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This week, we celebrated our first Academic Assembly for 2017 to recognise the achievements of our young men from Semester 2, 2016. This event also recognised the amazing achievements of our newly graduated cohort who achieved an OP 1-5. Well done to all of our students on a record number of Academic Awards. As part of this occasion it was my very great pleasure to welcome back St Patrick's College Old Boy, Brett Parkinson (2009 - O'Rourke House). I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brett for his attendance and for sharing his time with a number of our current Year 12 students. He was also kind enough to address our young men and share some of his story with them. It was a truly inspirational address from a fine man of St Patrick's College. Brett flies out on Saturday to the UK as part of his General Sir John Monash Scholarship, Australia's highest and most prestigious post-graduate study scholarship, where he will complete his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Oxford University. We wish him all the very best and look forward to hearing about the rest of his journey. We also heard from Jack Graham (2016 - Quane House), 2016 DUX of St Patrick's College and OP1 recipient, I wanted to share with you some of what Jack shared with our young men.

"My final thank you goes to the young men sitting behind me, and all of the other seniors of 2016, for without their perseverance and unity, we would never have achieved the great feat of the best QCS mean the College has ever achieved. It was truly an honour to work with each and every one of you, and I relish the memories we created whilst doing so. I would like to move on by sharing with you all some of the advice I, and most of you, were privy to throughout last year via Mr Mayes’ riveting speeches; yes I did actually listen to them. I’d like to bring forward three of the 160 extraordinary men I had the opportunity to go through St Pats with: Callum, Jez and Tom.

The first piece of advice goes like this: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Hardyman exemplifies this every day of his life. He had a serious illness at the start of 2016 that greatly hindered his ability to study and attend school. But when things got tough, Tom dug deep and kept going. He’s here today having achieved an OP2 and a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship from QUT.

My second piece of advice: “Hard work will always beat talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”. You might find it hard to believe, but Jez here did not receive an Academic Medal in Semester One of Year 11 – so with 18 months left of school, he worked his tail off every day. He was a regular attendee at lunch time and afternoon tutoring, he asked heaps of questions in class, and was no longer afraid of getting things wrong – he was simply trying and working, and finally, succeeding. He’s here today with an OP1 and a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship from QUT.

For my final piece of advice, I’d like to use Callum Thompson as an extremely appropriate example. Callum embodies the idea of being “multidimensional”. During his senior year at St Patrick’s, Callum achieved the following: • Captain of Cricket • 1st Eleven Cricket • 2nds Football • Opens Cross Country • Opens Track and Field He was also House Captain, as well as the Peer Participation Leader for Year 12. Despite all of this involvement in extra-curricular activities, Callum is still here today, celebrating an extraordinary OP2. Please give an extra big round of applause to Callum, Jez and Tom. These men are just three examples of the large amounts of hard work and commitment shown by all the seniors of 2016.

So, boys, if there’s one thing you take away from today, I want it to be that the gentlemen up on stage behind me, and the award winners from each of your grades, are not all Einsteins: they’re tough, they’re extremely hard working, and they balance their lives to allow for outlets in things like sport, culture and leadership opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, school should be your main priority, especially in Years 11 and 12. But, that shouldn’t stop you from getting involved in every aspect of college life. Things might not go right in Year 12, but that shouldn’t stop you from keeping on fighting that good fight. You might not see yourself as a smart young man, but that shouldn’t stop you from working as hard as you possibly can and reaping the rewards at the end of the year. The second best time to start getting involved, working hard and staying tough is today. The best time was yesterday. Thank you and fight the good fight."

Communication

It has recently been brought to my attention that there are some Facebook pages that have been set up by parents in various year levels so that information and communication can be shared amongst parents. Whilst I am a firm believer in good communication there are some things that concern me in regard to the use of social media involving our College. Firstly, we have gone to great lengths in ensuring that we have strong communication across a range of communication channels. Our College sites are developed under the guidance of Mrs Jacqueline Upton, our Communications and Marketing Manager. This information is sent directly from the College and contains the information that we believe parents need to know.

A proliferation of communication channels can not only be confusing but also the source of incorrect information. In some instances our College name or crest has also been used. Our College crest should not be used by any other body or agency unless given direction or permission to do so by me. Any information or communication used on these sites is public and the administrators of the sites may be held accountable for any information or communication that is derogatory to the College, College staff members or to other members of the College community. Any issues that might occur as a result of these sites will be the responsibility of the administrator(s) of the sites. Once again, I reiterate that I am a firm believer in good communication that is important and relevant to parents within the College. However, I stress that the St Patrick’s College is not responsible for any information that is shared through sites that are not founded but us.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal