Saint Ignatius College Geelong
Welcome to the new school term. I hope that the holiday period provided students with ample time for rest, recreation, revision of term one and planning for term two and all families enjoyed the Easter break with family and friends.
This will, without doubt, be another busy term for us all. Apart from all of the usual teaching and learning activities there will be many other opportunities for student learning. Rehearsals commenced on Monday after school for this year’s production –“School of Rock,” the winter sports program began this week, the Annual House College Cross-Country Carnival was held on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, the Year 7 students have their Anglesea Camp next week, NAPLAN testing for Years 7 and 9 will be conducted soon, we have already undertaken the Year 7 Mothers and Sons Night and the Year 8 Mothers and Daughters Night will be held next week (see information below), there will be many performing arts events happening throughout the term and Year 10 students will have their Work Experience Program during the last week of term – and these are only some of the many term two events!
Term 2 is very much the business term of the academic year. It is a time when students can make some substantial gains in their learning. As each student and family looks ahead, use of the Student Planner will be an essential tool to help each student structure his term program and keep on track. Organisation is the key and an important skill to develop in our students. I encourage parents to keep an eye on their student’s use of the planner.
Geelong Future Leaders of Industry (GFLOI) and the Girls Leading Advanced Manufacturing (GLAM) programs
Congratulations to Year 10 students Chiara Fankhauser and Asha McCurdy for their successful applications to join the GLAM program and Tasos Kontogeorgis, Jonah Spilsbury and Dylan Vigilante who have been chosen to participate in the GFLOI program.
GLAM and GFLOI Studnets PDF (357 KB)
GLAM and GFLOI Studnets PDF (357 KB) 02-May-2019
GFLOI & GLAM are six-month long Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) immersion programs for Years 9 and 10 students from the Geelong region. We are grateful to the ‘Geelong Manufacturing Council’ for coordinating the programs and ‘Skilling The Bay’ for their support. For many years, a number of our students have successfully applied to participate in these valuable programs. GFLOI & GLAM will provide the participants with opportunities to experience pathways and career options in the manufacturing, engineering and STEM trades sectors via industry tours and presentations, undertake job readiness and leadership skills training, and meet a number of role-models including scientists, engineers and senior management of some of our region’s important and advanced manufacturers.
Thank you to Mr Bruce Connor (WAFE Coordinator) for facilitating the students’ involvement in this opportunity.
NAPLAN for Years 7 & 9 students
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It has been a yearly event for schools since 2008.
On Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th May, our Years 7 and 9 students will undertake the 2019 NAPLAN tests.
NAPLAN is made up of tests in the four domains of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy (both calculator and non-calculator allowed).
NAPLAN assesses skills in literacy and numeracy that are developed over time, through the school’s implementation of the Victorian curriculum. NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test, but rather shows how individual students are progressing in numeracy and literacy skills against national standards for all Australian children.
All students are encouraged to participate in the tests. Students with a disability may qualify for special provisions that reflect the support usually provided to them in the classroom. An explanatory letter and pamphlet will be distributed to students in both levels that will, in turn, provide further clarification about this testing process and how it will be managed at Saint Ignatius College in particular.
The school will issue an individual student NAPLAN report later this year. Parents can use this information to monitor how their child is progressing and to identify any areas of concern. Parents may also wish to use their child’s results to discuss progress with teachers. More information is available at <www.naplan.edu.au>
Year 7 Enrolments for 2020
Can I please remind parents of current students that if you have a child in Year Six this year that applications for a place in Year 7 next year at Saint Ignatius College Geelong close on Friday 17th May 2019? Application forms are available from our office or the College website.
ANZAC Commemoration Service
Last week on Friday we held an ANZAC commemoration service for the whole school on the outdoor basketball courts. I am pleased that four of our students involved in the Army Cadets formed a Catafalque party for this service – well done and thank you to them. I am also grateful to Army Veteran, Mr Darren Stendt and daughter and sister of an Army Veterans, Ms Sian Diddams for providing the address at the service. Thank you to Deputy Principal Mr Paul Lewis for coordinating this service, and I congratulate our students for the respectful way they participated.
Many of our students attended local ANZAC Commemoration Services, well done! At some of these services, student representatives and some staff laid a wreath on behalf of the College.
Two of our senior student leaders, Heidi Bakker and Will Palmer and Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Timms represented the College at the annual Geelong Schools’ Annual ANZAC Commemoration Service on the Tuesday before ANZAC Day at 11.00am in Johnstone Park, Geelong. This annual ceremony was very well attended by representatives from most Geelong and district schools
‘Time & Space’
A reminder to parents of Year 8 girls about a wonderful opportunity next week.
Year 8 Mother* & Daughter Night Thursday 9th May (at 7 pm in St Thomas Church.)
* = or a female Mentor (e.g., Grandmother, Aunt, a family friend, a big sister,…)
We are looking forward to all Yr 8 girls and their mothers/guardians/mentors attending. Mothers* should have received a letter in the mail with more detail by now. If you haven’t, please contact Ms Elana Cole (Companions Coordinator) as soon as possible. Please put this important date & time in your diary!
Please feel free to look at the website http://www.time-space.com.au for more information.
Drysdale Bypass construction update
Major Roads Projects (MRP) has shifted the pedestrian access from Andersons Road over the Drysdale Bypass alignment, through a temporary fence pathway. This will be the new pedestrian access arrangement to and from Andersons Road for the next 6-8 months as they complete waterworks and build the pedestrian underpass. To aid in a smooth switch, MRP will have traffic management controllers onsite to help direct the foot traffic to the new pedestrian path.
MRP has received some questions about if there was an emergency at a school during the busy AM and PM peaks, would there be enough room for emergency services to access the precinct? MRP has informed me that this is not the case, the new section of Peninsula Drive has been designed to have adequate lane width and a mountable median to ensure that in the event of an emergency, if all motorists pull over to the side, emergency service vehicles will have adequate room to access the precinct, as required. MRP has been in consultation with all local emergency services teams and advised them of their ability to access, despite the temporary congestion being experienced.
I have received confirmation from Major Roads Projects (MRP) that Andersons Road at the Grubb Road end will be closed from Friday 3rd May 2019. This will be a permanent closure.
MRP is still completing the left turn lane into St Thomas Primary School with asphalting due to be completed later this week. MRP informs us that this lane will improve the traffic flow entering into the precinct during the peak times, with traffic able to move past parked cars waiting to turn into St Thomas Primary School.
By early next week, MRP will have a temporary left turn lane added to the existing (Portarlington/Jetty/Grubb) roundabout from Grubb Road onto Portarlington Road (Geelong bound.) MRP says that this will ensure traffic moves through the existing roundabout more freely and doesn’t create congestion on Grubb Road through to the new Peninsula Drive roundabout.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with MRP by calling 1800 105 105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome back to Teacher, Ms Tory Wood who has returned from leave and thank you to Ms Belinda Wilson who covered Ms Wood’s classes during term one.
Best wishes to Student Wellbeing Officer, Ms Mel Anset who commenced parental leave this week. Welcome to Ms Sarah Somerset who will take over from Ms Anset
On behalf of our College community, I express our sympathy to the Secombe family, Skye (Yr 11), Brodie (Yr 7) and Tim (father) on the loss of their dearly loved mother and wife, Cassie.
Please keep the Secombe family in your thoughts and prayers at this very challenging and sad time for them. May their loved ones rest in peace.
Parents and Friends' Association meeting
The next Parents & Friends Association Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 14th May at 7:00 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.
Michael Exton Principal
As we begin the second term of this year and in celebration of Easter Sunday I offer you some of the beautiful teachings found in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation: Christus Vivit – Christ is Alive. This exhortation is a reflection written in light of the Synod on Young People (2018) which urges young people and the ‘entire people of God’ to respond to the needs of the world with a vibrant, youthful spirit and in deep friendship with Jesus. As you read the following I hope you find great joy and renew your vocation, whatever it may be, in the pursuit of love of neighbour, service and justice.
Christus Vivit – Christ is Alive.
Christ is alive! We need to keep reminding ourselves of this, because we can risk seeing Jesus Christ simply as a fine model from the distant past, as a memory, as someone who saved us two thousand years ago. But that would be of no use to us: it would leave us unchanged, it would not set us free. The one who fills us with his grace, the one who liberates us, transforms us, heals and consoles us is someone fully alive. He is the Christ, risen from the dead, filled with supernatural life and energy, and robed in boundless light. That is why Saint Paul could say: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile”.
Alive, he can be present in your life at every moment, to fill it with light and to take away all sorrow and solitude. Even if all others depart, he will remain, as he promised: “I am with you always, to the end of the age”. He fills your life with his unseen presence; wherever you go, he will be waiting there for you. Because he did not only come in the past, but he comes to you today and every day, inviting you to set out towards ever new horizons.
See Jesus as happy, overflowing with joy. Rejoice with him as with a friend who has triumphed. They killed him, the holy one, the just one, the innocent one, but he triumphed in the end. Evil does not have the last word. Nor will it have the last word in your life, for you have a friend who loves you and wants to triumph in you. Your Saviour lives.
“God loves you”. It makes no difference whether you have already heard it or not. I want to remind you of it. God loves you. Never doubt this, whatever may happen to you in life. At every moment, you are infinitely loved. For him, you have worth; you are not insignificant. You are important to him, for you are the work of his hands. That is why he is concerned about you and looks to you with affection.
Dear young people,
make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus! Cast out the fears that paralyze you, so that you don’t become young mummies. Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly!
I ask young people to go beyond their small groups and to build “social friendship, where everyone works for the common good. Social enmity, on the other hand, is destructive. Families are destroyed by enmity. Countries are destroyed by enmity. The world is destroyed by enmity. And the greatest enmity of all is war. Today we see that the world is destroying itself by war… So find ways of building social friendship”
It is not easy, it always means having to give something up and to negotiate, but if we do it for the sake of helping others, we can have the magnificent experience of setting our differences aside and working together for something greater. If, as a result of our own simple and at times costly efforts, we can find points of agreement amid conflict, build bridges and make peace for the benefit of all, then we will experience the miracle of the culture of encounter. This is something which young people can dare to pursue with passion.
The Lord seeks all; he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy and his love”. He invites us to be fearless missionaries wherever we are and in whatever company we find ourselves: in our neighbourhoods, in school or sports or social life, in volunteer service or in the workplace. Wherever we are, we always have an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel. That is how the Lord goes out to meet everyone. He loves you, dear young people, for you are the means by which he can spread his light and hope. He is counting on your courage, your boldness and your enthusiasm.
Dear young friends,
do not let others exploit your youth to promote a shallow life that confuses beauty with appearances. Realize that there is beauty in the labourer who returns home grimy and unkempt, but with the joy of having earned food for his family. There is extraordinary beauty in the fellowship of a family at table, generously sharing what food it has. There is beauty in the wife, slightly dishevelled and no longer young, who continues to care for her sick husband despite her own failing health. Long after the springtime of their courtship has passed, there is beauty in the fidelity of those couples who still love one another in the autumn of life, those elderly people who still hold hands as they walk.
There is also a beauty, unrelated to appearances or fashionable dress, in all those men and women who pursue their personal vocation with love, in selfless service of community or nation, in the hard work of building a happy family, in the selfless and demanding effort to advance social harmony. To find, to disclose and to highlight this beauty, which is like that of Christ on the cross, is to lay the foundations of genuine social solidarity and the culture of encounter.
During the Synod, one of the young auditors from the Samoan Islands spoke of the Church as a canoe, in which the elderly help to keep on course by judging the position of the stars, while the young keep rowing, imagining what waits for them ahead. Let us steer clear of young people who think that adults represent a meaningless past, and those adults who always think they know how young people should act. Instead, let us all climb aboard the same canoe and together seek a better world, with the constantly renewed momentum of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is walking in our midst, as he did in Galilee. He walks through our streets, and he quietly stops and looks into our eyes. His call is attractive and intriguing. Yet today the stress and quick pace of a world constantly bombarding us with stimuli can leave no room for that interior silence in which we can perceive Jesus’ gaze and hear his call. In the meantime, many attractively packaged offers will come your way. They may seem appealing and exciting, although in time they will only leave you feeling empty, weary and alone. Don’t let this happen to you, because the maelstrom of this world can drive you to take a route without real meaning, without direction, without clear goals, and thus thwart many of your efforts. It is better to seek out that calm and quiet that enable you to reflect, pray, look more clearly at the world around you, and then, with Jesus, come to recognize the vocation that is yours in this world.
Dear young people,
my joyful hope is to see you keep running the race before you, outstripping all those who are slow or fearful. Keep running, “attracted by the face of Christ, whom we love so much, whom we adore in the Holy Eucharist and acknowledge in the flesh of our suffering brothers and sisters. May the Holy Spirit urge you on as you run this race. The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them! And when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us”.
Given in Loreto, at the Shrine of the Holy House, on 25 March, Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 2019, the seventh of my Pontificate. Franciscus - Francis
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Lily Petterwood, Matilda Stepto & Jessica Sullivan (8 Owen)
When we arrived at school (embarrassed after catching a bus looking like a peasant, knight or royal) everyone's costumes were amazing and their effort in designing costumes was outstanding. Even the teachers got into the medieval spirit!
It started with a 2 hour bus ride, full of excitement and vigorous noise. After hours of plain farmland, livestock, mountains, while very beautiful, the castle came into view, standing in the grandeur of the hill it was built upon.
Sitting down, the stands were full of chattering voices and the smell of medieval trials. As the sun shone down upon us all, we were sent off to our first experience. While we stumbled along tripping on dresses and cloaks, we were happy to find our first activity was siege weaponry. We knocked down a door with a battering ram, protected our people, and fought bravely.
Our second activity was sword fighting. We were in teams who fought to kill off the other team (don’t worry the swords were foam) trying to protect each other so we would be victorious. The second time we had to protect our king or queen. With our shields and swords in hand, we defended our king or queen and sacrificed ourselves for our family freedom. Once we defeated our enemies in an epic battle for victory, we were whisked off, to participate in the trials of medieval board games. We played two games, Fox and Geese, and a variation of Naughts and Crosses. We played intensely because if we succeeded in crushing our opponent we were allowed an extra advantage in archery.
We then journeyed deep into the midst of the dungeons themselves, we had an explanation of crime and punishment including different torture methods. We ventured down the rickety staircase where screams echoed, lights flashed and blood oozed from the victims (wax figures) of the torture.
Although we weren’t too keen on lunch after the horror of the dungeons, we all stopped for lunch and watched a jousting tournament. Before the jousting started we had to sing the Kryal Castle national anthem: We Will Rock You. We were introduced to the knights who were very talented and enthusiastic. One knight in red and gold and the other in black and white, with heraldry symbols on their armour and horse caparison. There were people stationed to hand the Knights a lance. They stood at the start line on their side. It was 3, 2, 1, GO and they were off, racing towards each other at great pace.
After an enjoyable entertainment of the jousting tournament and trying the lolly shop, we went to learn about the life of nobles, royals, the rules of marriage and servants. This was rather daunting, as princesses got married as soon as they were able to have kids, to a man in their 30s or 40s. The laws and hierarchy of servants in a castle were extremely cruel and unreasonable.
We also learnt about medieval medicines and disease, including the symptoms of the plague, cures, the poor quality of water and how deadly a paper cut could be. This practical unit enabled us to grind herbs to make a medieval bandaid paste. Our last activity was armour and weapons where we saw real weaponry and armour and how effective they were.
Our day at Kryal Castle was a wonderful opportunity to apply and consolidate our learning of Medieval history that we have been studying in Humanities and thank all our teachers for coming along for such an enjoyable day.
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 email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
An Evening with Christine Nixon
'Comedy for Cause'
Scholarship Applications Open Today
2019 Academic Assembly
2020 Immersions and Trips Launch Evening
An Evening with Christine Nixon
An Evening with Tom Lonergan
Book Collection Day 2019
Class of 2014 '5 Year reunion'
College House Athletics Carnival
College House Swimming Carnival
College Office Opens 2019
'Comedy for Cause'
End of Term 1
End of Term 2
End of Term 3
Kokoda Expedition 2019
Labour Day Public Holiday
Open Day 2019
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Parent / Student / Teacher Conferences
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Parents and Friends' Association Meeting
Public Speaking Recital
Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Scholarship Applications Close Today
Semester One Reports
Senior School Expo Evening
St Ignatius Feast Day Activities 2019
St Ignatius Feast Day Assembly 2019
Start of Term 1 2019
Start of Term 2 2019
Start of Term 3 2019
Student Free day
Term 1 Holidays 2019
VCAA GAT Test (VCE)
VCAL 2020 Information Evening
VCE Music Soiree
VCE Unit 1 and Year 10 Exams
VCE Units 2 and 4 Commence
Whole College Assembly Term 2
World Challenge Expedition 2019
Year 11 2020: Senior Pathways Day
Year 11 Wellbeing Day
Year 12 Exam and VTAC Information Night
Year 12 Retreat
Year 7 Camp 1
Year 7 Camp 2
Year 7 'Father and Daughter' Night
Year 7 'Welcome Mass'
Year 8 'Father and Son' Night
Year 9 and 10 Subject Information Meeting
Year 9 Exams
Year 9 'Thyme and Plates' Evening
Years 9 and 10 Music Night