There has been much in the media recently regarding the influenza epidemic that appears to be sweeping across Brisbane. We have certainly felt the effect of this within our own College community with many staff and student absences over the past two weeks. A recent communique from the Queensland Health Department has requested that we remind parents and caregivers that if their son is unwell and showing the symptoms of influenza, he should remain at home and not mix with other children. I would ask that all parents please be mindful of this request so that we can assist one another in dealing with this difficult circumstance.

Last Tuesday’s College assembly was indeed a time of celebration. Firstly, we inducted another Year 12 student, Adam Ravbar, as a Coffey House Leader. Adam’s induction was the result of recognition by his peers and House Dean for the great leadership qualities that he shown within the College and particularly the Coffey House over this year. He is certainly a worthy recipient of this honour.

We also introduced the Student Leadership Team for 2018 to the students. The Year 11 students have spent some weeks discerning who they would like to select to lead the College next year. The cohort was broken into a short list of nine students after the initial voting. During the second-round votes from the short-list, it was too difficult to clearly select three students to lead so we have selected four leaders once again this year. It gives me great pleasure to advise the St Patrick’s community that Daniel Champness will be the College Captain and his three Vice Captains will be Miguel Vergara, Harry Lawrence and Jack Smith. I am looking forward to working with these young men over the remainder of this year and during 2018.

During the assembly, we also presented certificates to many of our young men who achieved a Distinction or High Distinction for the recent ICAS Science exams. These awards place the students within the top 10% of students who participated in the competition across the country. I was also honoured to present four of our young men with their AMEB music certificates for passing their recent exams. In the busyness of our days, it is most important that we stop on occasions to recognise the efforts of those amongst us and realise what a great talent pool we have at this school. Certainly, these achievements are assisted by the great support and teaching of our staff members coupled with the persistence, effort and attitude of the young men.

This weekend is a celebration of music and choral talent for Catholic schools across Queensland. The Queensland Catholic Schools Music Festival is hosted by Villanova College each year and draws schools from all over Queensland for four days of festival. It started yesterday and continues throughout the day and into the night during this time. This year we have 13 groups participating including bands, ensembles, choirs and drum corps. The staff members who have taught the students and prepared these groups include Mrs Kate Albury, Mr Kane McNally, Ms Monique Matthews, Mr Andrew Doo, Mrs Kelly Jensen and Mrs Claire Carvolth. I am sure that the staff and students will enjoy their experience and perform to the best of their abilities.

Last Saturday afternoon, our College Mooting Team consisting of Nicolas Easey, Tom Kelman and Lucas McKerihan, competed in the QUT High School Mooting Competition. They have been selected to compete in the final this Sunday evening in the Banco Court. The team was ably expertly assisted and supported by Harrison Kecek (St Patrick’s Old Boy) and Mr Jonathan Brough. This is a great effort by the team as these students are currently in Year 11.

Last week was the mid-point of this term. Whilst we can scratch our heads and wonder where the weeks have gone, there is still much to be done before we finish on 15 September. This is a time when many assignments or drafts and other forms of assessment are becoming due. It is crucial that each young man has a good idea of what they have due and have plans in place to ensure that the work is done in an organised manner rather than last minute. It is my experience that most last minute work receives a grade that denotes the short effort that was put into completing the work.

Our Year 12 students will be sitting the QCS Test in seven school days and then sit for their Term 3 exams in a week after that. These young men will need to be very well organised to negotiate this period before their final exams. They have worked particularly hard with the teaching staff to prepare as best they can for the QCS Tests on 29-30 August.

All our Year 10 students and their parents have been meeting throughout today as a part of their SET Planning for their senior studies subject selections. This is a very thorough process where the students are given an academic mentor who will work with them through their Year 11 and 12 studies as well. I would also like to recognise and thank the many teaching staff members who have volunteered to take on this role. I also hope that our young men in Year 10 and their families also found the experience to be useful and supportive in their subject selection process.

During last week and over the next two weeks, the College Leadership Team and several staff members will be conducting interviews for Year 5 students who wish to start at St Patrick’s in 2019. If you are aware of anyone who might be interested in this, please check to see if they have enrolled and booked an interview. Any enquiries regarding this can be made to Mrs Stacey Bishop through the College Office.

I would like to thank the many students and parents who were able to attend the Year 9 Subject Selection Evening last Monday night. I hope that you found the evening to be useful.

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal