Principal’s Message: Week 5, Term 2, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 5, Term 2, 2019

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

On Tuesday of last week (21 May) we held our annual Senior School Expo.  This significant event outlined the individual learning options we offer our senior students as they embark on their senior years at the College. The evening focused on how the College develops the whole student across his educational journey.  We provided a snapshot of what is offered in Years 11 and 12 at an Academic, Pastoral, Faith and Mission and Co-curricular level.  The event also provided students and parents an opportunity to speak to Heads of Faculty, Heads of House, the Co-curricular co-ordinator, current senior students and members of the College Leadership Team.  We outlined the merits of the ‘Eddies’ approach to senior schooling, highlighting the unique opportunities available to all students.  I sincerely thank Ms Marianne Geoghegan, Mr Jacob Knowles, Mr Nigel Palfreman and the many students and members of staff who contributed to the success of the evening. Our greatest assets are our students, and it was so encouraging to have our students “on show” throughout this evening, whether they were presenting or as part of our wonderful Hospitality team.   My special thanks to the following students who shared part of their educational story with our guests:  Daniel Cotter (Year 12, Treacy), Jackson Burns (Year 12, Haydon), James Olney (Year 12, O’Brien), Blair Stewart (Year 11, Haydon) and thanks also to Jasper O’Brien (Year 12, O’Brien) and Marijan Vrancic (Year 10, Clancy) for entertaining our guests.  If you are aware of a student at another school considering St Edmund’s College for their senior studies, please ask them to contact the College for further information.

Now that we are well and truly into Term 2, I would ask parents again to consider donating unwanted summer uniform items to our second hand uniform collection.  As you are aware, our second hand uniform collection is not a commercial venture.  We have established this to serve our families who are in need.  Please leave your clean, old summer uniform items at Reception. Should parents wish to make use of our second hand uniform items, please contact Reception.

At every College Assembly, we invite one of our Captains to address their fellow students.  The address is completely scripted by the Captain on a topic of their choice.  Please find below the address given to students at last Wednesday Assembly by Vice Captain, Harry Buckley.

“Good afternoon Mr Zavone, Staff and Boys.  On Saturday the 11th of May, we held our 2019 College Open Day. Teachers and students from both the Junior and High School gave up their Saturday to ensure that the day was successful, and it proved to be just that, a special thanks to all those who attended.

 However, the College Open Day is not the only time of the year where the parents can gain an insight into what our College is like.

 Each day you identify as an “Eddies Boy” whether that be in the community wearing your uniform or participating in co curricular activities on the weekend – you will generally be judged on your actions, which will help guide the community’s perception of an Eddies boy.

 When a parent is deciding what school will take responsibility in raising their son, a large proportion of the decision is built up of that perception that the community has of the students.

 I understand that we, as young men, sometimes find it hard to be best behaved all the time. However I ask when you identify yourself as an “Eddies Boy”, whether on a school day or on the weekend, how would you want yourself to be perceived? And along with that, how would you want our College to be perceived?

 We students are the most valuable marketing element of our College. To not only improve the community’s perception on what an “Eddies Boy” truly is but to also improve their perception of the College.  You need to show immense pride in the crest on your shirt and that starts by making smart decisions and actions while representing your College

 As the end of semester exams fast approach, it is vital that you began to prepare yourself. It is a time where you need to clear distractions and allow yourself to become prepared for the exam period ahead. To prepare well for exams, it is valuable that you give yourself enough time to study and ask your teacher for extra resources that will assist you in those studies.

 If you do the work assigned to you in class, you will have less work to do in your own time. If you find yourself struggling with the content you’ve been provided with, I recommend you let your class teacher know now and/ or visit the library after school where tutoring is held for most classes throughout the week.

 To conclude, continue putting great efforts into studies, and into the decisions, you make at school and in our community, as you will bring positive outcomes for yourself while taking Edmunds to the Fore. Thank you”.

As you are aware, in 2018 the Australian Capital Territory became the first Australian jurisdiction to dedicate a public holiday to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Reconciliation Day is held each year on the first Monday on or after the 1967 Referendum anniversary date of 27 May – the start of National Reconciliation Week.  2019 Reconciliation Day was last Monday.  Reconciliation Day is a time for us to reflect on our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), the governing body of St Edmund’s College, has made a commitment to reconciliation and through this St Edmund’s College makes the same commitment.

ACCESS We are committed to encouraging and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families and staff to access and participate in Catholic education.

AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS We are committed to developing collaborative, authentic relationships and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and local communities, respecting their role in supporting student learning.

QUALITY EDUCATION We are committed to providing a quality and culturally enriching education for all students, underpinned by high expectations, where each is supported to realise their potential and where equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is a clear goal.

SPIRITUALITY AND CULTURAL AWARENESS We are committed to recognising, supporting, valuing and promoting understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spiritualities, cultures, histories and contemporary issues.

JUSTICE AND ADVOCACY We are committed to working with and walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, advocating justice and promoting Reconciliation.

EDUCATION FOR RECONCILIATION We are committed to furthering Reconciliation through conscious and deliberate curriculum and extra-curricular initiatives.

EREA’s involvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education is inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice and the wisdom, spirituality and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

St Edmund’s College is proud of the diversity of our student population and we aim to maximise the teaching and learning opportunities for each student. Our student population is enriched by the presence of our students with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.

We encourage and inspire academic achievement, social and emotional development and cultural awareness of these students while validating the unique cultural identity of each student. Through collaborative partnerships that are mutually enriching, we will provide an inclusive and welcoming environment and offer a quality and culturally appropriate education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. We will also further reconciliation by deepening an understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives throughout our curriculum.

St Edmund’s College provides students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background with a quality education that is founded in the values of Edmund Rice, is sensitive to the heritage of these students, teaches leadership skills and enables students to contribute in a culturally diverse world. We have about 35 students enrolled who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. These students range from Years 4 to 12.

We have a dedicated position of Indigenous Education Coordinator whose role is to encourage and inspire academic achievement, social and emotional development and cultural awareness of our students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.  Our focus is on implementing strategies to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student learning outcomes.  We wish to further a deeper involvement of indigenous parents and carers, and our indigenous communities in the College, by presenting both traditional and contemporary cultural perspectives and encouraging participation. In the spirit of Reconciliation our community seeks to build and strengthen our relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by identifying and addressing those practices which currently hinder the enrolment and retention of indigenous students.

The College will hold its special annual NAIDOC Week Assembly on Wednesday 24 July.

Creator God,
As we journey together in this Great Southern Land,
we pray for healing, forgiveness and unity,
With justice and compassion, we create a path of good will.

Loving God,
you have given us the courage, wisdom and strength
to share our gifts and talents in humility.
In peace and understanding we reconcile with each other.

Forgiving God,
Help us to join our hands and hearts together,
to heal one another and the land.
With our lives flowing with harmony, we live with love and deep respect.

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

Christus Lux Mea
Mr Joe Zavone (College Principal)