Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,
Recently I read an article in the “Madonna” magazine by Fr Chris Gleeson SJ entitled, “Spirituality in daily life – A big heart.” Fr Chris has visited our College many times over the years and is a very well-respected and wise educator who makes Ignatian spirituality accessible and relevant to our lives.
His article reminded me about the critical and fundamental role of parents in forming young people’s spirituality. Similarly to the guidance and support parents provide for their children’s physical, social and emotional development. Our College aims to form our students spiritually, as well as in other areas. The College’s ability to do this will be enhanced if we partner with parents and build on parents’ work to nurture their children’s spirituality.
In Australia, similar to many other western countries, the overall numbers of practising Christians and the Church's influence is diminishing. However, Fr Chris notes that there remains an essential search for meaning and purpose by humans. He points to the superficiality of the many contemporary lifestyles and the indifference to or lack of recognition of God’s presence.
Ignatian spirituality is about “finding God in all things.”
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
At Saint Ignatius College, we aim to develop the whole person – body, mind and spirit. We hope that our students will know more about God through our programs and their relationships at school.
Christianity is a religion of encounter as well as enlightenment, the latter in common with other major religions. We want our students to have an encounter with Jesus Christ as well as learning about Him and His teachings. In some cases, people feel distant from the institutional Church, and this may not be helping them encounter God. The family is the primary group where children can get to know God.
Family is a community that can nourish spirituality. It is the family where faith formation can happen. Fr Chris says, “Strong and caring families can be a wonderful avenue for building communities where each person is valued and respected for themselves.” The challenge for parents is, “in your daily family life, are you in word and deed developing your children’s faith? Are they learning about God?”
“Young people first learn about community, of course, in the shelter of their family. What they learn or fail to learn in the home they often bring with them to the wider community outside. There is no doubt that a healthy family life runs counter to the ‘supermarket’ morality prevalent in society today.”
Through the love and rich experiences parents provide, their children come to know our loving God. This is such an essential and fundamental role for parents in forming young people. And as the young person matures through adolescence to adulthood, we need to nurture the growth of the young person’s understanding of and relationship with God.
Parents play a vital role in faith formation. The basis is there. The love of a parent is a wonderful reflection of God’s love for us. Prayer, reading of scripture and involvement in the Church can enhance our influence on our children’s faith. Let’s ensure we attend to the spiritual as well as the physical, social and emotional health of our young people.
Best wishes to all Year 10 students as they undertake their Work Experience placement during the week beginning Monday 21st June.
The aims of the program include the following:
By learning to cope with new situations and new people and thus building up self-confidence and independence.
By learning about the changes taking place in society and the workplace.
By learning in a practical way.
Work Experience allows students to explore various career opportunities to decide how these relate to their interests, skills, values and goals.
Work Experience helps prepare students for life after school and gives an insight into the world of work.
Many Work Experience positions were made available through school; however, students and their families were encouraged to use their initiative to secure a suitable and interesting place themselves. Well done to students who endeavoured to secure a placement themselves. When I signed the Work Experience forms, it was interesting to see the diverse range of placements that our students could obtain. On behalf of the College, I express our gratitude to employers able to take on one of our students.
Thank you to Mr Bruce Connor (Work and Further Education Coordinator) for his efforts to coordinate this program and Mr Brendan O’Brien (YLC) for his support in this area, and the Yr. 10 Teachers involved.
Mr Greg Fisher has announced that he will be retiring at the end of this Term. Mr Fisher has been on leave during Terms one and two this year.
On behalf of our school community, I extend our congratulations to Mr Fisher on his retirement. I acknowledge with gratitude his nearly 34 years of dedicated and professional service to the education of hundreds of our students, which included not only Saint Ignatius College Geelong but also Catholic Regional College and St. Mary's Technical College.
Mr Fisher has been a key member of the Health, PE, Sport and Maths Learning Areas. Mr Fisher immersed himself in College life by his generous involvement in many College activities and roles of responsibility. In particular, in such roles as a Year Level Coordinator, Sports Coordinator and Health and PE Coordinator.
I am sure many, many students are grateful for the valuable pastoral support he has provided them as a homeroom teacher over the years. I am also aware that many of his colleagues are very thankful for the encouragement and advice.
I wish Mr Fisher all the best for his future.
As next week is the final week of term two, I draw your attention to the following notices.
Tomorrow, Friday 18th June 2021, will be a ‘Student free day’ for a ‘Professional Practice Day’ day for Teachers.
The last day of this term will be Friday, 25th June 2021. Students will be dismissed at 2:20 pm. This earlier finish is in line with the finishing time of most other secondary schools in the region and as a result of the adjusted bus departure times for the school bus network.
The first day of classes for next term will be Tuesday 13th July 2021. Our teachers will be involved in a professional learning day on Monday 12th July 2021.
Semester One Statements of Results will be available via the parent portal for Years 7-12 on Tuesday 29th June.
As the Term draws to a close, I again thank all parents for your ongoing support of the College. I commend my colleagues for their dedicated efforts to ‘pivot’ to and from remote working during the term to ensure the learning continuity of our students during these very challenging times. I hope all students can have a relaxing and enjoyable time with plenty of physical activity and quality family time over the holiday break.
Michael Exton Principal
As the semester winds up we enter into the final week of school by celebrating Refugee Week. It is fitting that over the final days of Term we consider the needs of others. So much time is spent on our personal needs around assessment and exams that the final week is a refreshing change and an illuminating experience for all. We are a community of inclusion. We welcome the stranger and advocate for those without a voice. Refugee week is a key part of our year as a Catholic community.
Our Tradition centres around the concept of loving God and our neighbour. From the earliest times God revealed to the patriarchs the primacy of welcoming and caring for strangers. Including those who are unknown or different was in-fact a key component to fulfilling God’s covenant. Jesus expanded on this teaching by repeatedly encountering those in need, relying on the hospitality of strangers and clearly teaching that "just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
Jesus calls us to understand the complete connectedness of humanity and his desire that we view the world through his eyes. As humans we have an innate desire to view outsiders as different and engaged with caution. This can serve us well at times as we encounter those who may truly present a threat but can be a significant limitation when other than different the stranger poses no threat.
Our Country prides itself on the notion of a “fair go”, although it seems that Refugees and Asylum Seekers are treated quite a bit differently to those who come to Australia in the “right way”. We are an affluent country that has the ability to offer much more financial and material support to those in need. The primary problem for many asylum seekers is the legal definition of the terms used and the legislation that has been developed specifically over may years to “strengthen Australia’s borders” by redefining people migrating to Australia by boat as “unlawful maritime arrivals”.
In recent weeks Nades, Priya, Kopika (5) and Tharnicaa (3) Murugappan have been caught in the middle of this ongoing political conundrum and legal debate. The parents Tamil asylum seekers arrived from Sri Lanka in 2013 as a result of the civil war and have two children who born in Australia and who were well liked community members of Biloela (Queensland).
This changed in 2018 when the family, including the two children were sent to detention in Melbourne and in 2019 were transferred to Christmas Island. In recent weeks Tharnicaa was airlifted to Perth for specialist treatment for sepsis and pneumonia. Early this week the family received the news that they would be relocated to Perth. Their status has not changed however and much is yet to occur if they are to be allowed to remain in Australia.
Fr Thadayoose Lazar, parish priest of St Joseph’s Biloela, rhetorically asks us to consider “Where is our compassion, where Jesus is asking us to love our neighbours." Such a question is at the centre of our Catholic worldview. Jesus calls us to go beyond legal and political debate. He calls us to go beyond what is ‘natural’ in the way we encounter strangers. Jesus calls us to see the world through his eyes and act in response to what he sees in a situation.
As an Ignatian exercise we would do well to contemplate ourselves in the place of Jesus or the parents Nades and Priya in this situation. Attempt to look beyond the human inclination of seeing the ‘other’ what do you see? What emotions do you feel? What has been revealed that was hidden before? Who can help improve the situation? What does your new insight call you to do?
Pope Francis challenges the status quo and the apathy many in the world have toward the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in saying, “We have become used to the suffering of others: it doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business! …Their condition cannot leave us indifferent.” The greatest risk we take in being indifference is missing the encounter with the other. St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews announces the great treasure we may miss in saying, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Help us and our nation move beyond indifference during Refugee Week.
We pray that Tharnicaa recovers swiftly and that she enjoys spending her first birthday outside of immigration detention this month!
Do not leave us indifferent Lord.
May we unknowingly entertain angels in our welcome and through our compassion to strangers like the Murugappan family.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
Congratulations to all our Year 7 to 12 students in the way that they have approached the end of semester, particularly finalising assessment. Year 9, 10 and 11 students were exemplary in their attendance, punctuality, behaviour and organisational skills during the recent Semester One examinations.
I encourage the students to reflect on their results over the holiday break and consider their Semester Two goals. It is a good opportunity for you and your child to reflect on their learning, perhaps their successes, as well as their challenges and consider specific strategies to assist with continued improvement. Semester One reports will be available on Tuesday 29 June.
The 2022 subject pathways process will commence early Term Three. Students and parents will be able to access all subject information via Canvas.
The Year 9 and 10 Senior Pathways evening will be a virtual event held on Tuesday 27 July from 6.00pm to 7.45 pm.
Parents and students will be provided a link to enter Year 10 (2022) and Year 11 (2022) rooms via Zoom. The purpose of the virtual evening will be to present subject information and respond to any parent and student questions regarding subject choices.
Parents and students will be able to post questions prior to the evening, as well as ask questions during the information session. More information regarding this and the evening will be sent to parents early next term but please make a note of date for your calendar.
Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
We were delighted to host the annual Combined Bands Day and evening concert.
On May 27th, seven colleges attended this wonderful event and 180 students attended.
The afternoon commenced with a workshop directed by well known musician and conductor, Mr Ed Fairlie. The students and staff were given a delicious meal in the Year 9 centre and the day’s hard work concluded with a very entertaining concert.
I would like to thank my wonderful colleagues who assisted with the day and concert.
Firstly, to my musical colleagues who prepared the students so well. They worked very hard but I am sure, enjoyed every second. I sincerely want to thank David Peters and the maintenance team, Paul James and the IT team, the fabulous ladies in admin and a very special thank you to Fran Lakey, Tricia McKay and Kim Abbott for their incredible assistance.
Thank you to our Arts Captain, Storm Randall, who compered the show so professionally. Thanks also to Paul Lewis for all his support. This was certainly a huge event and successful due only to the team effort.
We were very proud of our students and also the student leaders who guided the guests to the MPC. They represented our College beautifully.
We had so many compliments about our College and the magnificent venue. Most of our guests had never visited our College so I was very proud to show off what we have! We were so nervous that due to the impending lockdown the event would be cancelled. Luckily we scraped it in at the last hour. It felt very much like the last Supper! What a way to start a lockdown.
Thank you again to everyone.
The Piano Bar was the perfect venue recently for the VCE Music Soiree. The fairy lights, smoke machine and food added to the success of the evening. Parents, friends and staff were entertained as the VCE music students, both Units 1 and 3, performed their Semester One works.
Mrs Brown and I were very proud of each student. It certainly isn’t easy to perform in public, especially after our covid experience last year when we couldn’t perform at all.
Many thanks to Andy Pobjoy and his staff who looked after us incredibly well.
Sadly, our recital was postponed until next term. Ms Zhao and her students have been working enthusiastically and look forward to the public speaking recital, with the new date to be confirmed.
A date has been set for our annual Instrumental Night. This year it will be held on Tuesday 3rd August at 7pm in our Multi Purpose Centre.
More information will be sent to performing students early next term.
Students who would like to learn an instrument or take public speaking lessons must have their form signed and submitted before next Friday June 25th.
Forms can be obtained from the front office or by emailing me.
Fingers crossed, we shall be seeing many parents and friends at our future concerts. Dates will be sent out early next term when we have more directions re hosting events.
Have a great break.
Linda Pape Performance and Instrumental Coordinator
Junior Debating has continued online throughout Term Two, with Saint Ignatius College students refining their oratory skills and growing in confidence.
On Thursday 6th May, Round Two saw our two teams take the negative position on the topic ‘That animal testing should be banned’.
Drew Magtaka (Year 8), Stephanie Reynolds (Year 8) and Alana Clark (Year 9) were pitched against Hume Central Secondary College, while our Year 7 team, consisting of Jade Cowdery, Oscar Creak and Gabriela Fernandes, faced off against Sirius College Eastmeadows. Both teams performed admirably and were victorious, with Alana and Jade claiming the title of Best Speaker with their animated and persuasive delivery styles impressing the adjudicators.
Round Three was held on Thursday 27th May and Year 7 students Ella Dowling, Jade Cowdery and Gabriela Fernandes took the negative position on the topic ‘That public transport should be free’. These young debaters have been growing in confidence and made a compelling case, outmaneuvering the Sirius College Meadow Fair team and claiming victory, with Jade once again named Best Speaker for the debate.
Round Four was the final debate for the term, held on Thursday 10th June, with both teams taking the affirmative position on the topic ‘That smokers should not have their medical treatments subsidised’.
Owen McCoughtry (Year 7), Alana Clark (Year 9) and Curtis McCoughtry (Year 9) pitched their wits against Sirius College Meadow Fair and emerged triumphant after some creative rebuttal secured the win. Owen was awarded Best Speaker for debate - a wonderful achievement in his first appearance for the school.
Our other team, consisting of Isabelle Hewitt (Year 7), Stephanie Reynolds (Year 8), and Jade Cowdery (Year 7) were not able to secure a victory against Sirius College, despite their best efforts.
Congratulations goes to all our junior debaters for their ongoing enthusiasm and hard work. There is only one more round left in the online competition but the Junior Secondary Program will be starting soon. The support of all parents involved is, as always, greatly appreciated.
Mr Michael Tod Junior Debating Coordinator
Class of 2010
I graduated from Saint Ignatius College in 2010 and took a gap year before relocating to the Gold Coast. I studied at Griffith University and obtained a double degree (Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Arts) whilst working at a mid-tier National law firm (McInnes Wilson Lawyers).
I graduated from Griffith University in 2016 and undertook my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in 2017 at The College of Law. In 2018, I was admitted as a Solicitor in the state of Queensland.
I have always loved travel and since being admitted, I have enjoyed travelling to over 30 countries.
At the end of 2019, I moved to London, where I began working in the cosmetics and beauty industry. Unfortunately due to Covid, I have had to cut short my travels and have returned to Victoria, where I am currently working in insurance whilst still continuing to work for my job in London. I am also in the process of building a travel based website and blog. I am hoping to obtain a legal job in the cosmetics industry.
I am looking forward to our Saint Ignatius 10 year reunion this year (Covid allowing) and I cannot wait to reunite with my old classmates.
Class of 2012
Otherwise, hello! Carly Ellis here (2012 graduate/Arts Captain!) I hope you are well, and hopefully looking forward to a nice school holiday break.
I have been seeing a lot of things recently that have reminded me of the Saint Ignatius 'Old Ignatians', and I wanted to get in touch - firstly to say hello after 8 years, and to tell you a bit about what I've been doing, and secondly to share with you a very cool project I'm working on now that could be of interest to Saint Ignatius.
After I graduated from Saint Ignatius College in 2012 I went on to study my Bachelor of Arts in Acting, and graduating again from there, I have been fortunate enough to work professionally as an actor for a number of exciting companies and projects. To name a few: The Australian Shakespeare Company, Melbourne Shakespeare Company, in films and fashion shows for Sovereign Hill Museum (a historical actor at Sovereign Hill being my first acting job whilst I was studying in Ballarat!). One of the films I starred in even won the Melbourne Fashion Festival Film award and was screened nation-wide on Virgin in-flight entertainment!
But that's enough bragging...(You can read more here if you like: www.carlyellisactor.com)
Even though Drama didn't go ahead when I was in Year 12 at Saint Ignatius, being the Arts Captain and studying music and the visual arts was an invaluable springboard - bringing me to a very exciting full-circle moment right now.
I remember studying Shakespeare in English class, and being lucky enough to see incursions in the Potato Shed, and right now a show I'm a part of called "Voyage" is actually one of only six works on the VCAA Playlist for the Victorian Drama Curriculum. We will be touring it to schools all around Victoria (and Australia!) from March onwards. Full circle!
Voyage is a beautiful piece written by Helen Begley, as part of The Good Girl Song Project - (www.thegoodgirlsongproject.com). It is a folk musical, and it tells the previously unsung story of the emigrant women who came to Australia by boat in the early 1800s. I play the central character, The Good Girl, and there are two other women involved in the core of this piece.
In 2021, schools are asked to provide information to the government about the number of students with additional needs currently attending their school.
There is a broad definition of 'disability' that includes students who require minor adjustments to those needing significant additional support to achieve success at school.
The data is provided to the Australian Government to assist in the development of a consistent, national picture of the educational needs of students with disability.
For further information related to this mandated collection process, please read the attached document in this newsletter titled, ‘NCCD Information Sheet for Parents, Carers and Guardians’.
Should you have any additional questions after reading this CEM information, please direct these to Ms Caroline Edmonds, Learning Diversity Coordinator, during school hours or via email: email@example.com
Caroline Edmonds Learning Diversity Coordinator
Thank you to everyone who volunteered and/or supported us by purchasing a sausage sandwich. The day was a great success and we raised $1,249.55 to help support our school.
We are looking to book another BBQ in the near future so please watch this space for more details.
Do you shop at Rebel Sport? You can support our school every time you shop by linking your Rebel Active Membership to our school. 5% of what you spend is given to PFA to purchase sporting equipment for our school. If you’re not a member it’s free to join either online or ask a team member in store..
Have you sent an item/s to be sold at the uniform shop prior to 1 July 2020 and it hasn’t been sold? Can you please email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 June 2021 to notify us if you are willing to donate these items. If you do not contact us prior to 30 June 2021 your item/s will be donated back to the school.
Please ensure any item that is sent in for sale has been freshly laundered, if not, it will be returned to you.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday July 13th at 7.00pm in the Food Tech Room. We look forward to seeing you there. Even if you cannot make it to the monthly meetings, but think you might be able to be on call to help at the different things we are involved in, please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com
Uniform Shop Opening Days and Times are as follows:
Wednesday 21st July 2-4pm
Wednesday 4th August 2-4pm
Do you know the Uniform Shop also sells brand new socks, ties and hats?
Items to be sold or donated can be dropped off on any of the above days or anytime at the front office.
We are always seeking Volunteers to help in the uniform shop. If you are available and have time to help out contact Kate Callaghan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Training is provided.
The College canteen menu uses the 'traffic light system' to inform students, staff and parents of the College the healthier choice’s available at the College canteen (See 'Healthy Food @ School Guidelines' in our 'College Policies and Procedures' section for full details).
Canteen duty provides a much appreciated service to the school. It gives you the opportunity to meet and talk with other parents and also enables you to see your child’s school in action.
Five helpers are needed each day. Helpers will need to be at the canteen by 9:00am and will generally be finished by 1:30pm. If you can only be there part of the day, your help is greatly appreciated.
If you are able to assist, please contact Sandra Woodall at the College on 5251 1136.
Week starting June 21st 2021
21st June: C. Sharpe, J. Burns, N. Elliston, B. Rees
22nd June: L. Strachan, S. Donaldson, K. Allchin, S. Fleet
23rd June: S. Clarke, Needed, Needed
24th June: M. White, K. Langworthy, F. Ferguson
25th June: E. Stokie, S. Nyga, V. Durbridge, N. Becker, L. Taylor
Week starting July 12th 2021
12th July: No Canteen. Student Free Day
13th July: S. Fleet, M. Dunstan, L. Tigani, K. James, S. Peters
14th July: K. Button, Needed, Needed
15th July: E. Carpenter, S. Sarauer, F. Ferguson
16th July: L. Middleton, J. Rogers, S. Nyga, L. Taylor
It’s well established that sleep is vital for children and adolescents’ learning, physical health, mental wellbeing and emotional regulation. Yet, a concerning number of Australian children and adolescents aren’t meeting the national sleep guidelines according to a recent study*.
There are many reasons for young people’s poor sleep habits including school demands, co-curricular and/or work commitments, perceived pressure from parents and educators and consumption of energy drinks. Young people’s digital device habits can have a significant, negative impact on their sleep.
Handheld devices emit blue light which hampers melatonin production. This can result in the delayed onset of sleep and potentially shorten critical phases of the sleep cycle. Research confirms that children who have not yet gone through puberty are particularly vulnerable to blue light exposure in the evening as they have larger pupils, compared to post-puberty adolescents.
Strategies to stop screens from sabotaging your child’s sleep
Parents can have a positive influence on their child and teens’ digital habits and doing so will yield positive results for their child’s sleep and subsequent learning and wellbeing.
Establish a digital bedtime
Kids should switch off digital devices 60 minutes prior to falling asleep. Reinforce this habit by establishing a ‘landing zone’ such as a kitchen bench, or desk in a study or sideboard where digital devices go for charging and storage. Many students report that they ‘need’ to complete homework or submit assignments late at night. Verify the validity of such statements and work in partnership with your child’s school to limit this type of required screen activity at night. Parents need to also be good role models by switching off before bed too.
Bedrooms should be tech-free zones so consider buying an alarm clock if your child uses a mobile phone to wake themselves up. Keeping devices out of bedrooms removes the tech-temptation to use them throughout the night, reduces the likelihood that they’ll reach for them upon waking and lessens the chance of cyberbullying incidents. Ensure any devices left in bedrooms are on airplane mode and that the device is away from their line of sight.
Ensure a daily dose of ‘greentime’
Exposure to natural blue light from sources such as the sun is critical for regulating circadian rhythms and promoting sleepiness at night. Ensure your child/teen is exposed to bright, natural, daytime light preferably before midday each day.
Use blue light filters
Most devices include options for ‘night mode’ or ‘dark mode’ that reduce blue light exposure. Dimming the brightness of the screen in the settings or applying a filter on a desktop or laptop also assists.
Do a screen swap before bed
Encourage passive tech activities before bed such as watching TV, listening to an audiobook, music or podcast, or reading on an e-reader.
It can be a challenge navigating digital boundaries with your child or teen particularly when it involves sleep, which is vital for health, wellbeing and learning. Talk to them regularly about the importance of sleep using science and facts to substantiate your claims.
*The Australian Department of Health recommends between 9-11 hours of sleep for children (aged 5-13 years) and between 8-10 hours of sleep for adolescents (aged 14-17 years). A 2019 study published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that a quarter of 12-15 year olds were experiencing a concerning lack of sleep and more than half of the 16-17 year olds in the study were not getting the recommended 8-10 hours/night
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It . Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.
Local Community and Sporting groups you may be interested in.
Regional Parenting Service: Upcoming Free Parenting Forum
The Regional Parenting Service is running a Free Parenting Forum on Wednesday June 23rd called 'The Teen Brain'.
Presented by David Gillespie, one of Australia's most trusted non-fiction authors, who will detail how complicated a teenage brain is and discuss how to set out clear, reasonable and effective rules to help confidently manage your child's use of screens at a critical point in their lives.
Please see attached PDF for booking details.
Parent Education Events - Geelong Region: Term 3 2021
All Regional Parenting Services programs are free and will be offered face to face or online via Zoom, however, bookings are essential.
To book visit www.geelongaustralia.com.au/parenting or call us on 5272 4781.
There are a number of events planned for Term 3. Please see attached flyer for details: