Thursday, 31 August 2017
Dear Parents, Students and Friends of St Patrick’s College,
Catholic Schools and Colleges exists as part of the the mission of the Catholic church. In addition to providing for the needs of students pastorally, spiritually and educationally it is the College’s Mission to develop strategies to help educate the marginalised and the disadvantaged in our community.
The impact this can make on a young disadvantaged student was highlighted for me by a letter I received late last week. My words are short this week but the letter says it all.
Dear St Patrick’s College, Launceston
First, I would like to apologise for not writing to you earlier.
Ever since I graduated in 2006, it has been my intention to return to simply convey my appreciation for the kindness, care and compassion you extended to me while I was at the College.
In fact, it has been my intention to return and say thanks on behalf of the African community of Launceston and those that have since moved to other places.
There is no better way to express our gratitude and appreciation than to simply say, thank you.
Thank you for welcoming us into your community with open arms.
I remember my first day on campus back in 2003, mid winter.
A week prior when we landed at Launceston airport, it felt a little like landing on another planet, in another world where almost everything was the complete opposite of what we knew.
Everything was different.
I had never heard of ‘winter’ before; needless to say I had never experienced it.
On the first day of school as the sun rose in the morning, I remember running outside hoping to soak up some sun and heat.
I was very wrong.
Sunrise in Tasmania, in July, is very different to sunrise in Sudan any month.
That however, was only the beginning of many surprises to come that day.
The most striking, most memorable thing about that day was how friendly and welcoming everyone was to us.
At recess and lunch, everyone that passed by gave us the thumbs up and smiles.
They were high-fiving us.
They were offering us food, gifts and asking us to come out and have a kick of "footy".
This is not what we expected in a place so far away from home.
It certainly was not what we had known and I feel extremely lucky and privileged that you gave us that experience.
Thank you for letting us be part of your beautiful community.
The two and a half years that I was at St Patrick’s College, Launceston are the best two and a half years I have experienced in this country so far.
The Year 11, Year 12 Retreats.
The trip to Port Arthur historic site.
The Sydney trip to attend Rising Generation Leadership Camp.
The regular day-in day-out school life.
Those two and half years, those experiences have greatly influenced and shaped the person who I am and the things that I have accomplished to date.
I, along with so many others that started our Australian experience at St Patrick’s College Launceston have become who we are today because of it.
I am truly thankful and I cannot say that enough.
Thank you for the care you continue to extend to us even though we don’t have anything to offer in return.
In a world where the rhetoric of “stopping the boats” and building walls leads to power, it is very comforting to know that there are still selfless peoples, caring communities like yours.
Because of communities like yours, people like me have hope.
Hope that so many people around the world in places like Syria and Sudan so desperately need.
I hope to one day do something to give back to you, the St Patrick’s College community of Launceston.
In fact, I hope that one day I can do something for the whole Launceston, Tasmanian, Australian community to simply show our gratitude and appreciation for the kindness you have shown us.
Oliver Sakiri Dasio
The Martin-Lyall Scholarship arose from the generosity of the late Mrs Rosemary Gleeson-West in memory of her parents, Mr Athol Winton Martin and Mrs Maida Kathleen Lyall, who both lived and worked in Tasmania.
Sadly, Mrs Gleeson-West passed away in 2016, however it was her wish to continue the scholarship via her Estate. Mrs Gleeson-West had a great affinity for both the Tasmania and St Patrick's College communities and her generosity will always be fondly remembered.
Two students from both Year 10 and 11 will be awarded the scholarship, which is a contribution towards their annual fee at St Patrick’s College for one school year.
Shortly Year 10 and 11 parents and students will be emailed information on how to apply for the scholarship. A copy of the letter and application form will also be available on Schoolbox.
All applications and accompanying essays are to be received by close of business on Monday, 16 October 2017 (first day of Term 4). I look forward to receiving many applications.
To read this week's full newsletter, please click here.