Saint Ignatius College Geelong
At around this time over recent years I have promoted through the newsletter an important College event that we hold in November – our end of year celebration evening called the Mosaic Evening. We expect that all students and their families attend this special College function at Costa Hall at Deakin University’s waterfront campus. This gathering will provide the opportunity for parents and students to celebrate the part school has played in family life for another year and build a stronger sense of school community.
The date is Thursday 22nd November 2018. The Art & Technology display commences at 6.00pm in the Costa Hall foyer followed by the celebration evening that begins at 7.00pm in the main auditorium. This year’s Mosaic evening will have a similar programme to last year’s.
The evening will acknowledge and showcase student talents and achievements from a range of areas. As in previous years, tickets will not be required to attend. All you will need to do is turn up at Costa Hall, and you will be ushered to a seat. There is no cost to attend, and you are most welcome to invite Grandparents, other family members and family friends. In the meantime, please put this date in your diary to ensure you can attend. Students are expected to wear their school uniform with blazer.
We have consistently received very positive feedback about Mosaic evenings over many years. This unique celebration evening builds a stronger school community and a sense of belonging and hopefully inspires all students to strive for making the most of the opportunities they have at the College. I ask our community to give this evening a priority when students, families, friends and staff of the College can come together to celebrate special achievements of some, and the contribution we all make to Saint Ignatius College.
Congratulations to Year 10 students Jools Bond, Darby O’Meara and Marcus Vaughan who recently completed the 2018 Geelong Future Leaders of Industry program. I was delighted to attend their graduation ceremony at Deakin University’s Centre for Advanced Design Engineering Training (CADET) Centre on Tuesday evening last week. This program is a learning and career development opportunity for students typically considering a trade or tertiary pathway and, potentially a career in advanced technologies, innovative manufacturing, design and engineering. The program provides the students with the opportunity to build awareness of the exciting STEM-related advanced manufacturing options available for future employment and raise awareness of the skills and knowledge required to work in advanced technology sectors. The program included:
• Visits to selected advanced manufacturing businesses and educational institutions
• An exploration of leadership and entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing along with STEM-related skills and knowledge
• Student work experience of 2 – 3 days duration engaging with real-world challenges facilitated by the work placement manufacturing enterprise
This program was previously delivered by the Geelong Regional Vocational Education Council Inc., and we are grateful to the Geelong Manufacturing Council which provided this valuable learning experience for 25 students from Geelong region schools this year.
Jools, Darby and Marcus and their parents provided me with very positive feedback about the program. We have had two or three Yr 10 students participate in this annual program for many years, and I encourage our current Year 9 students to consider applying for next year’s program. (They should keep an eye on the Daily Bulletin for the advertisement or see Mr Connor.) I am grateful to Mr Bruce Connor, our Work & Further Education Coordinator, for facilitating our students’’ involvement.
On Friday 12th October 2018 we welcomed local State Government MP, Lisa Neville to our ‘Ground Breaking’ Ceremony to celebrate the commencement of construction.
Construction has commenced on an $8.5M Multi-purpose Centre at Saint Ignatius College Geelong. It is expected to be completed mid-next year.
Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects have designed this great facility that will include two indoor basketball courts, large foyer, offices, change rooms and three classrooms. The builders are Commercial Industrial Constructions Group (CICG.)
Ms Neville, together with College Captains, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien, marked the commencement with digging some of the soil at the site.
Although they will not be the beneficiaries of the new building, Kerry and Dean are very excited for the younger students and the many future students who will benefit from the enhancement to the College’s programs that will be possible as a result of this wonderful new facility.
This new Centre could also be used by the community, as is the case with some of the College’s current facilities.
On behalf of the College community, I express my gratitude to Lisa Neville for her enthusiastic support and the State Government’s contribution of $2M toward the funding of this project.
On Thursday evening last week the Year 12 class of 2018 and their families gathered with staff for Mass at our College Gym. As a Christian community, it was an important way for us to celebrate and reflect on the finish of the Year 12 student’s school journey.
The Mass was a very special occasion, and I was delighted that many grandparents, relatives and family friends were able to be present. Thank you to Fr. James Puppady and Fr Gerry Healy SJ for concelebrating the Mass for us. Our choir and musicians, led by Mrs Linda Pape did a great job leading us with the singing and providing some songs for reflection. Thank you to Mr Paul Lewis, Mr Brendan Nicholls, Mr Joe McLean and the staff who helped organise this Mass.
Last Monday’s Full School Assembly was a memorable occasion. The primary focus of this assembly was to farewell our Year 12 students. We congratulated these students on completing secondary schooling, we thanked them for their part in our College story, and we prayed for our Year 12 students’ future successes. It was very pleasing that many parents were able to be present at the assembly and in particular, it was great that many parents of Year 12 students were able to share in this milestone for their daughter or son.
The College Captains, Kerry Kingsbury and Dean O’Brien, made a presentation to the College community, on behalf of the Year 12 class, of a thank you gift of a beautiful blue glass plaque with indigenous motifs from Wathaurong Glass & Arts. The giving of artwork has become a tradition over the years. These artworks are displayed on the corridor walls of the McKillop Building.
The College Captains for next year were announced at Monday’s assembly. I am grateful to our Student Leadership Development Coordinator, Mr Anthony Gravener, for planning and managing the selection process. Congratulations to Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury.
Last Monday saw two different events held in our gym – the farewell to the Year 12s and then in the evening our very well attended welcome and information evening for the parents and students of next year’s Year 7 intake.
It is very pleasing that due to demand, we will be taking an extra class for Year 7 next year. I have enrolled 250 students (10 classes) for next year. The number of enrolment applications was high again with many unfortunately missing out on a place. Currently, we have a long waiting list. The significant demand for places at Saint Ignatius continues to reflect very well on the work our community has done to develop our college into a great place for secondary school education.
Thank you to Ms Tory Wood (YLC,7) and the team of staff for organising this evening.
On Tuesday the Year 12 students participated in their “Celebration Day.” The day was celebrated in a positive and fun way, and I congratulate the “Class of 2018” on the overall way they have respectfully and appropriately approached this final week of classes – well done!
I hope all goes well for them as they study for their exams that commence next week. On behalf of the school community, I wish them all the best.
The Senior School staff prepared thoroughly to ensure that the final phase of the year was well organised with parents and students being well informed about the program and the school’s expectations. Thank you to Mr Joe McLean (YLC, 12) and the Senior School team of teachers.
Michael Exton Principal
As our Year 12 students leave us this week to study independently and make final preparations for their final exams we become aware that the end of another school year is not far off. It seems amazing that the weeks have gone past so quickly and that we will soon celebrate the end of the year formally at our Mosaic awards evening! At this time of the year students begin to think about the opportunities they will have next year in their new subjects. Teachers begin to think about what subjects they will teach, spend time reflecting upon the year past and enthusiastically enter into thinking about what improvements they might make next year. Our Year 12 students and families of course are the most excited about the end of the year and the future that is yet to be uncovered.
With this excitement comes varying levels of anxiety or concern about the unknown. There is so much yet to be completed before the future is revealed. For those of us who will return to the College next year we know that although different the following year has a pattern that is known and safe. Our senior students are stepping out into the unknown. Everything will change! All that they hope for is yet to be achieved as the final weeks are vital if those goals are to be realised.
As a Jesuit Companion School or an ‘Ignatian College’ we would do well to pause and consider St Francis Xavier moments like this. His life can offer us much to contemplate and apply when change occurs.
St Francis Xavier was one of St Ignatius’ closest friends and one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). He was born in 1506, leaving his home to journey to Paris and study when he was nineteen. By the age of thirty he had earned a Master’s degree in Philosophy. He lectured at the university for a number of years and entered into a Theology degree, where he met Ignatius. Although slightly older than Xavier the two became close friends. He completed the Spiritual Exercises under the spiritual direction of Ignatius and with the other founding members took vows and then was ordained in 1537. The Society was approved in 1540. A year later Xavier left Europe on his mission to the East.
He journey was hazardous and extreme in its vision. Accounts recorded that Xavier willingly entered into his mission with great joy and enthusiasm. Travelling from Rome (Italy) he travelled to Lisbon (Portugal), Maputo (Mozambique), Melindi (Kenya), Socotra (an island off the coast of Somalia) and Goa (India). He then achieved a feat that no other missionary had ever done in entering Japan where he evangelized for two years. He then was able to achieve another first by securing passage and entry into mainland China to spread the Gospel. Sadly, whilst waiting for transport to the mainland he died of fever in sight of his destination.
Our senior students have much in common with St Francis Xavier at this time. They are about to enter into a busy time where they will embark on a journey where the goal is known but the path and outcome not a guaranteed. Our students know what is required over the final weeks of their secondary schooling. Having confidence in those who have guided them and their own abilities will ensure that they are able to achieve all that is desired.
Just as Ignatius mentored Xavier, our students have many people who they are able to gain support from even though they have officially ‘finished’ classes. Being focussed and trusting in all that has been learnt is vital now as they journey onwards. Unlike Xavier our students are able to come back whenever required to seek guidance. But generally most will seek to spread their wings and over the coming weeks will seek to rightly trust in themselves.
Francis Xavier was enthusiastic and confident in his abilities, through faith in God. Our students can also aspire to possess these virtues. At the College we hope that they enter into these final weeks with enthusiasm and a level of excitement. Although tension will be experienced during the exam period and the wait for results, it is an exciting time. A positive mind set throughout will guarantee great outcomes. After six years living in our faith community they know our God and are able to trust in him.
At the final assembly on Monday Fr James Puppady spoke to the senior students. As president of the Canonical Administrators he cares very much for the College and our community. His pastoral concern was summed up in his final comment about trusting in God. He used four points to emphasise the love of God that is with them always and can be relied upon as they conclude their studies and exams.
"Every day God thinks of you" - Psalms 68: 19.
"Every hour God looks after you" - 1 Thessalonians 3: 3.
"Every minute God cares for you" - 1 Peter 5:7.
" Because every second he loves you" - Jerimiah 31: 3.
Inspired by Fr James’ message and the life of St Francis Xavier our senior students can place any concerns they have with Our Lord and trust in his love and protection. They will achieve all they hope for. Enthusiasm, courage, joy and faith are virtues that will make this period of their lives positive and fulfilling. All of these virtues can be observed in the life of St Francis Xavier and his mission to the East. Inspired by him our senior students may also achieve feats that have never been accomplished before now and in their future lives.
As our Year 12s complete their secondary school ’mission’ I encourage you to pray for the intercession of St Francis Xavier who knows well the excitement and tension present at this time. I also hope that you will continue to pray for them after this year ends as they begin their next ‘mission’ in service of God and all people – Amare et sevire.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Our Year 12 students have now completed their formal education and time at Saint Ignatius College.
A series of Celebration Events have taken place over the past week to recognise, to celebrate, to reflect and to come together as a school community to pay tribute to the Class of 2018. It has also been a time for the Year 12 students to extend their gratitude and appreciation to all who have supported them throughout their journey.
It is so important for the school community to gather in prayer and sacrament as well as socially as the Year 12 students were presented with a College gift. “Finding Gods Traces” is a beautiful book given to all graduating students from Jesuit Colleges. The book is designed to remind our graduating young men and women of the importance of daily prayer and we hope it will further encourage them to seek and to continually find God in all aspects of their lives.
Monday 22nd October was the final College Assembly for Year 12 students. The atmosphere on the day was one of emotion, humour and appreciation. The assembly began by farewelling our Year 12 students in a positive and dignifying manner, celebrating their achievements and the end of their six-year journey at Saint Ignatius College. There was also a handover of our leadership candles from the current College Captains to the 2019 College Captains.
And finally on Tuesday 23rd October, the Year 12 students respectfully celebrated their final day of schooling. They began “Celebration Day” by walking around the College in their fancy dress themes before participating in team challenge activities. The final Year 12 Assembly was held and a shared lunch was enjoyed by the parents, students and staff of the College.
We are immensely proud of the ‘Class of 2018’, who during these last weeks have ended their school days with so much good will. I hope the coming years ahead will continue to ignite their potential and provide our students with much happiness, success and the inspiration to make their dreams a reality.
On behalf of the school community, I wish them well for their future endeavours. I would like to genuinely thank all the staff that made a positive contribution and assisted the Year 12 students throughout the year and to the parents and family members for supporting the Year 12 events over the past week.
Mr. Joe McLean Year 12 Coordinator
Welcome back to the final school term for 2018. I hope all students have had an enjoyable and restful break (with some revision and preparation for the new term) and are looking forward to finishing the year off on an excellent note.
The Interim-semester Two Reports and follow-up Parent/Student/Teacher meetings held at the end of last term will have helped identify and affirm good progress to date, provided a valuable opportunity to discuss areas of concern and helped set some directions for a productive term ahead.
The Yr 12 VCE students sat their practice exams during the second week of the holidays. Acting Deputy Principal, Mrs Oliver reported that she was very pleased overall with the way the students approached this very important assessment preparation.
Three recent international student trips
All three groups returned safely during the holidays. All reports to date indicate the trips went very well. I thank the staff involved and commend the students who were able to participate on the very positive comments I received about their enthusiastic and cooperative approach.
Italian Study Tour - Seventeen Years 10 & 11 Italian class students travelled with three teachers to Italy. They visited Rome, Pompei, Sorrento, Mensanello, Florence, Bologna and Venice before returning home after a wonderful experience over 20 days. The students were involved in a homestay program for six days of the trip.
Thank you to Mr Francesco Melli for leading this trip.
Indonesian Study Tour - Twenty-two students, four staff members and one alumnus (teacher assistant) enjoyed a 13-day Langauge and Cultural Immersion trip to Indonesia.
Many thanks to Ms Julia Hall (LOTE Learning Area Leader) for all she has done towards the planning of the trip
East Timor Immersion Trip - Twenty Years 10 & 11 students travelled with two staff members and a Destination Dreaming Leader to Dili and the Arturo Island.
Thank you to Mrs Anna Oliver for leading this trip.
Final week for Year 12s
All parents of Year 12 students will receive a letter from me early next week to communicate some of our expectations and hopes and the plans in place at this stage to help facilitate a positive and smooth finish. (Extra copies are available from our office.) It is obviously very important that the Year 12s remain as focused as possible on their studies right through to the last exam. A lot depends on their ability to apply themselves well during this time. I have made it very clear about our expectations for a positive finish by the senior students on their ‘last day,’ Tuesday 23rd October.
Normal timetabled classes for the Year 12 students will cease on Monday 22nd October 2018. The next day, Tuesday 23rd October, will be the Yr 12 ‘Celebration Day.’ The VCE written exam period starts on Wednesday 31st October 2018 with the English exam (for LOTE Oral, Drama & Music Performance exam times please check with the subject teacher, some of these examinations have already started.) Visit the following website for the VCE exam timetable:
After Tuesday 23rd October 2018, Year 12 teachers will be available during normal class time and by appointment out of class time until the exam for their particular subject. Teachers will discuss these arrangements with their students.
A number of special activities are planned over the “last week” to help make this a special and memorable time for the students and parents. In particular, I remind parents of Year 12 students and friends of the College about the Year 12 Mass at the College Gym on Thursday 18th October 2018 (7:00 pm) and the Full School Assembly on Monday 22nd October (report to the office at 10.30am for a 10:45 am start.) It is expected that all Yr 12 students and their families will attend the special Mass on the 18th October and you would be most welcome to attend the assembly.
I wish our Year 12 students and their families a special and memorable time during the last phase of their secondary school journey.
Next Full School Assembly
All Parents are warmly invited to attend this term’s assembly on Monday 22nd October 2018. I ask you to please report to the office at 10:30 am so you can be allocated a seat. The main focus of the assembly will be, as in past years, the school’s farewell to the Year 12 students.
Wednesday 24th October 2018 – normal classes
Please note that this day is not a holiday for our students – classes will run as normal. As you are aware, this is the day of the annual “Geelong Cup.” Some schools are taking this day as a holiday; we are not as we take Melbourne Cup day instead (together with the day before.)
As some schools are taking Geelong Cup off, there was a question over what school buses will run on this day. The Region’s School Bus Coordinator has informed our Bus Coordinator that buses will run on this day for our students. I would suggest that students should check with their driver just prior to the day, particularly those on buses that carry students from other schools, in case there are any special arrangements being made due to less students travelling on this day.
Opening of the Geelong Tech School
Very positive news for secondary education in the Geelong region with the official opening of the Geelong Tech School on Tuesday. Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney opened the state-of-the-art Geelong Tech School, the eighth of 10 to open under the State Government’s Tech School initiative.
At the opening, Mr Merlino said, “We need students to be ready for the jobs of the future and that’s why we’re investing in Tech Schools – so they can get the hands-on learning with technology they need. The Geelong Tech School will form an important link between our schools, TAFEs, universities and industry.”
One of our Year 11 Maths/Science students, Sophie Skuza had the honour of being co-Master of Ceremonies for the Opening. Sophie did a tremendous job. It was great to see Sophie along with many other students from a variety of Geelong schools being involved in the celebration and promotion of this new facility.
Located at The Gordon Institute’s Geelong campus, the Tech School will give Geelong’s secondary schools access to the latest technology and programs that will support schools to better equip students with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future.
At the new Geelong Tech School, there are purpose-built spaces for students to collaborate, practice design thinking and participate in high-level problem solving, as well as design spaces where students get hands-on experience using specialised high-tech STEM equipment.
Geelong Tech School programs will be offered free to local students and will align with local industries most in need of skilled workers, including healthcare and social assistance, transport, defence and construction technologies and professional, scientific and technical services.
The Geelong Tech School has a web page on The Gordon website and can be viewed at http://www.thegordon.edu.au/future-students/gts
At Saint Ignatius College, we are considering how we can use the facilities of the Tech School to enhance our student’s STEM skills. I represent the Geelong Catholic Secondary College Principals on the Committee of Management of the Tech School. One of our Science Teachers, Mr Michael Brown, is a member of the Curriculum Committee. Planning is underway for how our students’ learning in the STEM area could be enhanced by accessing the Tech School.
One example that is currently being developed as a trial program involves two of our Yr 8 DigiTech classes. Mr Brown is working with Barwon Water and the Geelong Tech School to design a project that requires robot design and construction to solve a real-life problem such as the unblocking of a drainage pipe. The two classes will be involved in this pilot program during this term. Also in term 4, all Year 7 students will undertake a day excursion to visit the new Tech School as part of their DigiTech subject. We look forward to further developing our involvement with the Geelong Tech School for next year.
The series of three images in the attached photo gallery are:
Photo 1: Sophie Skuza with Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, James Merlino and Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney and Minister for Police and Water, Lisa Neville
Photo 2: Sophie Skuza with Geelong Tech School Director, Leanne Collins and SICG Teacher, Michael Brown
Photo 3: Sophie Skuza with her parents, Zenon and Magdalena Skuza
Drysdale Bypass – map for pedestrian route and project letter update
Work on the construction of the Bypass has commenced.
Consequently, there will be access restrictions to enable construction works to proceed and ensure safety for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.
The Major Road Project Authority (MRPA) has identified a safe route for pedestrians walking between the College and the closest public bus stops.
The MRPA has provided an update about the Bypass project progress. You can download this letter by clicking on the link below.
Parents to note MRPA information provided.
Parents to inform their student about the pedestrian route and discuss safety in regards to the construction works.
See the MRPA letter for contact details.
Below are PDFs of the Drysdale Bypass Site Map and the Drysdale Bypass Construction Commencement letter:
Michael Exton Principal
As we return to the College for the final time in 2018 we enter our final journey for the year. For some it is the last part of a six year journey from which they will embark on new academic or employment ‘journeys’ as they finish their final year. For a third of our Year 9 students their camp experience will include journeys with that will challenge them physically and mentally as they rock climb and hike around the Grampians.
The other groups will also be challenged as they kayak and mountain bike across the state. At the College we also think about staff members Alicia Deak and Caleb Ryan as they complete a Camino across Spain. Journeys are often more than getting from one place to another. Often journeys challenge us and we grow because of this experience. When this happens we have completed a pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages have been a central component of faith for people over many thousands of years. Pilgrims generally travel light, pray often, reflect upon life and God, have a destination that offers a deeper connection with God and an open heart. Pilgrimages allow people to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary.
Although we may not all be able to participate in the pilgrimages at this time we can engage in pilgrimage in our daily life and in doing so experience a closer relationship and understanding of God.
D.I.Y. Pilgrimage Guide
1. Get outside – make a decision to break out and experience the beautiful gift of nature that we are so fortunate to have. You might head to a beach, a dedicated path or simply walk out the door and keep walking.
2. Get moving – experiencing movement through activity brings us to a deeper awareness of the magnificence of our bodies. This perfection is often something that we overlook. However, as God knitted you together in your mothers womb (Psalm 139:13), He was well aware of the complexity and perfection needed so that your body might do all that is required.
3. Clear your mind – make an attempt to remove distraction. You will find that this will take some effort. We are so ‘busy’ that we do not often stop. But to truly seek God we need to ‘be still’ (Psalm 46:10) and take time to listen for the movements of God in and around us.
4. Be open-minded – As you journey try to do away with what you think God will ‘be’. You may find that God offers himself in a moment of beauty, such as a sunset. He may offer himself as that small inner voice or movement that offers a connection or insight through your conscience. He may simply offer you peace.
5. Reflect – When your journey ends, whether it is long or short, take the time to reflect and offer thanks. In doing so you make good your relationship with God and will be encouraged to journey again.
St Ignatius of Loyola was a great pilgrim. After his recuperation he traveled across Spain to Manresa. This journey changed him and opened his heart to God. This journey changed his inner nature, the exclusion of what was ordinary and a commitment to seeking God changed Ignatius’ outlook and allowed God to be better witnessed.
At the conclusion of his pilgrimage across Spain, he spent nine months at Manresa where he committed himself completely to seeking God. Forsaking everything else, he was able to ‘find God’ and most significantly personally experience God. During this time he reflected upon his experiences deeply and recorded ‘The Spiritual Exercises’, which we continue to practice today.
I believe his most profound understanding from this period was Ignatius’ understanding of ‘God in all things’. With this thought in mind we are inspired to look at all we encounter with the expectation that we will see God. This leads us to bring peace to all whom we meet and enables us to live every moment in silent but prodigious prayer.
I hope that this week you might be inspired to enter into a DIY pilgrimage of your own.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Twenty-two Indonesian language students from Years 10 and 11 joined four staff (Ms Julia Hall, Mr Joe McLean, Ms Elana Cole and Mrs Caroline Edmonds) to explore Jakarta and North Sumatra. The trip began in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, where we explored sites of national importance, including MONAS (Monumen Nasional), Istiqlal Mosque and the state Cathedral, as well as one of the cities massive and impressive shopping malls.
As we slowly grew acclimatised to the hot and humid weather, we them embarked on the epic road trip section of the trip. Flying into Medan in North Sumatra, we headed down to Bukit Lawang, in the Gunung Leuser National Park, where we spent a day in the jungle exploring and looking for orangutans. We were lucky enough to find several, including a big male and several females with their adorable babies.
From Bukit Lawang we also visited Tangkahan. Originally a logging village, when the locals realised the damage being done, they collectively decided to stop illegal logging and transform the area into a self-sustained ecotourism destination. It’s now home to several rehabilitated adult Sumatran elephants and their small calves. By joining the elephants in their morning bathing, we were very pleased to support the local initiative, which also helps to safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment. And how many people can say they’ve had an elephant wash them back!
We then powered on to the shores of Lake Toba, a natural lake occupying the caldera of a supervolcano. Samosir (the island that happens to be bigger than Singapore) occupies the middle of Lake Toba, and we took to a boat to explore the villages of Ambarita (featuring ancient megalithic furniture and catchy Toba Batak dancing) and Tomok (with traditional tombs combining Christian and animistic beliefs).
The group made lots of new friends everywhere they went and seized every opportunity to build their language skills. Well done to all students involved:
William Bothe, Lucy Carpenter, Madeleine Crothers, Maeve Dungey, Tex Hallam, Jasmine Hay, Bella Harry, Emily Henry, Kaidyn Henry, Guy Herbert, Lucy Irving, Luke Lawson, Dana Lourie, Sean Malone, Mikayla Michels, Ruby Moreland, Nikita Page, Andrew Power, Hannah Scott, Thomas Smith, Maggie Van Bakkum and Natalia Wilcox
Ms Julia Hall Learning Area Leader - Languages
What the students had to say:
Wow! What an experience. Indonesia is an amazing country with a vast amount of opportunities. We trekked for orangutans in the Sumatran jungle, visited the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, washed and fed fruit to elephants in a river, scaled a colossal Jakarta mall, donated a cheque to conservation organisations while conversing with native speakers throughout. I am grateful to the College for allowing these opportunities to take place as well as to Ms. Edmonds, Bu Cole and Mr. McLean for accompanying us on this journey and for their great care of us. I am especially thankful to Bu Hall for her organisation, humour and enthusiasm, making the trip a highly memorable experience.
That it was the best trip, and that you don't expect everyone to be so welcoming but the locals are so friendly and lovely that they make you feel safe and welcome.
Maggie Van Bakkum
It was incredible to go to so many different places with in 12 days. It was awesome to visit the country that I have been learning the language of for 5 years.
After being lucky enough to visit Indonesia through the school's Indonesian program, I feel as if my language skills have improved immensely and I have also developed new friendships and perspectives on different cultures as a whole.
I’ve heard the word ‘struggling’ sometimes used when describing a student’s learning progress. I have probably used this word myself. I was struck by the message in an article1 I read recently about engaging teenagers in reading, “we should stop using the word struggling.” The article’s author thinks this description reinforces the mindset that some people can become readers and some cannot. I think this could be extended to all areas of learning.
Labelling a learner as ‘struggling’ may undermine the learner’s self-belief and weaken his or her determination to take on the challenge that will lead to learning progress. ‘Struggling’ in a particular area has a sense that progress is going to be unlikely, that achievement is going to be less than satisfactory and may lead to giving up the struggle. Learning is a life-long process. We can always learn more. In keeping with our focus on a ‘growth mindset’, the better word to use is ‘developing.’ Developing implies that although you may not be there yet, you can make progress and overtime keep getting better. With the belief that skills are built, we can learn and grow with a focus on the process rather than being worried about performance, ‘developing’ is more empowering and encouraging than ‘struggling.’
It is difficult to strike a balance between building our natural strengths and developing other skills through slow, but continued persistence. Research indicates the importance of challenge in building neural pathways. It appears that our brains grow and increase in plasticity most when we work through difficult things. And in the process of learning things that we may not enjoy or do not come quickly, we may discover our strengths and passions as well as become aware of our weaknesses and how we can adapt and manage difficulties.
Providing encouragement, learning material within the zone of challenging but doable coupled with content that matches student interests and needs will enhance progress. Students will develop a belief that they can get better and they can learn. Self-belief is very important when it comes to learning, and a student who sees himself/herself as a developing rather than a struggling student in a particular area is more likely to make better progress.
[1. - Ref: “Hippocampus, Principal’s digest newsletter,” No. 10, 2018 Ed. Linda Brown.]
It is hard to believe that next week is the last week of term three. When the Year 12 students return next term, they will have just over two weeks of formal classes remaining before exams commence in late October. To maximise their level of achievement, our senior students obviously need to plan to make the most of the remaining time.
To help you with your planning can I please remind all parents about the following:
Semester Two Interim Reports will be available via the Parent Portal on Wednesday 12th September
The follow-up Parent, Teacher and Student Meetings will be held on next Thursday 20th September (4.00pm to 6.00pm and 7.00pm to 8.30pm) and Friday 21st September (9.00am to 12noon);
Last day of term three classes will be Thursday 20th September. Please note that Friday 21st September is a student free day due to the Parent / Teacher / Student meetings.
The first day of term four is Monday 8th October.
A letter has been emailed to parents/guardians to explain how to book a Parent, Teacher and Student Meeting.
In the lead up to Father’s Day, we saw the successful completion of the second round of the annual “Time & Space” evenings for the year.
On the Tuesday we held the Year 7 Father & Daughter Night and on the Thursday the Year 8 Father & Son Night. The feedback has again been overwhelmingly very positive.
I commend the students who were able to bring along their father or male mentor and congratulate the men who were able to come and share some special time with their girl or boy. I also congratulate the students who volunteered to help in one of some ways on the night. Well done to Mr. Michael Timms (Deputy Principal), Ms. Tory Wood (YLC) and the staff teams who were involved with working with Mr. Bill Jennings (Time & Space Facilitator) for coordinating these events.
After last year’s successful launch, on the Wednesday evening prior to Father’s Day, we ran the Year 9 Parent and student night – “Thyme & plates.” All places we snapped up for this wonderful night that involved parents and their daughter or son cooking and sharing a meal together. The participants were guided through thought provoking conversation that builds on the 'Time & Space' program.
Thank you to Mr. Michael Timms (Deputy Principal), Ms. Tory Wood (YLC), Ms. Kristin Williamson (YLC) and the staff teams who were involved.
Thank you to parents who completed the online school improvement surveys. Students and staff members have also been surveyed. “Insight SRC” conducts the surveys on behalf of Saint Ignatius College Geelong and the Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and they will provide us with an analysis of the responses later in the year. Your feedback will provide valuable information for the College Executive to use to monitor how we are going as a school and plan for improvements.
A commendable initiative of some of our senior students was the CLOGS (Catholic Leaders of Geelong Schools) “Op. Shop” that was jointly organised by students from the four Catholic Colleges. The students collected donated clothing from students at their schools and sold these items at the Geelong West Town Hall last Saturday morning. All reports indicate this was a very successful activity. Some of the clothing was made available to certain local groups, and the rest was sold with the funds raised going to the charity, St Vincent de Paul Society.
Well done to our College Captains, Dean O’Brien and Kerry Kingsbury, Mr. Anthony Gravener (Student Leadership Development Coordinator) and the team of senior students involved in organising this activity.
With the warmer months approaching, can I please ask parents to check that their daughter's/son’s summer uniform is in order before they need to wear it next term? Some things to be mindful of are:
The summer shirt can be worn not tucked in to the shorts;
The only type of school shoes permissible are black leather (able to be polished) ones, preferably lace-up (no skate or sports type shoes);
The jumper is not to be the outer garment when travelling to and from school, if it is cold the student should wear their blazer;
Long hair (longer than to the shoulder) is tied back with college coloured ribbons and kept off the face;
Summer uniform dress length must be to the knee; and
The navy blue school hat is compulsory in term four.
Please find a copy of the uniform policy that relates to summer uniform in the front section of the student planner.
Best wishes to Ms Jessica Grapsas who will commence parental leave from the beginning of next term. Ms Kristin Williamson will take on the Acting Food Technology Learning Area position for the remainder of this year with Ms Grapsas being away. I welcome, Ms. Simone Martin who will cover Ms Grapsas’ classes for term four.
Mrs Annette Chidzey will be away for the first six weeks of next term on long service leave. On behalf of our school community I wish Mrs Chidzey a restful and enjoyable time. Ms Anna Oliver will be Acting Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) during Mrs Chidzey’s absence.
On behalf of the College community, I express my sympathy to the Evans family - Steve, Joanne, Caitlin (2012), Kelly (2017) and David (Year 10) - on the loss of their loved son and brother, Toby. Toby finished Year 12 in 2010 at Saint Ignatius College. Please keep the Evans family on your thoughts and prayers at this very sad and difficult time.
May Toby rest in peace.
This is the final newsletter for term three. The next newsletter will be available late in the day on Thursday 11th October 2018.
I hope all students have a restful break with some time spent revising work and preparing for next term included. Best wishes to all families for an enjoyable time together.
Thank you to our dedicated and hard-working staff members for their efforts to support our students’ educational experiences throughout the term. I wish all staff members who will be on holidays my best wishes for a well-deserved and enjoyable break.
Michael Exton Principal
As we enter the crescendo of the winter sporting season we are able to observe the best of people and moments where they let themselves and their team down. As winning might seem the most important goal some players offer grace and highlight the fact that respectful and fair competition supersedes the outcome. Conversely we see other examples where in the heat of the moment some placing fairness and respect a distant second. With many of our students competing in finals at this time we contemplate the connections between our actions and our emotions.
The role of the College is to teach young people the required knowledge and administrative the nuances that will help them achieve the best ATAR result or pathway outcomes that will help them stand out as a potential trainee or apprentice. This role is enhanced by our Ignatian understanding of cura personalis - care for the whole person. At Saint Ignatius we believe that we offer an education based upon something more profound than an ATAR score or potential employment opportunity. Our primary role at the College is to develop the whole person; mind, body and spirit. Although at times we too can be blinded by the emotion and ‘competition’ of academic success just as sportspeople can be blinkered by the aspiration to win.
Society has a similar interest in personal development as the College. Generally, this understanding is referred to as ‘emotional intelligence’ by employers and motivational speakers. Emotional intelligence is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”. In being aware of our emotions we are able to objectively discern what informs and prompts our feelings which directs our decisions and actions both positively and negatively. Aware of the basis for what drives us we might then determine if we should proceed or not. Ignatius was very clear in stating that in times of desolation to make no change, only make change or respond to important issues when in consolation.
In the sporting world this is where things sometimes go wrong. When the entire season is determined by each game of the finals series, emotions are heightened and if not controlled can lead a player to do or say something that is ‘out of character’. The US Open Women’s Final on the weekend was an example of how emotions can overcome a person. Serena Williams’ outburst offered an example of how ugly sport can be when emotions take control. In the coming days and weeks, she will be further sanctioned by the association and the fans who desire better. With time to reflect she will seek redemption and offer an apology with humility and remorse worthy of the champion she is. Soon new competition will begin and fans will eagerly await the perfection that might be seen in sporting excellence and in the respect and fairness heroes like Serena might offer; no matter what the result may be.
Through sport we also observe the best of human nature and beauty found in respectful competition. Five years ago Spanish athlete Ivan Anaya refused to let a mistake by Olympic Bronze Medalist Abel Mutai allow him to win. After mistakenly stopping ten meters before the official finish line Abel Mutai was guided to the finish by the Spaniard who gestured that the race had not finished and jogged behind him until they passed the finish line. If Ivan chose to go past the Kenyan, he would not have broken any official rule but even in the heat of the moment he gave up what would have been his best ever result. Because of his selfless actions Ivan Anaya has become somewhat of a sporting icon even though he has not won an Olympic or World Championship medal, at least not yet.
Being in control of your emotions does not mean that you do not have any, it means that in practice you don’t let your emotions lead you to make decisions you might later regret. Ivan is an excellent example of this fact.
At the College we seek to develop emotional intelligence in our students. We seek to especially focus on helping students be able to discern the better from the good and make a decision founded upon the magis. As we consider the definition of emotional intelligence we also hope to help students develop judicious and empathetic relationships. Making good judgements in relationships can often be challenging and emotion driven. Developing right relationships requires maturity and control over one’s emotions. In friendship or being in a community we also need to develop empathy for others, even those we might find difficult or compete against. In being empathetic we enter into the experience of the other in a personal way and ‘feel’ what they do. Through empathy we are sensitive to the needs of the other and are able to move beyond our own thoughts and feelings.
St Ignatius was well aware of the negative outcomes of competitiveness and the lack of emotional control. In time and with God’s guidance he became an exemplar of emotional intelligence and how it might be mastered. In desiring only what brings glory to God and removing disordered attachments Ignatius was able to overcome emotion and the movement of the ‘bad spirit’. His spiritual legacy guides us so that we might achieve contentedness and all that is of God. His wisdom developed the Ignatian understanding of cura personalis which we at the College strive to achieve so that every student can achieve the plan God has for them.
Sporting clubs spend a great deal of money in an attempt to develop a positive mindset and build strong relational bonds within a team. Much of the time these initiatives within clubs achieve the desired outcome, however, sometimes the pressure is too much and emotions get the better of the player or the team. Our Ignatian tradition can strengthen these ideas students that they encounter in their sporting pursuits and enhance their emotional intelligence through developing a deeper relationship with self and God.
As the finals session reaches a climax we look forward to the achievements of our students as they compete in their chosen sports. We await the last two games of the finals and hope that no matter what the result our students compete with distinction, respect for others and a spirit of fairness. Emotional intelligence is a modern phrase that articulates so much of what we hope to develop in working with our students, cura personalis is a word we use to describe what we focus on at the College that we believe develops the same behaviours and attitudes.
Yours in Christ,
Mr Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
A look back over a very busy Term 3!
As Year 10 and 11 Indonesian and Italian students prepare to head out on their Language immersions next week, let’s take a look back at Languages over term three.
One of the best ways to understand a country’s culture is through its food, and students always enjoy the opportunity to explore culinary treats. Year 9 Italian students went on a multicultural food tour of Melbourne’s CBD, with friendly tour guides leading students to the best places to taste the most delicious food, varying from Chinese street food to authentic Italian gelato, hand-made Indian samosas, French macarons and more. During the three-hour mouth-watering tour, the guides also took the opportunity to share stories about the history of Melbourne, highlighting the development and evolution that highlights how foreign influences have made Australian culture so rich, diverse and unique.
Year 10 Unit 1 VCE Indonesian and Italian students also enjoyed separate food-themed excursions to Melbourne. The Italian class toured Melbourne’s CBD exploring spice shops, cafes and delicatessens that showcase “food as art” in the Italian tradition. Entering Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar felt like going back in time, and the students were impressed by Grossi Florentino, which has been providing traditional Italian fine-dining since 1871. The Indonesian class experienced a taste of Indonesia, visiting an Asian supermarket in the QV Building and enjoying an Indonesian lunch at Nelayan Restaurant. Back at school they used their purchases to prepare, cook and share a delicious variety of Indonesian food.
Year 8 Indonesian students also got in on the act, celebrating Indonesian Independence Day (and their unit on food) with special Indonesian Nasi Campur lunchboxes. Staff and students from other year levels joined in for a very yummy lunch. Year 8 Indonesian classes also had the opportunity to learn about and play the gamelan, having a go at several different musical instruments and after a short amount of practice managing to successfully play a reasonable tune! Teamwork and listening skills certainly helped to make this experience memorable.
A huge highlight of the term for VCE Indonesian students was definitely the very special opportunity to celebrate Indonesian Independence day. Having been personally invited by His Excellency YTH, Bapak Kristiarto Legowo to attend the official celebrations at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, students witnessed a flag ceremony and the Independence Day Proclamation, before enjoying a traditional Indonesian banquet. Indonesian language skills were put into practice, as students deepened their intercultural understanding of Indonesia. Following the formalities, students reflected on this experience with a visit to the Australian War Memorial, before heading to the National Art Gallery to explore the Indonesian section there.
Students from Year 7 through to Year 12 geared up for some healthy competition with this year’s Language Perfect Vic Championships, which tied in with the Geelong Regional Languages Competition and our first ever Saint Ignatius House Competition. Congratulations went to Cuthbert for taking out first place in our local competition and winning 500 house points. As a school, we took out second place in both the Geelong competition and in the state. But of course, the real winner here was Languages!
As Italian and Indonesian students and staff set off on this year’s Language tours, we wish them all the best in expanding their language skills and truly immersing themselves in the culture of their destination. May they make the most of the opportunity to experience first-hand the language and culture of the country they have spent so much time learning about in class and return inspired and ready to utilise their experiences in their future studies.
Selamat Jalan! Buon Viaggio!
On Friday the 17th of August, six of our senior students, teachers Ms Elana Cole, Ms Julia Hall and I had the honour of attending a special celebration at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra. We were personally invited by His Excellency YTH Bapak Kristiarto Legowo (Indonesian Ambassador) to attend an official function to celebrate the Republic of Indonesia’s 73rd year of independence. I am very grateful for the warm hospitality of the Ambassador and his colleagues and the valuable opportunity this visit provided our students and Indonesian teachers to develop their language skills and further their understanding and appreciation of Indonesian history and culture.
After a very warm welcome, we witnessed a flag raising ceremony, the Independence Day Proclamation and a performance by Indonesian pop star Michael J. Then we enjoyed a traditional Indonesian banquet. To finish our visit, we were very honoured to be invited to a special meeting with the Ambassador, his Deputy, and the Attache for Education at which we exchanged expressions of gratitude and our desires for the strengthening of relationships between our two countries.
I was very proud of the senior students who attended; they were great ‘ambassadors’ for our College. They all studied the Indonesian language and made the most of this opportunity to practice their language skills and deepen their intercultural understanding of Indonesia. Each student was presented with a certificate acknowledging their endeavours to strengthen bilateral relations by the Ambassador. Well done to students - William Bothe, Emily Henry, Alexander Henry, Luke Lawson, Debra Lu, Brent Keast, Keira Ford and Emily Jones.
This is the third year that staff and senior Indonesian language students have been personally invited to the Indonesian Embassy for this celebration event. This honour is a tribute to my colleagues, Ms Elana Cole and Ms Julia Hall, who are well-respected teachers of Indonesian Language.
Following the formalities, the students visited the Australian War Memorial and then the National Art Gallery where they explored the Indonesian section.
Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is one of the cross-curriculum priorities of the Victorian Curriculum. Our College has a robust Indonesian Language program from Years 7 to 12. It is a credit to our Indonesian Language teachers and their students that we offer such a valuable program as part of the College’s curriculum.
Another valuable and exciting opportunity that many of our Years 10 and 11 students have coming up is the biennial Indonesian Language Tour. On Saturday 15th September, Twenty-two students, four staff members and one alumnus (teacher assistant), depart for a 13-day trip to Indonesia.
We will also have another group travelling to South East Asia for the annual East Timor ‘immersion’ experience. Twenty Yr 10 & 11 students will travel with two staff members and a Destination Dreaming Leader to Dili and the Arturo Island. They depart on Sunday 16th September and return on Wednesday 26th September.
Also, while I am mentioning trips, I wish 17 students and three staff members all the best for their Italian Language Immersion Trip. This group departs the day before the Indonesian group and will visit Rome, Pompei, Sorrento, Mensanello, Florence, Bologna and Venice before returning home after what promises to be a wonderful experience over 20 days. The students will be involved in a homestay program for six days of the trip. As well as providing a tremendous cultural experience, the students will have many opportunities to practice their Italian language skills.
I wish all of our student and staff members travelling overseas at the end of this term a very safe, rewarding and enjoyable time.
Mr Michael Exton Principal
…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8:38-39
This week at the College we celebrated the week of prayer and action for migrants and refugees. Ironically during this week Australia ‘celebrated’ its first arrival of refugees by boat in four years. Currently there are a number of refugees hiding in the mangroves which are home to crocodiles and offer no fresh water. At this point it would be good to consider their position, what they are experiencing and what they are feeling emotionally.
In considering their situation, we might suggest the feelings of hunger, thirst, fear, loneliness, being lost, having no one who can help, desperation… In contemplating these emotions, we can have empathy for them as they hope to avoid authorities, survive and when ‘caught’ somehow be able to navigate the immigration-refugee process and make their home in Australia. When we empathise we look through the eyes of Jesus. Although there are polarized views on the issue of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia we can all look at the person, empathise with their situation, act as Jesus did and bring the Gospel to life in our world.
We are able empathise with others as we have all experienced sadness and pain in our lives. Each of us has experienced life and the emotions that accompany our life experiences. We have all been lonely, afraid, persecuted, thirsty, lost, bereaved, isolated, hungry, cold, victimized… We can all look at someone’s situation and ‘feel’ what they are feeling. These emotions have a name in our tradition, we use the word desolation to describe these emotions and their source(s).
Saint Ignatius was well aware of such emotions, negative thoughts and how in his life they came to be. As he reflected upon his life and his future after his injury at Pamplona he noticed that some thoughts bought him great joy and wholeness. He called this sensation consolation. At Manresa he wrote that:
“…desolation is the name I give to everything contrary to consolation… darkness and disturbance in the soul, attraction to what is low and of the earth, anxiety arising from various agitations and temptations. All this tends to a lack of confidence in which the soul is without hope and without love; one finds oneself lazy, lukewarm, sad, and as though cut off from ones Creator…”
Desolation is the term we can use to describe the feeling of those asylum seekers as well as those feelings we experience personally.
Desolation always has a source. It may be an encounter with another person, a loss of some kind or our lack of attention towards something of importance. When we experience desolation we often focus intently upon the cause rather than considering what is actually occurring within us emotionally and spiritually. When we experience desolation the most certain and efficient response is to remove oneself as Ignatius did and discern what is occurring. This is how we are able to clearly identify the cause, the reason for the situation and determine the appropriate response.
It is in the period of contemplation and discernment that we are able to see as God does. This is best done alone and away from distraction. When we experience things that are bad or hurtful we should actually focus our attention upon the feeling of desolation. Rather than seek to make good the experience of desolation we should accept that life has moments of both consolation and desolation; good and bad. When we sit within the context of desolation we can objectively view what is occurring, why it has occurred, who if anyone is at fault, how we might offer mercy and forgiveness to others and our self and how we might proceed in the future to move towards reconciliation and future consolation.
Desolation is often described as a period of emptiness or a sense of complete hopelessness. St John of Cross like Ignatius was a Spanish mystic and predecessor to Ignatius who wrote extensively of the ‘dark night of the soul’. Ignatius complimented St John of the Cross’ writings in offering a spiritual legacy that provides a way to move beyond the ‘dark night’, which Ignatius termed desolation, to wholeness and consolation. When we experience times of desolation we often perceive a spiritual loneliness. Just when we need God the most we can feel as though he is distant or ignoring us in our deep distress. This experience is common but erroneous.
When we feel lost and desperate for God we often focus our prayer upon an image of a God who will come and save us. Often however what we are asking of God is a miracle and often they are ‘impossible’ for our God. Impossible as he will not force us or the other to do anything. He speaks to us thorough our conscience, but yet we still are offered the most perfect gift of free will. Our God cannot change some situations as he is faithful and will not interfere with our freedom. Our God is loving, merciful and kind. He does not force us in any way, he is gentle. He does not do things that are not part Creation without exceptional intention; of which we cannot understand. What God does during our experience of desolation is simple and true; he loves us.
When we contemplate the source of our desolation we find that the cause is something that is irreparable and the experience of desolation is in fact a period of grief where we must mourn what has been lost. God is present though even if we feel he is distant. He is especially near to us when we need him. Although we might feel empty and alone we are deceived. When we experience desolation we have an opportunity to grow. Ignatius offers us a method, through stopping, observing and discerning, whereby we are able to become more spiritually mature, more grace filled and at peace with our journey. In seeking consolation and the good we also accept that life will have moments of desolation and loss.
Just like the asylum seekers with whom we can empathise what is best for us in moments of desolation is to stop and seek God. He is always with us, guides us gently and patiently waits for us to respond to his promptings and his love. In times of desolation must observe carefully the movement of God in and around us as we try to calm the storm and remove the distractions and temptations that obscure our vision.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Book Week 2018 brought back the 50 word story competition. It was a very hard fought competition with many creative and interesting stories. A big thank you to the Judging panel of Mr Michael Timms, Ms Gemma Etherington and Bu Julia Hall. Here are the winning entries
1st - Sarah McCosker - 7 Carroll
Calm. That’s all I felt, with the waves crashing over tumbling over onto the one in front. The fine sand clutching onto my feet leaving me with shoes made of sand, screeching and croaking of the seagulls scavenging around where the sea foam meets the concrete like sand. The smell of the salty light breeze every afternoon is my treasure
2nd - Claire Smeaton - 7 Carroll
The Lost Treasure
The signs on the pole indicated everything, my treasure was lost. I didn’t know where, no one knew where. It had already been 24 hours and counting. The night got darker and colder. I started to worry even more but one bark made all that worry drain out of me, he was home
3rd Lennon Gangoso - 9 Regis
I’ve waited at the airport for three hours. She’s not coming is she; everyone else has already found each other. Is she lost or got sent back; I started to feel melancholic and lonely. But then somebody called my name, I turned around and she’s finally here. My beloved mother!
Brought the LOL’s
1st - Maddie Crothers – 11 Juana
Hours, searching, longing needing a miracle. Sand under my nails. I dig, craving the ultimate dream. Ouch… splinter. A crate. A crate of secrets.
I open the crate. Blinded. Joy, shock, surprise. No, blinded by a gold shimmer. Yeet. What I’ve been waiting for. I is now a swashbuckler.
2nd - Jack Allison - 7 Coudere
Captain Duct-tape jumped up onto the big wooden box lying on the deck. “(In Scottish accent) FOR TOO LONG! WE HAVE BEEN UNDERESTIMATED BY THE REPUBLIC AND BULLIED BY OUR FELLOW VIKINGS, WE WILL FIND THIS TRESURE!” (in small voice) “Oi captain I found it” said henchman “Blimey!” exclaimed captain
1st - MJ Viljoen
Chuckling tiny little chubby cheeks,
nose to my nose and ‘round the garden in your palm.
Warm shape that somehow spoons my side;
no more tears when the darkness weighs.
Fingers that trace down my face;
skin of my skin, I know you my dear.
I made you from scratch
2nd - Tony Berryman-Long
Stygian wrapped night descends. Seized by terrible forces swept along at ever mounting speed towards the abyss. Once begun the presence of that evil marshalling to its own pattern somehow rid of human direction bled white. Pledged to continuance regardless of cost its own impetus perpetual and seemingly infinite.
How well do you think our College is travelling? What are we doing well? Where can we improve? At Saint Ignatius College we are committed to ongoing improvement. We use data from a variety of sources to monitor how we are performing and to inform our planning. For many years we have used the Catholic Education Melbourne’s (CEM) School Improvement Framework (SIF) as the basis for our improvement planning. Each year the consultancy company, “Insight SRC,” conduct surveys of parents, students and staff based on the SIF.
It is time again to conduct our annual surveys. The eldest student from each family should have brought home an envelope which contains the confidential log-in details for you to go online to complete the parent opinion survey. We need as many parents as possible to complete this online survey. Please note, the school is not privy to any specific answers as your responses go directly into a database that is managed by “Insight SRC.” The log-in details have been randomly assigned, and your responses cannot be identified. By completing this survey, you will provide valuable data that “Insight SRC” will analyse. We will use the resulting report to monitor the College’s progress and inform our improvement planning. The survey must be completed by Friday 24th August 2018.
I can readily point to many positive outcomes as a result of our strategic planning over recent years. Some of these include the following:
Moreover, of course, the pride, involvement and achievements of our very impressive students who have responded positively and constructively to the improvements and opportunities available to them are tremendous positive outcomes. The students are a credit to their families and their school.
Many of these achievements or levels of performance can be relatively easily quantified, measured and reported. There are many, many other essential things that we value and strive for at a deeper level that are not easily measured. They cannot be quantified, or we may not see the results of them until many years later on. As an Ignatian school, we are striving for the development of young women and men of:
The ‘Strategic Intent’ of our current School Improvement Plan (2017 – 2020) is to develop further:
It is crucial we do not rest on our laurels, and I recognise that there are areas in which we can and need to improve on. We want to ensure that we are continually reflecting on our programs and procedures and taking action to improve what and where we can. I urge all parents to please take the time to provide feedback through this survey. This will provide valuable data that will help the College Executive with school improvement decisions that will ultimately lead to improved learning outcomes for our students. Thank you in anticipation of your support for this important survey.
Michael Exton Principal
It seems as though Western society has reached a crossroad that will determine the future direction of our society. Survey after survey indicate that we are working beyond our limits and that balance required to feel content is not attainable. No matter what industry is investigated in our society people report that they feel as though there is not enough time and too much is being asked.
Compounding this trend, we may note that family life has also changed in recent decades and has added to the ‘work’ completed each day. No longer do children participate in their favourite sport or activity and learn an instrument. Today children from pre-school onward participate in multiple sports, learn an instrument and complete ‘homework’ of various kinds on a weekly basis. Life can seem chaotic and rushed.
For families what suffers is the sense of togetherness. Although families may be at the same place the connection being experienced is often not personal. Many parents are involved as a volunteer in schools, sporting clubs and community groups. Because of this it may seem that the predominant role of a parent today is as a support member who also serves as a taxi service, rather than a parent who loves and is present.
When I look back I remember that I did much less than my children do today. In particular I remember that I felt bored from time to time. Although I didn’t enjoy then as I reflect today I understand that it has served me well. Being bored roughly translates to not having anything that immediately requires attention and that the people and objects around you do not provide the stimulus required to move into an activity that fills the feeling of boredom.
Boredom in-fact may more correctly by defined by the word silence. Silence is multidimensional and can be experienced either positively or negatively. When we feel bored the silence is bleak. We are agitated and feel a need to fill the silence. The silence may be literal or metaphorical. When we find we have no plans and that nothing on offer can entertain us we experience a form of silence. In our society today however I note this is a rare experience. After all, if you find yourself in such a situation social media and any number of entertainment streaming platforms are designed to ensure that there is always something to occupy your attention.
Therefore, we must conclude that literal silence is what our society has lost. A period where distractions are removed and we truly enter in silence. We seem so busy that there is never a moment to stop, let alone experience silence without making a concerted effort. The practice of mindfulness is making inroads and offers society a simplistic practice that is secular and achieves the goal of bringing the attention to the present moment. It is in experiencing the present moment we experience the silence we need to balance our busy lives.
Mindfulness is attractive also meditative practice as it can be completed through contemplation or in action and is thus adaptable. Because of this it is more accessible to people in their daily lives than more formal methods. Through the practice of mindfulness, we are beginning to reclaim a practice that predates civilisation itself and is authentically human.
As religions developed over time the practice of meditation was a normal part of life and not religious as such. Similarly, spirituality also was intertwined with daily life and in a reciprocal manner strengthened meditation as meditation strengthened a person’s spirituality. Through experience and enlightenment humans developed deeper understandings in accordance with revealed truths and theology came to be. To support these new concepts rituals and doctrines were developed to assist people so that they might live a holistic life. However, our capacity to reason and analyse became the lens from which all life and human endeavour is viewed and because of this the spiritual, including religion moved to the periphery of life, especially in the Western world.
In spite of this there is good news. Through our Tradition we can reclaim what has been lost in practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us in a simple way experience the silence that we need. By focussing upon the present moment we can reclaim the balance. When we sit with the silence we will also glimpse the movement of God in and around us. Although mindfulness is a secular practice it’s inherently spiritual for those of faith. When we sit in the silence we experience that moment within ourselves, externally and in communion with God.
The earliest Christian communities developed an awareness of life that we in the modern world have forgotten. What is lost can be reclaimed and is ours as sons and daughters of God. An ancient mystic known as John the Solitary was a hermit monk who taught that:
“God is silence, and in silence is he sung by means of that psalmody which is worthy of Him… …There is a silence of the tongue, there is a silence of the whole body, there is a silence of the soul, there is the silence of the mind, and there is the silence of the spirit.”
Silence is God and silence is the worthy praise of Him! When we enter into silence we find that it has depth. Silence is not that lack of sound. Silence, when experienced, is better defined as quietude; a state of calmness and quiet. By being mindful and experiencing the present moment in the silence we worship God who is present with us and as John the Solitary taught we offer the true prayer that is worthy of Him – complete attention and connectedness in and through silence.
Saint Ignatius in his own way teaches the same. Although unless we can reclaim the silence and the time required we may not be able to engage in his practices and receive the benefits they offer. As we seek to move towards a deeper experience of Ignatius’ methods we might begin by using mindfulness to reclaim some of what has been lost and build into our day the opportunity to develop it further. Building a habit that we can use as a base is the beginning from which we can proceed to bring about more silence and allow God to be with us intentionally. Inspired by this we then have the opportunity to go further and Ignatius offers us a way to do so.
As society grapples with the challenges of work-life balance, in a world so different from even a decade ago we are comforted knowing that we can make change. Through the practice of mindfulness each person has a tool that is accessible, achievable and mischievously open to the presence of God. When we enter the silence we find him effortlessly and are drawn deeper and deeper into his love. In making time to be mindful we can become more spiritual and in a positive way seek what we may in the past have viewed as boredom. Boredom is of course not simple silence it is the lack of attention to the present. In the present we experience life and all that is truly real.
I wish you well as you work to bring about the balance in life that is needed and encourage you to begin wherever you are comfortable and are able to make the time for. Mindfulness can and should be embraced, as it will bring about a positive outcome and whet your appetite for more. The ‘more’ we will then seek is the presence of God whom we were born into through Baptism.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Congratulations to all students from years 7-9 who participated in this years’ Education Perfect English World Championships from July 25th to August 1st. This competition run through the Education Perfect company, sees students from across the globe compete in English Literacy Skills challenges in an attempt to win prizes, out-perform other competing schools and of course, gain invaluable extra practice and development of personal literacy skills. Many of our students participated in this event during school hours and at home resulting in great success for individuals and the college.
Education Perfect World Championship Results
10th Overall Globally out of 1,327 schools
6th Overall in Australia out of 938 schools
1st Overall in Victoria out of 246 schools
Well done to all students who participated in this exciting competition! It is the individual commitment and enthusiasm that you demonstrated which are the vital skills for success in the future.
Special mention goes to the following students who reached higher “Award” levels.
|Student||World Ranking||Points||Award Level|
These innovative single evening programs are part of some special transition events that we offer our Year 7 and 8 students and they are happening here in our school community during the last weeks of August.
The programs have a whole range of memorable moments that include carefully guided interactions with other fathers and students. Fathers will emerge from the night reassured and impressed by the way our students are able to speak up and share insights about their lives. And be assured that the night is fun too… full of activities and conversations that will make us smile.
Media attention often feasts on the reality that some famous sportsmen and celebrities fall short of being good ‘role-models’ to our boys… but we are confident that the best role-models are much closer to home.
‘Stepping Up’ taps the very best resources in our own school community… the dads (or grandfathers, older brothers or uncles) of our boys. Be part of this innovative single evening program that gives a signpost to each boy about the best ways he can ‘step up’ to be a good man.
Year 8 Fathers and Sons Evening
Tuesday 21 August 2018
To register please: Visit the link http://bit.ly/SICG-2018
Or get the registration link emailed to you: email@example.com
She is growing up and the opportunity to reflect on the joys and challenges of this time in your life and her life, is one not to be missed.
This is a special night for the girls as they witness the fathers discussing the importance of their role.
We think that the girls seeing and being part of a gathering of fathers and mentors with this good intent, helps them to build their profile of a good man. This is a great night for seeing how you handle the ‘letting go’ process as they start to forge some independence.
Year 7 Fathers and Daughters Evening
Thursday 23 August 2018
To register please: Visit the link http://bit.ly/SICG-2018
Or get the registration link emailed to you: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the flyer for more details:
'Time & Space' Evenings 2018 (108 KB)
'Time & Space' Evenings 2018 (108 KB) 14-Aug-2018
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