Saint Ignatius College Geelong
Welcome to the new school year!
I welcome all families to the new school year at Saint Ignatius and welcome you to the first fortnightly College Newsletter. I trust you will find this publication very informative, interesting and helps you feel better connected to College life throughout the year.
After the period of preparation for the beginning of a new school year, I along with my colleagues were excited and pleased to welcome our students back to school. Last Monday 1,314 students, including 250 new Year 7 students and 17 new students across other year levels, commenced the 2019 academic year. Each year the number of College enrolments increases. Last year’s beginning of year enrolment number was 1,279. We are well planned for this growth and ready for a great new year of learning.
As well as many new students, there are twelve new staff members and five returning from leave. Welcome to:
Mr Jason Broadbear Health & Physical Education Learning Area Leader & Teacher
Ms Emily Caleo Maths & Science Teacher
Ms Emma Cuthill English & Religious Education Teacher
Ms Kate Kearney Food Technology Teacher
Ms Jennifer Peters Assistant Business Manager
Mr Brenton Reid Digital Technology Learning Area Leader & Teacher
Ms Latasha Slocombe Science & Biology Teacher
Mr Michael Tod English & Religious Education Teacher
Ms Lisa Turner Learning Support Officer
Ms Rhea Walker Theatre Studies & Drama Teacher
Ms Olivia Whitehead Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Ms Belinda Wilson Art Teacher (Term One)
Ms Heather Davis Religious Education Teacher
Mr Peter Grull Maths & Science Teacher
Ms Allison Hill Health & Physical Education & Science Teacher
Ms Michelle Santuccione English & Drama Teacher
Ms Narelle Spencer Indonesian & Humanities Teacher
A complete 2019 College Staff list is available here:
2019 Saint Ignatius College Staff List PDF (124 KB)
2019 Saint Ignatius College Staff List PDF (124 KB) 07-Feb-2019
All reports indicate a very good start to the academic year. I recognise the effort parents have gone to in preparing their daughter/son to commence the new year on a well organised and positive note. I acknowledge the work my colleagues, teachers and school officers, have done to ensure we have begun well. I encourage high expectations for students and affirm the effort they will have put in to set themselves up for a smooth start to the year.
Our first major event, a full school assembly will be held tomorrow morning. I invite all parents and friends of the College to attend this assembly. Please report to the school office at 8:50 am so a seat can be organized for you before the 9 am commencement in the College Gym.
Full School Assemblies are a significant and vital aspect of our community’s and in particular, our students’, school experience. Parents and special guests are also invited to attend assemblies. Each assembly has a primary focus. There will be seven assemblies this year:
Fri. 8th Feb. (9 am – 10:30 am) – Encouragement of academic achievement
Tues. 2nd April (9 am – 10:30 am) – Student led assembly (includes Easter Liturgy)
Thurs. 16th May (10:46 am – 12:46 pm) – College annual theme
Wed. 31st July (9 am – 10:30 am) – Feast Day (our Ignatian ethos & identity)
Mon. 21st Oct. (10:46 am – 12:46 pm) – Farewell to our Year 12 students
Fri. 8th Nov. (9 am – 11 am) – Student Leadership (includes investiture of leaders for 2020)
Thurs. 21st Nov. (7 pm – 9 pm) – Mosaic (College Annual Celebration evening)
A significant positive influence on student outcomes is parental involvement in and support of school programs. Over the last few years, there has been a high attendance of parents at our Information Evenings, and I want to encourage this to remain as part of our community’s support of an active learning culture for our students.
Parents are also most welcome to attend school events this term as follows:
Parents helping their children succeed at school
With the commencement of the new year, I provide the following thoughts from “Principal’s Digests” (Volume 19 Number 4) to support parents as they contemplate their approach to helping their daughter/son have a successful school year. In most cases these points may just reinforce what many parents already do among many other effective ways of supporting their child.
“Let your child see you making mistakes."
Parents are their child’s first teacher and their lifetime teacher. Part of being a lifetime teacher is teaching your child how to deal with making mistakes. When you make mistakes, let them see that you can deal with it so they will know you can move on easily.
Use e-mail to keep in touch.
E-mail is a great way to reach your child’s teacher without having to play phone tag. E-mail is great for teachers because they can have a record of a conversation or print things out to put in a student’s file as a reminder. If parents are hearing where their students are struggling, they should feel comfortable talking to the teacher about it. Teachers want to know when students need more help. It’s essential that there’s much positive communication going back and forth - from “your child did a great job today” to hear that students are talking at home about what they’ve learned in school.
Don’t tell your child that you weren’t good at maths.
Parents might feel intimidated by the thought of helping children with their maths homework, especially in the upper grades. Never say, “It’s okay, I’ve always been bad at maths, too”. You would never say that about reading. Maths is here to serve you, not to trip you up. It’s here to make life easier, and a lot of that can start at home with parents showing that they’re not intimidated by numbers. Try to relate it to daily activities, whether it’s calculating statistics at a sporting event or working out the cost of groceries. Capitalise on those day-to-day things where maths comes up rather than drilling children on maths facts. That way you’re really engaging them and letting them see how what they’re learning matters in life.
Get organised with a colour-coded system
Older students are expected to be more independent and manage their assignments themselves, but as they transition from primary school, they can find it hard to keep track of everything. Try using colour-coordinated folders and notebooks to help students keep their material for different subjects organised.
Check their homework, and then ask them to explain it to you
It’s not enough to just get the answers right. To make sure your children aren’t guessing or spitting back memorised information, ask them to explain what they did and why. Even if parents don’t understand quite what the student has done, you know that the child has completed the task. If the child has actually to explain what they’re doing it lets the parent know their child’s level of understanding and also helps the child learn more deeply.
Don’t compare your child with others
This applies to all children but is especially crucial for students who have learning disabilities or other special needs. Don’t put pressure on the child to be just like the child down the street. There’s no such thing as the child that’s like every other child. Every child is different. They all have strengths and weaknesses, they all have talents and challenges.
Help your child make connections to literature
To help your child get the most out of books, focus on problem-solving, social skills and life experience.
For instance, take your children to the zoo (life experience). Teach them to ask an adult for help (problem-solving) or to hold the door for others (social skills). With an arsenal of these skills in place, they will be able to relate their own life experiences to those of book characters, improving their comprehension. If they don’t have these life experiences, and we ask them to make deeper connections to literature, it can be hard for them.
Middle school and high school are not the time to take a more hands-off approach
Just because your children are getting older doesn’t mean it’s time to put them on auto-pilot. This is the point in their lives when they’re trying to sort out who they are. Peer pressure is intense, and their connectedness to school can wane. When drugs, bullying, peer pressure and skipping class become more rampant, that’s when your teenagers really need you, your support and wisdom and your rules and values. Remember they are always looking out the corner of their eye to see what you are thinking and how you are reacting. You show them how an adult deals with life.
Don’t do everything for your child
Sometimes it’s faster to do things yourself than wait for your child to complete a task. However, by doing everything for them, you’re not preparing them to take care of themselves. If your child is having trouble with something, such as organising his backpack, stand next to him and have him do it while you talk him through the process. This goes for time management as well. Parents can empower their children to think for themselves and be more responsible for themselves. They need to figure out: How do I juggle all of the activities and classes but not have to rely on Mum and Dad to step in?
Ask about your child’s day
Stay involved in your child’s education. Even small things, like asking children what they did in school, can be the difference between a child who unplugs at the end of the day and one who continues thinking about what was learned. If a student goes home and everyone says one thing they did that day, repeating it to anyone else in the house will help them remember it. If they say, ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘I don’t know,’ ask them something specific: ‘What did you do in science today,’ something that will get them talking about what they have learned.”
We are looking forward to a rewarding year as we work together to nurture the growth and development of our students.
Best wishes for 2019,
Michael Exton Principal
A new year has begun!
Welcome back and for those new to our community welcome. I trust that the first few days of school have been positive for you and every member of our College. I know that the students have started very well and are adjusting to new classes, course and expectations. This is such vibrant and happy time of the school year.
Although so positive I also know that we are in the ‘honeymoon period’. By the time we get to week four many of use (staff, students and parents) find that the energy can drop off and that we can retreat into safer ‘old’ behaviours or outlooks. Change is challenging and we often find it hard to maintain the focus long enough to bring about long term reform. Often in education we see students enter the year exceptionally well and then by the end of the first term see this energy wain. When this happens students often falter and go back to safer behaviours or attitudes.
As adults we as parents are similar. We being a new year with so many goals. By the time the first month of work and family life has ended most of the things we determined to change or work towards have fallen by the wayside.
The problem of wanting to go back to what is safe and easy is not new. In the early Church we read of Christians who wanted to go back to their old beliefs. Exodus is the ongoing story of Moses encountering this problem over forty years.
In considering the difficulty of change I would like to offer a parable of sorts. There was a Spanish Captain called Hernán Cortés who in 1519 landed at Veracruz, Mexico. On landing his troops refused to follow him into the unknown. They were rightly fearful of this strange land and its aggressive inhabitants. Cortés responded to these fears by opening the barrels of rum on the beach and when all were accounted for signed to his trusted leaders, who remained the ships. At his signal they burnt the ships! Cortés is recorded as saying to his men at this moment, “If we go back, we will go back on their ships!”.
This is truly an amazing story. In considering the story its worth thinking about the men who sat on the shore watching their only link to home burn before them. Their desire to stay on the ships and return to safety is natural. They did not want to go back to the ships because they were so luxurious. In reality they were dirty and prone to disease. The food was poor at best and the work they had to do was very hard. But it was a link to the past and a chance to return to what was safe and known.
What Cortés did changed their lives and in fact world history. Burning the ships is an excellent image for us to being the year with and may well help us achieve long term and ongoing change. We can apply this image to our school/work life, our personal relationships and in our relationship with God.
Take a moment to reflect upon your life at this present moment and the changes you hope to make this year. Then determine the choices that need to be made to achieve each of these goals. Then burn the ships! Remove the opportunity to return to what is safe. In doing so you will find that when the commitment wains or the energy drops you can still move forward.
Consistency is the key to change. A little bit often, combined with a commitment to a goal ensures success. By also ‘burning the ships’ you cannot go back. This is always a good thing. We were made for growth. We only become whom God knows us to be if reflect upon how we can be more and give more if we push on.
I would also like to note that at our combined Geelong Secondary School staff Mass at St Bernard’s, our Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards offered the homily. He encouraged us as teachers and support staff to, "Do ordinary things with great hope". This advice supports the actions of Cortés. If we refuse to go back to the ordinary and what is safe, and seek to reach our goals by making progress with hope the commitment will not waiver. This year make change with the hope that you can achieve anything you set your mind to in the presence of Our Lord. Our hope is found in Him.
As you enter into this new year I pray that you will find the time to reflect upon your life, discern what is best for you and those around you and that with courage and faith in God you apply the logic of Cortés in your life. In doing so you will find the fullness of life offered to you by the only person whom this fullness can be found in – Jesus.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
The Saint Ignatius College Senior School Expo is on Monday 18th of February starting at 7pm at the College. The Senior Expo Night is all about choice, helping you to get the information you most require without having to sit through areas that may not relate to your daughter or son.
Each Year Level will conduct a session to begin the evening. You must select the Year Level your daughter or son is currently completing and attend this session first. All Year Level sessions will begin at 7.00pm. At the conclusion of this presentation parents / guardians will then attend two workshops that are specific to their needs. Refer to the attachment for detailed descriptions of each workshop.
All bookings for each session must be made through CareMonkey, Year 10, 11 & 12 parents / guardians should have received this notification yesterday. There will be a number limit for each session. Please ensure you record the workshops that you have selected.
The PDF for the Expo program can be viewed below. We look forward to seeing you there.
Mr Michael Timms
Senior School Expo 2019 PDF (2984 KB)
Senior School Expo 2019 PDF (2984 KB) 05-Feb-2019
Congratulations to our Year 12 students
I congratulate the Class of 2018 on their achievements. I thank them for their contribution to our school community. Their education has provided them with a solid foundation for their future success and contribution to building a better world.
I look forward to hearing about their successes, adventures and contributions to our society in the years to come. Each of them has many gifts and talents, and I encourage them to go forward “to love and to serve” and make the most of the wonderful opportunities awaiting them.
I congratulate all of our Year 12 VCE students who received their results on Friday last week. I am very pleased to report that overall our VCE results are again very impressive. Many students achieved results of which they can be very proud. Their perseverance, knowledge, skills and effort resulted in an achievement that met or exceeded their expectations. In particular, I congratulate the 2018 College Dux, Callum McWaters with an impressive ATAR of 97.5.
Some key statistics about the 2018 VCE results are:
11.2% of our students who applied for an ATAR received a rank above 90
31 was the median study score
6.3% of our students received study scores of 40 or more
Congratulations to the following students who received an ATAR of above 90:
Lara Barnes, Leah Bensted, Isabella Borley, Matthew Clark, Mackinley Collins, Rachel Deane-Teggelove, Keira Ford, Chloe Hayes, Ronan Healy, Olivia Hewitt, Annabel Hooper, Dominic Randall, Madison Smith, Bridget Waring and Matson Waring
VCE coordinator, Ms Anna Oliver, provides some more detail about the VCE results in her article in this newsletter.
I would also like to congratulate our VCAL students on completion of their VCAL certificates. At the last staff meeting of the year, Ms Kirsty Allan (VCAL Coordinator) shared with staff the variety of pathways undertaken by these students. Many have secured fulltime apprenticeships, others will be undertaking further education and, some have obtained employment.
With the VCE results published and VCE or VCAL certificates obtained, some students may be looking for some support, and I remind students and parents that our Work and Further Education Coordinator, Mr Bruce Connor (email@example.com) is available to discuss plans with any student who would like some advice.
The ‘results’ of all of our students reflect their commitment to learning, the hard work and encouragement of their teachers and the love and support of their parents and families. I wish our Class of 2018 all the best for their futures.
Semester Two Reports
I hope parents have taken the opportunity to access your daughters / son’s Semester Two report via the Parent Portal by now. I trust that this document records achievements, identifies strengths and areas for improvement and acknowledges effort. I encourage parents to make some time with their daughter/son to reflect on progress this year in the light of the report and lead the conversation towards setting some goals for 2019.
Transition to Year 7
The 2019 Year 7 Orientation Day held on Tuesday last week was very successful. We welcomed 250 students. There was a very large attendance of parents on the morning for the parent orientation meeting as well.
As has been our practice we offered a “Singles” orientation morning on the previous Thursday. This was to better prepare Grade Six students who were the only student from their primary school or who had been identified as benefitting from spending some time at school prior to Orientation Day. This was well received judging by the uptake and appears to have contributed very positively to the success of the main orientation day. I thank our Transition Coordinator, Ms Tory Wood for her leadership and management of the Singles and Orientation Days. Also, thank you to incoming Year 7 Coordinator, Ms Leonie O’Brien for her work to ensure both days went very well.
Potato Shed 2019 Season Launch
On the evening of Wednesday 5th December, I attended the Potato Shed function to launch the 2019 season. Ms Kaz Paton (Manager Arts & Culture, City of Greater Geelong) introduced the new season’s program and Rob McLeod and Lisa Warrick, who both manage the Potato Shed, ran through what to expect each month. The program covers a range of performances and is well worth a look; we are very fortunate to have the availability of a variety of performances at a quality local venue.
Please check the Potato Shed website for information about this program at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/potatoshed
A number of teachers will conclude their term in a Position of Leadership (2016-2018.) On behalf of everyone I thank them for their leadership and management in the role they held as follows:
Mrs Jane Alexander (Healing the Earth)
Ms Sarah Callahan (Humanities LAL)
Mr Ben Collyer (YLC, Year 9)
Ms Lesley Falconer (Literacy Coordinator)
Mr Anthony Gravener (Community Services)
Ms Kerry Horbowsky (Technology - Materials and Systems LAL)
Mr Byron Mitchell (Off-Campus Activities Cpprdinator)
Ms Anna Oliver (VCE Coordinator, HPE LAL)
Ms Karen Perkins (Director of Teacher Development, Strategic Data Leader)
Mr Caleb Ryan (RE LAL)
Ms Annaliese Wandersmith (Assist. Daily Organiser)
Ms Kristin Williamson (Acting Food Tech LAL)
Ms Tory Wood (YLC, Year 7, Time & Space and Transition)
We will publish the names of the Position of Leadership (2019 - 2021) holders in next year’s first newsletter.
On behalf of the College community, I thank the following contract teachers for their contribution to the teaching and learning of our students and farewell them with our best wishes: Ms Meagan Canaway, Mr James Fox, Ms Simone Martin, Mr David Rock, Ms Andrea Smith and Ms Catherine Thistleton.
I also thank Ms Anna Oliver for her work over many years. Ms Oliver has held the positions of VCE Coordinator, Health & Physical Education Learning Area Leader and Acting Deputy Principal over the years. I wish her and her family all the best for their futures.
Three staff members will be taking leave for next year. I wish them all the best:
Ms Deanne Hedley (away for 2019)
Ms Tenille Thomson (parental leave)
Ms Tory Wood (away for term one)
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 first school assembly (“Academic Assembly”) of the year will be held on Friday 8th February (9:00 am to 11 am) at our College gym. All parents are welcome to attend. Please report to the office at 8:50 am so a seat can be organised for you.
Merry Christmas & happy new year
As this is the last newsletter of the year, on behalf of the College I wish all families a very happy and holy Christmas and safe and restful holiday break. Thank you to all members of our Saint Ignatius College community for your contributions and support during the past year.
Michael Exton Principal
As the year concludes, we enter into the last week of Advent. We joyfully await the coming of Jesus and the time spent with loved ones. The school year has ended and soon we will all be enjoying a well-deserved rest and some extended time with family and friends. This last week for many is the pinnacle of the year, with the end of the working year and vacation. There is a lovely synergy with this excitement and the coming of Jesus which we prepare for throughout Advent.
Christmas and the New Year are times of initium novum (new beginnings). To be able to encounter new beginnings we must review the past and discern a path forward. I invite you to enter into this Ignatian context as you read the following, prepare for Christmas and consider the future.
At this time of the year we should all pause to consider the year that has passed and all of the experiences we have had. Set aside some time to review the year from beginning to end. It may be helpful to write down all of the memories and experiences that you recall.
Consider: What was good about the year? What was challenging? What new things did I see and do? What skills do I have now that I did not at the beginning of the year? Who did I help? How have I grown? Where did I find God in my journey? Who helped me? What hurt me? What or who was I unable to forgive? Who cared for me in a way I did not expect? How have I become more whole?
Being more aware of the year that has passed I encourage you to take some time to celebrate what you have found; both positive and challenging. Life consists of a mosaic of experiences that bring us joy and sadly pain. Being human and in experiencing the fullness of life we are exposed to infinite experiences and emotions. Therefore, we are called to celebrate every experience – ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Consider that even the ‘bad’ things in our lives bring about growth and in turn good. For Ignatius the ‘bad’ came in the form of a cannon ball. Without that terrible event would Ignatius have had an alternative conversion experience? In the bad there is always some good that can be found. Reviewing your reflection of the year take some time to celebrate everything that has passed – ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Combined, these things make living what it is and that in itself is worth celebrating.
Pause to consider the following reading anew in light of your own reflection and ‘celebration’:
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”… …the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Reflect upon what you have found in re-reading the above and celebrate your year as the shepherds did the arrive of Jesus.
Gratitude is a noble virtue and one that can be cultivated. Take a few moments to give thanks to Our Lord for the experiences of the past year. Every day you are offered a myriad of choices and experiences that may or may not be connected. The great gift of free will allows you the grace to decide how you will enter into the day. In light of these thoughts spend some time giving thanks for the year that you have lived and all of the experiences both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. It may be helpful to view the less positive or painful moments by seeking the growth that occurred or by identifying those who cared for you or offered their love during these times – for these things we should surely be grateful.
As we await the coming of Jesus at Christmas take a moment consider the gifts you bring into the world and the lives of others. What joy do you bring to each day in the way you live your life and love others? What can you do in the future to share your presence and love more freely and completely? Who do you need to seek and offer mercy, love or forgiveness? The greatest gift you have to offer is in fact yourself.
Pause to consider the following reading anew in light of your own reflection and the ‘gifts’ you offer:
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem… …and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Reflect upon what you have discovered in re-reading the above and continue to seek those whom you have gifts to offer.
As Christmas draws near I hope that you find the reflection offered helpful. I also hope that you have been able to reflect upon the year and make a connection between what we await and all that has occurred in your life. Each day we have the opportunity to live our lives more like the vision God has of us. As we await the coming of Jesus we are called to reflect on what has passed, who we are and who we are able to be. I wish you well on our journey and pray that you enjoy peace, joy and contentment with your love ones over this holy time and your vacation.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Congratulations to all Year 12 students on their successful completion of secondary schooling. The Saint Ignatius VCE students received their study scores and ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) on Friday December 14th, 2018. 16 students received an ATAR over 90, which places the academic achievements in the top 10% of students in Australia. Sophie Skuza (current year 11 student) achieved the highest study score, 49 (out of a possible 50) in Units 3 & 4 Psychology, which is an exceptional achievement for an acceleration student.
The College ATAR DUX was received by Callum McWater with a score of 97.5. Callum is hoping to study Biomedicine in 2019. Callum has been an extremely dedicated student for all his years at Saint Ignatius and has received academic awards at the College Mosaic evening each year.
Dominic Randall achieved an ATAR of 96.15 and he is hoping to gain entry into the Global science and technology program in 2019. Dominic participated in the College LEAP program in 2018 and he also help out his friends playing guitar for their Music Performance examination.
Chloe Hayes achieved an ATAR of 96.05 and has applied to study Occupational Therapy in 2019. She is an extremely hard working student and this year was no different in the time and effort she dedicated to her studies.
Mackinley Collins achieved an ATAR of 95.7 and after deciding mid-year that biomedicine wasn’t her future pathway, she has applied to study electrical and electronics engineering at university.
Lara Barnes achieved an ATAR of 94.8 and she wrote the following after receiving her results:
“Throughout year 12 I learnt how to find a manageable balance between work, social and school life. I thankfully discovered I didn’t have to sacrifice enjoying extra curricular activities to be able to put in the time and effort needed to my schooling. My favourite subjects were biology, english and physical education and it is largely due to the amazing teachers that I was able to actually enjoy school and achieve results that I was proud of at the end of the year, as they provided ongoing support and encouragement.”
The Waring twins studied different subjects in 2018 and according to mum, Tracey, were super competitive all year. Matson achieved an ATAR of 92.65 and Bridget achieved an ATAR of 90.3. Both Matson and Bridget have applied to go to university in 2019, Bridget is hoping to gain entry into a Psychological Science degree whilst Matson is hoping to completed a double degree in Engineering and Commerce.
Ronan Healy (ATAR 91.4) and Matthew Clark (ATAR 91.25) both hope to gain a place into engineering degrees in 2019. Matthew is hoping to have a focus on environmental engineering whereas Ronan is aiming for a double degree with Science.
Madison Smith (ATAR 93.2) and Rachel Deane Teggelove (ATAR 91) are hoping to study Biomedicine and Optometry respectively.
Annabel Hooper (ATAR 90.25) and Keira Ford (ATAR 90.7) have applied to study International studies and Laws/ Global Studies respectively in 2018. Both girls studies a language in 2018 which should aid them in their future studies.
Leah Bensted achieved an ATAR of 90.6 and is hoping to study Teacher education – primary in 2019. She wrote the reflection below on her final year at Saint Ignatius College:
“I was so excited to find out my ATAR! I could not believe I had done so well!
I really enjoyed year twelve, particularly Indonesian and Theatre Studies, however all my subjects were brilliant. I want to say thank you to all my subject teachers, and also to Mrs. Oliver and Mr. McLean for all your support. I could not have gotten through the year without you guys!
Next year I am hoping to study Primary Education at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, and I am really looking forward to it!”
Congratulations to all VCE students on their year of study at Saint Ignatius College.
Mrs Anna Oliver VCE Coordinator
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
Scholarship Applications Open Today
2019 Academic Assembly
An Evening with Christine Nixon
Book Collection Day 2019
College House Athletics Carnival
College House Swimming Carnival
College Office Opens 2019
End of Term 1
Labour Day Public Holiday
Open Day 2019
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Scholarship Applications Close Today
Senior School Expo Evening
Start of Term 1 2019
Start of Term 2 2019
Year 11 Wellbeing Day
Year 12 Retreat
Year 7 'Welcome Mass'