Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,
Congratulations to the Parents and Friends' Association representative on our College Board, Bernard Lewis. Bernard has been notified that his nomination for a Catholic School Parents Victoria Council member position has been successful. On behalf of our College community, I thank Bernard for putting himself forward as a delegate to represent the parents of children in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and across Victoria.
The builder, Lyons Constructions, had advised that the handover date would be in early November. However, the recent escalation of restrictions has meant that fewer workers can be onsite. This could result in a delay in when we can move into the building. Hopefully, this will not be too long.
Most of the works at the moment are focused on the fitting out of the interior. The building is looking great and, as expected, is an obvious and impressive feature of our school campus.
Very positive news – I was very grateful to receive a phone call from the office of Lisa Neville MP to inform me about a $1million Victorian Government Capital Grant towards the funding of the proposed Senior School building project.
A very big well done and thank you to our Business Manager, David Fitzgerald who coordinated and submitted the application.
This is another significant step towards realising this exciting and major project.
The proposed project involves removing the current administration buildings followed by the construction of a state of the art teaching and learning Centre for our senior students. This impressive new building, to be known as the MacKillop Senior Centre, will consist of 16 classrooms, a 400 seat lecture theatre, breakout spaces and student and staff amenities.
I will keep our school community updated about the progress towards getting this project started. The next step is to gain approvals from the appropriate authorities.
After the challenges and uncertainties we experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic, we commenced this year intending to move forward with some significant reviews in line with our School Improvement Plan. Currently, these include the following:
- from a five-day to a ten-day timetable; and
- the number of single periods for a subject to increase weekly contact time.
- to vertical mentor groups for Years 10 to 12;
- to house based groups;
- from Year Level Coordinators to Heads of Houses at Years 10 – 12; and
- from Homeroom groups to mentor groups where the students remain with the same group during Year 10 to 12
I am pleased that these reviews are well underway. Representative students have been consulted in various ways about these changes, and the PFA will also be included in the consultative processes.
With these uncertain and challenging times adding to the difficulty for our students in their final years of schooling, I provide parents with the following summary of the recent advice I received from VCAA. I hope this helps you as you support your daughter or son’s VCE or VCAL program for the remainder of the year. Please read Deputy Principal Bernadette Donnelly’s article in this week’s newsletter for more information and notification of our forthcoming Unit 4 Parent and Student Virtual Information session on Wednesday 15 September. Our VCE Coordinator, Michael Brown, will also provide more details and any further updates over the coming weeks.
Subject to public health advice and epidemiological conditions, the General Achievement Test (GAT) will be held on Thursday 9 September from 10.00 am – 1.15 pm.
The exam period remains as previously publicised by VCAA. Performance and oral examinations are to begin on Monday 4 October, and written exams commence with English on Wednesday 27 October and run until Wednesday 17 November 2021.
For a complete list of examination dates, see: VCE Examination Timetable at the following link:https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/administration/Key-dates/Pages/VCE-exam-timetable.aspx
Course and examination content
VCAA have advised that although it is understood that the continued disruption during the 2021 school year has impacted the delivery of course content, it is not possible to reduce course or examination content and maintain a level of fairness across all students as schools are at different stages of content delivery in Unit 4.
Consideration of Educational Disadvantage (CED)
VCAA have advised that the CED process will be in place again this year to account for the disruption to student learning caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. VCAA is confident that the CED process will consider the personal impact of coronavirus on each student so that their results will be fair and reliable. The CED process is based on the impact at the student level for each and every student. This is important as it will account for different impacts to individual students in schools that have been harder hit by the pandemic.
2021 Results Release Date
The VCE and VCAL results release date is 16 December 2021.
Saint Ignatius College has received the following information from the Victorian Government regarding vaccinations for students. I encourage you to read this information. Eligible students and their parents or carers should speak to their GP or pharmacist if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and their health.
As part of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, all Victorian school students aged 16 years and above are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The Victorian Government aims to vaccinate all final year students by the time they sit their end-of-year exams. Final year students are therefore urged to immediately make an appointment to receive a vaccine by following the instructions under the heading ‘How to book an appointment’ below.
State vaccination centres have recently had their capacity increased to support Victoria’s drive to administer 1 million doses of the vaccine by 19 September.
Students completing their final year are particularly asked to book an appointment as soon as possible to support the safe conduct of examinations. As their parent/guardian, I encourage you to help them to book and if needed, support them to attend their appointment.
