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This week has been a significant one for our Year 11 students. Over the first three days they all participated in our Leadership Retreat. This year, we held the retreat at our school. This allowed us much more room, better facilities and more time to undertake activities. The various activities and workshops were facilitated by staff and the student leaders. I really enjoyed the experience and was impressed by the work and participation of the young men involved.

We were also fortunate enough to have Luke McKenna (Unleashing Personal Potential) as one of the guest presenters. I am sure that the students gained a lot from Luke’s program, I know that I certainly did. During yesterday’s assembly, I mentioned some of the important points that I heard from Luke. These included:

  • I have the most significant control over what happens to me;
  • Whilst I can be influenced by external forces or people, it is my reaction to them that leads me to the situation that I am in;
  • I should always be open to change and new ways of doing things as they are an opportunity to learn about new things and myself;
  • I cannot learn on my own. I need the support and help of others to assist me to become better;
  • With persistence, effort and the right attitude, I can achieve so much more than I might think.

On Tuesday afternoon, all the Year 11 students were joined by their parents for a short ritual, presentation and afternoon tea. During the ritual, the Year 11 students were presented with their senior tie by their parents. As our Year 12 students start to prepare for their final exams, the Year 11 students will be expected to take more of a role within student leadership. I would particularly like to thank all the Year 11 parents who were able to take time for the afternoon and Mr Darren Kearney, Mrs Sandra Fowlie and the House Deans for their organisation and facilitation of the three days.

Our young Men of Year 12 have 15 days left before they commence their final exams. This will be a difficult time for them as they still have to concentrate on their school work as well as cope with the emotions of leaving a community that they have been a member for up to eight years. During yesterday’s assembly, Jacob Arthur started the farewell rituals with the first student leader farewell address to the students and staff. He did a wonderful job with his speech. Jacob spoke so very highly of the number of people who have supported, assisted and befriended him over his time at St Patrick’s. It was a great example of how relationships rather than material things have the greatest impact upon us when we are in a strong community.

Whilst the coming weeks will bring more formal rituals and farewell ceremonies, our student were also reminded of the power of their own personal thanks to the senior students. They were encouraged to make sure that they thank any of the young men of Year 12 who have had a positive impact upon them over the final weeks.

Next Thursday evening, we will hold our Orientation Evening for new students to the College next year. These are always enjoyable and energetic events as there are many very excited young men arriving to meet their big brothers and hear more about the school. I am looking forward to meeting the many new families who will add to our community starting from next year.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday members of our College Leadership Team will participate in the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) conference. The conference will concentrate on the new ATAR 20/20 program for senior students (2020). We have already started planning for these changes with adjustments to our Year 10 programs and curriculum offerings next year. We will be further updated with any other changes and new information during this conference. This information is already available to parents, especially of those with young men in Year 9, through the College website. If you wish to have further details regarding this page, please contact Mrs Jackie Upton.

During the latter part of last year, we closed our student entry into the College from Twamley Street. The new entrance from that side of the College is through Zeehan Lane. This is quite a narrow laneway and some residents have expressed their concerns about students not paying enough attention to the possibility of cars moving through the laneway. Our preferred option is for students to be dropped off at Pier Avenue or Park Parade as these areas have a pedestrian crossing or students can be dropped right at the entrance of the College in Pier Avenue. However, if your son continues to use Zeehan Lane, please ensure that he be alert to any traffic that may occur in the lane. Also, we ask that no one drives down the lane as it is a very narrow causeway.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal