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Over the holiday period we have a number of staff and students participating in immersion experiences. One group is visiting an indigenous community in remote Western Australia, whilst the other is travelling to Timor Leste. In the latter part of last month, four of our young men also ventured to the USA and Canada as a part of exchange programs. The opportunities for students within schools today is quite amazing.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, this will be the last time that our students will visit Timor Leste as a part of this immersion experience. Since 2010, our College has joined with staff and students from St Edmund’s, Ipswich and St Laurence’s College in visiting Timor Leste and assisting the Christian Brothers in residence with any building requirements and assistance within the villages. Two of our staff members, Mr Mike McGrath and Mr Mike Bramwell are well known to the Brothers as they have been regular visitors on the immersions. I would like to publicly thank them for all their assistance and efforts over the years, I know that they have been very much appreciated by our community and the many young men who have accompanied them as well as the Brothers and villagers in Timor Leste.

We constantly challenge our young men to be “multidimensional” during their time within our College. By this, we mean that we want our students to get involved and try as many opportunities as they can within reason. Our logic behind this is simple in nature. Firstly, one does not know how talented they might at some things unless they give them a try. They may find that they are quite gifted at things that they did not consider or know about. More importantly, the more things that our young men experience the more open they will be to different experiences, understandings and appreciations. They are often bombarded with stereotypical images or accepted cultures within sports or organisations that suggest that only certain behaviours are acceptable if they are after success or acceptance. Hopefully, a multidimensional person will have the courage to pursue their own interests and appreciations and not curtail to accepted norms. Rugby players and football players can also enjoy music, play music or sing and dance. Academics can also enjoy sport and cultural pursuits and everyone should strive to be able to write well and be able to articulate themselves confidently in front of others. I was really pleased when Robert Craddick mentioned these views with the young men at last Friday morning’s Father/Son Breakfast.

On Tuesday evening, I had the great pleasure of attending our Year 8 Celebration of the Arts with other members of the College Leadership Team. The program was delivered on the Shorncliffe Pier as well as across areas of the College campus. It was a most enjoyable evening with each of our students in Year 8 displaying their skills and abilities in the creative arts areas of drama, music and art. I would like to congratulate Ms Kate Albury for planning the event. Kate was very well supported by Mrs Kelly Jensen, Ms Monique Matthews, Mrs Claire Devine and Mr Kane Mc Nally from our Music Department, Mrs Janet Garside, Mr Adam McPhee and Mr Luke Vanni from the Drama Department and Mrs Julie Catalan, Mr Finlay Lester, Mrs Leigh Wissman and Mrs Jane Martens from the Art and Media Department. Mr Geoff Samuels and Mr Rion Rhodes were responsible for setting up the sound and lighting during the evening.

Our senior students started their exam period this week and the other young men undertake their exams across next week. As is our usual practice, we have run our exams right up until the final day of school so that we can maximise teaching and learning time through the term. I have mentioned in many other newsletters that it is expected that our students would be well prepared for their exams through constant and consistent study from the first week of each term. During this phase of their study cycle, they should be engaging in final revisions through information and practice papers given to them by their teachers, summarising and memorising their notes and planning for their style of assessment. It is also most important that each young man know exactly where and when each of his exams will take place and be at the required venue well on time. This information has been emailed to all the students in Years 7-12 by Mrs Nott from the Curriculum Office. Like anything, good preparation and planning will always reap better outcomes than last minute rushing.

There will also be some staffing changes for next term. Mr Paul Arcodia and Mr Blake Louden will be absent for the full term as they will be on Long Service Leave. Mr Jack O’Hare will finish his contract with us from this term and Mrs Anne Maree Bliss will return from her Long Service Leave. As you are also aware, Mrs Susan Werba left the College in late August to take a position at an international school in the United Arab Emirates. Susan’s replacement as Head of Curriculum – English is Mrs Chelsea Parakas. Mrs Parakas will commence from the first day of next term. She has had extensive experience in teaching senior English and in Middle Leadership and we are looking forward to her joining our staff and leading the English Department into the future. Mrs Nicole Draisey has also commenced a period of leave which will include the remainder of this year and all of next year.

During the second and third terms, we have been working to develop a Shared Vision for the College for the next five years. This vision will play a significant role in the planning for our next strategic plan to be developed next year. The Vision has been developed from the feedback from parents, students, staff and the College Board. It is now in its draft form and Mrs Jackie Upton will communicate this information to families for their review and feedback. I am hoping to have the document finalised by the third week of next term. Please keep your eye open for the communication from Jackie and pass back any feedback so that we can further enhance the document.

I would like to thank the many staff, students and parents who participated in the AIC Sports Review survey. This review is being facilitated by the University of Queensland and they received over 5000 responses across the AIC schools. On Wednesday evening, two members of the UQ facilitation team met with College representatives to glean further information and seek clarification in some matters regarding our College responses or issues raised. They will meet with focus groups from each of the schools within the first two weeks of next term. It is expected that a report will be given to the AIC college principals during the first term next year. The report will include some recommendations for consideration for the competition starting 2019. The decisions regarding the recommendations will be made by the AIC principals.

I hope that the final week of the term is a successful one for each of our students in regard to their studies and subject results.

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal