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I would like to extend a warm welcome back to all students and families to the St. Patrick's community. To new families and students, I hope that your first days have been helpful and encouraging and I, with the rest of the College staff, look forward to working with you throughout this year.

Since the end of last year, as mentioned in the Principal's letter forwarded to families in January, there have been some further staff changes. In regard to the College Leadership Team (CLT) for 2015, some late changes were required due to Mr Ray Celegato's promotional appointment to the position of Deputy Principal, St Edmund's College Ipswich. Consequently, the CLT for 2015 will include myself as College Principal, Mr Frank Torrisi as College Dean - Student Formation (Deputy Principal), Mr Chris Campbell as Assistant Principal - Curriculum; Ms Zoe Morgan as Assistant Principal - Strategic Operations, Mr Matthew Hawkins as Assistant Principal - Staff and Administration and Mr Paul Corfield as Assistant Principal - Identity.

Furthermore, I would like to welcome new members of the teaching staff including Ms Danielle Batten, Ms Sandra Cartwright, Mr Dennis Clough, Mr Patrick Denkes, Mr Greg Harris, Mr Tim Kenny, Ms Paige McDonald, Mr Adam McPhee, Mr Deen Mewburn, Mr Joshua Neilsen, Mr Patrick O'Connor, Mr Nick Toohey and Ms Susan Werba. I also welcome back Mr Nic Consiglio, Mrs Alyson Gilpin and Mr Tim Sopp. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all of the St. Patrick's community when I wish each of these new staff members the very best during their time at Shorncliffe.

There has also been much work completed on our campus and Curlew Park facilities over the holiday break. The new Sporting and Cultural Precinct, connecting our Edmund Rice Building to the Callan Centre, has begun in earnest over the past weeks. Unfortunately the start of the building was a little delayed, but it will be ready for use in 2016. This will require some of our (already crowded) campus site to be adjusted to allow for the construction of a work site. The students have been notified of the effects that the site will have on their daily movement around the College. Perhaps, the most significant adjustment is the change of status of the Callan Centre as a place for large gatherings. As the back entrance has been closed for at least the first term, we will be unable to have whole school gatherings due to fire regulations.

This has meant that we have moved the opening College Mass and Senior Induction off campus to the Boondall Entertainment Centre. The start of the Mass will be delayed by an hour as we will transport all of the students to the Centre by bus. They will return to school by lunchtime ready to complete their afternoon classes. Furthermore, we will be unable to have whole school assemblies whilst the entrance is closed and have put an alternative plan in place where the students will meet in House Groups. Half of the Houses will meet with the CLT in the Callan Centre each week. I will advise the community of any other changes that may need to occur as they arise. Whilst these changes are not ideal for the start of the new year, they are necessary and will certainly assist the College to complete the Precinct project in the allocated timeframe. The campus in 2016 will be a very special place.

There has also been much work done at Curlew Park since the final seasons of sport in 2014. The fields are in excellent condition and the student and adult spectator facilities have also been upgraded. This will make the 2015 sporting events even more special to our young men, especially given that this year is the first year of the inclusion of Years 5, 6 and 7 into the full AIC competition.

One of the many good things about a New Year is that it offers the opportunity for a fresh start. All of our young men have had the opportunity to reflect upon 2014 and make new plans for this year. In reality, the easy part of planning for change is the thinking stage. We most likely only have to remind ourselves of our many new year's resolutions that did not reach completion to support this. The hard part is setting the thoughts into action. On occasion our young men will require assistance moving their thoughts or goals into actions. As parents, it is worthwhile to take time with your son to assist him with this. Once the actions are decided, constant practice will make them into habits. My message to our young men is that now is the time for actions and habits to be formed for the new year.

Last Sunday's Gospel from Mark reflected on the actions of the disciples who gave up everything to follow Jesus. There could not be a better example of faith in action than these actions. We must continually remind ourselves that Jesus wanted disciples not fans. He did not seek adulation but action for the good of all. At St. Patrick's College we ask our young men to follow this example by developing into Men of Action through strong faith, acquiring knowledge through learning and being humble enough to be tolerant and accepting of all that they may meet.

I hope that the year has started well for each of you and I look forward to meeting with many of the families in our community, particularly at our upcoming Parent Information Evenings (beginning Monday, 2 February), Academic Assembly and Principal's Morning Tea (Tuesday, 3 February) and other College events.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal