Saint Ignatius College Geelong
How well do you think our College is travelling? What are we doing well? Where can we improve? At Saint Ignatius College we are committed to ongoing improvement. We use data from a variety of sources to monitor how we are performing and to inform our planning. For many years we have used the Catholic Education Melbourne’s (CEM) School Improvement Framework (SIF) as the basis for our improvement planning. Each year the consultancy company, “Insight SRC,” conduct surveys of parents, students and staff based on the SIF.
It is time again to conduct our annual surveys. The eldest student from each family should have brought home an envelope which contains the confidential log-in details for you to go online to complete the parent opinion survey. We need as many parents as possible to complete this online survey. Please note, the school is not privy to any specific answers as your responses go directly into a database that is managed by “Insight SRC.” The log-in details have been randomly assigned, and your responses cannot be identified. By completing this survey, you will provide valuable data that “Insight SRC” will analyse. We will use the resulting report to monitor the College’s progress and inform our improvement planning. The survey must be completed by Friday 24th August 2018.
I can readily point to many positive outcomes as a result of our strategic planning over recent years. Some of these include the following:
Moreover, of course, the pride, involvement and achievements of our very impressive students who have responded positively and constructively to the improvements and opportunities available to them are tremendous positive outcomes. The students are a credit to their families and their school.
Many of these achievements or levels of performance can be relatively easily quantified, measured and reported. There are many, many other essential things that we value and strive for at a deeper level that are not easily measured. They cannot be quantified, or we may not see the results of them until many years later on. As an Ignatian school, we are striving for the development of young women and men of:
The ‘Strategic Intent’ of our current School Improvement Plan (2017 – 2020) is to develop further:
It is crucial we do not rest on our laurels, and I recognise that there are areas in which we can and need to improve on. We want to ensure that we are continually reflecting on our programs and procedures and taking action to improve what and where we can. I urge all parents to please take the time to provide feedback through this survey. This will provide valuable data that will help the College Executive with school improvement decisions that will ultimately lead to improved learning outcomes for our students. Thank you in anticipation of your support for this important survey.
Michael Exton Principal
It seems as though Western society has reached a crossroad that will determine the future direction of our society. Survey after survey indicate that we are working beyond our limits and that balance required to feel content is not attainable. No matter what industry is investigated in our society people report that they feel as though there is not enough time and too much is being asked.
Compounding this trend, we may note that family life has also changed in recent decades and has added to the ‘work’ completed each day. No longer do children participate in their favourite sport or activity and learn an instrument. Today children from pre-school onward participate in multiple sports, learn an instrument and complete ‘homework’ of various kinds on a weekly basis. Life can seem chaotic and rushed.
For families what suffers is the sense of togetherness. Although families may be at the same place the connection being experienced is often not personal. Many parents are involved as a volunteer in schools, sporting clubs and community groups. Because of this it may seem that the predominant role of a parent today is as a support member who also serves as a taxi service, rather than a parent who loves and is present.
When I look back I remember that I did much less than my children do today. In particular I remember that I felt bored from time to time. Although I didn’t enjoy then as I reflect today I understand that it has served me well. Being bored roughly translates to not having anything that immediately requires attention and that the people and objects around you do not provide the stimulus required to move into an activity that fills the feeling of boredom.
Boredom in-fact may more correctly by defined by the word silence. Silence is multidimensional and can be experienced either positively or negatively. When we feel bored the silence is bleak. We are agitated and feel a need to fill the silence. The silence may be literal or metaphorical. When we find we have no plans and that nothing on offer can entertain us we experience a form of silence. In our society today however I note this is a rare experience. After all, if you find yourself in such a situation social media and any number of entertainment streaming platforms are designed to ensure that there is always something to occupy your attention.
Therefore, we must conclude that literal silence is what our society has lost. A period where distractions are removed and we truly enter in silence. We seem so busy that there is never a moment to stop, let alone experience silence without making a concerted effort. The practice of mindfulness is making inroads and offers society a simplistic practice that is secular and achieves the goal of bringing the attention to the present moment. It is in experiencing the present moment we experience the silence we need to balance our busy lives.
Mindfulness is attractive also meditative practice as it can be completed through contemplation or in action and is thus adaptable. Because of this it is more accessible to people in their daily lives than more formal methods. Through the practice of mindfulness, we are beginning to reclaim a practice that predates civilisation itself and is authentically human.
As religions developed over time the practice of meditation was a normal part of life and not religious as such. Similarly, spirituality also was intertwined with daily life and in a reciprocal manner strengthened meditation as meditation strengthened a person’s spirituality. Through experience and enlightenment humans developed deeper understandings in accordance with revealed truths and theology came to be. To support these new concepts rituals and doctrines were developed to assist people so that they might live a holistic life. However, our capacity to reason and analyse became the lens from which all life and human endeavour is viewed and because of this the spiritual, including religion moved to the periphery of life, especially in the Western world.
In spite of this there is good news. Through our Tradition we can reclaim what has been lost in practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us in a simple way experience the silence that we need. By focussing upon the present moment we can reclaim the balance. When we sit with the silence we will also glimpse the movement of God in and around us. Although mindfulness is a secular practice it’s inherently spiritual for those of faith. When we sit in the silence we experience that moment within ourselves, externally and in communion with God.
The earliest Christian communities developed an awareness of life that we in the modern world have forgotten. What is lost can be reclaimed and is ours as sons and daughters of God. An ancient mystic known as John the Solitary was a hermit monk who taught that:
“God is silence, and in silence is he sung by means of that psalmody which is worthy of Him… …There is a silence of the tongue, there is a silence of the whole body, there is a silence of the soul, there is the silence of the mind, and there is the silence of the spirit.”
Silence is God and silence is the worthy praise of Him! When we enter into silence we find that it has depth. Silence is not that lack of sound. Silence, when experienced, is better defined as quietude; a state of calmness and quiet. By being mindful and experiencing the present moment in the silence we worship God who is present with us and as John the Solitary taught we offer the true prayer that is worthy of Him – complete attention and connectedness in and through silence.
Saint Ignatius in his own way teaches the same. Although unless we can reclaim the silence and the time required we may not be able to engage in his practices and receive the benefits they offer. As we seek to move towards a deeper experience of Ignatius’ methods we might begin by using mindfulness to reclaim some of what has been lost and build into our day the opportunity to develop it further. Building a habit that we can use as a base is the beginning from which we can proceed to bring about more silence and allow God to be with us intentionally. Inspired by this we then have the opportunity to go further and Ignatius offers us a way to do so.
As society grapples with the challenges of work-life balance, in a world so different from even a decade ago we are comforted knowing that we can make change. Through the practice of mindfulness each person has a tool that is accessible, achievable and mischievously open to the presence of God. When we enter the silence we find him effortlessly and are drawn deeper and deeper into his love. In making time to be mindful we can become more spiritual and in a positive way seek what we may in the past have viewed as boredom. Boredom is of course not simple silence it is the lack of attention to the present. In the present we experience life and all that is truly real.
I wish you well as you work to bring about the balance in life that is needed and encourage you to begin wherever you are comfortable and are able to make the time for. Mindfulness can and should be embraced, as it will bring about a positive outcome and whet your appetite for more. The ‘more’ we will then seek is the presence of God whom we were born into through Baptism.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Congratulations to all students from years 7-9 who participated in this years’ Education Perfect English World Championships from July 25th to August 1st. This competition run through the Education Perfect company, sees students from across the globe compete in English Literacy Skills challenges in an attempt to win prizes, out-perform other competing schools and of course, gain invaluable extra practice and development of personal literacy skills. Many of our students participated in this event during school hours and at home resulting in great success for individuals and the college.
Education Perfect World Championship Results
10th Overall Globally out of 1,327 schools
6th Overall in Australia out of 938 schools
1st Overall in Victoria out of 246 schools
Well done to all students who participated in this exciting competition! It is the individual commitment and enthusiasm that you demonstrated which are the vital skills for success in the future.
Special mention goes to the following students who reached higher “Award” levels.
|Student||World Ranking||Points||Award Level|
These innovative single evening programs are part of some special transition events that we offer our Year 7 and 8 students and they are happening here in our school community during the last weeks of August.
The programs have a whole range of memorable moments that include carefully guided interactions with other fathers and students. Fathers will emerge from the night reassured and impressed by the way our students are able to speak up and share insights about their lives. And be assured that the night is fun too… full of activities and conversations that will make us smile.
Media attention often feasts on the reality that some famous sportsmen and celebrities fall short of being good ‘role-models’ to our boys… but we are confident that the best role-models are much closer to home.
‘Stepping Up’ taps the very best resources in our own school community… the dads (or grandfathers, older brothers or uncles) of our boys. Be part of this innovative single evening program that gives a signpost to each boy about the best ways he can ‘step up’ to be a good man.
Year 8 Fathers and Sons Evening
Tuesday 21 August 2018
To register please: Visit the link http://bit.ly/SICG-2018
Or get the registration link emailed to you: firstname.lastname@example.org
She is growing up and the opportunity to reflect on the joys and challenges of this time in your life and her life, is one not to be missed.
This is a special night for the girls as they witness the fathers discussing the importance of their role.
We think that the girls seeing and being part of a gathering of fathers and mentors with this good intent, helps them to build their profile of a good man. This is a great night for seeing how you handle the ‘letting go’ process as they start to forge some independence.
Year 7 Fathers and Daughters Evening
Thursday 23 August 2018
To register please: Visit the link http://bit.ly/SICG-2018
Or get the registration link emailed to you: email@example.com
See the flyer for more details:
'Time & Space' Evenings 2018 (108 KB)
'Time & Space' Evenings 2018 (108 KB) 14-Aug-2018
Last night I attended a joyous celebration at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne. The Cathedral was overflowing with people who had gathered to welcome our new Archbishop, Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli (Ninth Archbishop of Melbourne) at the Liturgical Reception and Solemn Mass. The Mass was a wonderfully uplifting Eucharistic celebration and a very warm welcome for Archbishop Comensoli as he began his ministry in the Melbourne Archdiocese. He succeeds Archbishop Denis Hart who was Archbishop from 2001 to 2018.
On behalf of our College community, I express our gratitude and best wishes to Archbishop Emeritus Denis Hart for his dedicated leadership and service to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and wish him every blessing for his retirement.
I welcome Archbishop Comensoli and look forward to when he can visit our College. I wish him all the best for his new role as a shepherd of God’s people for our diocese. Archbishop Comensoli has asked us to pray for him, and the prayer card provided at the end of the Mass at the Cathedral had the following beautiful prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
St Ignatius of Loyola
You can find more information about Archbishop Comensoli at the following webpage: www.cam.org.au
Construction of the new Geelong Tech School well underway
Travelling along La Trobe Terrace in Geelong you may have noticed building works at the Gordon site. The Gordon’s city campus has some landmark buildings that signal you have arrived at central Geelong and here is the city location of Geelong’s well-known longstanding TAFE provider. Some of these buildings are being refurbished and will result in an enhanced landmark statement about the Gordon’s presence as a significant Geelong education provider. The State Government has provided funding towards this “City Campus Rejuvenation Project.”
Another significant and welcome addition to the Gordon’s site will be Geelong’s new state-of-the-art Tech School (building image in the Gallery in this article) that Geelong’s secondary schools will be able to access to support their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning programs. Like nearly every other Geelong secondary school, Saint Ignatius College Geelong is a ‘partner school’, and we look forward to our involvement with this exciting facility. The Geelong Tech School is one of ten being built across the state as part of the State Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative. The Tech School is being hosted by the Gordon and is also currently under construction and will be ready for opening later this year. The Tech School’s striking facade will also have a noticeable presence at the corner of Little Malop Street and La Trobe Terrace and add to Geelong’s reputation as having a strong education sector.
The Geelong Tech School will focus on supporting Geelong secondary schools with developing their students’ STEM skills. Ensuring students have the opportunity to develop their STEM skills is very important because many of the “jobs of the future” will rely on workers possessing these skills. In this context, the focus of STEM includes learning skills such as being able to think critically, communicate clearly, work collaboratively and embrace technology.
The programs will be aligned with industries that are predicted to experience strong economic and employment growth in our region and include:
The Geelong Tech School has a web page on The Gordon website and can be viewed at www.geelongtechschool.vic.edu.au
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 in term four. Also in term 4, all Yr 7 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.
Mr Michael Exton Principal
Yesterday we celebrated the feast day of our patron St Ignatius of Loyola. It was a wonderful day for us as a community to come together and celebrate our College and remember St Ignatius. The day was not just a break from the routine, but a chance for us to come together and reflect as a community. By being together in an informal way we are able see things in a different way. At the College we put much effort into prompt thinking around giving back, by acknowledging our privileged position and our ability to make change in the world during the day. We also seek to open up a conversation about who St Ignatius was and why we celebrate his life and legacy on the day.
It is interesting to note that we celebrate feast day on the day St Ignatius died (31 July 1556), which may seem strange to some. However, in doing so we do not celebrate the fact that he died as such. What we celebrate is that on this date he returned home and entered into a different phase of his eternal life. Ignatius is a beacon that we look to as a guide both through his life story and today in heaven, connected to us through the communion of saints.
On feast day we celebrate both the life and legacy of St Ignatius. From the outside looking in it may seem that he is in some way being worshiped by the community. After all, on feast day we talk about him, pray to him and for him. He is not an idol however. This may be a temptation for some because St Ignatius lived a life that we can truly relate to and understand. In his early years he was egotistical and vain. These traits lead to his injuries at Pamplona and a period of reflection and conversion. Many of us can see links as to how the life of Ignatius is similar to our own. In knowing Ignatius we also make use of the spiritual legacy that he offers which provides a way we might develop our faith. For us as a community we do not idolize St Ignatius, but we do celebrate and commemorate his life and his legacy. Ignatius might correct those who do not understand by saying, “Not me but Him!”.
When we consider feast day we find that what we celebrate is that Ignatius leads us to Jesus. He offers us a bridge that connects what we know and experience in the modern world to the Risen Lord. Ignatius was proclaimed a saint because of his life, the revelation he experienced and offers in his spiritual exercises. His connection with the Trinity is what we strive for and in knowing Ignatius we find a way to develop the same connection he had through his legacy.
A profitable way to understand Ignatius’ vision and teaching is to consider the ‘principle and foundation’ of his spiritual exercises. This teaching articulates a number of profound insights. It begins by stating, “The human person is created to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord, and by so doing to save his or her soul”. Ignatius’ primary view point is that we are created and have therefore an innate desire to seek and follow God. The text furthers this in stating that other created things have been created to help the individual to achieve the end for which they have been created and that we can achieve this only through the freedom offered by God. He concludes this overview by saying, “…but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created”.
On feast day these points are what we celebrate. Through the teachings of Ignatius, we are more able to find God in our daily lives. We celebrate his life as an example of how we too might be able to come to know God as he did. We also celebrate his sainthood and the fact that he intercedes on our behalf with the Father.
Throughout the spiritual exercises Ignatius identifies Jesus as the way to reach the goal we have been created to achieve and in so doing the gift of consolation. When we celebrate St Ignatius life and his legacy, we look to him as a beacon whom may guide us to know Jesus intimately and live as he taught. In following the teachings of Ignatius we are able to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus, live in a manner that changes the lives and prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life where we will be reunited with the Trinity and all who have lived and will live in the future; including Ignatius.
As we reflect upon feast day and move forward towards the end of the school year we are further inspired by St Ignatius because of our celebrations yesterday. We are encouraged to understand his teachings more fully and implement them into our lives for our benefit and for the benefit of others. In doing this we are guided towards Jesus and a profound awareness of his presence in our lives. As a community we strive to understand St Ignatius as a person and a saint whom we are connected to and guided by. I hope these thoughts inspire you to see through the eyes of Ignatius as we remember him this week.
Yours in Chirst,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Molly Cross, Year 12 student, with the support and encouragement of Ms. Alicia Deak, Ignatian Coordinator & Social Justice Coordinator and Mrs. Anna Oliver, VCE Coordinator & PE Coordinator, will be our first ever student to go on a ‘Cardoner Project’ Immersion Trip.
The Cardoner Project is a not-for-profit, student-focused hub for volunteering, founded in 2010 by Jesuit priest, Fr David Braithwaite SJ.
Its mission: To deepen the human, spiritual and intellectual formation of young adults, grounding them in a love of the poor in the service of the Church.
Next year Molly will be participating in two immersions to Guatemala and Belize for a total of five weeks with other young graduates from Jesuit and Ignatian schools around Australia.
These immersions are organised and run by "The Two Wolves Abroad", an initiative of the Cardoner Project. The Cardoner Project is a Jesuit young-adult ministry and not-for-profit student-focused hub for volunteering. It was established in 2010 with the mission to deepen the human, spiritual and intellectual formation of young adults, grounding them in love of the poor in the service of the Church.
Fr David Braithwaite SJ, CEO of The Cardoner Project notes that "By providing transformative experiences of service, we are creating Australia's next generation of leaders as companions, faithful and dedicated members of society".
This will be an extraordinary experience for Molly to engage with other young men and women formed in the Jesuit model of loving service for poor and most vulnerable and continue her formation in this tradition. Molly will be the first graduate of Saint Ignatius College to participate in the Cardoner Project and we hope that she will inspire other Saint Ignatius students to consider dedicating their time and efforts to a similar formative overseas experience with "The Two Wolves Abroad".
More info. on The Cardoner Project (a Jesuit organisation) can be found at: http://thecardonerproject.org/abroad/
Molly has set up a go fund me page to help raise some money for the trip. Some may like the opportunity to support her. The link is: gf.me/u/j3mc82
Pictured with Molly is Ms. Alica Deak and Isaac Demas SJ who visted our College recently.
Isaac Demase SJ was born in Maryborough, Queensland, and grew up in Lemnos in Victoria. He lived both at St Mary’s and Newman College in Melbourne as a university student. He trained as a school teacher and worked at the FCJ College in Benalla, Victoria before joining the Jesuits. Isaac took First Vows at the beginning of the year and is currently studying Philosophy at the University of Divinity. He visited Saint Ignatius College Geelong on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th July and spoke to the Year 8 students about the Jesuits, the role of Jesuit Mission and his time in East Timor.
Ms. Alica Deak Ignatian Coordinator & Social Justice Coordinator.
Round 4 of the Debaters’ Association of Victoria’s (DAV’s) competition for schools in the Geelong Region was held on Monday 23rd July. Once again, Geelong Grammar hosted the evening’s program of fixtures.
SICG was strongly represented in the D Grade competition by Year 8 students Adisa Fabiano, Luca Martino, and Emily O’Kane. They took the affirmative position against the team from Clonard College, with the topic being: “That employers should adopt a four-day working week.” Students worked steadily on their preparation in the weeks leading up to the debate and explored many facets of the topic whilst conducting their research. Although Clonard scored the points on this occasion, our students spoke very well and special congratulations are extended to Luca Martino for a great performance in his first formal debate. I am very grateful to Ms Brooke O’Brien for her continued support of these students. Debaters from Years 7 to 9 are currently preparing for their final fixture on the topic “That we should impose mandatory minimum sentences for all violent crimes.”
In the A Grade program, our team was given just one hour to prepare their case in a secret topic debate against Geelong Grammar. The secret topic format is always a challenging experience, as students cannot access any digital devices for the hour and they cannot be assisted or coached by teachers. Students developed some good arguments against the proposal “That we should privatize the ABC.” Anthony Zanghi (Year 11) opened our case with some sound points in a clearly structured speech. Leah Maffescioni (Year 11) continued our case and presented some solid rebuttal. Kyle Wig (Year 12) spoke exceptionally well, delivering a comprehensive rebuttal to conclude, and was deservedly named best speaker for the debate. Our students can be proud of their efforts despite a very narrow loss. The team’s final fixture will also be a secret topic debate.
The DAV’s Junior Secondary Program commences in September. Students who have registered for this program will have their first lunchtime meeting here at school on Monday 3rd September, with their formal training night on Thursday 20th September, at 7:00 pm, at Clonard College. Participants will receive further information over the next few weeks.
Ms Andrea Dart Debating Co-ordinator
Building Project commences!
I am glad to inform you that our much-awaited building project has commenced. These works are located on the vacant land on the south-east corner of the College’s property. The builders have fenced the site, set up their site sheds and started the earthworks. This is exciting news as we look forward to accessing the new Year 9 and Multi-Purpose Centres mid next year.
For your information, I have included some of the architect’s diagrams and drawings with my message (see the photo gallery) and some details about this project as follows.
Builder: Commercial Industrial Construction Group Pty Ltd (CICG)
Architect: Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects
Design & Construction Cost: $14M (approx. overall)
Funding: The College is very grateful for State and Commonwealth Governments Capital Grants towards the cost of this building project.
Timeline: Commence 16 July 2018 and Finish - Mid 2019
If you require further information or have any questions at any stage, please contact our Business Manager, David Fitzgerald.
This massive building project will provide our students with tremendous new facilities that will significantly enhance their learning environment. It will also make a strong statement about the College’s presence as an outstanding faith and learning community. We have been on the site here at Peninsula Drive for 21 years. For the last eleven years, we have proudly grown as Saint Ignatius College Geelong. These new facilities will mark an important step forward in the development of our College. It will be symbolic that, as we begin this new chapter, our new Multipurpose Centre will enable the students and staff to meet together again as a community under the one roof. Also, after many, many years of classes in relocatable rooms, future Year 9 students can look forward to learning in wonderful, attractive and purpose-designed learning spaces.
College Feast Day
Tuesday 31st July is a special day for our College community - the day we celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, the College’s patron saint. All students are expected to attend school on this day and join in the spirit of the day by fully participating in the special activities that have been organised.
Parents are most welcome to attend the Full School Assembly on this day. Please report to the office at 9.00am so that seating can be organised for you. This assembly in the gym will finish at about 10.30am and morning tea will be provided for parents and friends of the College.
We have a formal College assembly once each term. This term’s assembly date has been specially chosen to coincide with our feast day. At the assembly, we will acknowledge staff service (10, 15, or 30 continuous years) to the College community, hear from the students who attended the recent Jesuit and Companion Schools Immersion trip to East Timor and present Loyola awards to some students.
Following the assembly there will be a variety of activities organised for students to participate in for the rest of the day. As some of these activities may be of a sporting nature, all students are required to wear their correct Sports Uniform on this day.
The canteen will be open at both recess and lunch times. Students can order lunch (“red” foods allowed on our celebration day) from the canteen and there will be a variety of food vans present on the day as well.
Previous years’ feast day celebrations received overall very positive feedback. We are hoping that this day will continue to be a special one in the culture of the College over the years and indeed a day the students and staff look forward to and celebrate – a very positive community building event.
Year 7 enrolments 2019
I am pleased to report very strong interest in the College continued again this year with many more applications than places available for next year.
The support provided by the students, staff and parents for the Open Day & enrolment promotion program was a valuable/vital contribution to this success – thank you. The very positive reputation of the College is a commendable result of the commitment of our students, staff and parents to our College community and its continual improvement.
Due to the large number of applications received, with the College Board’s support, I applied to Catholic Education Melbourne to take an extra stream for 2019 (only.) I have enrolled 250 students (ten classes of 25 students) for Year 7 next year.
Any enquiries about enrolment can be made to the College Registrar, Mrs Gail Myers.
Michael Exton Principal
Human beings have a great need for evidence. Signs and symbols are quantifiable and offer us a tangible value or measure that signifys the ‘real’ existence of what it represents. In our Church we have thousands of signs and symbols that remind us of our faith and connection to God. The most significant and ongoing points of difference in Christianity since the Reformation has been the continued use of symbolism within the Roman Catholic Church. For Catholics signs and symbols are evidence of the transcendent and evidence of the eternal connection that exists between the eternal Church.
Over the holidays we received word of some preliminary results of the archeological excavation on the Andersons Road hill, as part of the Drysdale Bypass project. The most significant find at present is a 5,000-year-old stone axe. Credit must be given to Vicroads and their sincere effort to protect and preserve potential sites of historical Indigenous significance as this project is completed. In approaching the task with respect we as a community and more broadly as a nation are able to learn more about our past through the sign/symbol of a simple stone axe.
To put this find in perspective we might consider the history of our Church. When the axe that has been found was deposited on Andersons Hill there was no Church, Christianity was 3,000 years in the future. In fact, Judaism had not begun! The axe was left some 1,500 years before Abraham (Abram) was called by God. Although there was ‘religion’ at the time the axe was left on the hill none of those ‘religions’ remain today; except for the religion(s) of our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.
Although we do not know the exact religious understandings of Australian Indigenous people 5,000 years-ago we do know that there was religious behaviour. The Mungo woman is one of the earliest known cremations, occurring some 42,000 years-ago. In the years between the Mungo woman’s cremation and the time the axe was deposited it’s highly likely that Indigenous spirituality and religion had developed to, or very close to, what we know of Indigenous religious belief and practice today. This find is therefore exceptionally important in both an historical and religious terms.
That simple stone axe found on Andersons Hill is a sign of existence. An intelligent human once walked this land and used simple tools to enhance their ability to survive. That person is an ancestor of us as a nation. That person did believe in a creator – Bunjil. That person was created by our God and loved by him. We also know through faith that that person is connected to us today as a Church through our belief in the Communion of Saints – in death the spirit of that person came back to God and is with him in heaven today!
To Indigenous people this find is further evidence of their connection to this ‘country’. This is further evidence of the Wadda Wurrung (Wathaurong) people’s ancient presence in this place. More so it’s evidence of something more than an ancestor or place. This symbol is quantifiable evidence of something that is transcendent. It is a start. It raises questions that we need to explore and discern a response to.
Does this axe offer us an insight into the ancient burial practices of the Wadda Wurrung people and their religious beliefs and practices? Does the axe indicate a significant meeting place or sacred site? Is this object an example of ‘sacrifice’ similar to the Celtic offerings of important items in accordance with spiritual belief? Was this axe simply lost in swampy ‘bunyip’ land?
Although conclusions will be reached in time once detailed academic research is completed what can be known now is that the axe is a sign and symbol that is of great importance to us at the College. Today we as a community are a voice for respect and justice. In this context we are called to advocate for our community, especially the Indigenous community who since European settlement have so often been ignored, and excluded. Just as the symbols we have as a College remind us of our Traditions, history and belief the axe that has been found has the potential to do the same for the Indigenous community. Further, it also might be a symbol that we as a whole community can value, discuss and respect.
As we consider this find and what it does and might offer us, we might observe a subtler transcendent sign. This axe was found during NAIDOC Week. Was the timing of this find the work of the Holy Spirit? Indigenous people might see the work of their creator Bunjil at work here as he watches over them. After 5,000 years this axe was discovered during the week we as a nation celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At the least this axe has prompted us to question and has opened up a conversation that helps us in our obligation to seek reconciliation as a society.
The big question in the local community at present is “Will it slow the progression of the Drysdale Bypass?”. The answer I offer is, in light of the likely cultural, historical and religious nature of this find – I hope so! With respect to every Australian I truly hope that every precaution is taken to continue excavations at a pace that ensures the integrity of further potential objects that symbolize our shared and largely unknown history.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
We celebrate significant events like Birthdays, Baptisms, Christmas Day and Easter but why do we celebrate a Feast Day or why do we even have Feast Days?
In the Christian religions a Feast Day (or ”festival” day) is when a special Holy Day has been set aside to commemorate the life of a saint. On a Feast Day there is a celebration by holding special prayer services and having a rest from work.
Tuesday 31st July is the Feast Day of St Ignatius of Loyola. It’s the anniversary of his death but rather than being a sad day it’s regarded as a special day each year when Jesuits and Jesuit friends around the world celebrate his life.
At Saint Ignatius College Geelong the celebration of Feast Day includes:
Part of the focus of Feast Day is to celebrate the life of St Ignatius. There is also a focus on raising awareness of how we can get involved in programs and activities that “give back” and help those less fortunate.
Mr Paul Lewis Deputy Principal
A student staring at the wall when she/he should be doing their homework assignment; a student who still won’t do her/his homework even when she/he’s in danger of missing out on something for not doing it. In such cases, it appears that these students lack motivation, but according to Jessica Minahan1 the reason may not be what might think. She points to one or more of these aspects of executive functioning:
Accurate thinking – assessing how difficult a task is, how long it will take, and one’s ability to do it;
Initiation – organising one’s thoughts and getting started;
Persistence – sustaining effort in the face of errors and difficulty; and
Help-seeking – knowing when to ask for support.
These are some of the mental skills that help us to get things done and are collectively referred to as ‘executive function.’ These skills are controlled by the frontal lobe area of our brains.
The use of punishments and rewards won’t likely help develop these skills or improve students’ behaviour for those whose lack of motivation may be affected by their mental skill level and could lead to students feeling misunderstood and rejected. You would not be surprised that Minahan suggests using a “training wheels” approach. As they undertake learning tasks, we need to make accommodations as students learn how to think accurately about challenges, get going, persist, and ask for help. If we remove the supports when students are first learning to ride a bike before they are ready, they’ll crash. To prevent this for our students, in helping your daughter/son with her/his learning tasks you could use some of the following ‘supports’ at home:
Break tasks into smaller pieces with their own deadline
Give step-by-step instructions
Use colour coding
Use graphic organisers or mind-mapping
Follow a daily homework schedule that builds time in for breaks
Make sure that assignment tasks from school are recorded
Talk with your daughter/son’s teacher about accommodations and informal supports that you can make
Improve the home working environment- assist the student to organise their workspace and minimise clutter
Provide two types of information - provide the student with written (or visual) instructions as well as oral instructions
Demonstrate processes and praise the use of effective procedures as well as effort on task.
Helping students at home with schoolwork can be a challenge for families. However, it can also be an opportunity for parents to find out about what their daughter/sons are learning at school and to support their learning. Student learning is improved when they have opportunities to share and practise at home what they are learning at school.
Parents don’t need to have all the answers when their daughter/son has difﬁculties with her/his schoolwork. And in secondary school, parents would not be expected to know the answer to all schoolwork problems. As you would understand, in most cases, it would not be helpful in the long run if parents simply provide the answer. It is far better for parents to help by guiding learning and thinking and supporting their daughter/son to try for her/himself.
In just the same way that “training wheels” approach provides temporary support to a novice bicycle rider, parents can also support their daughter/son’s learning. Showing students how to learn by developing their mental skills and a growth mindset, will make it more likely that they will succeed.
1. “Move Forward” by Jessica Minahan in Educational Leadership, December 2017/January 2018 cited in “Principals’ Digests Newsletter 8, 2018.”
After a short term one, we knew we were in for a long term two, however, it seems to have gone so quickly, and I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of this term! There wouldn’t be a week that goes by without many varied and valuable activities happening at the College on top of the academic program that makes it such a vibrant learning community; no wonder time flies.
Our students have been very busy finishing assessment tasks and undertaking tests or exams to finish-up the semester. Teachers have been very busy with corrections and writing the Semester One Reports.
These reports will be available online through the parent portal from 5 pm on Monday 2nd July 2018. We do not have scheduled Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences to follow-up on these reports, however, parents are most welcome to contact teachers early next term to make a time to discuss student progress in response to these reports.
On the last day of this term, Friday 29th June 2018, the students will be dismissed at 2.20pm due to the special school bus timetable for the afternoon of the last day of term two. We will run six shortened periods so that all Friday classes will have some time on the day.
Please note that classes for term three resume on Tuesday 17th July 2018. (Yr 12 VCE students will complete a mid-year English exam at the College on Monday 16th July between 9 am and 12:15 pm.)
Monday 16th July 2018 will be a Staff In-service day. Teachers will be attending the Geelong Catholic Secondary Schools Professional Learning Day - ‘Growing teacher expertise to improve student learning’ at the Italian Social Club at Moolap.
Dr Simon Breakspear will facilitate the day. Dr Breakspear is well known in education circles. He is the founder and Executive Director of Agile Schools and has advised educational leaders from many different countries about managing change, developing innovation capabilities and driving continuous improvement for better learning. In particular, he will be facilitating the use of “Learning Sprints,” a practical approach to support teachers in continually enhancing their practice as they strive to improve student learning outcomes.
I am grateful to Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) for supporting this initiative. CEM are sponsoring the day and representatives will be on site observing the delivery of the day.
CEM are providing printing, technical and other related support including payment of the facilitator.
Another outcome of the day will be the strengthening of relationships between the Geelong Catholic Colleges.
Best wishes to Year 10 students as they undertake their Work Experience placement this week.
The aims of the program include the following:
to build self-confidence and independence by learning to cope with new situations and new people;
to learn about the changes taking place in society and the workplace;
to learn practically;
to explore a variety of career opportunities and decide how these relate to the student’s interests, skills, values and goals; and
to prepare students for life after school and provide an insight into the world of work.
Some Work Experience positions were made available through school; however, students and their families were encouraged to use their initiative to secure a suitable and interesting place themselves. When I signed the Work Experience forms, it was interesting to see the diverse range of placements that our students have been able to obtain.
Thank you to Mr Bruce Connor (Work and Further Education Coordinator) for his efforts to coordinate this program and Mr Brendan O’Brien (YLC) for his support in this area and the Yr 10 Teachers involved.
On Sunday, two of our Year 11 students, Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury, travelled to Dili, East Timor with a group of Year 11 students and teachers from Jesuit and Jesuit Companion Schools from across Australia. This “immersion” experience for the students will involve them visiting the Jesuit school and touring some of the surrounding areas. They will return late in the first week of the holidays. I wish them all an enriching and safe experience.
We look forward to finding out about Maddie and Sam’s experiences through the newsletter early next term.
After much collaboration and organisation undertaken by the senior Student Leaders of all four Geelong Catholic Secondary Colleges, this evening a Winter Charity Ball will be held at Croatian Community Centre, Cox Rd, Nth Geelong.
The Ball is only available to Year 12 students from Clonard, Sacred Heart, Saint Ignatius and St Joseph’s Colleges. Parents/guardians need not attend, however, staff from all four colleges will be in attendance to supervise. The evening will commence at 7:00 pm and conclude at 10.00 pm.
Individual travel arrangements will need to be made between students and parents/guardians. We ask that parents/guardians support the College by dropping off and picking up their son or daughter from the venue by the start and finishing times indicated.
Any profits generated from this event will be donated to ‘Ocean Mind,’ a local group that runs programs (“therapeutic surf courses”) for youth experiencing difficulties.
The Winter Ball will be an alcohol-free event with all school rules being applied.
Please note that we don’t want students to have to purchase expensive clothing to be able to attend this social event. Students are asked to dress in neat attire appropriate for a semi-formal/formal evening supporting this event.
Year 12 Students interested in attending have received a letter from the College Captains and Mr McLean (Year 12 Level Coordinator) explaining the Winter Charity Ball in more detail and a parental permission slip that needs to be completed.
I wish all students a restful break and encourage them to spend some time revising and preparing for next term. In particular, VCE students should be using some of this time to revise the work-covered to-date, preview and prepare for the work ahead and complete any set work given by teachers.
Michael Exton Principal
Faith Matters – His Name Is John
Last Sunday we celebrated the birth of St John the Baptist. As Fr James Puppady continues his recovery from chronic laryngitis he asked if I would be prepared to offer a reflection for the Youth Mass at St Thomas in-lieu of his homily. I agreed and thought it might be a timely and fitting addition to the newsletter as we wrap up the semester and seek to become a community who like John proclaim Jesus in the modern world.
Nativity of John the Baptist – Reflection
As we celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist let us consider what we have heard. There are themes that are repeated in the readings that we should consider and apply over the coming week.
1. Before you were born God chose you and knitted you together in your mother’s womb. You are wonderfully made. Be grateful for you. You are unique and beautiful. Your body is an amazing machine that allows you the opportunity to anything you wish. You and only you are perfect for the role you have to play in God’s plan in this world.
2. We need to nurture and develop our faith. In the readings we see the great faith of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Your parents also have faith and seek to see this develop in you. As you grow seek to become aware of your own faith. Go out into the wilderness and speak with God. Ask for the grace to learn what his plan is for you. It took John thirty years to discern his vocation, do not be discouraged if God’s plan is not revealed to you immediately. The Spirit works deep within us and transforms us gradually.
3. Each of us are a light to the nations. You will change the world! You will bring Jesus into the lives of others. You are needed and are an indispensable member of the Church. Unknowingly people watch you and learn how to be Christ-like by the things you say and do. Be aware of the light you give off and how brightly it shines.
What stops us being like John? With these points in mind take a moment to consider why sometimes you do not speak openly about your faith and Jesus.
Maybe you feel as though you lack knowledge. On reflection I was just as capable of sharing Jesus with others before I completed any theological study as I am now. Don’t think you have to understand theology or the Church before you can spread the Good News. The Spirit will provide all the wisdom you need.
Maybe you feel that speaking of Jesus is not socially or culturally accepted. You may be right. But in speaking of Him and sharing your faith you will change the world. If we spoke more often about Jesus and his teachings about faith, mercy, justice, forgiveness and love not only would we change our perspective but also those around us and in turn the entire world.
Maybe you feel you don’t have the chance to be a prophet like John. But you can still act like a prophet in the things you do, the decisions you make and how you respond to others – especially those you don’t get along with.
As we reflect on the nativity of St John the Baptist we can learn much and be grateful for what God revealed to us in the reading this evening.
Remember no-one is better than you or more qualified than you when it comes to sharing Jesus in word and action.
The Lord called you before you were born and he knew your name. You are wonderfully made.
You must nurture and develop your faith.
You are a light onto the world.
I pray that you and your family have a wonderful break over the coming weeks, that you may find the opportunity to consider the reflection above and be inspired to proclaim your faith, and be moved to act upon what we believe.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Protecting the safety and well-being of children through the reporting and monitoring of absenteeism is the responsibility of both parents/carers and schools. Parents/carers have an obligation to notify the school of their child’s absence and schools are required to notify parents/carers on the day of an unexplained student absence. This responsibility needs to be underpinned by shared understandings and expectations about the procedures for the promotion, monitoring and follow-up of student attendance as outlined in the College Attendance Policy.
Clear communication and building a positive and collaborative relationship between schools and parents is critical to the successful implementation of same day notifications.
The following outlines the College’s procedure in relation to student absences:
1. Notify the school of your child’s absence
Please remember to call the school on 5251 1136 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org early in the morning if your child is going to be away or late for school so your child’s absence can be recorded correctly. Notifying the school of your child’s absence either prior to, or on the day that they will be away, helps ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and will fulfil your legal responsibility.
For further information on the processes and procedures our school uses to record, monitor and follow-up student attendance and absence please read our Attendance Policy/Procedure, located on the website.
2. Same-day notification of unexplained student absences
Our school will text/call you as soon as practicable on the day if a student is not at school and you haven’t notified the school as to why. If you are notified by the school that your child is away without a reason, please contact us as soon as possible by calling the College 52511136 to let us know where your child is. If we cannot reach you then we will make contact with any emergency contact/s nominated on your child’s file held by the school, where possible, on the same day of the unexplained absence. This is an expectation under the Victorian Government’s new School Attendance Guidelines.
Please remember it is your responsibility to contact us to provide an explanation for your child's absence from school, and where possible, please inform us in advance of upcoming absences.
Mr Michael Timms Deputy Principal [Student]
As you may be aware, Queenscliff Parish Priest, Fr Michael Richardson will be retiring soon.
There will be a special Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Ocean Grove this Sunday 17th June 2018 at 10:00 am to celebrate his tremendous contribution to the Parish which covers Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and Queenscliff.
Fr Michael commenced as Parish Priest in 2002 and has faithfully served the southern Bellarine Peninsula community for the greater glory of Our Lord. Prior to his Queenscliff Parish appointment, Fr Michael served as Parish Priest at Mansfield (St Francis Xavier) from 1996 to 2002. Before then he provided twenty-two-years of dedicated service to Stella Maris Seafarer’s Centre in Melbourne.
During this time his service included Chaplaincy for the Melbourne Port and leadership as National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea in Australia. The ‘Apostleship’ is the Church’s missionary work to Seafarers whether they be on a merchant, passenger, war or fishing vessels, and provides spiritual, social and material welfare to Seafarers regardless of colour, race or creed.1
While at Queenscliff, Fr Michael has been one of our College’s Canonical Administrators. He has been very supportive of our College’s development. Fr Michael has celebrated many Masses for our students over the years and often attended significant College functions.
On behalf of our Saint Ignatius College community, I extend our gratitude to Fr Michael and our best wishes to him for his retirement.
Mr Michael Exton Principal
1. Sutherland, I. (2018). Apostleship of the Sea - Catholic Church in Australia. [online] Catholic.org.au. Available at: https://www.catholic.org.au/organisations-in-formal-liaison-with-the-acbc/apostleship-of-the-sea [Accessed 13 Jun. 2018].
Faith Matters – Consolation
What was the happiest moment in your life?
What was the best thing about your day?
What makes you happy?
Whatever your answers are they will be examples of the Ignatian understanding of consolation. St Ignatius used this term in his teachings about spirituality and described it as an experience of being on fire with God’s love. The feeling of consolation inspires a person to praise him and to reach out and serve others. Although Ignatius used this concept in relation to spiritual things humans are inherently spiritual beings and separating the meaning in daily life is not useful to us. Consolation as a theological concept is the same as the experiences that lead us to enter into the state of consolation itself.
To explore this concept and how it may inform our lives we need to be aware of how we might identify moments of consolation. Examples of consolation are often found in moments that elicit the emotions of happiness, joy, love, peace and humility. Ignatius guides us well in his teaching ‘God in All Things’ as this is an excellent framework from which to proceed. The theme helps us as we can experience God and consolation in and through created things. As all created things bare the mark of the Creator and therefore we can become aware of his presence and drawn into his company through every created thing we encounter.
We can also find God in the experiences created things afford. The object or event does not itself generate a state of consolation, however the experience of ‘it’ does. Although unique to our personal experiences, style and tastes we find moments of consolation in inanimate things or experiences like celebrations, meals, friendship, doing something well, the song of a bird, the beauty of nature, in hobbies, in helping others… The list is literally endless and distinctive to each of us.
Whatever leads us to moments of consolation we know from experience that the positivity and satisfaction we perceive lingers. After we experience consolation is stays with us. Sometimes its traces remain for days or weeks. Often when we recall a moment of consolation, or the reason for it, we can relive the juncture or experience vividly years or decades later. Ignatius knew this well and used this awareness as the basis for his Spiritual Exercises.
When we experience and come to know consolation we long to experience it all the more. As we mature we find that this is only possible if we seek the source of consolation. That person being Jesus, who is love and the source of all love. Gratitude then enables us to move from self-centeredness to an acknowledgment of the Trinity. In relationship with our triune God we are able to experience consolation in all moments and are compelled to offer gratitude unceasingly. But in time we are moved beyond this reciprocal paradigm and are inspired to serve others.
In serving others we go beyond our own experiences and enter into the life of others. Often in doing so we see pain and suffering that we would prefer not to be aware of or encounter. In helping others though we find that this service is in fact an immeasurable source of consolation. Jesus life and ministry teach us both how and why. Although we may think that we don’t see consolation clearly in the Gospel, it is actually hiding in plain sight. The complete union he had with the Father is a perfect observation of consolation.
Consolation, gratitude and communion with God is self-perpetuating. No matter where we begin in this theme we end up, in a cyclic manner, experiencing consolation more often, become more ‘human’ and become infinitely united with the Trinity. This alters our nature so that we begin to see through the eyes of Jesus and love with the heart of the Father. Consolation after consolation!
Over the next week observe everything through the lens of gratitude or be aware of consolation in your day. Notice the places, experiences and people that lead to these moments. Then offer gratitude. Meditate on the goodness of God and let his Spirit refine ‘you’. Have courage when you are called. Service requires fearlessness and confidence. It is through service however that you will find ongoing and unfathomable consolation. As you experience these things notice how consolation gradually becomes a regular experience and how it leads to ever-increasing gratitude and faith.
Meditate again on the questions that may help you acknowledge consolation in your life and incite a desire to consider how these thoughts might guide you this week.
What was the happiest moment in your life?
What was the best thing about your day?
What makes you happy?
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On June 4, the Year 12 Indonesian class participated in an Indonesian-language Model UN conference (Simulasi Kontrensi PBB). This year's topic was 'Achieving Gender Equality: Empowering Women & Girls', and our students represented four different countries, negotiating in Indonesian to agree on amendments to a draft resolution.
Ibu Spica Tutuhatunewa, the Indonesian Consul General for Victoria & Tasmania, opened the Conference Year 12 Indonesian, and afterwards our students had the opportunity to practise their Indonesian with her and find out about life as a diplomat. Throughout the conference, students from across the state presented position statements as to what they believed their respective country would agree or disagree with on a draft resolution. This then led into a moderated and un-moderated caucus session, where students argued for any amendments they wanted to make and tried to win the support of other countries.
All of this was conducted in Indonesian, and students enjoyed comparing their language skills with students from other schools as well as picking up some tips and tricks to improve even more. The process of finding allies, debating and voting from the perspective of their allocated country was challenging, but very rewarding.
Ms Julia Hall Learning Area Leader - Langauges
Some words from the delegates:
I really got into negotiating with other delegates. Keira Ford
Our country got all our amendments through - Selandia Baru forever! Brent Keast
It really put our language skills into perspective. Debra Lu
It was a very rewarding experience. Alexander Henry
Year 12 Unit 3 & 4 and VCAL Semester 2 Progress Conferences
College Woodwind Concert
End of Term 3
'Farewell to Year 12s' Whole College Assembly
Jesuit Maytime Fair
Jesuit Refugee Services Ration Challenge
Last Day of Term 2
Melbourne Cup Public Holiday
New Year 7 in 2019 Enrolments Close
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Semester 1 Reports
Start of Term 2
Student Free Day
Student Free Day
'Student Leaders Investiture' Whole College Assembly
'Time and Space': Year 7 Fathers and Daughters
'Time and Space': Year 8 Fathers and Sons
Timor Immersion: Pre-departure Information Evening
Timor Leste Immersion
VCAL Parent Information Evening
VCE Arts and Visual Communications Exhibition
VCE Music Soiree
VCE Unit 3-4 Practice Exams
VCE Unit 4 English Practice Exam
Year 10 Pathway Planning Day
Year 10 pathways Parent Information Evening
Year 11 Retreat
Year 11 VCAL Camp
Year 12 'Celebration' Day
Year 12 'Valedictory' Dinner
Year 12 'Valete' Mass
Year 7 Music Concerts
Year 7-12 Instrumental Music Night
Year 9 Expedition
Year 9 Expedition: Parent Information Evening
Year 9 'Thyme and Plates' Evening