Celebration of Excellence 2021

Wednesday, 24 Nov 2021

As a College, we treat each young man who undertakes his learning journey with us as an individual. The development of the knowledge, skills and values required for him to make a positive difference in the world is achieved through quality teaching and learning – led by caring, passionate and motivated teachers. Our success as educators is reflected in the academic goals our students work hard to achieve.

This year, our students have continued to achieve academic success in record numbers as evidenced at our annual Celebration of Excellence evening, held on Friday, 19 November 2021.

  • 156 Academic Achievement Awards
  • 50 Academic Excellence Awards
  • 12 Global Meritorious, Cultural Excellence and Leadership Awards

Our community also enjoyed the magnificent sounds of a number of our ensembles, Drum Corp, Symphonic Band, Chamber String Ensemble, Big Band, and the Celebration of Excellence Choir. Along with the newly formed cultural group, Dance Crew who provided some toe tapping entertainment.

This evening is always a highlight on the St Patrick’s College calendar as we showcase how much our young men have developed and grown in their academic, cultural and community endeavours.

The address by our Principal, Mr Chris Mayes provided an insight into the future landscape our graduates will transition into and how as a school we must continue to review and renew our curriculum to equip them with the skills they will require.

Excerpt Mr Chris Mayes, Principal Address

On 1 November, I attended a Queensland EREA Principal’s meeting. One of the purposes of the meeting was to enhance our awareness of the employment landscape that our graduates will transition to now, and into the future. We learnt there will be an increasing digital focus and a demand for specialist skills in developing algorithms. We are already seeing much of this with the continued digitalization of machinery, transport, and a growing reliance on Artificial Intelligence. The research also indicated these workforce skills will be accompanied by a strong emphasis on staff who have values of empathy, integrity, and inclusivity.

I also had the good fortune to visit the Prince Charles Hospital to meet with Professor John Fraser and his team to see these skills in action. John is a renowned medical scientist, intensive care specialist and critical care research group director who also developed the “bionic Heart”. He introduced researchers from Africa, Sweden, Spain, Italy, China, and Shorncliffe to discuss their research. Yes, you heard me correctly … Shorncliffe! I am pleased to say that one of our past students, Sam Huth (2013) presented his research on the role of advanced imaging methods in perioperative medicine and critical care. Sam has presented his research at national and international medical conferences and is still a proud Paddy’s man.

It was apparent that each researcher had a passion for what they were doing, underpinned by a desire to help others and make the world a better place because of what they are doing. Their work exemplifies the values of empathy, integrity, and inclusivity.
It was also obvious their work relied heavily on the collaboration and research of others across the globe. Their network map was as impressive and as it was extensive, especially the COVID consortium who are collecting data from around the world to build a “living” dashboard of information to better understand, track and plan in this and future pandemics.

 Upon reflection, my visit emphasised the best education to prepare young people for their future is one that is holistic and can meld their intellectual growth with their spiritual and emotional formation. Knowledge can be power, our intellect is a strong determinant of our knowledge but without a moral compass there can be no empathy, integrity, or inclusivity. To be authentic to our Mission as a Catholic school, we form educated and active citizens who not only do things right but also do the right things. There is no value in a school churning out graduands each year who passively engage in a society torn by division, discrimination, and self-centeredness. We need young people with a voice and heart for all.

As educators, we are charged with developing each student to be good and active citizens with contemporary 21st century skills, and an awareness of the important contribution and positive difference they can make to others around them.

Contemporary schools must develop intellect infused with skills such as digital solutions, creativity, problem solving and collaboration through the curriculum that we offer and the way that we teach in classrooms. Contemporary Catholic schools form young people through a Christ-centred holistic education based on Gospel values. Catholic schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition, offer a holistic liberating education that is entrenched in and encompassed by the Touchstones set out in the EREA Charter.

I have great faith in the talents and skills of the young people whom we educate. I believe that good schools, now and in future, will consistently review and renew their curriculum and pedagogical practices to ensure currency of skills and pathways to students. 

Chris Mayes, College Principal