18 November 2022

From the Principal

Article by Mr. Michael Exton | Principal

From the Principal

Mosaic Evening

Our annual ‘Mosaic’ evening was a very successful event. It was great to see so many of our school community gathered last night at Costa Hall, Deakin Waterfront Campus, Geelong, to celebrate this year's student learning achievements and our membership of the College community. The impressive student Art & Technology displays commenced at 6.30 pm in the Costa Hall foyer, followed by the celebration evening at 7.00 pm in the main auditorium. I commend the students who received awards, performed, or displayed their art or technology work. The standard was very high, and I am sure the large audience was very impressed. We have received so much positive feedback on this major College function. I was most impressed with how the students rose to the occasion – they shone. Well done! More information will be provided in the following newsletter about the evening.

Parents & Friends Association

The PFA held its Annual General Meeting last Wednesday. It was great to hear that some new parents attended this meeting. And that we have some new office bearers – thank you for taking on these positions!

Thank you to Leanne Dunn, who will continue as President.

Thank you to Nicole Sadler for her service as Secretary. Nicole has handed over to Melissa Cartledge.

Thank you to Julie Castle for taking on the role of Treasurer.

And thank you to the Fundraising coordinator, Julie Penfold.

The Second-hand uniform shop run by the PFA has continued to function over the last while due to the dedicated efforts and time put in by Kate Callaghan. On behalf of the College community, I thank Kate for her excellent service to the College community.

The New House System has been announced.

As you may be aware, we reviewed our pastoral structure last year to see where improvements could be made. As a result, we’ve decided to make some changes from the beginning of next year. We will be introducing a new pastoral care system that is house-based. This will be very exciting and will probably take us three years to fully implement. We won’t get it perfect straight off. Still, if we work together, we will build a stronger school community. Students should feel a greater sense of belonging and be better connected to their College, ultimately leading to a better school experience and learning outcomes.

What will this mean for our students beginning next year? Well, firstly, there will be a new House System. Currently, our houses are named after eminent Sports men and women: Dawn Fraser, Herb Elliot, Don Bradman and Betty Cuthbert. These names were chosen initially because our House system was mainly for sports competitions. However, we now want to broaden the range of activities in which the Houses will participate and compete, including performing arts, social justice, and other such activities. So we have chosen new House names that connect to our ethos and identity and will inspire our school community members Parents and Students will have received an email from Deputy Principal - Students Michael Timms with more details about the four new Houses – Glowery, MacKillop, Ricci and Xavier:

  • Mary Glowrey was born in Australia and was a gifted medical doctor and religious sister who was passionate about the role of women in medicine.

  • Mary MacKillop was born in Australia and was an educator, pioneer, and leader who had compassion for others regardless of their situation or race. Galvanised by her belief in the value of education as the foundation for a fulfilling life, Mary's motto was 'never see a need without doing something about it'.

  • Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit missionary to China who brought his mathematical and astronomical knowledge to China and adapted to Chinese culture.

  • St Francis Xavier was born in Spain and was one of the first Jesuits and one of the most prolific missionaries in Roman Catholic history. He was instrumental in establishing Christianity in India, the Malay Archipelago, and Japan. Modern scholars estimate that he baptised some 30,000 converts during his lifetime.

You would already be aware of our Mentor Time that we have been trialling this year. This will continue from the beginning of next year, and Homeroom Teachers will be known as Mentor Teachers. At Years 7 to 9, the structure will be the same as it is currently. However, it will be different for Years 10, 11 and 12. Mentor groups will be vertical; by that, I mean each will contain some Year 10, 11 and 12 students from the same House. Instead of Year-level coordinators, there will be House Leaders. What we are endeavouring to do at the senior end of the school is to create a better environment where each student is better known and cared for. In the senior school, students will stay in the same Mentor Group for Years 10, 11 and 12 and hopefully will have the same Mentor Teacher who will get to know them far better because they have them over the three years.

A range of new House-based activities will be implemented over the next three years to hopefully build House spirit and each student’s sense of belonging and connectedness to their school. They will better get to know the other students and teachers in their House group.

So, stay tuned. We will continue to work on these changes being put in place, and more information will be provided to you during the remainder of the year and early next year.

Michael Exton