Final year students are asked to consider getting their first vaccine before the GAT on 9 September. In addition, it’s recommended not to get the vaccine on the day of an exam, or the day before an exam - to avoid feeling common but mild side effects such as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever and chills and/or joint pain during the exam.
Students can book their own appointment and consent to vaccination themselves if the health professional assesses them to be a mature minor.
Booking an appointment
To book an appointment, visit the coronavirus.vic.gov.au website or contact the Coronavirus hotline by phoning 1800 675 398.
To find a vaccination centre and opening times, visit the coronavirus.vic.gov.au website.
From 30 August, people aged 16-39 can get their COVID-19 vaccine at a doctor’s clinic, pharmacy or community health service.
You can find a participating doctor, pharmacy or community health service through the Australian Government Eligibility Checker. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.
For further assistance, contact:
Michael Exton Principal
As we find ourselves in lockdown again we are reminded of how good ‘normal’ life is and how nourishing being with others is. During this period we can draw much profit spiritually though. Reflecting upon your prayer and lived faith practices can help you become more aware of what brings the greatest benefit and also offers you the challenge of trying something new.
With the Olympics continuing throughout this period of lockdown, via the Paralympics, let us take some time to celebrate participation and achievement spiritually via a sporting analogy.
Your faith life might be reflected upon well by considering the different forms of diving people participate in as an allegory to your prayer and faith life. Consider each of the following and determine which best describes your faith life and what you could explore by applying other aspects to your prayer life and lived faith.
A person who has great courage and faith in God. These divers are outrageously extroverted outwardly but are in fact very private and humble in themselves; don’t let looks deceive you. They rely on their own judgement for sure but they leap into the water believing that all will be well – and it always is! These divers inspire us to be more public in our faith and although we never seem to be able to jump off the cliff edge as they do, they motivate us to be a bold.
A person who is at the peak of their sport is spectacular to watch. These divers are amazing! Their lower scored dives are better than anything we could hope to achieve. Their dedication is the key to their success although their obsession can be a little off putting. The gold medallists know that their hard work is only part of the story, there is a transcendent element to their success. These divers inspire us to live our faith with commitment and become more than we currently are. We are encouraged to live with more commitment or consistency so that we may be able to achieve what for them is simple.
These divers are social and vibrant. They travel far and wide to see and explore new things. Some have goals they would like to achieve, others just like being part of the group. Most of these divers are seasonal and make the most of the good weather and require an enormous amount of equipment to achieve their goal. Many people’s faith lives mirror these divers. The positive found in this reality is that we are supported in our faith, and make use of the structures and communities to help deepen our faith even if the consistency required to become an expert is lacking.
These divers are goal oriented. They have a goal and when they dive they are committed to achieving it. Whether they seek lobster or spear fish for tuna they are rarely distracted and ultimately achieve their objective. These divers require a little more equipment to be successful. They inspire us to enter into formation programs or prayer communities with a goal in mind. The focus they demonstrate helps us settle upon a goal rather than constantly starting the next new thing.
These divers go as deep as they can. Unassisted and with complete self-control they seek to push the limits. Their constant training and the small community they are part of makes their achievements difficult to observe. This is the most dangerous form of diving, and although surrounded by others, simply forgetting to breath can ruin everything. These divers motivate us to enter more deeply into our relationship with God. Although they may seem insular once you enter their world they will do anything that can to enable you.
Although technically not a diver, or human for that matter, these creatures are magical. They literally walk on water! Although they don’t technically even enter the water they do what seems impossible. They remind us that only with complete faith, courage and constant practice can we have the courage to “step out into the deep”. They inspire us to be like them, true disciples, that have faith in Jesus and in doing so encounter him tangibly. Of course, once we are out on the water we may lose courage and sink a little but Jesus will pull us up and help us offer the miraculous to the world.
As we journey through another period of lockdown take some time over the next week to review your prayer and faith life. Which type of diver best describes you and which type or types of divers challenge you and inspire or challenge you to do things a little differently?
If nothing else I hope the above inspires you to turn the TV on and cheer for the Paralympians who have overcome so many challenges and show us what it is to be courageous and live a life that is full.
Yours in Christ,
Brendan Nicholls Liturgy Coordinator
As an Ignatian school dedicated to the service of others, charity is a large part of our community identity.
Last week, the Student Representative Council and Ignatian leaders across the school banded together to hold a school-wide food drive for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
The ASRC is a not-for-profit organisation based in Footscray, Melbourne, which supports and empowers people seeking asylum who live in our community. Established in 2001, the organisation has grown from an informal foodbank to the largest independent humanitarian organisation in Australia supporting people seeking asylum. They provide food and material aid, legal aid, detention advocacy healthcare, education, training and employment pathways. According to their website, “the aim of the ASRC is to support the wellbeing of its members and empower them to be independent and to have agency over their own future.”
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the asylum-seeker community. With many people in this demographic employed in sectors such as hospitality and cleaning, they experienced massive job losses when the pandemic struck. Job Keeper and Job Seeker were not available to people seeking asylum. Those who have lost jobs have no government safety net, and with no other income source. The ASRC has seen a growing number of families accessing the Centre’s Foodbank resources throughout the pandemic, with around 1500 individuals relying on ASRC weekly as their primary source of food.
Approximately 70% of the ASRC Foodbank’s groceries are donated by individuals, food rescue agencies, local businesses, families, schools, churches and other community groups. Donations from schools like ours provide essential food and goods for over 1000 people seeking asylum, many of whom are children. Most of those people have no income, and many have no work rights.
Our school contributed hugely to the ASRC (see photo below!) particularly in a time when the ASRC need more donations than ever.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated – every single item counts! An extra big thank you to our incredibly diligent SRC representatives, Year Level Coordinators and Ignatian leaders for being fantastic leaders.
An extra big shout out to Sarah Tolan of 7 Miki, who organised a fabulous donation target for Years 7 and 8 – what a star! Any families who would like to contribute can drop off items when we return to onsite learning.
Coco Bullock College Captain
Thank you for your support with your son or daughter and their learning through another challenging period of remote and flexible learning. It is important that students log onto Canvas and engage with their teachers via Zoom when required. Teachers are working hard together to ensure that students are provided with the best possible learning experience and are making changes to assessment and other learning activities as required. They are very mindful of what students are able to do from home and therefore, it is important that parents and students continue to communicate any issues or concerns that you may have during this time so we can all continue to support our students.
The new GAT date has been released and it will take place in the College Multipurpose Centre on Thursday 9 September, 10:00am - 1:15pm (subject to public health advice). There will be no Year 11 or 12 classes on this day.
Once again VCAA will implement the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage (CED) for all Unit 4 students as a result of disruption to student learning caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Students and parents will be informed of this process and supported to access it. More information is also available on the VCAA website
To assist parents and students, we will run a Unit 4 Parent and Student Virtual Information session on Wednesday 15 September via ZOOM from 6:00pm - 7:00pm. It is important that all Unit 4 students and parents attend this meeting. We will also explain how the Trial examinations will run and share important Term 4 dates. Students will be sent a Zoom link prior to the Information session.
A reminder that all Unit 4 students will undertake a Trial examination in their Unit 4 subjects in the second week of the Term 4 break, from Monday 27 September to Friday 1 October. We will make a decision close to the end of term if these examinations will be held onsite or remotely.
Year 7 - 11 Student Parent Teacher Conferences will run via Zoom on Thursday 16 September, 4:00pm - 7:00pm and on Friday 17 September, 9:00am to 12:00pm. A letter will be sent next week with more information.
Bernadette Donnelly Deputy Principal [Learning & Teaching]
Last week, in response to the Taliban's occupation of Afghanistan, the Social Justice Committee decided to take action.
A list of resources was sent to all students so that they could research the Taliban, their history, and what their occupation means for women and children in Afghanistan.
Ms Caitlin Doble drafted a petition to be sent to the offices of MP Libby Coker and Senator Sarah Henderson. The letter, attached below, calls for Australia to increase its uptake of Afghani refugees; grant temporary visas to more of these refugees; and to provide humanitarian aid for the citizens of Afghanistan.
This petition received 315 signatures from staff and students at the College, which is an incredible achievement! Thank you to those teachers and students who gave up their lunchtimes to get these signatures.
If you would like to do your bit, some organisations to donate to are listed below:
Jesuit Refugee Services: https://aus.jrs.net/en/donate/
Mahboba's Promise: https://mahbobaspromise.org/donate/
Save the Children: https://www.savethechildren.org.au/donate/make-a-donation
Toby Mew Justice Captain
This competition aims to encourage student interest in geography and reward student excellence. We have a number of students who have performed to a very high level in the Competition this year, gaining high distinction, distinction and credit. All students have received their certificates and Loyola Awards.
Max Creati (7Licona) - High Distinction
Nikita Melnyk (7Borgia) - Distinction
Sarah Tolan (7Miki) - Credit
Mitchell Smith (8Castillo) Top 1% in Australia
Alexie Murray (8Owen) – Distinction
Fred Spencer (8Castillo) – Credit
Will Cunningham (8Monserrat) – Credit
Max Craven (9Beltran) - Distinction
In June, students competed in the Australian History Competition. Forty-six students from Years 7-9 participated in the competition, highlighting their interest in History and challenging themselves to apply historical knowledge and skills under test conditions. Certificates and Loyola Awards will be award at their next Year Level assembly on our return to the College. Saint Ignatius College Geelong students have achieved a high level, including:
Owen McCoughtry (7Lewis) – Credit
Joel Anderson (7Ricci) – Merit
Joel Buttler (7Strada) – Merit
Stephanie Reynolds (8Campion) – High Distinction
Olivia Richardson (8Aitkenhead) – Distinction
Archie Stella (8Aitkenhead) – Distinction
Indi Colley (8Aitkenhead) – Credit
Thomas McLean (8Castillo) – Credit
Georgia Dear (8Chardin) – Credit
Jack Hartshorne (8Owen) – Credit
Drew Magtaka (8Campion) – Credit
Max Becker (8Chardin) – Merit
Cristiano Amarante (8Owen) – Merit
Georgia Lyons (8Realino) – Merit
Harrison Dodds (8Xavier) – Merit
Max Craven (9Beltran) – Credit
Chelsea Ferguson (9Regis) - Credit
Fin Haley (9Arrupe) – Merit
Brianna Brew (9Kisai) – Merit
Oliver Brooke (9Kisai) – Merit
William Hanley (9Regis) – Merit
We congratulate all students who participated and look forward to the next Australian Geography and History competitions in 2022.
Deanne Allen-Emery Learning Area Leader - Humanities
Unfortunately due to the current COVID restrictions the College has postponed the August performances of 'Wicked'.
We hope to reschedule our dates for later in the year (possibly late Term 4) and we will let you know as soon as our new dates become available.
The College appreciates the support of those who have bought tickets and it is very disappointing for all those involved in the production to have to cancel our August performances.
Please note Geelong Arts Centre’s ‘refunds due to event cancellation policy’:
"If refunds are issued due to COVID restrictions or cancellations etc a full refund is given to the patron inclusive of booking fees and transaction fee’s charged at the time of booking. We would email all ticket holders with information about refunds etc should this occur."
Also note that Geelong Arts Centre manages the ticketing site. If you have any technical difficulties, you will need to contact them directly.
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.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday September 14th 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 1st September 2-4pm
Wednesday 15th September 2-4pm
The above dates are dependent on current visitor restrictions within Catholic schools.
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.
Please ensure any item that is sent in for sale has been freshly laundered, if not it will be returned to you.
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 August 30th 2021
30th Aug: No Canteen - COVID Lockdown
31st Aug: No Canteen - COVID Lockdown
1st Sept: No Canteen - COVID Lockdown
2nd Sept: No Canteen - COVID Lockdown
3rd Sept: S. Nyga, K. Johnston, J. Payne
Week starting September 6th 2021
6th Sept: B. Brinfield, B. Rees, L. Kelly, E. Carpenter
7th Sept: S. Fleet, L. Tigani
8th Sept: K. Button, Needed, Needed
9th Sept: F. Ferguson, M. Farrell, S. Clarke
10th Sept: S. Nyga, S. Hanks, J. Rogers
The pandemic continues to bring worry and anxiety to children and young people. Resilience can help kids get through these difficult times, but it is not
something they are born with. Resilience is built up over time as kids interact with the environment and each other. Emerging relatively unscathed from a setback or hardship can boost future resilience. On the other hand, if experiences are too overwhelming or stressful, kids can be traumatised, making it difficult to respond with future hardships with resilience.
The Harvard University Centre for the Developing Child depicts resilience as ‘a see-saw or balance scale, where negative experiences tip the scale toward bad outcomes, and positive experiences tip it toward good outcomes. The point where the scale balances is called the “fulcrum,” and if it is more to one side or the other, it can make it harder or easier to tip the resilience scale to the positive.’ Everyone’s fulcrum is in a different spot—which explains why hardships impact on people so differently.
Reduce the impact of COVID by reducing stress
During the pandemic there has been a constant build-up of stress and disappointment for many kids. Remote learning, postponement or cancellation of highly anticipated events such as graduations and formals, limited access to community activities and extra-curricular activities are just some of the negative outcomes that kids have experienced.
Most of these stressors are out of parents’ control however any efforts to lighten the load on kids and tip the balance to a more positive side will help build resilience. Reducing sources of stress on kids include:
Build up positive outcomes through supportive relationships
The presence of healthy supportive adult relationships with children and teenagers is a recognised contributor to resilience. Harvard University state, “The one thing that most children who develop resilience have in common is a stable, committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. Adults need those supportive relationships, too!”
Parents can build more positive outcomes for kids by strengthening the connections they have with friends, family and members of the community.
Relationship-building activities can include:
Strengthening core skills and coping capacities
Children and adults need a set of core skills to manage their daily lives. These skills include planning, ability to focus, self-control, self-awareness and adaptability. When children and young people are under extreme stress it’s difficult to apply these core skills so the ability to manage even simple tasks can be compromised.
Parents can strengthen these skills in children and young people by:
Building resilience in children and young people during the current pandemic is a continuous task for families. Resilience is best promoted by relieving stressors on kids, ensuring they experience a variety of supporting relationships with adults and other children, and building core executive functioning skills so that they can successfully manage their daily lives during these times of change.
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.
From Monday 9 August, eligible adolescents aged 12-15 years can receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
This change has been implemented following recommendation from Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) that people aged 12-15 years be prioritised for vaccination with Pfizer. ATAGI has also reviewed available evidence on specific medical conditions in children that have been identified to be associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19.
The following groups of children aged 12–15 years can now receive a priority vaccination using the Pfizer vaccine:
Young people aged 12-15 years receiving COVID-19 vaccination at state vaccination centres will book through the normal booking process (online portal or call centre). They must attend a vaccination centre with a parent or guardian or other person with parental responsibility for the child who will give consent and accompany them
during the vaccination process.
As well as meeting the usual eligibility requirements as a person with an underlying medical condition or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, proof of age must also be provided to ensure the young person is at least 12 years old. For example, a school ID card, birth certificate, passport, doctors letter with date of birth or
other proof of age.
Recommendations for all other young people aged 12-15 years will be made in updated advice in the coming months.
If a child in your care is eligible, you can make a booking the following ways*:
* If you child has a complex disability and requires additional support please contact the Disability Liaison Unit (0434 856 014) after making your booking to discuss ways to assist.
Local Community and Sporting groups you may be interested in.
Humans in Geelong Expo 2021
Sunday 10th of October 10am – 3pm at Deakin University Waterfront Campus and Online on Humans in Geelong YouTube.
This is a free community event with everyone welcome and something for everyone. There will be face-painting, henna, crafts and wooden toy making.
Uplifting speakers include Chloe Hayden who is Princess Aspien and The Streets Barber. Be entertained by live performances and inspiring exhibitors. For the complete program as it unfolds: www.humansingeelong.com
Ocean Grove Cricket Club: Cricketers Wanted!
Ocean Grove Cricket Club is looking for boys and girls (and men and women) interested in playing local cricket.
Any Age, Any Gender, Any Ability
We have 4 teams in Senior Mens, 2 Senior Womens teams, Under 17, 15 and 13 Junior Boys teams, 2 Girls Junior Cricket teams, Mixed under 11 teams and Woolworths Blast program for mixed youngsters 5-8 years old
We love a social atmosphere but we are also a competitive and family orientated local Cricket Club
If interested contact Paul Madden – 0400 912 167 or email email@example.com
Bellarine Basin Rehabilitation
Barwon Water is embarking on a project to transform the disused Bellarine Basin site in Wallington into more than 30 hectares of environmental and public open space to be enjoyed by the community for years to come.
Have your say and help us reimagine this space
We are seeking feedback from the community on the draft vision, principles and objectives for the site. This will help guide our decision making around any potential activities for the site.
Learn more and complete the online survey:
Hard copies are available on request.
Closing date for feedback: Monday 6 September 2021
For enquiries, please contact Barwon Water on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 656 007.
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: