Saint Ignatius College Geelong
End of term assembly
We gathered as a whole school on Tuesday for an Easter Liturgy and to review the first term and celebrate a number of achievements. College Vice-Captains, Heidi Bakker and William Palmer did a great job as MCs along with many other student leaders who helped run this assembly.
The Year 11 Theatre Studies class, under the direction of teacher, Ms Rhea Walker, provided a moving and thoughtful performance about the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus as a significant part of our Easter liturgy to commence the assembly. This highlighted for our students the significance of Easter as the highpoint of our faith story. During the remainder of the assembly, student involvement and achievement in a variety of areas were celebrated.
In my address to our students, I challenged the students to reflect on how well they have settled into the school year. Have they been making the most of their learning and co-curriculum opportunities? Have they established good routines and habits for getting enough sleep, exercising, organising their homework and contributing to the jobs needing to be done around their homes?
I encouraged each student to make a time to discuss their interim report with a parent to further support this reflection. Could I also encourage parents, if you haven’t already done so, to take some time to discuss this report with your son and daughter to affirm good progress and determine where and how improvements can be made? The Parent/Student/Teacher conferences yesterday and today will have supported this process. If you were unable to attend, you would be most welcome to contact teachers early next term if you would like to discuss your daughters/son’s progress.
There are many, many examples of commendable student individual or group achievements so far this year – well done to students in all of these cases. One individual achievement I highlighted at the assembly was that for the second year running one of our Year 11 students was awarded a Fr James Wall Bursary. This award is for leadership, achievement and community involvement and is worth $ 4,000. This year six students from Catholic schools across Victoria received this award. Last year our then College Vice-Captain and now Captain, Maddie Crothers was successful. I was delighted to attend a presentation evening in Melbourne last week where Vice-Captain Heidi Bakker was presented her award by Archbishop Peter Comensoli. Congratulations and well done Heidi!
Open Day, held on Sunday 24th March, was again very successful with a large crowd in attendance. Keen interest in the College continues.
As in previous years, a tremendous feature of the day was the number of students who came along on the day to help show-off their school. The way they interacted with our guests made a very significant positive impression of our College. Well done to two hundred and seventy students who were able to be present on the day, you were great ambassadors. Thank you to parents for supporting this.
Also, thank you to our Parents and Friends’ Association members who were very active on the day in many valuable ways.
Also, thank you to our dedicated staff for their work to present so many different aspects of our vibrant faith and learning community to the visitors. I congratulate Mrs Claire Hewitt (Development Manager) for her coordination of this event.
Drysdale Bypass update
Recently I met with representatives from Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and Decmil (construction company) to learn about the latest developments in regards to the construction of the Drysdale Bypass. I provide the following to inform you about some major changes that will be happening soon.
Key dates provided at the meeting:
Thursday 18th April 2019
From this day onwards, no road access to Peninsula Drive from Andersons Road. (Pedestrian and cyclist access to Peninsula Drive path from Andersons Road will still be available.)
Vehicles will access Peninsula Drive from Grubb Road. The Grubb Road/Peninsula Drive roundabout will be partially constructed.
Andersons Road Detour Map PDF (140 KB)
Andersons Road Detour Map PDF (140 KB) 01-Apr-2019
Monday 29th April 2019
Anderson Road will be closed. No access from Grubb Road. Access to Gillies Road from the west will be via Reserve Road.
Friday 31st May 2019
The Grubb Road/Peninsula Drive roundabout will be in its final construction (subject to favourable weather conditions.)
If you have any questions, please contact MRPV by calling 1800 105 105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As you are aware, the schools' precinct can be a hectic place just before and after school and more so with the construction of the bypass. Hopefully, the information in this message and in the email message I sent on Wednesday to parents will help you better manage travel to and from our College.
Uniform Term Two
Please note that all students are required to wear full winter uniform for terms two and three. As there may be some very warm days early next term, students may wear summer uniform on any particularly warm days up to Anzac Day with the blazer.
Please check the Student Planner for details about what can and cannot be worn. Please note that the summer shirt with logo is not to be worn as part of the winter uniform as it is not made to be worn with a tie. The College uniform long sleeve shirt is to be worn with a tie and is compulsory with the winter uniform for boys and girls. Also, the kilt must be worn no longer than mid-calf with navy blue tights or stockings.
Before and after school supervision
A reminder that the College provides supervision from 8:30 am each morning until the commencement of the Homeroom class at 8:50 am. Students arriving at school before 8:30 am should gather in the Information Learning Centre (opens at 8:00 am). Of an afternoon, supervision is provided for students catching a bus from the College from 3:05 pm until the departure of the last school bus at approximately 3:50 pm. Students waiting for a bus should remain in the Basketball court area or at the bus stop. The College Library is open from 8:00 am each morning and closes at 4:30 pm.
Congratulations to Teacher, Annaliese Wandersmith on the birth of Albert (Albie) Leo.
Thank you to Teacher, Belinda Wilson who has been covering Ms Wood’s classes while she has been on leave during term one.
Parents and Friends' Association meeting
The next Parents & Friends Association Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 14th May at 6:00 pm in the Food Technology Centre. I encourage all parents to consider joining this group that makes a tremendous contribution to our school community. You would be most welcome.
The Geelong Police Youth Resource officer has requested that parents be made aware of the Geelong Police Service Area ‘Eyewatch’ Facebook page.
Apart from posting photos/footage of suspects which the Police would like to identify, the Police also post valuable information concerning issues such as social media/cybersafety and upcoming events.
Commencement of classes next term
Please note that the first day for students in term two will be Wednesday 24th April 2019. The next day, ANZAC day on the 25th April will be a holiday. (Monday 22nd April is the Easter Monday holiday and Tuesday 23rd April will be a teacher in-service day.)
Best wishes for a happy & holy Easter
On the middle Sunday of the holidays, we celebrate Palm Sunday, the commencement of Holy Week. This special week is the final one in our journey through Lent. It is especially significant and sacred as it calls to mind for Christians the last week of Jesus’ life in preparation for his death and most significantly his resurrection.
Holy Week, and indeed all other events and seasons in the Church’s year, are a lead up to the most important celebration of the year and at the very heart of our Christian beliefs, Easter.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my message, Easter is the high point of the Christian year, the most important of our celebrations. Please consider taking your family to one of the many Church services over the Easter break to support your daughter/son’s faith development further.
I wish everyone a very enjoyable Easter, and I hope all students have a restful break with some time spent revising work and preparing for next term included.
Michael Exton Principal
Lately there have been a number of situations that have made me more aware of how much words matter. Words can affirm just as they can destroy. The way we interact with one another is visible not only in our actions but by the things we say or the way we speak of, to, or about others.
Words can be hollow and empty if not sincere or acted upon in some way. Conversely words can be powerful, even when they are devoid of a subsequent action. Words are not often devoid of intent or action. However, it’s often difficult to interpret the intent that someone has and therefore at times we speculate and judge the words offered by another based upon what we know or who we judge the other to be.
During Lent it’s worth spending some time considering words and the way in which they affirm our identity or expose us as not being the person we would like others to think us to be.
The term Catholic is not simply a noun. Being a Catholic is a verb. To be Catholic a person must act out their faith. The things we say, our action and the impression people have of us either validate our identity or are a thin veneer that disguises our selfishness or self-righteousness. During Lent we are called to remove the things in our lives that hold us back from complete faithfulness. We are encouraged to pray in a different way to renew our relationship with God. We are also called to give. How we give varies, but to truly give we need to make ourselves uncomfortable in some way.
As Easter draws near the following reading from John’s Gospel has been hovering over me, constantly prompting me to discern what it is that needs attention. These words have something in them that are deeper than what is offered, but what is going on here has been elusive and something is prompting a deeper exploration of what is hidden.
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants[d] any longer, because the servant[e] does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”
The message is simple: follow the commandments of Jesus, sacrifice for others and love as he did. This is a wonderful reading during Lent. But there is something more going on here. There is a word that is different that grabs my attention. The word is abide. A strange but lovely word that is not common in society, nor the Bible.
Abide is a word found only 43 times in the Bible. The Gospel of John accounts for a third of its use. The New Testament is almost exclusively used by John and in the first epistle of John. It’s extremely interesting that after all of the scholarly work completed over the centuries and all of the revisions of the Bible that this word has been retained.
The contemporary English definition of this word is to accept and act in accordance with a recommendation or rule, or that a feeling or memory continues without fading or being lost. This definition certainly fits the initial interpretation. Exploring the use of the word in the Old Testament the meaning is clearly juridical.
Accepting this definition is good, however, the root of the word is found in the 13th Century. The Old English word abidan means to remain, wait or dwell. This definition offers more colour to the modern definition. The word dwell is what I hear when I read the verse. Jesus is instructing us to live in his love, not to follow a rule. The intent I believe is personal and reciprocal in nature.
Although the Old English definition is acceptable there is still something missing. Investigating this word further reveals that the original Greek term or meno. This word has a similar definition but offers more nuance. Two components of the definition of the word are to continue to be present and to be held, kept, continually. This is where I find contentment.
When Jesus asks us to abide in his love he is asking us to be present and held continually in his love. The English translation lacks depth and although a lovely word abide, or at least our understanding of the word, limits our ability to truly appreciate and respond to what is asked of us.
When we abide we are present to Jesus and are held continually in his unchanging complete and pure love.
During Lent the word abide is a term that can guide us. To abide is to do. The word is a verb. We need to act if we are to abide in his love. The challenge is to consider how to respond in an adequate way to the love Jesus has and gives to us. As we draw closer to the celebration of Easter use the word abide to draw you nearer to Jesus. Over these remaining weeks of Lent remember that words matter, select them carefully and let them illustrate who you are, and what being Catholic looks like.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
After auditions and call backs we are proud to annouce our cast for 2019 production 'School of Rock'. We thank the 200+ students who took the time to audition and we look forward to our performances at the newly renovate Geelong Performing Arts centre (GPAC) from September 12th to 14th.
Here is the cast:
Dewey Finn: Callum Branch 12 Howett
Dewey Finn: Bailey Mitrovski 10 Andres
Rosalie Mullins: Jasmine Harvey 11 Southwell
Ned Schneebly: Lachlan Whatman 9 Gonzaga
Patty Di Marco: Hannah Vella 11 Denn
Zack Mooneyham (Guitar): Storm Randall 9 Kisai
Katie (Bass): Coco Bullock 10 Morse
Lawrence (Keyboard): Sean Neylan 12 Jerome
Freddie Hamilton (Drums): Mackinley Watson 8 Castillo
Summer Hathaway: Eliza Bermingham 8 Xavier
Tomika: Kaitlyn Eastwood 10 Briant
Billy Sandford: James Fuller 9 Thomas
Marcy: Zoe Walter 7 Borgia
Shonelle: Amy Searle 11 Juana
Sophie: Kyra Beasley 10 Evans
Madison: Heidi Bakker 11 Hurtado
Also: Thomas Galan 7 Claver, Sophia Grant 7 Miki, Erin Robertson 7 Borgia and Guy Wingrave 7 Strada
No Vacancy Band
Jared Leo 11 More, Finn Ferguson–Cumming 11 Southwell, Jack Woodfine 12 Howett and William Palmer 11 Southwell
Also in the band! (featured ensemble, teachers, parents and ensemble members):
Sinda Chako 7 Borgia, Kiarna Grieve 7 Lewis, Sebastian Maclean 7 Lewis, Claire Mawson 7 Borgia, Alanna Miles 7 Miki, Raphael Nicholls 7 Borgia, Dante Nicholls 7 Ward, Arlia Phieler 7 Miki, Xander Randall 7 Claver, Elliott Renton-Gibb 7 Ward, Riannah Tatlock 7 Ward and Sophie Ward 7 Borgia
Elliott Ballard 8 Campion, Ella Beasley 8 Xavier, Oceania Cook 8 Castillo, Ashleigh Cox 8 Realino, Summer de Vries 8 Rubio, Bridget Keating 8 Rubio, Genevieve Kelly 8 Xavier, Jemma Kevich 8 Rubio, Lily Petterwood 8 Owen, Ebony Plowman 8 Xavier, Ciana Rogers 8 Realino and Matilda Stepto 8 Owen
Belen Coggins 9 Gonzaga, Cassidy Connor 9 Thomas, Darby Ferguson-Cumming 9 Faber, Joshua Galbraith 9 Faber, Alisha Jones 9 Isore, Josh Miles 9 Arrupe, Lindsay Musella 9 Mangin, Janelle Nichols 9 Gonzaga, Emily O’Kane 9 Regis, Arielle Renton-Gibb 9 Gonzaga, Mackenzie Sinclair 9 Beltran and Mikaeli Woodfine 9 Thomas
Georgia Brooke 10 Ogilvie, Dana Campbell 10 Loyola, Mia Egan 10 Loyola, Lucy Emery 10 Loyola, Molly Hill 10 Andres, Abbey Maffescioni 10 Briant, Charli Nisbet 10 Andres, Florence Noble 10 Evans, Shani Nyikos 10 Brennan, Rory Quinn 10 Morse, Gracie Segafredo 10 Evans, Olivia Sinkinson 10 Garnier, Olivia Stephens 10 Ogilvie, Nina Suzuki 10 Garnier and Paris Walsh 10 Evans
Sarah Bensted 11 Southwell, Jess Breckon 11 More, Lucy Carpenter 11 Hopkins, Alana Clark 11 Denn, Eva Cooper 11 Juana, Lachlan Fitzpatrick 11 Hopkins, Kiera Galan 11 Juana, Phoebe Harrison 11 Canisius, Ava Harvey 11 Juana, Eva Hay 11 Hopkins, Josephine Johnston 11 Denn, Laura Kitchingman 11 More, Isabella Kelly 11 Hopkins, Ethan O’Brien 11 More, Siara O’Brien 11 More, Ellie Small 11 Bellarmine and Livia van Galen 11 Bellarmine
Renee Gulino 12 Bobola, Jayden Mitrovski 12 Rodriguez and Will Pavey 12 Garnett
More details will be published in future newsletters.
Finish up to Term One
It is hard to believe that next week is the second last week of term one!
Please note that the last day for classes this term will be Wednesday 3rd April 2019. On Thursday 4th April there will be no classes due to the Parent, Student & Teacher Interviews.
Friday 5th April will be an inservice day for teachers, therefore there will be no classes on this day.
There will only be two days of classes for students during the first week of next term. The first day of classes for Term Two will be Wednesday 24th April.
Monday 22nd April will be the Easter Monday holiday and Tuesday 23rd April will be a teacher inservice day. Please note that Thursday 25th April will be the ANZAC Day holiday.
Term One Reports
You will be able to access the Term One Report via the Parent Portal on Friday 29th March after 4 pm. If you are a ‘non-residential’ parent you can, if you haven’t already, apply for the report (as well as other school correspondence) to be mailed to you. The application form is available from our office.
This interim semester report is not as detailed as the Semester Report that will be available mid-year. It is designed to give you an indication of your daughter/son’s progress to date. I encourage you to take advantage of the follow-up Parent, Student and Teacher Conferences to help set the scene for a successful finish to the semester.
Term One Parent, Student and Teacher Conferences
A reminder that the meetings to follow-up the Term One Reports will be in the last week of term one on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 3rd April (4.00pm – 6.00pm & 7.00pm – 8.30pm) and the morning of Thursday 4th April (9.00am – 12.00noon.) Please note that we expect students to attend the meetings with their parent/guardian and teacher. There will be no classes on Thursday 4th April to provide additional time for these conferences to take place. You are most welcome to use these meetings to meet teachers, discuss progress and address concerns. Instructions on how to book meetings will be emailed to parents / guardians.
Open Day next Sunday
Next Sunday 24th March, we will be holding our annual Open Day (11 am – 2 pm). This event is vital for our school community. It provides the opportunity for members of the wider community and in particular, parents considering secondary school options for their children, to find out about and meet the people involved with the quality education we offer at Saint Ignatius. I am so pleased that many, many students have already indicated that they will attend on Open Day to promote their school. This has been such a valuable contribution to the success of the day in the past. I have consistently received positive feedback about the interaction of our students with the visitors on the day.
I would like to invite all members of our school community to Open Day. Please feel welcome to visit. Could I also ask you to extend this invitation to other members of our Geelong region particularly those parents thinking about secondary school options for their daughter/son?
Michael Exton Principal
On Friday evening we became aware of the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch. Since then we have sought to make sense of what has happened and how we might overcome the fear and anger these events have caused. Personally I have struggled with the murder of so many peaceful and faithful people who were killed not so far from us.
On Sunday I attended the open day at the Geelong West Mosque with my family. My children noticed two police cars and asked me about them. I told them that the police always attend large gatherings. Yesterday the media reported that the police presence was in fact a direct response to online threats towards the Muslim community of Geelong ‘inspired’ by the massacre in New Zealand.
My belief that we as a society would come together at this time and work to build bridges, and care for our local Islamic community, as thousands did on Sunday, now seems naive. My ability to judge situations and keep my family safe has also taken a blow. The question, “What if?” is a challenging and dangerous thought at times like this.
In light of these events we need to stop for a moment and consider what can we learn from the situation. What good can come from all that has happened and the hate that festers in our society still?
Yesterday a small number of media outlets in the United Kingdom and New Zealand reported a story about Mr Farid Ahmed, whose wife was murdered in front of him during Friday’s massacre. The words he offered speak of his enormous courage and faith. He said.
“I lost my wife but I do not hate the killer. As a person I love him. But I’m sorry I cannot support what he did, but I think somewhere along in his life maybe he was hurt but could not translate that hurt into a positive manner. That’s why he’s doing wrong.
People who carry out terrorist attacks, they want people to be afraid, they want to incite (sic) between one group and another. Maybe they were hoping that if they target some Muslims, then maybe Muslims will retaliate, but we Muslim leaders are saying, that’s not going to happen. We will not allow you to feel afraid or to hate other people because of some of your horrendous attacks.
I don’t have any grudge against him. I have forgiven him and I’m praying for him that God will guide him and then one day he will be a saviour.”
Farid’s wisdom is timeless and seemingly beyond what we as humans are capable of. Sadly this story has not been printed via the Australian media at this time. Locally our media outlets are reporting the negative side of the story, including the headline news yesterday of the threats made to the Geelong community.
In attempting to bring these two opposing viewpoints together we may draw some profit. When we focus upon the negative aspects of a situation or life generally we become insular and dispirited. When we focus upon hope and positivity we become generous and merciful. Therefore in the world we live we must be critical in the ‘news’ we read and selective in the sources we allow to inform and guide us.
Considering Farid’s response to the loss of his wife and his extreme measure of forgiveness we can be inspired to find the good in such an awful event. We have the ability to choose how we are impacted and how we respond. Farid’s response as a Muslim is the same response Jesus asks of us as Catholics.
Jesus said we must “love your neighbour as our self” (Matthew 22:36-40). That we should forgive well beyond what we feel we are able to or for the things we believe we should not forgive (Matthew 18: 21-22). As we journey through Lent maybe we can consider a different kind of fasting. In light of the events in Christchurch, guided by the teachings of Jesus and inspired by Farid maybe we could give up our lack of mercy and compassion during Lent.
As you continue to prepare for the coming of Jesus at Easter over the remaining weeks look for those moments where you might respond differently and be attentive to thoughts that do not match who you are called to be.
When you are insulted – accept the persecution graciously.
When you feel anger – offer mercy.
When you are tempted to view someone as ‘other’ – offer empathy.
When you want to reject someone – offer compassion.
When have been hurt – forgive.
When have been hurt – forgive.
When have been hurt – forgive. Repeat this at least another 487 times (Matthew 18: 21-22).
This is what Jesus asks of us and this is the only path to peace. Peace in our world and peace for ourselves. This Lent fast in this way and watch the world change because of the grace and love you offer.
With all of these things in mind I am still challenged by the events in New Zealand and what I need to forgive. I am also comforted in these thoughts that as a parent my choice to offer friendship to a marginalised community have not altered because of anonymous online threats. We can all find good in every situation we encounter. As St Ignatius taught, “Find God in all things”. I hope you can find the good in this terrible event and bring good through your Lenten pilgrimage.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On Wednesday the 6th of March, our College celebrated International Women’s Day with an ‘Evening with Christine Nixon.’
Staff and guests were treated to delicious canapés and local wine, served by our VCAL students, before enjoying Christine’s address.
Christine Nixon was the 19th Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, the first woman to become a police commissioner in Australia. She led 14,000 staff, operating across more than 500 locations and oversaw an annual budget of $1.7 billion.
Prior to this role, Christine was a New South Wales Policewoman for over 30 years, attaining the rank of Assistant Commissioner.
Christine spoke of her rise to the top, her view on women in law enforcement and in the greater business sphere, how to build leadership and teamwork within work places, and the notion of applying for promotions without any reservations.
The inaugural evening was insightful, reflective, and inspiring, and it is hoped to be an annual event at Saint Ignatius College.
Ms Elana Cole
Reflections on an Evening with Christine Nixon by Ms. Rosemary Kelleher, Education Librarian.
My first impressions of Christine were vastly different from my expectations. I was expecting that the woman who had become the first Police Commissioner in Victoria to be a highly ambitious and driven woman. Someone who was hard and intimidating. But while she was mingling with us for drinks and canapes at the inaugural International Women’s Day Evening at Saint Ignatius College, I was confronted instead with a gentle, giving woman who had a passion for people.
As she spoke, I found that time and time again her belief in people is what drives her. The belief that the women around her could do more and be more. The belief that organisations are better with a wider variety of people leading them, be they women or other minority groups. But most of all, she believes that leaders don’t have to have the answers. If you ask, your people already know how to fix problems, you just need to support them to do it.
So how did Christine become the first female police commissioner for Victoria? She applied for the job. At the time she didn’t really believe she would get it – she was from New South Wales, and she was a woman, but she had a go anyway. Her message to other women was clear: have a go, and don’t listen to people saying “but women don’t…”.
Ms. Rosemary Kelleher
Reflections of a young woman at Saint Ignatius College about being a young woman today:
"Being a girl in today’s society means I am part of a community of bold, determined, brave women all around the world. As a year 12 student, the question I hear a million times is, “what do you want to do next year?” I am grateful to be a young woman today because my career options are not limited by my gender. I could be an engineer, a mechanic, a surgeon, an electrician or a CEO. A young woman just like me wouldn’t have dreamed of being these things 50 years ago.
My experiences at Saint Ignatius College have taken me to places like Timor Leste, and have challenged my world view and my perception of what is important in life. Less than 40% of countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education and I hope to help to change this in a small way by volunteering in a girl’s education program in a developing country in my gap year.
In society today, men and women all around the world are creating positive change for gender equality. But there is still a long way to go. Australia has only had one female prime minister and only 7% of the CEO’s of Australia’s top 200 companies are female. I am lucky to have women in my life who are politicians, CEO’s and school principals, because they show me that women can hold leadership roles. I hope one day I can be a role model to young girls to show them that they can do anything.
As a student leader at Saint Ignatius College I am proud to stand alongside young women and men who support gender equality, and I hope that our International Women’s Day celebrations will empower younger students to promote #BalanceForBetter.
Ruby Mangelsdorf Academic Captain, Year 12
Lenten season begins
We began the season of Lent last week with the celebration of Ash Wednesday this week. Students and staff received ashes on their foreheads on Wednesday morning during a short liturgy as a sign of repentance as well as a reminder of our humanity. Lent is a period of preparation for the celebration of the foundational event of our faith, Easter.
Lent is a time when we are reminded of the need for reflection, both personally and as a community. We are encouraged to think about what we are doing or not doing to nurture our relationship with God, others, ourselves and creation. The Church invites us to strengthen our relationship with God through acts of prayer, fasting and generosity during the Lenten season. Ways we can do this include praying together as a family before a meal, being careful about our food intake and giving to a charity such as ‘Project Compassion.’
At school, our Social Justice team has organised ‘Project Compassion’ as a way for students to respond to others in need during Lent. The monetary donations students give in their Homerooms will be given to ‘Caritas’ for their work in third world countries. Thank you to our Social Justice Coordinator, Ms Alicia Deak for coordinating this awareness and fundraiser.
Time for a check-up
At about this time for many years, I have encouraged students and parents to review the term’s progress. We are now past the halfway mark of term one. It is now a good time for our students to ask themselves how well they have established their daily and weekly routines and in particular, the priorities reflected in their routines. Is schoolwork being given the priority it deserves and how balanced is the weekly program of activities? Are good meal routines and routines for those many housekeeping jobs are in place? What about her/his sleep routine?
It is obviously essential that students have settled into a good routine by now so that as the demands of the school program increase they are in good stead to cope with the assignments and assessment tasks that will be set and be able to maintain the other activities necessary for a balanced life. Being able to set reasonable routines early in secondary school will help students establish patterns that will help them with the demands of the VCE program in their final years.
How can parents help their daughter/son establish a good routine? I am sure you are aware of many ways. I would like to suggest that now might be a good time to discuss with your daughter/son how they think they have commenced the year and ask them about their daily and weekly routines and what they may need help with or what she/he can do to improve her / his routines. It would also be helpful to ask them about the goals they set earlier in the year and whether they think they are off to a good start towards achieving them.
It is very pleasing to see many students participating in a range of activities. At St Ignatius, we encourage the development of well-rounded young women and men, so we offer a variety of co-curricular activities. Through participating in areas such as sport, the performing arts, public speaking, debating, community service, environment group or social justice group we can see a strong sense of community, fair play, leadership and service fostered as well as the development of many different skills. I suggest that co-curricular involvement is considered in reviewing the term to date. What about joining a debating team or the choir or a sports team or auditioning for a part in the production?
Annual House Swimming Carnival
As you are aware, on Monday last week, we held the Annual House Swimming Carnival at Kardinia Pool Geelong on a very warm summer’s day. I congratulate the many students who participated on the day and all those who came along in good spirits to make the most of the day by cheering and encouraging their housemates and enjoying the opportunity to socialise with other students and staff. The students seemed to enjoy the availability of the waterslide and novelty events. As in previous years, many students swam very well and will go onto represent the College at the GISSA inter-school level. The GISSA Carnival will be held on Wednesday 13th March at Geelong Grammar School.
Congratulations to Elliot House members for winning the House Shield. Well done!
The overall results were:
Congratulations to the Age Champions:
13 Years: Philippa McIntyre (Cuthbert) and Luke Devlin (Bradman)
14 Years: Lauren Campbell (Bradman) and Byron Ward (Elliot)
15 Years: April Smith (Fraser) and Sam Hines (Elliot)
16 Years: Elizabeth Andrews (Elliot) and Drew Honey (Cuthbert)
Open: Lexie McNaughton (Fraser) and Bailey Payne (Bradman)
Thank you to Mr Andrew Philp (Sports Coordinator) for organising the carnival and all of the staff for their work on the day to ensure its success. It was great to see that a number of parents were able to attend on the day help make it a special event
The swimming carnival is one of the many co-curricular programs that we expect all students to attend and participate in. We are now looking forward to all students attending the Annual House Athletics carnival on Thursday 21st March at Landy Field, Geelong. We are holding this carnival earlier than in previous years, so we have things in place to enable our students to have access to subsequent athletics competitions and to take advantage of autumn weather.
Open Day – Sunday 24th March 2019
On Sunday 24th March we will be holding our annual Open Day (11.00am – 2.00pm; Information Sessions at 11.00am & 12.15pm). Parents and families are most welcome to attend. We will be inviting students to be present on Open Day to help out. In the past we have been delighted with the number of students who come along on the day to promote their school – they were outstanding ambassadors for the College. If you know of any parent who is considering secondary schooling for their child, please encourage them to come along on Open Day and apply for enrolment. Applications for enrolment for Year 7 2020 close on Friday 17th May 2019. This closing date also applies in the case of where a sibling is already enrolled at the College.
The first Board meeting of the year was held last Thursday evening. I am very grateful that we have a very dedicated, talented and committed group of women and men who have taken on this important leadership role. Members are appointed by the President of the Canonical Administrators to ensure strong governance of the College. They contribute a variety of skills and knowledge to the decision-making processes, seek to enhance their stewardship of the school, work in partnership with the College Executive and ensure the College is focused on and fostering its Vision, Mission and Values.
Tony Frizza – Chairperson and past Principal of Emmaus College
Fr. James Puppady – President of the Canonical Administrators & St Thomas Parish Priest
Peter Cooper – Xavier College Representative, Director of Burke Hall
Fr Jim Clarke – Parish Priest St Mary of the Angels Basilica Parish
Fr Darien Sticklen – Parish Priest of Queenscliff
Rev Fr. Gerard Healy SJ – Representative of Australian Province of the Society of Jesus
Lisa Bell – Past Parent and Educationalist
Darren Henry – Past Parent and Accountant
Steve Gibbs – Past Parent and Operational Risk Manager
Toby O’Connor – Company Director - Social Services Sector
Fran Kealey – Former Director of Teacher Development SICG
Marie Emmitt – Emeritus Professor of Australian Catholic University
Jo-Anne Britt – Previous PFA President & Teacher/Researcher Deakin University
Michael Exton - Principal
David Fitzgerald – Business Manager
Paul Lewis – Deputy Principal (Staff, Identity and Operations)
Annette Chidzey – Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning)
Michael Timms – Deputy Principal (Students)
The Board provides valuable advice to the College Executive and the Association of Canonical Administrators. Among the many matters the Board deals with, recent areas that have been on the agenda include the College Masterplan, building program, review of various policies, and Overseas Learning Experience (Trips) Program. An essential area of the Board’s governance is ensuring the College is enhancing its Catholic Ignatian ethos and identity.
Some thoughts on parenting
By way of support and encouragement to parents, I provide the following advice from Erica Reischer’s book, “What Great Parents Do: 75 Simple Strategies for Raising Kids Who Thrive,” cited in “Principals Digests,” Vol. 23, No. 9. I am sure most parents employ many very effective strategies and do a great job as they undertake the challenge of parenting their children. So you may be well aware of what Erica provides about parenting practice that she has synthesised from research and clinical experience to help parents reshape child challenging behaviour, create strong family bonds, and guide their children toward becoming happy, kind, and responsible adults. I hope you find contemplating the following helpful.
Effective strategies include “Great parents do what they say they are going to do”, “Great parents see that actions speak louder than words”, and “Great parents are transparent about their decision-making process”.
One easy-to-implement tip is replacing the word ‘but’ - which can have negative connotations - with ‘and’, which sounds more agreeable. For instance, instead of saying “That was a good job, but you missed out an important part”, you could say “You did a great job, and you could consider this part too”.
Another technique is to pivot. This means to use words that get your point across in a more positive way. Pivoting is the art of saying yes instead of no, and meaning the same thing. For instance, “No, we can’t go to the park until after you have completed your chores” may get a better response if pivoted to “Yes, we can go to the park as soon as you’ve finished your jobs”.
It’s best to avoid labels. If your daughter/son is reluctant to join an activity, resist commenting to other adults that “She/He’s just shy”. Acting shyly is a behaviour and not always a permanent characteristic. Your child is listening and could come to think of herself/himself in the manner you’re describing.
Even a positive label should be avoided. By labelling your child clever, they may internalise this as “I am smart/creative/good at sports, and I want to stay that way”, which might lead to a reluctance to try new things for fear of failure and no longer being defined by that label.
Great parents focus near and far. Focusing only on the moment and not the long term can create problems. If your daughter/son typically whines for something at the shops and you usually buy it for her/him, she/he will learn that whining helps her/him get her/his way. A short-term solution has created a long-term issue. This is also true of yelling to get your point across. If we habitually yell to get our children’s attention, we are teaching them to ignore us until we yell and we are also teaching them that yelling is the way to get someone’s attention.
Three questions to ask: “Is what I’m doing something I would be happy to see my daughter/son emulate? Is what I’m doing creating a positive family dynamic? Is what I’m doing solving one problem but creating another?”
For parents with older children, there is one last tip, titled “Great parents start where they are”. Rather than fretting over past actions, keep in mind that you can only act on what you know, and most parents have been doing the best they can with what they know so far. Thankfully, most young people are both resilient and forgiving; they are more like hardy weeds than delicate flowers.
Labour Day Holiday
A reminder that next Monday 11th March is a Public Holiday and the College will be closed for the day. Best wishes for an enjoyable long weekend.
Michael Exton Principal
Throughout this week we celebrate International Women’s Day. As a Catholic community this celebration of justice is central to who we are, who our young men and women will be come and what our shared future will look like. What we celebrate is in fact deeper than gender and social progress. During this week we celebrate the irreducible nature of God and humanity.
During this week there can be tension as our Tradition is often portrayed as male dominated and conservative in nature. There is certainly some truth in this at a cultural level. However, when Scripture it viewed to support a perception of males being superior than females a mistake is made. The narrative of Adam and Eve is at times viewed to support this negative and incorrect theme. Genesis recoded truth as revealed by God to humans thousands of years ago. Although we do not know when this story was formalised what we do know is that it’s true. What is true is not found on the surface in the narration, the truth contained is deeper and needs to be examined to be understood correctly.
In our Tradition the story of Adam and Eve is not to be understood literally. What is contained in this myth is undeniable truth. Although a myth it needs to be viewed as an account not a fairy tale. There was an Adam and there was an Eve. God spoke with them and revealed truth. When this happened, where this happened and what names they actually used is a mystery.
To unpack this story, we need to begin by reflecting upon the Trinity and their decision to make humankind in ‘their’ image and unfathomable gift of the free will allowed human beings to knowingly choose bad over good (Gen 2:9).
What needs to be more carefully considered in Genesis is the account of the First Sin and Punishment (Genesis 3:1-24). The account speaks of the ‘woman’ who is deceived by the serpent, who in turn gave the fruit to Adam. In considering this narrative it’s easy to interpret the events in a literal manner. In doing so we fall short and fail to grasp what is being revealed. We need to look at this point in context. Immediately prior to this account we read that Adam and Eve are one! (Genesis 2:23). The First Sin and Punishment is not an illustration of women being easily deceived or the one who tempts the man. Two are in-fact one. Both are equal and both chose freely knowing the will of God before doing so. We may misread the narrative of Adam and Eve if we read it literally or are simplistic in interpreting the truth contained.
In knowing this, we understand that what is revealed is that we have the choice to do what is forbidden by God. We can choose what is good or what is morally evil; big or small. This truth is both individual and communal. Regardless of gender we can freely choose what is wrong or what is better. When we knowingly choose wrong we enter into sin. This word that is repellent. Culturally the word sin has a lot of negative historically baggage. Theologically the word is vital to our understanding of self, human nature and the reason Jesus was incarnate and came to be with us. The word is repellent on multiple levels and rightly so.
When tempted it’s easier to enter into sin. In friendships, relationships or as a society we are more likely to be influenced to make a choice that we know is not reflective of our true self. When we make these bad choices we are emotionally affected. Our conscience will not let the matter rest. Our actions and choices are sinful and we recoil from them and the word that describes them. We then experience an inner torment from which we are prompted to seek forgiveness and redeem ourselves.
As we enter into Lent through our celebration of Ash Wednesday we are called to review our lives and enter into a period of repentance, service and prayer. To be true to our Baptismal promises we need to be aware of our imperfections and seek to become who we truly are. We are called to make change in our lives so that we are and are seen to be more and more like Jesus. The greatest challenge to this is our ego and inability to acknowledge our sinfulness.
Ironically this problem is also illustrated in the Genesis narrative. In seeking to shift the blame to the temptation in the serpent or woman the opportunity for atonement was lost. When we read the account and view the woman as the one who chose first or tempted the man we blind ourselves to the deep revelation that has been offered. Both fell equality to temptation and sinfulness. Two who were in-fact one each freely chose to do what God had forbidden. The blame is personal and to be accepted. Adam and Eve failed to respond to their conscience and sort to shift the blame (Genesis 3:12-13). We often do the same and in doing so find that we distance ourselves from God.
In being made in the image and likeness of God we are truly human. Our Tradition leads us to refer to God the ‘Father’ or as ‘Him’. Our words and historical practice do not reflect the truth of God. Our words cannot adequately express who God is. What we can say about God though is that perfect, eternal and pure. To be true to the fullness of this Divine nature we are created male and female. Man or woman alone cannot reflect the wholeness of God. In community or in marriage men and women work together in harmony and are an illustration of God’s image. Man and woman come together with God to create new life through love and become more whole as a result.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day I encourage you to re-read and consider in a new way the narrative of Adam and Eve found in Genesis and the way in which we reflect God’s image as a male or female. Seek to resolve on a personal level the gift or free will and our ability to sin. I encourage you to enter into Lent seeking repentance for the things both small and large that hold you back from the fullness of who you can be and the presence of God. Embrace your wholeness that is not bound by gender this week and live faithfully your call to holiness – that includes supporting those in need and removing injustice in your community and in the world – through your personal relationship with Jesus.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
On Friday 22nd February the Year 11 students attended their Wellbeing Day in Portarlington.
The day had a number of themes and students participated in a range of workshops.
The Themes for the day were: Stress, Growth Mindset, friendships/relationships
African Drumming highlighted ways that students can use music to relieve stress and shift their focus from the stresses of their everyday lives. A workshop on relationships helped students explore ways that all different relationships on their lives can impact on their health and wellbeing. Growth mindset was explored by looking at different ways students can manage their emotions.
The Year 11 Ignatian Leaders were also commissioned with a badge presentation by Mr Michael Timms and the reading of a pledge and a commitment to their roles.
Thank you to the Wellbeing Team for the great amount of work they put into organising this day and to the Homeroom teachers for their enthusiasm and support.
Ms Kristin Williamson Year 11 Coordinator
Tomorrow we finish the third week of the academic year, and I am glad that overall the school year has commenced very well. We have already held many significant events that have ‘set the scene’ for the new year – promoting our values, our Ignatian Story and sense of community - as well as encouraging students to make the most of their wonderful opportunities at Saint Ignatius to grow and develop themselves.
Themes that have underpinned our encouragement to our students as we begin the new year include: we are grateful for our education and positively and constructively respond to the opportunities and support we have, we have high expectations for our students, we nurture and support a strong learning culture, we are women and men for others - we help each other to build an active school community, and we support those in need in the wider community. These link very well with the theme chosen by the senior student leaders for this year – “Be the difference.”
Visit by Bishop Edwards
We warmly welcomed Bishop Mark Edwards to our College last Friday. This was his second visit to us, and I am grateful he was able to spend most of the day meeting students and staff and in particular, conducting listening sessions with students to provide them with a chance to give input to the Plenary Council. Bishop Edwards is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Western Region of the Melbourne Archdiocese. Bishop Edwards will be back again in late February to meet with students and staff again. Thank you to our RE Coordinator, Mr Brendan Nicholls for coordinating the visit.
House Swimming Carnival
Later in this newsletter, Mr Andrew Philp (Sports Coordinator) has advertised, with more details, the Annual House Swimming Carnival to be held on next Monday (25th February) at Kardinia Pool, Geelong. Parents should have received the usual permission letter with more details about this compulsory College event via ‘Caremonkey.’ All Year 7 – 12 students are required to attend. Can I please reinforce the requirement that all students attend with the intention of participating if they can? Whole school events like this one are important and as a College we have the clear expectation that all students take an appropriately full and active part in our co-curricular programs.
Parent Information Evenings
We have conducted Parent Information Evenings over the last two weeks. I have received very positive feedback from many parents about the evenings, and I thank all parents who were able to attend for their support of our College. We welcome feedback about College events to continually improving what we offer. You can write, ring (Ph. 52511136) or e-mail the college (email@example.com) any constructive comments. Please address the comments to the chief organiser; in the case of the information evenings this would be the relevant Year Level Coordinator (YLC.)
Thank you to the YLCs, Ms Leonie O’Brien (7), Ms Deb Hodge (8), Mr Brendan O’Brien (10), Ms Kristin Williamson (11) and Mr Joe Mclean (12), and their staff teams for providing these evenings.
Beginning of Year Masses
Each Year level has recently attended a Beginning of the Year Mass at St Thomas Church.
These Masses were special opportunities to thank God, pray for God’s blessing on the new school year and encourage students to respond positively to God’s gifts and the opportunities the school year will bring.
Thank you to Fr Gerry Healy and Fr James Puppady and for celebrating Masses for us.
Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis and Mr Brendan Nicholls for their work to organise these Masses.
Thank you also to Mrs Linda Pape, Ms Marina Brown and our choir students and some musicians who led the singing and music for us.
Parents and Friends' Association (PFA)
The PFA is a very positive and vital support for our community. They held their first meeting of the year on Tuesday 12th February. I want to recognise the generous and valuable contribution parents can and do make to our school community through membership of this group. Thank you to all members of this group and in particular the current office bearers:
Ms Rebecca Hay President
Ms Cathy Dykes Secretary
Ms Sandi Clark Treasurer
Please consider coming along to the next PFA meeting on Tuesday 12th March, at 7 pm in the Food Studies Centre.
Many of the members of this group have given generous service to the school community for many years, and it is vital that we have new parents join this group each year to replace those who finish up. So I encourage all parents to please consider joining this group – a strong PFA will strengthen our school community and improve outcomes for all students!
There are a variety of ways parents can help out. The College canteen helpers are vital to helping us provide a canteen service to our students. Many parents and friends of the College have put their name down to assist in the canteen, and I encourage you to consider contacting our Canteen Manager, Mrs Sandra Woodall, to offer your services.
Some of the ways the PFA supports our school community include: running fundraisers and social events, helping out at school functions, organising working bees, encouraging and supporting a sustainable school environment, running a second-hand uniform shop and a second-hand book sale. I ask all parents to please support the PFA where you can, this group’s work benefits all students.
All drivers travelling to and from our College are reminded of the need to adhere to traffic sign requirements at all times.
To promote safety, I remind our community that the speed limit on Andersons Road near the school precinct is 40 km/h and 40 km/h at all times on Peninsula Drive.
Please approach the intersection of Andersons Road and Peninsula Drive with care and in particular when approaching the school crossing near this intersection.
When attending after-hours events at the College, please do not park in the St Thomas Primary School carpark.
Thank you for your support in prioritising the road safety of all those in and around the College.
Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) Survey.
Soon all parents will receive an invitation via email to participate in the ECSI survey which will assist us in better understanding how our Catholic Identity is expressed in work and practice at our College. In a separate email letter, we will also ask you for your consent for your daughter/son to complete this survey. All staff members will be invited to complete the survey as well.
The Catholic University in Leuven was commissioned by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) to design a process and tools, based on sound research, to accomplish the goal of understanding our current Catholic identity and where the school community might like to see itself in the future.
The ECSI survey is a critical element of this process, and we need as many parents as possible to complete this survey. Your responses to this survey are guaranteed to be kept anonymous. Instructions will be provided in the email invitation letter.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr Paul Lewis, Deputy Principal (Identity) through the school office.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and your anticipated participation.
Major Roads Projects Victoria Senior Engagement Adviser, Jessica Taylor provides the following update about the Drysdale Bypass construction.
“As you can see, we’ve been busy over the summer months moving lots of dirt from the high points of the bypass alignment to the new Peninsula Drive alignment and the section between Gillies Road and Peninsula Drive.
We’re making great progress with the road and roundabout taking shape and we’re on track to have the new Peninsula Drive open for term two, 2019.
The school community’s safety has been paramount as we plan and undertake all works in this area. To ensure we’re distinguishing our work zone from the school, we have built a new fence between the bypass and the school precinct. This fence is permanent and will remain in place when the bypass is open and operational.
We’ve got a busy couple of months coming up to ensure we meet our timeframes and we would like to update you on the current changes to traffic conditions:
We have trucks moving dirt from the Andersons Road hill worksite across Gillies Road and into the old Blue Gum plantation area.
While we have traffic management set up for the trucks crossing Gillies Road, we have made a dedicated crossing with a traffic controller at Peninsula Drive, we therefore advise all students to please access the schools via Peninsula Drive, where possible.
For the month of February, we are carting dirt along Princess Street.
We understand students use Princess Street as a school route as both pedestrians and cyclists.
Given Princess Street doesn’t have dedicated footpaths for the entire length, we would advise parents to keep this in mind and where possible use an alternative route for school drop off and pick up.”
The Year 9 and Multipurpose Centres ($14M project) are progressing well. We have only lost a few days of construction due to wet weather so, we still expect to commence in these building at the start of term three in mid-July this year.
Over the recent holiday period, the College’s front carpark was extended to provide 17 additional spaces.
Michael Exton Principal
Reading the daily news can lead one to believe that justice is elusive in our world and that there is more isolation and rejection than inclusion and acceptance. In today’s news there are stories of antisemitism in Melbourne, challenges to President Trump’s ‘beautiful wall’, a shocking lack of services for our Indigenous communities, ongoing war in Middle East and the forced re-education of the Uighur people in China. During this week the world celebrates the World Day of Social Justice. This is quite a juxtaposition and worthy of some thought.
It seems there is so much wrong with the world today. There are so many people who use their position of authority to get what they want and force others to enable our act out their vision via proxy. Greed is the basis for all violence and injustice in our world. Greed is a desire manifested by the ego and disordered attachments. Greed it seems is part of how we are made no matter how good we think we are.
When looking at all the bad things that occur in our world it’s easy to become disillusioned and abandon hope for the future or change. This theme is explored under the banner of ‘Good and Evil’ in our Year 8 and Year 9 Religious Education courses at the College. Viewing the world objectively is a behaviour that needs investigation and practice if we are to have hope and see the hidden truth of our world. At an individual level we see many examples of good and can see many people who each day work to bring about justice in small and large ways. When we compare the amount of good and evil in the world it’s clear that good has the numbers. Thus we can be hopeful and positive about our world.
Our Ignatian tradition offers us a number of tools that can help us observe our world and our ability to live as we are called. In the second week of the Exercises, St Ignatius asks us to contemplate the Incarnation. Viewing the world as the Trinity does, looking down upon the Earth and people “in all their diversity of dress and appearance, some white and some black, some at peace and some at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy, others sick, some being born and others dying”. Then we are asked to contemplate the Trinity as the Divine Persons converse about their observations, saying, “Let us bring redemption to the human race”. From this basis Incarnation of Jesus and via the visitation to Our Lady occurs, and through him we are redeemed and have hope.
If we pause to review the daily news and our experiences through the lens the Trinity views the world, as illustrated in the Exercises, we may see things quite differently and objectively. When we view the world and our experiences in a similar way we can accept the world and yet still seek to reform injustices with great hope. At the College we offer many opportunities for students to facilitate change and offer their ‘good’ in the world.
On Tuesday nine of our students participated in a conference called ‘Your choice, Our Future’. The conference is a three-part event, that occurs via online video collaboration between students from Saint Ignatius College (Catholic), Sacred Heart College (Catholic), Mt Scopus College (Jewish) and Minaret College (Islamic). The conference facilitates interfaith dialogue about discrimination and injustice in our society. At the conclusion of the conference this week the students from the four Colleges were combined and split up to decide upon an issue in society that they would like to see change.
Over the next eight weeks the teams will develop a social media campaign to address a problem in our world, offer a message of hope and seek change in the world. The issues that they will choose to address are global and in reality will not be resolved for many years; if ever. However, in being bold and knowing that good will always overcome selfishness and greed they will make change.
As individuals we can also make great change in the world. In seeking to become better people we can make a difference. To be able to do so we need to change our nature. No matter how nice or kind or helpful we are we are not perfect. In accepting this fact, we are able to be humble and call upon God to help us change. Although we may make a decision to change it takes time and we need to be patient. Because God changes our hearts not just our thoughts and these changes are irreversible. When we give He receives and when He gives we receive. This relationship is perfect and enables us to change our nature as this relational framework flows outward as we interact with others and the world.
When we give of ourselves we reach out. This can be accepted or rejected and therefore we must be bold if we are to seek to make change in the world. If our offer is accepted, we become an illustration of Jesus at work in the world. If our offer is rejected, we have not lost. We have seen the face of Jesus in another or as Ignatius would say sought to ‘find God in all things’.
Regardless of whether we bring an end to overwhelming issues such as sexism, racism or slavery we have won. Good has overcome evil. Every time we speak out, are inclusive or challenge structures of injustice we win. Because we have been changed and have changed others.
As we draw closer to Lent I offer you a final thought from St Ignatius. In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius introduces us to the Examen. He actually gives us three versions. The ‘particular daily examen with four additions’ may be worth considering if in humility you would like to change and remove disordered attachments, that lead us away from God and others. The particular examen encourages us to note the defect we seek to change and note each time we ‘fall into’ that behaviour during the day. As each day passes and the day is reviewed via the examen Ignatius notes that we will have evidence of change and God’s work within our heart.
I encourage you to consider the world in its current state. All of the good and the bad things that occur each day and how we can make change. Contemplate how you might become a better person each day and enter into a deeper relationship with God who will strengthen you and guide you. Finally, I hope you reflect upon these thoughts and are stimulated to seek change and share a vision of positivity with others.
Be bold, have hope, make change.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Image – SICG students who participated in the Your Choice conference on 19/2/19 and facilitator Kate Wilde.
During Tuesday’s House Meetings, our House leaders introduced for the first time our Year 12s to their Year 7 buddies.
The goal of our buddy program is to develop relationships between the younger and older students, enhancing the sense of a friendly and supportive school community. A buddy system can also help students to feel valued and supported, teach important social skills and create a caring ethos in the school. They can create connectedness that enables both older and younger buddies to bond more closely with their school, thereby increasing the likelihood of more positive social behaviour.
There are benefits for the older buddy in acknowledging their leadership, responsibility and pride in their ability to be helpful.
Throughout 2019, there will further opportunities to share their friendship with Year 12 and Year 7 ‘Buddy BBQs’ and different House activities as well as informal and social occasions.
Mr Andrew Philp Director Of Sport
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
An Evening with Christine Nixon
'Comedy for Cause'
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
'Comedy for Cause'
End of Term 1
Labour Day Public Holiday
Open Day 2019
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
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
Term 1 Holidays 2019
Year 11 Wellbeing Day
Year 12 Retreat
Year 7 'Welcome Mass'