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What a difference a day can make. In the blink of an eye, Australia has appointed its 29th Prime Minister. I was intrigued when listening to Mr Abbott's final speech yesterday. No matter what one's preference in political parties might be, he makes an interesting point when speaking about the new trend of constant scrutiny and instant expectations. That is not to say that our leaders should not be held accountable for their decision making. Shawn Brodof in his book Pritical thinking: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking and common Sense in Politics and Public Policy puts forward an argument that in this age of fast facts and instant expectations, brought on by the digital age and social media, that we may be losing the art of taking time to critically analyse and think through problems. He feels that this may lead some political parties and/or governments to rush decisions that might have bigger repercussions further "down the track." It is an interesting case that he puts forward particularly when in many leadership roles, strategic planning is required. This time of planning takes sensible thought and critical thinking and planning. It also takes time to deliver some results. At the risk of mixing politics with schooling … Mr Abbott has raised some food for thought.

The last exams will finish tomorrow and our young men will be able to take a short break to freshen up for the last term of the year. There is no formal reporting process or Parent/Teacher interviews for this term. However, if you are concerned about your son's results, please contact the relevant teacher(s) at the beginning of the beginning of next term.

The Year 11 students and the College staff have selected the House Leaders for 2016. When meeting the students before the final selection, I have been most impressed with the calibre of the nominations and the passion that each young man has shown to serve the College and his House. The 2016 House Leaders are:

COFFEY

KENNEDY

MOONEY

  • Alexander Christie
  • George Huxtable
  • Max Ryan
  • Finn Neil
  • Jack Waterman
  • Rhyley Baker
  • Zachary Hume
  • Saxon Johannessen

O'ROURKE

QUANE

RICE

  • David Fegan
  • Aaron Macko
  • Jack Graham
  • Rhys Gwynn-Jones
  • Callum Thompson
  • Tyron Brown
  • Tyler Hahn

RYAN

TREACY

XAVIER

  • Alec Camplin
  • Jarod Burton
  • Samuel Cleary
  • Matthew Munday
  • Caleb Fischle
  • Liam Prendergast

All of the Year 11 students will participate in the Leadership camp on 7-9 October (first week back). The new Dean of Students for 2016, Mr Darren Kearney, will also be attending the camp.

There will also be some staff changes next term due to some staff taking leave or finishing at the College. Mr Jonathan Hall will be finishing his employment at the College tomorrow. Jonathan will be moving to Canberra. He has spent a number of years associated with the College, both as a past student and teacher and House Dean. Jonathan's commitment to teaching and learning and the many aspects of the co-curricular program have been outstanding. He has also had a significant influence on so many young men as a House Dean for Ryan House. On behalf of the St. Patrick's community, I am sure that I speak for all when I wish Jonathan the very best for his future endeavours. Mr Luke Royes will undertake the role of Acting House Dean – Ryan for the last term. Jonathan's classes will be taken by Mr Matthew Robertson. Matthew is an experienced teacher having taught at Ignatius Park College, Nudgee College and Gregory Terrace. Matthew is currently the Head of Legal Studies at St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace. He will remain on staff in a full-time capacity into next year.

Mr Troy Schultz and Mrs Elizabeth Gibb will be taking Long Service Leave over the entire term. Troy will be replaced by Mrs Judy Keen, an experienced senior Maths teacher and Elizabeth will be replaced by Mrs Annette Campbell. Annette will remain on staff as the Head of Curriculum – Exceptional Learners commencing in 2016. Mr Blair Drabble will also take leave during the term. Blair's position will be taken by Mr Luke Holmes. Luke is an experienced teacher currently employed at Carmel College, Thornlands.

Mrs Pauline Houweling will also complete her employment. Pauline started at the beginning of the second term and has replaced Mrs Lee Schultz, Mrs Sandra Fowlie and Mrs Jan Thompson who have been on leave at different times over the past two terms. Pauline has been a wonderful addition to our staff and I would like to sincerely thank her for all that she has done at the College.

We are currently in the process of timetabling and staffing for next year. We have made some appointments to date to begin in 2016. As the College has grown, particularly over the past few years, we have decided to employ an additional Guidance Counsellor to work with Mrs Emily Rotta. I am pleased to announce that Mr Mark Mewburn has accepted this role. Mark is currently employed at Ignatius Park College in Townsville but had spent many years here at St. Patrick's before he moved to Townsville.

Yesterday, our Year 12 students participated in the docudrama. This is an excellent road safety program delivered to the students by the RACQ. It appears to be an unfortunate fact that many young men between the age of 17 – 24 feel that they are "seven foot tall and bulletproof" when they get into a car. This can often lead to risk taking practices that are not only dangerous to themselves but also others around them on the roads. Hopefully, this docudrama, whilst graphic, can assist them to understand the significance of their decisions on themselves, their families and the lives and families of other road users.

In 2016, our Department of Exceptional Learners will also restructure to suit the College needs into the future. As noted, the Department will be led by Mrs Annette Campbell who will also develop and deliver a gifted and talented program. Mrs Clare Clapham has also been appointed in a full-time capacity to assist Annette in the gifted and talented program. Mrs Elizabeth Gibb will be the Program Leader – Learning Support. There will be an increase in the number of teachers to work with both Annette and Elizabeth. The Exceptional Learners department will move from the current classroom area up to the double classroom space on the top floor of the Callan Centre.

The final round of AIC sport took place last Saturday. The only remaining sporting commitment is the AIC Track and Field Championships to be held next term. Our Tennis and Basketball teams finished the season with strong performances against St Edmund's College, Ipswich. Both of these sports have enjoyed a wonderful season with the Basketball teams finishing 2 nd overall in aggregate and our First V team being crowned undefeated AIC Premiers for the first time in the history of the College. Also our Tennis team finished 4th overall in aggregate. I would like to thank the many students who represented the College during the term and particularly thank Mr Doug Locke and Mr Corey Meehan for their organisation and all of the staff, parents and past students who assisted with the coaching. This year has been a very successful year for the College's sporting program.

I hope that all of our young men are able to have some time to relax and refresh over the next two weeks and that they can be helpful to their parents whilst spending some quality time with their family as well.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal