Thursday, 13 April 2017

Dear Parents, Students and Friends of St Patrick’s College,

As we head into Holy Week and the sacred time of Easter it is timely for me to reflect on the term just past and the rest of the year ahead, new state, new system, new college and new school community.  This enables me to bring a fresh set of eyes to examine the practices, systems and culture at St Patrick’s College.

There have been many highlights throughout the term along with a number challenges that have seen the College come together in compassion, strength of care where the Catholic faith community is truly demonstrated.

One of the main highlights for me was St Patrick’s Day, a day of contrast yet a day that seems to work so well.  The whole school Mass where students worship with dignity and the leadership induction followed by the games afternoon that saw much laughter among the students and staff. 

People often ask what the students are like and my honest response is very respectful while being open and warm. I have certainly been encouraged by the way they have responded to my expectations on greetings and uniform. I am a frequent visitor to classrooms in an attempt to ensure that I am across what is happening in the learning and teaching area of the school. The students have responded positively to this level of interaction. 

I must mention and congratulate both Sasha Massey and Madeleine Pearn on their success in the Simpson Prize writing competiton.  Sasha is heading to Gallipoli over the Easter break which is surely the trip of a lifetime.

I have been in five different schools in my teaching life and I need to make a comment about Pastoral Care. The care shown by staff to students at St Patrick’s College is both professional and compassionate. With nearly 1500 students at the College, the time and effort that goes into the care of the students is a delight to observe. Teaching is not just work, it is a vocation dedicated to helping and educating the next generation.

In regards to the sporting life of the College it has been an extremely successful term winning premierships in Cricket and Basketball. The Swimming team won eight of the nine shields available at SATIS and the rowing season was capped off with a successful Head of the River at Lake Barrington, while Lili Wrigley came 3rd in the Australian U/19 Schools Championship. Currently we are designing a St Patrick’s College supporters shirt and jumper which will be on sale for parents and friends of the College in the near future.

Looking forward to Term 2, the newsletter will be produced fortnightly due to the introduction of the St Patrick’s College  App.  The App has been developed in partnership with Digistorm Education and Alaress. It is designed to give parents, students and teachers a seamless environment with ready access to important information about events and daily activities at the School. The Schoolbox App provides an easy way to access personalised content and communication from the School’s online environment, Schoolbox.  To read more about the key features of the free App and how to download for either Android or iOS, please click here.

This week I have had pleasure of seeing the preview of Footloose. Being a young person of the eighties and remembering the first iteration of the movie, it was fantastic to see some of these songs come to life and bring back those memories of bright coloured shirts and that permed hair. I would implore you all to get your tickets quickly because they are selling fast. 

The bands, once again this term, have been amazing and I have been following closely the success of the College’s Chess team who brought home the trophy from the recent competition at the Launceston Grammar School.

It would be remiss of me not to thank the two Captains, Sophie and Oliver and the Student Executive for all they have done in the first term of leadership. Everywhere you turn they are lending a helping hand at the College.

There is much to do and consultation and collaboration will continue in the months and years to come.

Easter is a special time in the lives of people in the Catholic faith. 

This joyous Easter message is the same every year, but it always echoes just a little bit differently given the world in which we live.

Across the globe in 2017, there is political upheaval and wars and rumours of war. We pray that our political and civic leaders be blessed with wise and compassionate hearts. May they avoid all rhetoric and decisions that divide people. Christ in his costly death and resurrection has made us all one!

That is why we privileged citizens of a richly blessed country like Australia are all called to generously reach out to be guardians of life to those in need.

Our mission is to protect those who are vulnerable and give special tender care to refugees, the poor, the aged and our children. 

On behalf of the College, I wish you all a happy safe and Holy Easter and I look forward to seeing all the community back in Term 2.

To read this week's full newsletter, please click here.

God Bless

Mr Tony Daley