In my previous article, I mentioned the 10th year anniversary of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA). Since 2008, our College and over 50 others across the country were no longer known as Christian Brothers schools. The change was made by the Christian Brothers, as an order, to ensure that their schools would remain as a separate Catholic system, across the country, into the future. Under canonical law, it would not be possible to have a system of Christian Brothers’ schools if there were no Christian Brothers left in the order. The move to EREA was a forward-thinking decision by the Christian Brothers Order. When the decision was made, there was much discussion around what could be done to ensure that the colleges across Australia remained authentic to the Mission of the Christian Brothers. This was done through the development of the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition. In the introduction to the recently revised Charter, it is stated…

The Charter, provides a practical expression of EREA identity

and so is crucial for use in decision-making, planning and review… The

Charter continues to use four touchstones to describe the culture of a

Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition which

is striving for authenticity. These touchstones give us

ideals authentically linked with the Charism which underpins

the ministry in our schools and educational endeavours.

They help us set our direction and define our goals as,

following Blessed Edmund’s vision, we

continue to reflect and seek to make the Gospel

a living reality in our communities.

The four touchstones of Liberating Education, Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarityand GospelSpirituality are still present in the new Charter. There are some minor changes to their descriptors and graphics have been designed to represent each of the touchstones. We are very fortunate to be a part of a national network of EREA schools and St Patrick’s has benefited from and contributed to the network since 2008.

We held our Orientation Evening for new students (2018) last night. During my address, I acknowledged our connection with EREA and the influence of the Charter on our school culture, procedures and decision-making. I enjoyed meeting so many new parents and students. The enthusiasm and energy of the new young men is quite infectious. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Mrs Stacey Bishop, Mrs Jackie Upton, Mrs Sandra Fowlie and Mr Darren Kearney in planning the night. Our Year 11 students also attended and linked with their Little Brothers for next year. The current Year 12 House Leaders and Student Leadership Team were also present to assist with the organisation, and Thomas Giuliano addressed the new parents and students and passed the baton onto next year’s College Captain; Daniel Champness. Both young men should be very proud of their presentations.

During Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I attended the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) conference with Mr Chris Campbell. The conference had some wonderful presenters and very informative information regarding the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system that will be introduced from the beginning of 2019. This new system will affect our young men who are in Year 9 or below. We have previously presented to parents on these changes and currently have information posted on our website. We are receiving more detail to information that we have been given and I was impressed with the services that will be available to schools, teachers and students (and their families). The QCAA and Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) has done a significant amount of work to date in in-servicing over 5000 teachers and developing over 50 new syllabuses for the change. We will provide information about the services and programs available to students and parents as they become available. Chris and I certainly left the conference feeling very confident about the rollout of the new system. We have already started preparing for the changes at St Patrick’s and will continue to prioritise other changes during next year ready for 2019.

Next Wednesday, a large number of our young men will represent the College at the AIC Track and Field Championships. This year, they will be supported by our Year 9 cohort. We wish the students the very best in each of their events.

On Thursday evening, we will hold our Showcase. This year promises to be bigger and better than past years with the introduction of food vans on the oval. The boys seem to be very happy with this decision. I know that every house has been working busily behind the scenes to prepare for the night. This is always one of our best attended events from both students and families and I look forward to meeting with so many of our families. May the best House win!

There is a student within our College who is immunosupressed, meaning that this child has a lower immunity and cannot fight infections in the normal way. Viruses that cause measles, chickenpox and shingles could make this child extremely unwell. Therefore, I would be grateful if you would contact the College immediately if your child was found to have one of these illnesses. If we know that there has been exposure to measles, chickenpox or shingles, medicine can be given to lessen the side effect of such an infection to this child. This medicine does need to be given as soon as possible after the contact has taken place.

I must assure you that your child is not at any risk because of this child.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal