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During last Sunday’s Gospel, we heard the parables of the Wedding Feast and Great banquet from the Gospel of Luke. The theme of this Gospel was based around the concept of humility. I understand that the word humility is derived from the Latin word humus which means earth. The association being that the humble people have their feet on the ground. Humility is very much a part of the Catholic faith and tradition. Humble people are level-headed and truthful, they do not consider themselves to be the centre of everything that they are involved in, but rather centred on others and their God.

At St Patrick’s College, humility is one of the key tenets, along with faith and knowledge, of being a Man of Action. Key to our Catholic belief is that we see God through others. As Pope Francis most recently said … “we are the visible face of the invisible Creator”. Consequently, Men of Action endeavour to make the world a better place because they choose to serve the needs of others wherever they can. C.S Lewis encapsulated the meaning of humility when he said ... “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less”. Well-grounded people do not deny or withdraw from their strengths but rather have the self-awareness to be honest about their weaknesses.

I think humility is one of those words that is often used but not always understood. It should be our endeavour as partners in the education of the young men of St Patrick’s, to remind them that humility is not about hiding their light under the bushel, but rather using it for the benefit and service of others.

This coming Sunday, also marks a significant day for the Catholic Church as Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized a Saint of our Church – St Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa had a very special place in the heart of our dear Fr Liam Horsfall. She was a colleague and fellow worker with Liam over the many years that he spent in India. I am sure that Fr Liam will be watching the Vatican from above with St Teresa of Calcutta.

The past two days have been very exciting days for many of our Year 12 students. All of the students who are eligible for an Overall Position (OP score), completed the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Tests on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was extremely impressed and proud of the cooperation and efforts of each of the young men who took part in the tests. Their program of preparation commenced at the beginning of the last term of Year 11, with all of the students involved in several practices and workshops since that time. The results of the test are basically used to scale our school against all other secondary schools (subjects) across the State, and used as a means to re-scale student scores from within our own school compared to those across the state. I am confident that our young men will account very well for themselves. I would particularly like to thank Mr Chris Campbell for his planning and facilitation of the program over this time. He, and Mrs Maxine Nott, have also done a significant amount of work in organizing and supervising the tests.

The Year 5, 7 and 9 NAPLAN reports will be posted within the next two days. It is always good to remind ourselves that these are ‘point in time’ tests and results. Their best use for us as an education institution, is the analysis of the responses as a means of reviewing our past curriculum and pedagogy, as well as looking for any trends that have appeared, or are starting to appear, across these year levels. This work has started with our Dean of Administration and Business Intelligence, Ms Elizabeth Gaber, and our middle leaders from the English and Mathematics departments. The data will be used to guide future planning and teaching practices.

I would like to also thank and congratulate our senior Theatre Sports team for their efforts in the finals last week. My thanks for their entertainment and positive attitude in everything that they have done in the competition. My congratulations is for the way in which they have competed all of the year and for their strong efforts on the night. Congratulations to the young women from All Hallows’ College for being the first placed team.

Last Thursday afternoon, our Year 12 students hosted many of the young women from Year 12 at St John Fisher, to an after–school forum on developing, recognising and maintaining healthy relationships. The forum was planned and facilitated by Mrs Davina Donovan. Davina has just finished her contract with us as a replacement for Mrs Emily Rotta when she left the College. She is about to embark on a lengthy period of time travelling overseas. During her short stay with us, she has been an excellent resource and mentor to our staff and service to our young men. I certainly wish her the very best in her travels. We have advertised the position and hope to make an appointment by next term.

Over the past week, our community has been very fortunate to host Mr Wayne Tinsey (Executive Director – EREA) and Peter Leuenberger (Deputy Executive Director – EREA) and Mr Geoff Doyle (Director of Finances – EREA) on two separate occasions. Peter and Geoff are starting a Mission Sustainability process with us. This new program in EREA is in its infancy and we are one of the first schools to offer to be a part of the process. In essence, the program will allow us to review many of our practices as a College and to seek practices that allow for continuous improvement. I will keep the community informed of the progress of this program and invite consultation whenever and wherever necessary.

Next week, we have been invited to host and facilitate a meeting with all of the EREA schools across the state. The purpose of the meeting is to review what each school has been doing in the data literacy space with teaching staff, and the subsequent development of a school improvement plan. This will be an opportunity for all of EREA schools to share best practice in these areas. Workshop sessions will also be facilitated by Ms Elizabeth Gaber, Mr Troy Schultz and Ms Selena Fisk.

I will be absent for a period of time at the end of this term and the beginning of next term. I will be at St Patrick’s College Ballarat during the last four days of the term assisting with their school renewal process. In the second week of the holidays, and the first week of next term, I will be participating in an Edmund Rice Beyond Borders (ERBB) program in India, alongside all of the other EREA Principals across Australia. I am really looking forward to this experience in India, as a part of the experience will include an immersion.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the great men, mentors and fathers within our community. I hope that you all have a refreshing day with your families.

God Bless!

Mr. Chris Mayes - College Principal

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