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Since the beginning of this term, I referred to Fr Richard Rohr O.F.M and Joseph Martos’s article: Eight Good Reasons for Being Catholic. To date, I have outlined the first six of these. The seventh reason is that Catholicism has a profound sense of history. The Catholic Church has been around for 20 centuries. Belonging to a Church with such a lengthy history allows us to appreciate and understand a unique historical perspective. We often forget that many of the problems that we face today as a society have been around for a very long time and have been considered and addressed by the Church for centuries. Rohr and Martos argue that a Catholic perspective on history shows that we do not have to fear any particular political or economic system. Our Gospel messages have passed through the ages and through many political systems and not been affected by socioeconomic status. The eighth and final reason is that our Church has a respect for human knowledge. After philosophy, the oldest intellectual discipline in the world is theology. The authors argue that Catholicism has never been a matter of blind faith. One of the earliest definitions of theology is “faith seeking understanding.” The Catholic ideal is to respect reason and promote understanding. Many of the great universities across Europe were foundered by Catholic scholars who had started schools. Our faith has always had a deep respect for the pursuit of knowledge and respect for all.

On Monday, we held our last whole school Assembly with the Year 12 cohort present. We were also joined by a considerable number of family members. The Farewell Assembly and walk out of the College is always an emotional time for the young men in Year 12. This year was no different. During the Assembly, we had the opportunity to hear the final address from Daniel Champness, our College Captain and thank the cohort for all that they have done through this year and over all their years with us. After the assembly, the Year 12 students were “tunnelled” to the front gate by the rest of the student body and walked across the road to meet up with their parents. It was a poignant moment in that the first thing that they did when they arrived at our College was walk through the front gate accompanied by, or dropped off by their parents, and the last thing they do is walk through the same gates and meet up with their parents again. The students are now in the middle of completing their final exams before they graduate next Thursday night.

On Wednesday night, Mrs Annette Campbell received an email from Mr Lachlan Young, from Space Design Competitions Australia. During the semester, our Year 9 Honour students have been working on a project that they entered in the competition. Annette was informed that the team were placed in the top 10 schools around Australia. The team will join the other top 10 teams at the University of Queensland campus in January next year to compete for the opportunity to represent Australia and travel to the International Space Settlement Design Competition finals at the Kennedy Space Centre in the USA. I would like to particularly congratulate the team of Year 8 students including Sean Affleck, Daniel Galway, Joshua Jeffrey, Joseph Dwane, Jacob Wallenburg, Brendan Law, Lachlan Rouse, Hayden Sinclair, Samuel Sleep, Joshua Kyle-Little and Christiaan Senekal and Mrs Sharon Carr, who teaches the team and entered them into the competition. It is great testimony to the work that Sharon, Annette and the team are doing in our Exceptional Learners Department. There are some very excited boys looking to make the most of their opportunity in the competition at the UQ next year.

This is a busy time for many of our young men as many of their assessments will start to become due. I would encourage all parents to spend a little time with your son(s) over the weekend to work with them to map out what they must complete and a timeline for completion and study for exams.

I would like to thank the parents who were able to give feedback on our proposed strategic plan for 2019-2023. The College Leadership Team and Damian Brennan have looked over the feedback from staff, students, College board and parents and have made some adjustments to the original documents. Over the coming weeks, we will finalise the document and have it ready for publication. The document will be ready for use from the beginning of next year and will be officially launched during next year’s St Patrick’s Day mass.

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal