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Welcome back to the third term of the year. Last term seemed to pass so quickly due to the short number of weeks and the unusual number of long weekends. I hope that each of our young men have had an opportunity to have a refreshing break and have returned rested and ready for another great term.

Over the holiday break many of our staff and students were involved in a number of competitions, camps and clinics for various co-curricular endeavours. Our music and choral groups travelled to the North Coast for nearly a week of practice which culminated in their performances with some local primary schools as well as at the Caloundra Festival.

Our College Rugby League team competed in the Confraternity Shield competition hosted, this year, by Padua College. This competition included 48 teams from across the State representing 50 schools. The St Patrick’s team was seeded in the first division of the carnival and, for the first time, made it through to the first four teams of the entire competition. This was an extraordinary effort for a team made up of players mainly from a rugby background and with only 2-3 weeks training. The team finished 4th out of 48 schools.

There were also many basketball and tennis clinics held over the holidays. They were held in preparation for the basketball and tennis seasons commencing next week.

Over the holiday period, three of our students have also been fortunate enough to be selected in national teams to compete within their particular sports. Lachlan Connors (Yr 12) represented Queensland in the recent Rugby Schools Championships. Lachlan was also selected for the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Team. Darian Kaptich (Yr 11) also competed in the International Qualifier competition for ice skating. Darian was successful in qualifying to compete in the Asian Open in Hong Kong, the Junior Grand Prix in Brisbane and Junior Grand Prix in Riga, Latvia later this year. I had the great pleasure of attending the Pierre De Coubertin sports awards presented to students across Queensland for reaching high levels of competition and displaying the Olympic ideal with their competition. Matthew Palmer (Yr 12) was a recipient of the award. Matthew has been selected as a member of the Australian Life-saving team and has been a member of the College swimming team, cross-country team and athletics team since he started at St Patrick’s in Year 5.

Last Sunday was the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Gospel reading was from Matthew. There was a line in the Gospel that stood out to me…. “Come to me all of you who labour and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”. It is so important that our young men develop a sense of resilience as they grow older. There will be many times in their lives where things do not go to plan or stuff happens to them and they do not have the knowledge or skills to deal with it or know what to do. The most important thing is that they know that there might be an issue that they must deal with and look for the support of others that can assist them to cope. At St Patrick’s we consistently talk about a holistic education. The spiritual dimension is a part of a holistic education. It is so important for our young men to grow into men with a sense of their faith and spirituality and what is important to them (values). Developing our spiritual dimension always is to be at peace with ourselves and to be “happy within our own skin”. It allows us to decide what is important in our lives as opposed to the messages from elsewhere that may be counter to these beliefs. In the Gospel reading, Jesus says “Come to me….”. We do this through prayer and reflection. If our young men could put aside 3-5 minutes per day to meditate, pray and reflect, their sense of well-being and esteem may well grow as a result along with their own faith and knowledge of their own spirituality.

On Wednesday, Mrs Jackie Upton forwarded a communication for all families regarding the AIC Sports Review. She included a link to allow you to participate in a survey. I would encourage all parents and students to participate in this survey as the information from it will be considered by the AIC Principals when looking at the AIC competitions commencing in 2019. The Principals have appointed Mr Cliff Mallett from the University of Queensland (UQ) and his team to undertake the research, review and furnish a report with suggested recommendation moving into the future from 2019. The AIC College Principals will consider the recommendations and make decisions based on full consensus. Consequently, the more feedback that we receive the better the information that we will have to make decisions.

I would also like to remind all parents with sons in Year 9 or below that there will be a Parent Information night on Thursday 10 August in relation to the new Senior School Assessment and Tertiary Entrance system to start with Year 11 (2019). This meeting is particularly important to students currently in Year 9 as it will have impact upon their subject choices and decisions for Year 10 next year. I look forward to meeting with many you on this occasion.

Once again, our Athletics Carnival was a great success with fun and participation as the hallmarks of the day. Mr Doug Locke and his team did a great job in planning and facilitating the day.

We also host the College Academic Awards assembly this coming Tuesday. Again, the number of recipients has grown. This is wonderful news. This year, Mr Chris Murdoch QC will be our guest speaker and presenter. Chris is an Old Boy of the College and was recently appointed Queens Counsel. This is a distinguished appointment for any Barrister at Law.

I also look forward to catching up with many families next Tuesday afternoon and night during the Parent/Teacher Interviews. I hope that all the conversations are positive, helpful and forward thinking. It is very important that each young man attend with his parents so that they can be a part of their own feedback and planning program.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal