Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    Year 12 student final days of classes

    Over the past week, there have been several significant College events. Three of these recognised a milestone for our Year 12 students, their families and our school community. The Year 12 students finished their usual classes on Monday. So, we have taken the opportunity as a school community to express gratitude for their growth and development at and contribution to our College, prayed for their future success and celebrated the Class of 2019.

    On Thursday, we gathered in the evening for the ‘Valete Mass’ in the gym. The Mass was a very special service involving all Year 12 students, members of their families and many staff members. Thank you to Celebrants Fr James Puppady, Gerry Healy SJ and Darien Sticklen. After Mass, each student, as is the custom in most Australian Jesuit and Companion Schools, received a copy of Michael McGirr’s, “Finding God’s Traces.” This book is a compilation of quotes, scriptural verses and commentaries that will hopefully be a source of reflection and inspiration as well as a beautiful memento of the student’s time at an Ignatian school.

    On Monday, the whole school gathered for the annual 'Farewell to Year 12' assembly. We recognised and celebrated many excellent student and team achievements since our last assembly and of course the fine young women and men of the Class of 2019. There were many speeches, some musical items and presentations. College Captains Maddie Crothers and Sam Salisbury provided impressive (and emotional) speeches that captured something of the Year 12 students’ journey through their College years, expressed gratitude and delivering encouraging messages about making the most of school opportunities to the assembly. As has become the custom over many years, Maddie and Sam presented a gift of an artwork from the Year 12’s to the school community. This gift was very different from the previous ones – a metal sculpture in the shape of the cross (pictured below).

    Another highlight of the assembly was the expression of gratitude, on behalf of the Year 7 students, by three students: Stella Burke, Lily Flight and Elliott Renton-Gibb (pictured above). I was very impressed with their speeches (and the way they delivered them!) and include them as follows:

    Stella Burke:

    Hi, my name is Stella. 

    I joined the St Ignatius family this year and have felt welcomed and encouraged throughout my time here. 

    The truth is the Year 12s are kind of scary, I mean, when we’ve been used to little, itty, bitty primary schoolers running around at knee height and we were the king of the kids, and suddenly here we are, the little fish in a big pond with no clue what to do. 

    However, the Year 12’s eased our transition to College life by providing guidance and clarity.

    During Term 1 at the Year 7 camp, I was inspired by the admirable effort made by a number of Year 12 students, who gave up their time to travel to Angelsea and speak to us about the importance of embracing leadership and extracurricular opportunities. They shared their personal experiences of overcoming their fears and being proud of the achievements they have made during their journey towards the end of their high school experience. 

    The Year 12 students have been inspirational role models and given us all a hopeful glimpse of our future selves. 

    And so, on behalf of my fellow year 7’s. Thank you to the Class of 2019. We wish you the best of luck.

    Lily Flight:

    Saint Ignatius is an amazing school, and all of its students follow the Motto: Amare Et Servire, which means to Love and to Serve. This year’s Year 12’s have set an exceptional example of this because they love the school and serve the teachers and students inside of it! Unfortunately, these exceptional Year 12’s have to say goodbye to our loving school and enter a new milestone in their life!

    This year the Year 12’s have accomplished many things! In the Seniors Footy Grand Final, against Westbourne Grammar St Ignatius won by one hundred points! They clearly deserved that amazing win against last year’s Premiers of the Herald Sun Cup. Also, this year’s Feast Day for St Ignatius was all organised by the Year 12’s and was an amazing event for everyone to enjoy. And let’s not forget the amazing success of the senior debating team!

    Possibly the greatest moment for Year 7’s was meeting our Year 12 buddies at the House meetings! Thank you to all of you for supporting us as we started our high school experience. 

    Lastly, the Year 7s thank you for all of the poems you have given us this morning; it is well appreciated!

    I wish you all an exciting and bright future as you leave high school and head on your own paths.

    Thank you!

    Elliott Renton-Gibb:

    I’m standing before you today to celebrate the Year Twelves, and the time they have spent here. As a Year Seven I can see that they are the glue that holds the school together for example, during the recent production of “School of Rock” they showed great kindness and leadership to younger kids like me new to this school and their productions.

    Another example being the Year Twelve Buddy Program. My buddy helped me a lot in showing me around the school and familiarising me with the amazing programs and activities it has to offer.

    Thanks for listening and good luck to the Year 12’s.

    On Tuesday, the Year 12 students participated in their “Celebration Day.” The day was celebrated in a positive and fun way. I congratulate the “Class of 2019” 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.

    Mosaic Evening – Thursday November 21st 

    Our College community end of year celebration occurs in late November. We call this evening ‘Mosaic’ because we endeavour to showcase many and varied pieces of student achievement from the year. We expect that as many students and their families as possible 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, 21st November 2019. The Art & Technology display commences at 6.00 pm in the Costa Hall foyer followed by the celebration evening that begins at 7.00 pm in the main auditorium.

    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 the 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 extraordinary achievements of some, and the contribution we all make to Saint Ignatius College.

    College Captains 2020

    The College Captains for next year were announced at Monday’s assembly. Congratulations to Heidi Bakker and William Palmer. I am grateful to our Student Leadership Development Coordinator, Mr Anthony Gravener, for planning and managing the selection process (Heidi and William are pictured below with our 2019 College Captains Maddie and Sam).

    Year 7 2020

    Last Monday we held two different events held in our ‘old’ 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 again 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 Leonie O’Brien (YLC,7) and the team of staff for organising this evening. 

    Best wishes,

    Michael Exton  Principal



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