Congratulations to the following students who were recipients of significant awards at the Graduation Dinner last Friday evening.

  • The Edmund Rice Award is given to a number of students who have in their own unique and individual way contributed to the vibrant spirit and positive culture of the college. They are students who have excelled in representing the College in our community, maintained consistent academic efforts, demonstrated resilience, persistence, leadership and initiative and have lived out the values and ethos of our College founder, Blessed Edmund Rice. Congratulations to Henry Alsworth, Nicholas Coote, Will Grame, Liam Guthrie, Hunter Harlor, Wynn Hickey, Andre Jugovac, Eric Liehne, Tadgh Loadsman, Matthew McGrath, Thomas Percy, Angus Robertson-Taylor, Liam Spence, Justin Thomas, Joshua Wink
  • The College Award for Vocational Studies is presented to a student who has excelled and demonstrated commitment to the field of Vocational Studies. He has achieved certification in various areas and has applied himself greatly to his work in his chosen field. Congratulations to Kye Darmody.
  • The Adam Darmody Award is presented to a student in the area of Creative and Performing Arts. It is given to the student who has been an exemplary role model for younger students and a consistent member of the creative and performing arts co-curricular program through the band program, musicals and performances, and other creative and performing arts programs that the College offers. Congratulations to Daniel Isherwood.
  • The Sportsman of the Year Award is presented to the student who has achieved a record of outstanding performance in their chosen sports or fields. The recipient of this award has participated in and excelled in his contributions to the College Co-Curricular Program in one or more chosen sporting fields during his time at the College. He has also represented the College at ASC level and achieved selection in one or more Australian representative teams. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.
  • The Oldfield Cup is presented to a Year 12 student for outstanding commitment to community service. Congratulations to Daniel DeBruin.
  • The Archbishop O’Brien Cup is presented to a member of the graduating Year 12 class for outstanding Christian leadership. Congratulations to Daniel Isherwood.
  • The Denyse Gibbs Award is presented to a Year 12 student who has made a consistent, sustained and conspicuous effort in his senior years of studies. The award recognises personal achievement, integrity of action, the overcoming of adversity and determination to achieve self-set goals. Congratulations to Jacob Traynor.
  • The Byrne Award is the College’s highest accolade presented to one of its students. It is presented to a Year 12 student for the demonstration of personal integrity and initiative within the College and its community. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.
  • The Blue and White Award is selected by students in Year 12 and is presented to one of their peers for being an inspirational student to others. The recipient is someone who has displayed honesty, integrity, loyalty and humility throughout their time at the College. The award winner demonstrates resilience and courage in the face of adversity. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.

Last Day of School

A reminder that the last day of school for students in Years 4 to 9 is Tuesday 6 December.  We finish the school year by celebrating the achievements of our students in our presentation ceremonies (see important dates below).  Please note that there are no scheduled classes for the high school following the presentation of awards. Students in Years 7, 8 & 9 can leave the school premises after the ceremony (only with parental permission).  Those students who remain at school will be involved in some clean-up activities for the reminder of the afternoon.

A reminder of important dates for the rest of the year

Monday 5 December: Junior School Activity Day

Tuesday 6 December: Junior School Presentation Ceremony (9.15am); Years 7 – 11 Presentation Ceremony (11.00am)

Tuesday 6 December: last day for students in Years 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent

Loving God,
the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in you.
It is a weak flame, but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today.
This week, I just want to taste the longing I have for you as I go through each day,
carrying out the responsibilities of my life and work,
facing the frustration of some difficult relationships.
Let the Advent candle for this week be my reminder today of my hope in your coming.

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

Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea