Saint Ignatius College Geelong
This newsletter is the second last of the year. The contents reflect the hectic, energetic and active period when we finish-up another school year.
Our Years 7-10 students finished their classes this week and the Yrs 11 and 12 students finished up earlier on. Over the last week or so, the students have been very busy undertaking final assessments. Years 9 and 10 students sat their exams and Years 7 and 8 students have been completing a variety of assessment tasks. The Year 11 students completed the year undertaking the “Kick Start” program to prepare them for either the Yr 12 VCE or VCAL program.
As a College community, we have held very significant events such as Mosaic and Yr 12 Valedictory Dinner. Our Year Level Coordinators (7-11) have each organised a “final assembly” to celebrate and reflect on the students’ year, give thanks to God for the many blessings during the year and provide the opportunity for expressions of gratitude to staff members who have supported the students’ learning and wellbeing. I thank our Year Level Coordinators, Ms Tory Wood (7), Ms Deb Hodge (8), Mr Ben Collyer (9), Mr Brendan O’Brien (10), Ms Kristin Williamson (11) and Mr Joe McLean (12) for their leadership and management of their respective year levels and for their work to ensure a smooth and purposeful finish to the year for our students.
Parents of Years 7-11 students will be able to access the Semester Two reports via the ‘Xuno’ portal from 4 pm on Tuesday 11th December. These will provide an excellent basis for parents to discuss with their daughters and sons the progress made during the year and to begin to set some student goals for 2019. I imagine at this hectic time it might be difficult to find the time (and energy) to conduct this vital conversation; it may well be best to be left to after Christmas.
Whenever it happens, I believe it is critical to ensure another year doesn’t pass and as parents we demonstrate the value of education by taking the time to affirm positive and constructive student learning habits, challenging where there is room for improvement and guiding the setting of improvement goals for next year. Parents could book time with their daughter or son to reflect on the year. Some examples of prompts that I provided at this stage last year for reflection by students were:
Think about what you were like this time last year.
How much have you changed?
How has your life changed in that time?
What good things have happened?
Are there any areas you think you could improve in?
Anything you would like to be better?
Think about your hopes:
• for the summer?
• for next year?
This will also provide the opportunity for students to give thanks for their growth and increase in knowledge, understanding and skills during the year and for parents to encourage students to say ‘yes’ to all the suitable opportunities for growth and development in the year ahead.
Our annual Mosaic Evening at Costa Hall was again an exceptional and important whole school event. Thank you to all families who were able to attend. A healthy school community enhances positive outcomes for our young people.
As in previous years, Mosaic was a wonderful celebration of very impressive student achievement across a variety of areas. I congratulate all students who received awards or presented the results of their learning (Art and Technology Displays) or performed on the evening (Music, Dance and Drama) – well done!
It was impossible to acknowledge all student achievements, and I congratulate all students who have tried their best throughout the year. It is also hard to show off some of the aspects of school life that we value. Examples include students supporting each other and going quietly about their learning and making the most of the opportunities they have to discover and develop their gifts and talents and being of service to others.
Thank you to our hard-working staff for organising and running this evening – all staff played some part in supporting this community celebration. In particular, I thank Mrs Claire Hewitt for coordinating Mosaic.
Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon & Concert
Our College has enthusiastically supported the annual Leopold Senior Citizens’ Luncheon for the last twenty-one years. On Tuesday 27th November about sixty students performed or waited on the tables serving the lunch prepared by the Church group for the one hundred and eighty senior citizens present at Club Italia, Moolap. As in previous years, I received many glowing comments about our students. I was very proud of our performers, many talented singers and musicians. Also, as well as serving food, many of our students need to be congratulated for the way they conversed with the guests on the day helping to make the day a special one for them. Thank you to Mrs Linda Pape (Performance Coordinator), Ms Marina Brown (Choir), Mr Andrew Humphrey, Mr Angelo Scotto, Ms Caitlin Doble and several other staff members who helped out for enabling our school to support this initiative of the local Parish.
Year 12 Valedictory Evening
On Friday 30th November the annual Year 12 Valedictory Dinner/Dance was held at GMHBA Stadium, Kardinia Park, Geelong. The evening commenced with the formal presentation of the graduands and some speeches. A delightful dinner/dance followed this.
A special feature of the formal part of the evening was the return of one of last year’s College Captains to promote the “Old Ignatians Association”. Greg Lewis encouraged the Class of 2018 to keep connected to the College through membership of the alumni association. Each Year 12 student was presented with an Old Ignatian lapel badge that they will hopefully keep as a sign of their continuing connection to their secondary school.
Fr James Puppady (President of the Association of Canonical Administrators) provided the blessing and expressed his congratulations and best wishes to the students. The College Captains, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien spoke fondly about many aspects of their secondary school journey, expressed gratitude to the staff and parents and wished their classmates best wishes for the next stage of their life journey. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner and dancing. Thank you to the organising committee and in particular, Mr Joe McLean (YLC) and Ms Dani Stanesby. As in previous years, the evening was conducted in a positive, happy and respectful way.
Yr 12 studies 2019 - Unit 3 Orientation Program
Thank you to the Senior School team of teachers for providing a valuable Orientation Program over the last week and a half to prepare the Year 11 students for next year. It is essential that these students use some of the holiday time to prepare for the undertaking of their Unit 3 subjects. Teachers will have given guidelines and provided preparatory work, and the students have a responsibility to take advantage of this and not turn up next year finding themselves behind the rest of the class. Can I please encourage parents to support this expectation? I expect that our senior students give their academic program the priority it deserves and other undertakings will need to fit in around their studies. I want all students, as I am sure parents do, to have the best chance of achieving to the best of their ability and this will be enhanced if the prevailing atmosphere is one where students are encouraging each other to do their best with their studies.
Final days of the school year
Next Tuesday we will conduct the Orientation Day for the grade six students attending Saint Ignatius next year. We look forward to welcoming our new college members.
The next and final newsletter for the year will be available on the afternoon of Thursday 20th December 2018.
Commencement date for 2019 school year
Please note that classes for all Year levels will commence on the same day next year – Monday 4th February 2019.
The Church season of Advent began last weekend. Advent is a wake-up call to us. We can ignore it and divert our attention to the commercial distractions, or we can regard it as an invitation to reflect on what we truly need and long for in life. Advent invites us into a reorientation of life that means knowing God in a new way. The Season of Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. However, if we reflect on it, life itself is a “waiting room”. So, what “preparations” are we up to as we wait? A final thought from the theologian, poet and Benedictine Monk, Sebastian Moore, “Christ is present to us in so far as we are present to one another”.
“Lord, lead me to see, through Your love, the changes I need to make in my life. Break into my life and help me to move forward, perhaps along untravelled paths to new aspects of my life that help me to mirror You to others. Amen.” (Acknowledgement: “Prinscripts 37, 2010)
The commencement of Advent also marked the beginning of the Church’s new year and the closing of the Year of Youth. Last Sunday, a number of our students attended a Mass to celebrate this special year. This very special Mass was celebrated by Bishop Mark Edwards and Fr James Puppady with members of the Drysdale Parish at St Thomas Church. It was great to see students from Saint Ignatius present and that our choir and musicians, under the leadership of Ms Marina Brown, could also be present to help make this a special liturgical celebration.
Michael Exton Principal
As we enter into the season of Advent we are drawn to consider what we can do to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Last Wednesday, the 28th of November, the College participated in Red Wednesday; a day of solidarity for those persecuted for their faith. This day becomes more important each year as the number of people living in countries where religious freedom is not respected continues to rise. Currently it’s estimated that 61% of the world’s population live in situations where religious persecution is common. What might be made of these facts as we prepare for the coming of Jesus?
When we consider the story of Jesus’ birth we experience great joy. In our secular and pluralist society Christmas is the most prominent celebration. Our entire society looks forward to Christmas each year with great anticipation for many reasons. At His birth however the only people who celebrated his coming were outcasts and three mystics known as the Magi. The contrast to our celebration and the reality of Jesus’ birth is in fact astounding. Our celebration of Christmas is excessive and overwhelming. His birth was in truth worse than any we could imagine by our standards. There was no hospital, no bed, no clean water, no doctor. Only Joseph, a stable and the animals.
Considering these contradictory experiences, we might in light of Red Wednesday consider how fortunate we are in Australia. In our country we are guaranteed religious freedom and have no fear of being persecuted. Sadly, our society does however discriminate against people from other religions. Globally religious freedom is for many not a right and being persecuted is part of their daily life. In preparing for the coming of Jesus we consider how the Holy Family were also persecuted and were forced to become migrants. Today there are over 65 million displaced people in the world. Many of these people make the decision to leave what is known and safe, and journey in an attempt to find peace and safety in another place.
As we prepare during Advent we view news reports daily that offer images of Central American migrants becoming more and more desperate as they seek asylum in America. When we consider the flight of the Holy Family we contemplate the fate that may have befallen them if Egypt stopped them at the border. During Advent consider how the Christmas narrative might inform the actions of countries who have the ability to offer protection and welcome to those in need?
Currently in the Netherlands a refugee Armenian family are set to be deported after nine years living in the country after all legal avenues for asylum have been denied. Inspired by the Christmas story a local church (Bethel church) has offered protection to the family by holding an ongoing service (at the time of writing the service has been going for over 800 hours!). Dutch law prohibits police from entering a place of worship whilst a religious service is in progress. Reverend Axel Wicke plans to continue the service indefinitely so that the family might be welcomed, protected and have the ruling overturned. Contemplating this situation in light of Advent we would do well to consider how we use our faith to love and protect others. What can we do this Advent to share our love with others in a way that challenges injustice and upsets the status quo?
In this way we might prepare for the coming of Jesus. We may find profit in contemplating how individually we may be able to welcome others and fight against discrimination and persecution. St Ignatius inspires us to “find God in all things”. Considering Red Wednesday and Advent we may contemplate what Jesus and his family might have looked like if he was born today.
The Holy Family in the modern world can be seen in those born without the possessions or opportunities we are fortunate to have. We can see them in families living in cars, ‘couch surfing’ with friends or in shelters. We can see them in migrants, both in the news and those who we do not see in detention on our behalf in isolated islands near and far. We can see the Holy Family in the people we discriminate against in thought or through exclusion in our own context. We can see them most vividly in people at the margins.
During Advent we are called to see the world through new eyes. By calling upon the Holy Spirit we may become better able to discern who is in need of love and how we may help bring an end to persecution, isolation and rejection. During Advent we might view the Christmas story in new and profound ways by setting aside traditional images. In finding new images that challenge us we may be able to enter more deeply in our preparation for the coming of our Saviour.
Christ comes to be born in extreme poverty and after so many labours, after hunger, thirst, heat and cold, outrages and affronts, he dies on the cross, and all of this for me”. The coming of Jesus requires us to reconcile the joy of his birth and horror of this torture and death. During Advent we can do this by entering into the suffering of the other and offering love as He did; especially to the marginalised. Viewing Advent and Christmas from a different perspective may help us achieve what Ignatius asks of us.
The following icon is a modern depiction of the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:12-15) by Kelly Latimore called . This image offers us great insight to how we might be inspired during Advent to prepare more deeply for the coming of Christ. Rather than the ‘Disney version’ we traditionally associate with Advent and Christmas images like
Costa Hall, Geelong came alive again this year to the sights and sounds of “all things Saint Ignatius” at the annual “Mosaic”, our showcase and celebration of the myriad of opportunities provided and achievements made during the year here at the College.
There were 14 magnificent displays and performances in the outer foyer of Costa hall in the Deakin University campus–student work, media, photographs and performances from learning areas and co-curricular activities. It highlighted the wealth of learning opportunities offered and the skills and talents of students.
The Mosaic Prelude comprised performances from the junior Combined Band and the Stage Band prior to Mosaic presentations in the auditorium.
We congratulate all students on their achievements and for some attaining an award ranging from academic Years 7-9, Christian Leadership, Endeavour, Community, All rounder, and various other awards. The latter included the Australian Defence Force Long Tan and Education awards, The Dux of the College 2017 Rotary Community awards, the Parents and Friends' Association All Rounder awards, Deakin Young Influencer and Science awards, The Sarah Henderson Corangamite medal for leadership and citizenship, The Caltex All Rounder award The Richard Marles prize for leadership, The Lions Community Service awards, College Captains, Public Speaking, Debating, Visual Art, Performing Arts and Sports awards, the Des Panton House Cup, the Jesuit Alumni award presented by the St. Patrick’s Old Collegians Association and the prestigious Saint Ignatius of Loyola award.
We were treated to “2018 - The Year That Was” video, a visual compilation of activities throughout the year, capably and creatively prepared by Hamish King, Year 11 VCAL and VET media student which was accompanied by the Year 9 Band. The Liturgy choir sang the Opening Prayer and we were entertained by the College Orchestra, the Mosaic Choir and the stylish Magis Men singing “New York, New York”.
We heard from Michael Exton Principal, Fr. Puppady, President of the College’s Canonical Administrators, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien spoke about their year as College Captains and introduced College Captains 2019 Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury.
Darbi Moody, Dux of 2017 spoke about his studies this year while residing at Newman College, Melbourne University.
Mr. Andew Philip, Director of Sport prepared 2 videos, one of photographs and video clips showing the enormous variety of sporting programs at the College and the latter was of IGGY, our sporting mascot, who participates in everything that is offered, Deputy Principal, Mr. Paul Lewis was Master of Ceremonies and coordinated proceedings which included the presentation of the awards by the Year Level Coordinators.
It was a truly inspiring and happy evening enjoyed by Students, Parents, Staff, Board members, VIPs and representatives from the wider community.
Mrs. Claire Hewitt Development Manager
Mosaic Evening – this evening!
Mosaic is an excellent annual community celebration for our College. All members of our school community are encouraged to attend this wonderful event this evening at Costa Hall, Deakin Waterfront Campus. The Student Art and Technology display commences at 6.00pm in the Costa Hall foyer followed by the celebration evening that begins at 7.00pm in the main auditorium.
I look forward to joining with students, families and friends of the College to celebrate the school year. As was the case in previous years no tickets are required to attend, all you will need to do is turn up at Costa Hall, and you will be ushered to a seat. There is no cost to attend, and you are most welcome to invite Grandparents, other family members, and family friends.
Thank you to our hard-working staff for organising and running this evening – most staff members play some part in supporting this community celebration. In particular, I thank Mrs Claire Hewitt for coordinating Mosaic.
One of our mantras is “Saint Ignatius. Inspiring me to be a leader.” This mantra is based on the belief that all of our students can be leaders and as educators and parents our ultimate goal is to prepare our students for future success in life so they can be positive and constructive influencers who make a difference for the better. At an Ignatian school, our model of leadership is the ‘servant leader.’
We are about developing well-rounded students with well-developed competencies, with a well-formed conscience to guide them. We expect that they will unleash their potential to influence others for a better world – women and men for others prepared to love and serve (‘Amare et Servire’) for the ‘Greater Glory of God (AMDG.)’
The theme of our recent full school assembly was Student Leadership and provided the opportunity for the investiture of our Senior Student Leaders for 2019. The assembly was organised by Mr Anthony Gravener (Student Leadership Development Coordinator) and Mr Michael Timms (Deputy Principal, Student Wellbeing.) We were fortunate that a former College Captain, Ms Georgia Cowdery, could give the address to students about her leadership experience. Following her tertiary studies in Law, Politics, Indonesian and Counter-Terrorism, Ms Cowdery works in the Attorney General’s Department in Melbourne.
This year we have continued to grow our Student Leadership Development Program. Part of this development was witnessed at the Investiture ceremony where our first student and staff leaders were commissioned to the position of FIRE Carriers - Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education. This was an example of our commitment to and the importance the College places on Reconciliation. We were delighted that Ms Sherry Balcombe from Aboriginal Catholic Ministry could be present to speak to the assembly about Reconciliation and to commission our first FIRE Carriers.
Following the assembly, the Year 11 VCAL students conducted a special event - the “Mixed Abilities Colour Run” on the College oval. As part of the day, Kelly Cartwright (World Champion/Paralympic Gold and Silver medalist) also spoke at the assembly about her inspiring story that encouraged them to be the best version of themselves, no excuses. The Colour run was a disability-themed challenge, and we were delighted with the support provided to the VCAL by the large participation of students and staff in this undertaking. Well done to the VCAL students and their teachers!
Congratulations to the student leaders for 2019:
College Captains: Madeleine Crothers and Samuel Salisbury
College Vice-Captains: Heidi Bakker and William Palmer
Academic Captain: Ruby Mangelsdorf
Arts Captain: Jack Woodfine
Environment Captain: Elyssa Winter
Justice Captain: Isabella Harry
Liturgy Captain: Isabel Kincaid
Sports Captain: Bianca O’Brien
Wellbeing Captain: Nikita Page
Sarah Bensted, Chloe Broadhurst, Lucy Carpenter, Kiera Galan, Emily Gordon, Noah Gullan, Eva Hay, Montana Holdsworth, Jamie Law, Ruby Moreland, Sean Neylan, Siara O’Brien, Erin Skene, Eleanor Small, Milly Stannard, Tilda Sturman, Abigail Valentine-Rawlins and Jessie Williams.
Johanna Collins, Lachlan Fitzpatrick and Abigail Valentine-Rawlins.
Bradman Captains: India Hart and Justin Finley
Bradman Vice Captains: Jess Breckon and Luke Lawson
Cuthbert Captains: Tahlia Rawson and Riley Coghlan
Cuthbert Vice Captains: Zoe Murrells and Matthew McFarlane
Elliott Captains: Olivia Occhipinti and Cody Beckley
Elliott Vice Captains: Ava Harvey and Nicolas Nadile
Fraser Captains: Montana Holdsworth and Logan Hockley
Fraser Vice Captains: Maeve Dungey and Harrison Middleton
Year 7 SRC Representatives: TBA (in 2019)
Year 8 SRC Representatives: Bridget Keating and Ross DeLange
Year 9 SRC Representatives: Audrey Hughan and Joshua Abbott
Year 10 SRC Representatives: Florence Noble and Jonah Spilsbury
Year 11 SRC Representatives: Caitlin Harris and William Bothe
Year 12 SRC Representatives: Emily Jones and Tex Hallam
Unit 3 Orientation Program
Thank you to Ms Anna Oliver (VCE Coordinator), the Learning Area Leaders and the Senior School team of teachers for providing a valuable Orientation Program, “Kickstart,” this week and next week to prepare the Year 11 students for next year. It is essential that these students use the holiday period to prepare for the undertaking of their Unit 3 subjects. Teachers will have given guidelines and provided preparatory work, and the students have a responsibility to take advantage of this and not turn up next year finding themselves behind the rest of the class.
Can I please encourage parents to support this expectation? I expect that our senior students give their academic program the priority it deserves and other undertakings will need to fit in around their studies. I want all students, as I am sure parents do, to have the best chance of achieving to the best of their ability and this will be enhanced if the prevailing atmosphere is one where students are encouraging each other to do their best with their studies.
Congratulations to Ms Jessica Grapsas (Teacher) on the birth of her daughter, Matilda Victoria. We wish Ms Grapsas all the best.
2018 Finishing dates for students
The Year 11 students finish their school year next week on Thursday. I wish them an enjoyable, restful and productive holiday period. As mentioned above I expect them to spend some time during the holidays preparing for their Year 12 studies.
The Years 9 and 10 students finish on Tuesday 4th December after sitting their exams. And the Years 7 and 8 students finish on Wednesday 5th December.
I wish them all an enjoyable, restful and productive holiday period as well.
Important dates for remainder of 2018
Thursday 22nd November Mosaic Evening at Costa Hall
Tuesday 27th November Leopold Seniors Citizens Luncheon / Concert
Wednesday 28th November Year 10 Exams commence
Thursday 29th November Last day for Year 11 students
Thursday 29th November Year 9 Exams commence
Friday 30th November Year 12 Valedictory Dinner
Tuesday 4th December Last day for Years 9 & 10 students
Wednesday 5th December Last day for Years 7 and 8 students
Tuesday 11th December Orientation day for 2019 Year 7 students
Thursday 13th December Yrs 7-11 Semester Two reports available via the Parent Portal (from 4 pm)
Friday 21st December School office closes for holiday break
Commencement date for 2019 school year
Please note that the commencement day for next year is as follows:
Monday 4th February 2019 – all students.
Michael Exton Principal
By the time the next newsletter comes out all of our students will have finished for the year and we will be in the Season of Advent. With this in mind it’s timely to consider the coming of the Messiah and prepare for the first Sunday of Advent, which is only a little over a week away!
Life is framed by waiting. We spend much of our life in expectation of what might come next. At the College we excitedly awaiting the end of the academic year and holidays. When we focus intently upon what is to come we can fail to fully experience what is present and real.
As we move toward Advent we experience increasing tension in our days as we consider all that ‘has to be done’ before Christmas. Each task we complete offers a sense of relief. This approach is cathartic in some respects but also leads to a pattern of busyness. Interestingly this attitude can conversely create an illusion of not being able to complete tasks. Tasks can seem to become an ongoing series of challenges that have no end. Either way we focus on the goal and not the present.
As we look ahead to Advent we contemplate the words of the prophet Isaiah:
Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
The birth of Jesus is the sign we await each year. During Advent we prepare for the birth of our Immanuel. We ready ourselves to experience the coming of Jesus. The challenge is to not let the present slip by. Waiting often causes us to fail to notice what is truly real; the ‘now’.
Advent begins with the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) which is the first action in fulfilling Isiah’s prophecy. The Gospel tells of how the angel Gabrielle was sent to reveal to Mary God’s plan. Her faithful response brings about her pregnancy. Pregnancy for all women is marked by excitement of what is to come and fear of what may go wrong. For nine months Mary waited for the safe arrival of Jesus. Her pregnancy was miraculous and the safe birth Divinely assured. But I wonder how she waited for the coming of her child.
I wonder how she viewed the experiences of the pregnancy and the last minute travel to Bethlehem. Did she endure by focussing on the promised outcome or did she focus upon each moment as they came? When I contemplate Mary during her pregnancy I like to think that she possessed great wisdom and patience, and that she enjoyed each moment.
What we can read about this time tells us that she was patient and faithful. She allowed God to work through and with her to create a child. We can learn a lot about how we can truly enjoy the coming Season by considering Mary’s response to the pregnancy. When we enter into a single month of waiting we often focus on Christmas Day and tick off all the tasks and events that lead up to that day. When Mary entered into nine months of waiting she seems to have had a more holistic approach to both the goal and the present moment.
Advent is about so much more than Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus. Advent is about experiencing the joy of waiting. Each year we wait again for the coming of Jesus and much of the joy is found in the anticipation.
Waiting of course is difficult. Patience is not a skill our society seeks to develop in its members. Patience is often only referred to when we need to be polite. Patience is not a virtue associated with success. Successful people are people of action. Patience requires one to hold back and experience what is present. Patience in-fact is the perfect philosophical experience of what is post-modern. Patience requires one to live in the ‘now’.
Advent can inspire us to enter into this interesting viewpoint. We can become more whole by entering into the moment as we joyfully await what is to come. Such a challenging task requires some preparation. We need to contemplate what we might do and how we might achieve this approach.
St Ignatius would suggest that the best way to achieve patience and develop a habit of waiting joyfully would be to linger in the present. Soak up everything the present moment offers. Notice the beauty in the simple aspects. Everything is beautiful and able to offer an experience of God. By lingering in the present moment we are better able to perceive what is; rather a than what was or might be.
Beauty is not extraordinary or exceptional in itself. Beauty is all around us in every way. Often, however, we are so caught up in the future or the past that we miss the beauty of every moment. When we wait patiently and linger in the present we see with clarity the extravagant abundance of beauty around us.
As the academic year draws to a conclusion and Advent begins pause for a moment and consider how you might best approach the coming joyous season. What are you waiting for and how best might you enter into and draw profit from the experience of waiting? How will you ‘wait’ over the next four weeks? What do you hope to gain from the season of Advent? Can lingering in the present offer you the gift of Christmas Day right now? In being attentive to the ‘now’ how might beauty be revealed in new and extraordinary ways?
I wish you well as you contemplate these thoughts and the joyful waiting found in the end of the school year and the season of Advent.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
“Places are made holy by their story, the spirit in which you journey to them, receive their gift, and leave them.” – Andrew Bullen SJ
During the Term 3 school holidays Caleb Ryan and I flew across the world to Europe with sixteen other companions from Jesuit and Companion school on the Ignatian Leadership Pilgrimage to see, taste, feel and experience the pilgrim journey of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits and Jesuit education. It was during this time that I came to learn that no matter how much knowledge you consume from books, articles or study on the life and person of Saint Ignatius, it is not until you visit these significant places and open your heart to the opportunity to experience this felt knowledge, that you will truly come to know the man, pilgrim, saint and companion that Ignatius was.
“For pilgrims, strolling, walking, running are exercises in love, in prayer.”- Andrew Bullen SJ
This pilgrimage of planes, trains, roads, minds and hearts traced the footsteps of Inigo de Loyola through France, Spain and Italy and afforded its pilgrims the freedom, stillness and space to encounter Ignatius and deepen our faith. While our itinerary was full, each moment spent in these hallowed places, where Ignatius found God, was enriching and a privilege. Loyola, Montserrat, Manresa, La Storta, Il Gesu; these were the places that I wrote about in my university essays, taught in classes, shared with my colleagues, visited in my dreams and contemplated in my prayers.
“The stars will guide you, people you meet will be signs, and your prayerful heart your compass.” - Andrew Bullen SJ
Saint Ignatius created the practice of imaginative prayer, where we place ourselves in a Gospel scene and pray with this image in our hearts. For a long time, I had placed myself in the scenes of Ignatius’ life, scenes that this pilgrimage slowly revealed to me. However, as I stood in these places where Ignatius navigated his life with vulnerability, spiritual courage, love and determination, I was consumed by the quiet, raw and natural world that I could hear, see, touch and feel around me. Arriving at Montserrat at dusk was simply awe inspiring. It felt as though time itself had stopped to reveal a sort of divine beauty that permeated the mountain with its cool air and outlook of the setting sun. It was at Montserrat that Ignatius surrendered his sword before the statue of the Black Madonna, signifying a conscious departure from his previous life as a minor nobleman for a simpler, though challenging, existence to love and serve others for the greater glory of God. Montserrat invites her pilgrims to surrender that which prevents them from freely and authentically encountering God in all things. It is in moments like these that we are also invited to surrender our minds to our hearts, our inner compasses, so that we might encounter something deeper, more radical and transforming. This truly was a pilgrimage of the heart; each experience of the heart transcending the mind; each conversation a blessing; each encounter a prayer.
Aristotle, an Ancient Greek philosopher, professed that “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” This is our invitation as formal educators and parents of students within the Jesuit tradition. It was my hope that by opening my mind and heart to encountering Saint Ignatius on this pilgrimage that I might return with the ability to more authentically share his story with others. The interior and felt knowledge that I have returned truly does inspire me every day to love and serve those around me in our College and wider communities. My only hope now is that through my service I can help to enliven the story of Ignatius in others’ hearts. May we all accept this invitation to educate the heart, as well as the mind, as we continue on our own personal pilgrimages towards a life of greater love and greater service for and with others.
Alicia Deak Ignatian Coordinator and Social Justice Coordinator
Year 12 exams and pathways
Our Year 12 VCE students are well and truly into their exam period. Many have sat two or more exams since they commenced with English on Wednesday last week. Please keep these students in your thoughts and prayers that they can revise well and demonstrate their learning to the best of their abilities at this time.
Our Year 12 VCAL students have finished their classes for the year, and I wish them all the best for their next step toward employment or further study. I know some of them have already obtained an apprenticeship and others are enrolling in a vocational course for next year. So it is also important to keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they make this very significant transition from secondary school.
Mr Bruce Connor, our Work and Further Education Coordinator, has provided support to many VCAL and VCE students and parents when they were considering possible pathways. Mr Connor remains available for the rest of the school year (and into next the next school year) if any student or parent would like some support or information re pathways, courses or employment. He can be contacted by phoning our Office.
As you are aware, Sunday is Remembrance Day. We will be conducting a short memorial service for students and staff at tomorrow’s full school assembly.
Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis (DP) for organising and leading this service.
Mosaic Evening and arrangements for classes on the day
Our annual ‘Mosaic’ evening is an excellent annual College community celebration. All members of our school community are encouraged to attend this wonderful evening on Thursday 22nd November at Costa Hall, Deakin Waterfront Campus. The Student Art & Technology display commences at 6.00pm in the Costa Hall foyer followed by the celebration evening that begins at 7.00pm in the main auditorium.
We have received very positive feedback over the years about this major College function. All students are expected to attend. This College function reinforces for our students the College’s values, celebrates student achievement in a variety of areas and builds a sense of belonging and school community. I also encourage parents and families to support our community by attending and to be part of a delightful and uplifting celebration of the 2018 school year at Saint Ignatius College.
Please note that most Years 7 – 11 students will not be required at school on Thursday 22nd November 2018 so staff can prepare for the evening and students performing can rehearse. Some students will be expected to attend school and/or Costa Hall during the day to prepare for this event. Parents of students involved during the day in the lead-up to Mosaic that evening will be contacted by the organising staff members about the arrangements for this.
Having had the day off school, it is expected that students will come to the evening instead of their classes for the day. Students in Years 7 – 11 who are performing in the evening are expected to go to school on the day for the rehearsals. Year 12 students will attend school as per their exam timetable.
I look forward to joining with students, families and friends of the College to celebrate the school year. As was the case last year no tickets are required to attend, all you will need to do is turn up at Costa Hall, and you will be ushered to a seat. There is no cost to attend, and you are most welcome to invite Grandparents, other family members, and family friends.
Assembly tomorrow (November 9th)
Parents and friends of the College are invited to attend tomorrow’s full school assembly. This is the second time we will run the second assembly in term four and follows on from the very successful introduction of this initiative last year. The focus of this second assembly will be on senior student leadership investiture. In support of this, the theme will be ‘Leadership’ in line with our mantra – “St. Ignatius Inspiring me to be a leader.”
The assembly will commence at 9:00 am and will be held in the gym. Please report to the main office before 8:50 am so you can be escorted to a seat in the gym. The assembly will conclude at 10:30 am.
Recent Year 8 Camp
Last week the College conducted a Year 8 Leadership Camp for a group of selected students to Wollangarra in Gippsland. The group was away for four nights camping and bushwalking in this beautiful Victorian area, situated beside the Macalister River south of Licola. Participation in the camp was by application and has involved about twenty Year 9 students each year for many years. With a new similar program commencing this year for all Yr 9 students we decided to move the Wollangarra Camp to Year 8.
All reports indicate the camp was very successful. Well done to the students involved and thank you to the teachers who accompanied the students – Ms Deb Hodge and Mr James Fox.
Parents and Friends' Association (PFA)
Thank you to the parents who have nominated for an office bearer position for the PFA. The nomination process has now closed.
Can I please encourage all parents to consider committing to be a member of the PFA? We need to ensure we keep ‘topping-up’ this group each year as we lose some members with their daughter/son finishing their time at the College. Perhaps you can give a couple/few years as a member of this group? The next PFA meeting will be the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 13th November at 7 pm in the Food Technology Centre, and it would be great to see some new parents at this meeting.
Invitation to Year of Youth closing Mass
All students and their families are invited to attend a special Mass to celebrate the close of the Church’s national Year of Youth on Sunday 2nd December 2018 (9am) at St Thomas Church, Peninsula Drive, Drysdale. The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, Auxiliary Bishop for the Western Region of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, with local Parish Priest, Fr James Puppady. Bishop Mark will speak about the recent Synod of Youth in Rome.
Please see the notice included with this fortnight’s newsletter articles for more details. It would be great to see as many of our students and their families as possible attend this special Mass.
Michael Exton Principal
You may have noticed that things have changed. The weather is different now. It has changed and the trees are all green. Spring is now actually here! As soon as Halloween passed the Christmas decorations and festive foods were put on the shelves at the shops. The Cup has been run and we are now reminded in the media that there are only ‘six weeks until Christmas!’. At our assembly this week we remember all those who have died or suffered because of war or violence. November is the month where we are prompted to pause and reflect upon what has passed as the end of the year is so near.
In our Church we pause in November to reflect also. During this month we remember all who have passed from their earthly life into their eternal life where they have been reunited with the Father. Last week we celebrated All Saints Day and All Souls Day. It should be noted that contemporary theology brings into question the need for All Souls Day. As Catholic eschatological understandings are quite different since Vatican II. However, this thought aside what is important is that we as a community pray in intercession for those who have died, and who enter into their immortal and eternal life.
We are people of the Resurrection. We believe that Jesus’ sacrifice and his return prove that what he promised in his revelations about the Kingdom are true. Although we love our earthly life we do not fear death. Death is not a loss. Death is not an end. Death is simply a change.
What death does though is significant and painful for those who are left to mourn. We who are left suffer because of death. We are no longer able to talk to them, touch them, we can’t call them on the phone, pop in for a cuppa or simply have them physically present. This can be an excruciating realisation. Learning to live without the person physically takes courage and time. As we learn to encounter and love them spiritually we are able to find peace and joy. Joy as we know we will be with them again and when we are reunited in heaven it will be completely perfect.
Death makes us value more what is physically present. When we go to mass or in the liturgy we may become more aware of what we are actually doings. When we come together in faith we are doing many things. One of the important aspects that we sometimes over look is the spiritual. When we offer the words “And with your spirit’, we actually mean it. When we offer the ‘sign of peace’, we are doing so in two different dimensions – physical and spiritual. Death can offer us insights that help us to be more aware of how limited our earthly life is and how superficially we actually engage with the world and the gift of time.
St Paul explains our faith beautifully in his first letter to the Corinthians in saying:
What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
We cannot return to the Father during our earthly life. We cannot be perfect in this state. We can only be made whole in death. Death that is not to be feared or troubled over. Death is to be respected and avoided as best we can.
Our life is a gift and all that we do should show love for God and others. The Lord created the universe so that we might live and experience Creation. Creation offers us so many opportunities and choices. We have also been offered the gift of free will and although we are not perfect we each individually do good in the world and bring God’s love into the world.
When we remember those who have died we most often mourn the good they have done for us or the love that they offered. We might therefore be inspired by them in death as we reflect upon their lives. We are left here without their physical presence. We can continue their work of love. Their legacy does not end with their death but inspires us to new and exciting opportunities to love as they did. We continue their story here in this world.
In mourning loved ones remember that they have entered into the fullness of love and continue this with Jesus eternally in watching over and interceding for us in heaven. This is our faith. We believe that they have now been made whole and perfect in every way. They are saints. Their love continues and our memory of them endures.
At the College we especially remember past students and staff who have died during this month. We pray also for those people who are forgotten or died without love. We remember people who died fighting for a different cause and pray that God’s mercy extends in death to our nations historic enemies. We pray also that we might continue Jesus’ work in this world and that we use the time we have on the earth well.
I pray that you find peace in this month of remembrance and share that peace with all people. I pray also that reflecting upon these things that you become more aware of the gift that is time – may we all treasure it and use it well.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On Friday 26th October the Year 11 Students attended their annual Retreat day at Ocean Grove.
The theme for the day was “Religious”.
Students participated in 4 workshops:
1. Beliefs, values and our worldview
2. My beliefs and values
3. Just Voices
4. Meaning and Purpose in my life
Students listened to a variety of presentations and the had the opportunity to reflect on their own place in God’s world.
Isaiah, a refugee from Sierra Leone, shared a candid depiction on his 14 years in a refugee camp and his experiences there and afterwards in his move to Australia. Students were moved to hear of the challenges he has faced in his life.
A mass at St Thomas Church concluded the day. Led by Father Gerry Healy, students were respectful and mindful during this service.
Thank you to all the staff and students for making this a most successful day.
Ms Kristin Williamson Year 11 Coordinator
At around this time over recent years I have promoted through the newsletter an important College event that we hold in November – our end of year celebration evening called the Mosaic Evening. We expect that all students and their families attend this special College function at Costa Hall at Deakin University’s waterfront campus. This gathering will provide the opportunity for parents and students to celebrate the part school has played in family life for another year and build a stronger sense of school community.
The date is Thursday 22nd November 2018. The Art & Technology display commences at 6.00pm in the Costa Hall foyer followed by the celebration evening that begins at 7.00pm in the main auditorium. This year’s Mosaic evening will have a similar programme to last year’s.
The evening will acknowledge and showcase student talents and achievements from a range of areas. As in previous years, tickets will not be required to attend. All you will need to do is turn up at Costa Hall, and you will be ushered to a seat. There is no cost to attend, and you are most welcome to invite Grandparents, other family members and family friends. In the meantime, please put this date in your diary to ensure you can attend. Students are expected to wear their school uniform with blazer.
We have consistently received very positive feedback about Mosaic evenings over many years. This unique celebration evening builds a stronger school community and a sense of belonging and hopefully inspires all students to strive for making the most of the opportunities they have at the College. I ask our community to give this evening a priority when students, families, friends and staff of the College can come together to celebrate special achievements of some, and the contribution we all make to Saint Ignatius College.
Congratulations to Year 10 students Jools Bond, Darby O’Meara and Marcus Vaughan who recently completed the 2018 Geelong Future Leaders of Industry program. I was delighted to attend their graduation ceremony at Deakin University’s Centre for Advanced Design Engineering Training (CADET) Centre on Tuesday evening last week. This program is a learning and career development opportunity for students typically considering a trade or tertiary pathway and, potentially a career in advanced technologies, innovative manufacturing, design and engineering. The program provides the students with the opportunity to build awareness of the exciting STEM-related advanced manufacturing options available for future employment and raise awareness of the skills and knowledge required to work in advanced technology sectors. The program included:
• Visits to selected advanced manufacturing businesses and educational institutions
• An exploration of leadership and entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing along with STEM-related skills and knowledge
• Student work experience of 2 – 3 days duration engaging with real-world challenges facilitated by the work placement manufacturing enterprise
This program was previously delivered by the Geelong Regional Vocational Education Council Inc., and we are grateful to the Geelong Manufacturing Council which provided this valuable learning experience for 25 students from Geelong region schools this year.
Jools, Darby and Marcus and their parents provided me with very positive feedback about the program. We have had two or three Yr 10 students participate in this annual program for many years, and I encourage our current Year 9 students to consider applying for next year’s program. (They should keep an eye on the Daily Bulletin for the advertisement or see Mr Connor.) I am grateful to Mr Bruce Connor, our Work & Further Education Coordinator, for facilitating our students’’ involvement.
On Friday 12th October 2018 we welcomed local State Government MP, Lisa Neville to our ‘Ground Breaking’ Ceremony to celebrate the commencement of construction.
Construction has commenced on an $8.5M Multi-purpose Centre at Saint Ignatius College Geelong. It is expected to be completed mid-next year.
Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects have designed this great facility that will include two indoor basketball courts, large foyer, offices, change rooms and three classrooms. The builders are Commercial Industrial Constructions Group (CICG.)
Ms Neville, together with College Captains, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien, marked the commencement with digging some of the soil at the site.
Although they will not be the beneficiaries of the new building, Kerry and Dean are very excited for the younger students and the many future students who will benefit from the enhancement to the College’s programs that will be possible as a result of this wonderful new facility.
This new Centre could also be used by the community, as is the case with some of the College’s current facilities.
On behalf of the College community, I express my gratitude to Lisa Neville for her enthusiastic support and the State Government’s contribution of $2M toward the funding of this project.
On Thursday evening last week the Year 12 class of 2018 and their families gathered with staff for Mass at our College Gym. As a Christian community, it was an important way for us to celebrate and reflect on the finish of the Year 12 student’s school journey.
The Mass was a very special occasion, and I was delighted that many grandparents, relatives and family friends were able to be present. Thank you to Fr. James Puppady and Fr Gerry Healy SJ for concelebrating the Mass for us. Our choir and musicians, led by Mrs Linda Pape did a great job leading us with the singing and providing some songs for reflection. Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis, Mr Brendan Nicholls, Mr Joe McLean and the staff who helped organise this Mass.
Last Monday’s Full School Assembly was a memorable occasion. The primary focus of this assembly was to farewell our Year 12 students. We congratulated these students on completing secondary schooling, we thanked them for their part in our College story, and we prayed for our Year 12 students’ future successes. It was very pleasing that many parents were able to be present at the assembly and in particular, it was great that many parents of Year 12 students were able to share in this milestone for their daughter or son.
The College Captains, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien, made a presentation to the College community, on behalf of the Year 12 class, of a thank you gift of a beautiful blue glass plaque with indigenous motifs from Wathaurong Glass & Arts. The giving of artwork has become a tradition over the years. These artworks are displayed on the corridor walls of the McKillop Building.
The College Captains for next year were announced at Monday’s assembly. I am grateful to our Student Leadership Development Coordinator, Mr Anthony Gravener, for planning and managing the selection process. Congratulations to Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury.
Last Monday saw two different events held in our gym – the farewell to the Year 12s and then in the evening our very well attended welcome and information evening for the parents and students of next year’s Year 7 intake.
It is very pleasing that due to demand, we will be taking an extra class for Year 7 next year. I have enrolled 250 students (10 classes) for next year. The number of enrolment applications was high again with many unfortunately missing out on a place. Currently, we have a long waiting list. The significant demand for places at Saint Ignatius continues to reflect very well on the work our community has done to develop our college into a great place for secondary school education.
Thank you to Ms Tory Wood (YLC,7) and the team of staff for organising this evening.
On Tuesday the Year 12 students participated in their “Celebration Day.” The day was celebrated in a positive and fun way, and I congratulate the “Class of 2018” on the overall way they have respectfully and appropriately approached this final week of classes – well done!
I hope all goes well for them as they study for their exams that commence next week. On behalf of the school community, I wish them all the best.
The Senior School staff prepared thoroughly to ensure that the final phase of the year was well organised with parents and students being well informed about the program and the school’s expectations. Thank you to Mr Joe McLean (YLC, 12) and the Senior School team of teachers.
Michael Exton Principal
As our Year 12 students leave us this week to study independently and make final preparations for their final exams we become aware that the end of another school year is not far off. It seems amazing that the weeks have gone past so quickly and that we will soon celebrate the end of the year formally at our Mosaic awards evening! At this time of the year students begin to think about the opportunities they will have next year in their new subjects. Teachers begin to think about what subjects they will teach, spend time reflecting upon the year past and enthusiastically enter into thinking about what improvements they might make next year. Our Year 12 students and families of course are the most excited about the end of the year and the future that is yet to be uncovered.
With this excitement comes varying levels of anxiety or concern about the unknown. There is so much yet to be completed before the future is revealed. For those of us who will return to the College next year we know that although different the following year has a pattern that is known and safe. Our senior students are stepping out into the unknown. Everything will change! All that they hope for is yet to be achieved as the final weeks are vital if those goals are to be realised.
As a Jesuit Companion School or an ‘Ignatian College’ we would do well to pause and consider St Francis Xavier moments like this. His life can offer us much to contemplate and apply when change occurs.
St Francis Xavier was one of St Ignatius’ closest friends and one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). He was born in 1506, leaving his home to journey to Paris and study when he was nineteen. By the age of thirty he had earned a Master’s degree in Philosophy. He lectured at the university for a number of years and entered into a Theology degree, where he met Ignatius. Although slightly older than Xavier the two became close friends. He completed the Spiritual Exercises under the spiritual direction of Ignatius and with the other founding members took vows and then was ordained in 1537. The Society was approved in 1540. A year later Xavier left Europe on his mission to the East.
He journey was hazardous and extreme in its vision. Accounts recorded that Xavier willingly entered into his mission with great joy and enthusiasm. Travelling from Rome (Italy) he travelled to Lisbon (Portugal), Maputo (Mozambique), Melindi (Kenya), Socotra (an island off the coast of Somalia) and Goa (India). He then achieved a feat that no other missionary had ever done in entering Japan where he evangelized for two years. He then was able to achieve another first by securing passage and entry into mainland China to spread the Gospel. Sadly, whilst waiting for transport to the mainland he died of fever in sight of his destination.
Our senior students have much in common with St Francis Xavier at this time. They are about to enter into a busy time where they will embark on a journey where the goal is known but the path and outcome not a guaranteed. Our students know what is required over the final weeks of their secondary schooling. Having confidence in those who have guided them and their own abilities will ensure that they are able to achieve all that is desired.
Just as Ignatius mentored Xavier, our students have many people who they are able to gain support from even though they have officially ‘finished’ classes. Being focussed and trusting in all that has been learnt is vital now as they journey onwards. Unlike Xavier our students are able to come back whenever required to seek guidance. But generally most will seek to spread their wings and over the coming weeks will seek to rightly trust in themselves.
Francis Xavier was enthusiastic and confident in his abilities, through faith in God. Our students can also aspire to possess these virtues. At the College we hope that they enter into these final weeks with enthusiasm and a level of excitement. Although tension will be experienced during the exam period and the wait for results, it is an exciting time. A positive mind set throughout will guarantee great outcomes. After six years living in our faith community they know our God and are able to trust in him.
At the final assembly on Monday Fr James Puppady spoke to the senior students. As president of the Canonical Administrators he cares very much for the College and our community. His pastoral concern was summed up in his final comment about trusting in God. He used four points to emphasise the love of God that is with them always and can be relied upon as they conclude their studies and exams.
"Every day God thinks of you" - Psalms 68: 19.
"Every hour God looks after you" - 1 Thessalonians 3: 3.
"Every minute God cares for you" - 1 Peter 5:7.
" Because every second he loves you" - Jerimiah 31: 3.
Inspired by Fr James’ message and the life of St Francis Xavier our senior students can place any concerns they have with Our Lord and trust in his love and protection. They will achieve all they hope for. Enthusiasm, courage, joy and faith are virtues that will make this period of their lives positive and fulfilling. All of these virtues can be observed in the life of St Francis Xavier and his mission to the East. Inspired by him our senior students may also achieve feats that have never been accomplished before now and in their future lives.
As our Year 12s complete their secondary school ’mission’ I encourage you to pray for the intercession of St Francis Xavier who knows well the excitement and tension present at this time. I also hope that you will continue to pray for them after this year ends as they begin their next ‘mission’ in service of God and all people – Amare et sevire.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Our Year 12 students have now completed their formal education and time at Saint Ignatius College.
A series of Celebration Events have taken place over the past week to recognise, to celebrate, to reflect and to come together as a school community to pay tribute to the Class of 2018. It has also been a time for the Year 12 students to extend their gratitude and appreciation to all who have supported them throughout their journey.
It is so important for the school community to gather in prayer and sacrament as well as socially as the Year 12 students were presented with a College gift. “Finding Gods Traces” is a beautiful book given to all graduating students from Jesuit Colleges. The book is designed to remind our graduating young men and women of the importance of daily prayer and we hope it will further encourage them to seek and to continually find God in all aspects of their lives.
Monday 22nd October was the final College Assembly for Year 12 students. The atmosphere on the day was one of emotion, humour and appreciation. The assembly began by farewelling our Year 12 students in a positive and dignifying manner, celebrating their achievements and the end of their six-year journey at Saint Ignatius College. There was also a handover of our leadership candles from the current College Captains to the 2019 College Captains.
And finally on Tuesday 23rd October, the Year 12 students respectfully celebrated their final day of schooling. They began “Celebration Day” by walking around the College in their fancy dress themes before participating in team challenge activities. The final Year 12 Assembly was held and a shared lunch was enjoyed by the parents, students and staff of the College.
We are immensely proud of the ‘Class of 2018’, who during these last weeks have ended their school days with so much good will. I hope the coming years ahead will continue to ignite their potential and provide our students with much happiness, success and the inspiration to make their dreams a reality.
On behalf of the school community, I wish them well for their future endeavours. I would like to genuinely thank all the staff that made a positive contribution and assisted the Year 12 students throughout the year and to the parents and family members for supporting the Year 12 events over the past week.
Mr. Joe McLean Year 12 Coordinator
Welcome back to the final school term for 2018. I hope all students have had an enjoyable and restful break (with some revision and preparation for the new term) and are looking forward to finishing the year off on an excellent note.
The Interim-semester Two Reports and follow-up Parent/Student/Teacher meetings held at the end of last term will have helped identify and affirm good progress to date, provided a valuable opportunity to discuss areas of concern and helped set some directions for a productive term ahead.
The Yr 12 VCE students sat their practice exams during the second week of the holidays. Acting Deputy Principal, Mrs Oliver reported that she was very pleased overall with the way the students approached this very important assessment preparation.
Three recent international student trips
All three groups returned safely during the holidays. All reports to date indicate the trips went very well. I thank the staff involved and commend the students who were able to participate on the very positive comments I received about their enthusiastic and cooperative approach.
Italian Study Tour - Seventeen Years 10 & 11 Italian class students travelled with three teachers to Italy. They visited Rome, Pompei, Sorrento, Mensanello, Florence, Bologna and Venice before returning home after a wonderful experience over 20 days. The students were involved in a homestay program for six days of the trip.
Thank you to Mr Francesco Melli for leading this trip.
Indonesian Study Tour - Twenty-two students, four staff members and one alumnus (teacher assistant) enjoyed a 13-day Langauge and Cultural Immersion trip to Indonesia.
Many thanks to Ms Julia Hall (LOTE Learning Area Leader) for all she has done towards the planning of the trip
East Timor Immersion Trip - Twenty Years 10 & 11 students travelled with two staff members and a Destination Dreaming Leader to Dili and the Arturo Island.
Thank you to Mrs Anna Oliver for leading this trip.
Final week for Year 12s
All parents of Year 12 students will receive a letter from me early next week to communicate some of our expectations and hopes and the plans in place at this stage to help facilitate a positive and smooth finish. (Extra copies are available from our office.) It is obviously very important that the Year 12s remain as focused as possible on their studies right through to the last exam. A lot depends on their ability to apply themselves well during this time. I have made it very clear about our expectations for a positive finish by the senior students on their ‘last day,’ Tuesday 23rd October.
Normal timetabled classes for the Year 12 students will cease on Monday 22nd October 2018. The next day, Tuesday 23rd October, will be the Yr 12 ‘Celebration Day.’ The VCE written exam period starts on Wednesday 31st October 2018 with the English exam (for LOTE Oral, Drama & Music Performance exam times please check with the subject teacher, some of these examinations have already started.) Visit the following website for the VCE exam timetable:
After Tuesday 23rd October 2018, Year 12 teachers will be available during normal class time and by appointment out of class time until the exam for their particular subject. Teachers will discuss these arrangements with their students.
A number of special activities are planned over the “last week” to help make this a special and memorable time for the students and parents. In particular, I remind parents of Year 12 students and friends of the College about the Year 12 Mass at the College Gym on Thursday 18th October 2018 (7:00 pm) and the Full School Assembly on Monday 22nd October (report to the office at 10.30am for a 10:45 am start.) It is expected that all Yr 12 students and their families will attend the special Mass on the 18th October and you would be most welcome to attend the assembly.
I wish our Year 12 students and their families a special and memorable time during the last phase of their secondary school journey.
Next Full School Assembly
All Parents are warmly invited to attend this term’s assembly on Monday 22nd October 2018. I ask you to please report to the office at 10:30 am so you can be allocated a seat. The main focus of the assembly will be, as in past years, the school’s farewell to the Year 12 students.
Wednesday 24th October 2018 – normal classes
Please note that this day is not a holiday for our students – classes will run as normal. As you are aware, this is the day of the annual “Geelong Cup.” Some schools are taking this day as a holiday; we are not as we take Melbourne Cup day instead (together with the day before.)
As some schools are taking Geelong Cup off, there was a question over what school buses will run on this day. The Region’s School Bus Coordinator has informed our Bus Coordinator that buses will run on this day for our students. I would suggest that students should check with their driver just prior to the day, particularly those on buses that carry students from other schools, in case there are any special arrangements being made due to less students travelling on this day.
Opening of the Geelong Tech School
Very positive news for secondary education in the Geelong region with the official opening of the Geelong Tech School on Tuesday. Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney opened the state-of-the-art Geelong Tech School, the eighth of 10 to open under the State Government’s Tech School initiative.
At the opening, Mr Merlino said, “We need students to be ready for the jobs of the future and that’s why we’re investing in Tech Schools – so they can get the hands-on learning with technology they need. The Geelong Tech School will form an important link between our schools, TAFEs, universities and industry.”
One of our Year 11 Maths/Science students, Sophie Skuza had the honour of being co-Master of Ceremonies for the Opening. Sophie did a tremendous job. It was great to see Sophie along with many other students from a variety of Geelong schools being involved in the celebration and promotion of this new facility.
Located at The Gordon Institute’s Geelong campus, the Tech School will give Geelong’s secondary schools access to the latest technology and programs that will support schools to better equip students with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future.
At the new Geelong Tech School, there are purpose-built spaces for students to collaborate, practice design thinking and participate in high-level problem solving, as well as design spaces where students get hands-on experience using specialised high-tech STEM equipment.
Geelong Tech School programs will be offered free to local students and will align with local industries most in need of skilled workers, including healthcare and social assistance, transport, defence and construction technologies and professional, scientific and technical services.
The Geelong Tech School has a web page on The Gordon website and can be viewed at http://www.thegordon.edu.au/future-students/gts
At Saint Ignatius College, we are considering how we can use the facilities of the Tech School to enhance our student’s STEM skills. I represent the Geelong Catholic Secondary College Principals on the Committee of Management of the Tech School. One of our Science Teachers, Mr Michael Brown, is a member of the Curriculum Committee. Planning is underway for how our students’ learning in the STEM area could be enhanced by accessing the Tech School.
One example that is currently being developed as a trial program involves two of our Yr 8 DigiTech classes. Mr Brown is working with Barwon Water and the Geelong Tech School to design a project that requires robot design and construction to solve a real-life problem such as the unblocking of a drainage pipe. The two classes will be involved in this pilot program during this term. Also in term 4, all Year 7 students will undertake a day excursion to visit the new Tech School as part of their DigiTech subject. We look forward to further developing our involvement with the Geelong Tech School for next year.
The series of three images in the attached photo gallery are:
Photo 1: Sophie Skuza with Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney and Minister for Police and Water, Lisa Neville
Photo 2: Sophie Skuza with Geelong Tech School Director, Leanne Collins and SICG Teacher, Michael Brown
Photo 3: Sophie Skuza with her parents, Zenon and Magdalena Skuza
Drysdale Bypass – map for pedestrian route and project letter update
Work on the construction of the Bypass has commenced.
Consequently, there will be access restrictions to enable construction works to proceed and ensure safety for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.
The Major Road Project Authority (MRPA) has identified a safe route for pedestrians walking between the College and the closest public bus stops.
The MRPA has provided an update about the Bypass project progress. You can download this letter by clicking on the link below.
Parents to note MRPA information provided.
Parents to inform their student about the pedestrian route and discuss safety in regards to the construction works.
See the MRPA letter for contact details.
Below are PDFs of the Drysdale Bypass Site Map and the Drysdale Bypass Construction Commencement letter:
Michael Exton Principal
As we return to the College for the final time in 2018 we enter our final journey for the year. For some it is the last part of a six year journey from which they will embark on new academic or employment ‘journeys’ as they finish their final year. For a third of our Year 9 students their camp experience will include journeys with that will challenge them physically and mentally as they rock climb and hike around the Grampians.
The other groups will also be challenged as they kayak and mountain bike across the state. At the College we also think about staff members Alicia Deak and Caleb Ryan as they complete a Camino across Spain. Journeys are often more than getting from one place to another. Often journeys challenge us and we grow because of this experience. When this happens we have completed a pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages have been a central component of faith for people over many thousands of years. Pilgrims generally travel light, pray often, reflect upon life and God, have a destination that offers a deeper connection with God and an open heart. Pilgrimages allow people to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary.
Although we may not all be able to participate in the pilgrimages at this time we can engage in pilgrimage in our daily life and in doing so experience a closer relationship and understanding of God.
D.I.Y. Pilgrimage Guide
1. Get outside – make a decision to break out and experience the beautiful gift of nature that we are so fortunate to have. You might head to a beach, a dedicated path or simply walk out the door and keep walking.
2. Get moving – experiencing movement through activity brings us to a deeper awareness of the magnificence of our bodies. This perfection is often something that we overlook. However, as God knitted you together in your mothers womb (Psalm 139:13), He was well aware of the complexity and perfection needed so that your body might do all that is required.
3. Clear your mind – make an attempt to remove distraction. You will find that this will take some effort. We are so ‘busy’ that we do not often stop. But to truly seek God we need to ‘be still’ (Psalm 46:10) and take time to listen for the movements of God in and around us.
4. Be open-minded – As you journey try to do away with what you think God will ‘be’. You may find that God offers himself in a moment of beauty, such as a sunset. He may offer himself as that small inner voice or movement that offers a connection or insight through your conscience. He may simply offer you peace.
5. Reflect – When your journey ends, whether it is long or short, take the time to reflect and offer thanks. In doing so you make good your relationship with God and will be encouraged to journey again.
St Ignatius of Loyola was a great pilgrim. After his recuperation he traveled across Spain to Manresa. This journey changed him and opened his heart to God. This journey changed his inner nature, the exclusion of what was ordinary and a commitment to seeking God changed Ignatius’ outlook and allowed God to be better witnessed.
At the conclusion of his pilgrimage across Spain, he spent nine months at Manresa where he committed himself completely to seeking God. Forsaking everything else, he was able to ‘find God’ and most significantly personally experience God. During this time he reflected upon his experiences deeply and recorded ‘The Spiritual Exercises’, which we continue to practice today.
I believe his most profound understanding from this period was Ignatius’ understanding of ‘God in all things’. With this thought in mind we are inspired to look at all we encounter with the expectation that we will see God. This leads us to bring peace to all whom we meet and enables us to live every moment in silent but prodigious prayer.
I hope that this week you might be inspired to enter into a DIY pilgrimage of your own.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Twenty-two Indonesian language students from Years 10 and 11 joined four staff (Ms Julia Hall, Mr Joe McLean, Ms Elana Cole and Mrs Caroline Edmonds) to explore Jakarta and North Sumatra. The trip began in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, where we explored sites of national importance, including MONAS (Monumen Nasional), Istiqlal Mosque and the state Cathedral, as well as one of the cities massive and impressive shopping malls.
As we slowly grew acclimatised to the hot and humid weather, we them embarked on the epic road trip section of the trip. Flying into Medan in North Sumatra, we headed down to Bukit Lawang, in the Gunung Leuser National Park, where we spent a day in the jungle exploring and looking for orangutans. We were lucky enough to find several, including a big male and several females with their adorable babies.
From Bukit Lawang we also visited Tangkahan. Originally a logging village, when the locals realised the damage being done, they collectively decided to stop illegal logging and transform the area into a self-sustained ecotourism destination. It’s now home to several rehabilitated adult Sumatran elephants and their small calves. By joining the elephants in their morning bathing, we were very pleased to support the local initiative, which also helps to safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment. And how many people can say they’ve had an elephant wash them back!
We then powered on to the shores of Lake Toba, a natural lake occupying the caldera of a supervolcano. Samosir (the island that happens to be bigger than Singapore) occupies the middle of Lake Toba, and we took to a boat to explore the villages of Ambarita (featuring ancient megalithic furniture and catchy Toba Batak dancing) and Tomok (with traditional tombs combining Christian and animistic beliefs).
The group made lots of new friends everywhere they went and seized every opportunity to build their language skills. Well done to all students involved:
William Bothe, Lucy Carpenter, Madeleine Crothers, Maeve Dungey, Tex Hallam, Jasmine Hay, Bella Harry, Emily Henry, Kaidyn Henry, Guy Herbert, Lucy Irving, Luke Lawson, Dana Lourie, Sean Malone, Mikayla Michels, Ruby Moreland, Nikita Page, Andrew Power, Hannah Scott, Thomas Smith, Maggie Van Bakkum and Natalia Wilcox
Ms Julia Hall Learning Area Leader - Languages
What the students had to say:
Wow! What an experience. Indonesia is an amazing country with a vast amount of opportunities. We trekked for orangutans in the Sumatran jungle, visited the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, washed and fed fruit to elephants in a river, scaled a colossal Jakarta mall, donated a cheque to conservation organisations while conversing with native speakers throughout. I am grateful to the College for allowing these opportunities to take place as well as to Ms. Edmonds, Bu Cole and Mr. McLean for accompanying us on this journey and for their great care of us. I am especially thankful to Bu Hall for her organisation, humour and enthusiasm, making the trip a highly memorable experience.
That it was the best trip, and that you don't expect everyone to be so welcoming but the locals are so friendly and lovely that they make you feel safe and welcome.
Maggie Van Bakkum
It was incredible to go to so many different places with in 12 days. It was awesome to visit the country that I have been learning the language of for 5 years.
After being lucky enough to visit Indonesia through the school's Indonesian program, I feel as if my language skills have improved immensely and I have also developed new friendships and perspectives on different cultures as a whole.
An Evening with Christine Nixon
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