Some years ago, a young Australian man was seriously injured as a result of a cowardly punch in the streets of Sydney. At the time, I was taken aback by not only the violence of the attack but also the resilience of the young man who was attacked. He spoke about his recovery in a television interview. Of the many things that he said and what I saw regarding his recovery, one very significant statement stood out:

If it is to be… it is because of me!

Each of the young men within this great school community brings a gift to all of us. As a community we are required to work in partnership with them to bring out their best and all will benefit as a result. The statement from the injured young man has always reminded me that I have a responsibility for my actions and where they take me.

During Tuesday's assembly, I spoke to the students about how we place great importance on what we value. I asked them to consider the most valuable thing in each of their lives. I was trying to make the point that they should have considered themselves to be the most valuable thing that they have. In EREA schools we often refer to holistic education being about the head, the heart and the hands. Our thinking and beliefs form our values, our values shape our feelings and reactions and our actions are shaped from our feelings. Young men who do not feel that they are valuable, will think that they are not good enough at lots of things. Their feelings about themselves and their consequent actions can often show these feelings. They can also feel victimized because of who they feel they are and resort to a sense of blame rather than responsibility. The simple mantra of if it is to be, it is because of me can remind them that they have control over these thoughts and feelings.

This mantra is also great to use when times are tough and we have to get things done. This can include times on the sporting field or during cultural pursuits or when study, assignments and school work needs to be done.

Our Year 12 students have been participating on a KAIROS retreat that started last Sunday and concluded on Tuesday evening. These retreats are quite intense and the students participate in workshops and activities well into the night. I am quite confident that the students have returned a different group of young men from when they left the College on Sunday. They are very rewarding and changing experiences and I would particularly like to thank the staff for their time, participation and roles within the retreats. Their time and efforts have not only been appreciated by the students, but have made a significant impact on many of them.

Much has happened over the past week. On Friday, our Year 9 students, their parents and mentors participated in "The Call" activity as a part of The Rite Journey. The activity started at 5:00am and there was a fantastic response to this. The time was deliberate because of the activity that was undertaken. Unfortunately, the rain forced the group to make some adjustments, but it went very well and was well received from the students and parents. Mr Brian Polich (Program Leader - The Rite Journey ), the House Deans and other staff members involved in the program did a fantastic job. It was a great start to the journey that will take all of this year.

We also had many students participate in the "Clean-up Australia" campaign. This took place during both lunch breaks. Ms Selena Fisk did a great job in organising the event. I would like to thank Selena and the young men who volunteered for their efforts, they accomplished a great service for the local community.

This weekend our Volleyball and Cricket teams travel to the home courts and fields of St Laurence's College. We had some excellent results last Saturday against St Peter's Lutheran College and our First XI Cricket and First VI Volleyball teams are still undefeated. There should be a great atmosphere this weekend as it is a part of the St Laurence's centenary year celebrations. There will not be any split rounds and I hope that as many younger players as possible can remain at the games to cheer on our Firsts teams.

There are only two more weeks before the students start their exams. I would ask all parents to ensure that their sons are vigilant with their studies to ensure that they are well-planned and well-prepared so that they can achieve their best results.

God Bless

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal