I would like to start this week’s article by thanking the many staff and students who represented our College in the many ANZAC commemorative services across the north of Brisbane. Our own school service was held for the first time on the beach in front of the College. It was a service not only attended by the students and staff but we also invited our local residents. I found it to be a wonderful service that very much honoured the many servicemen and servicewomen from the past and present. On Monday we had around 160 students march with some...
I would like to start this week’s article by thanking the many staff and students who represented our College in the many ANZAC commemorative services across the north of Brisbane. Our own school service was held for the first time on the beach in front of the College. It was a service not only attended by the students and staff but we also invited our local residents. I found it to be a wonderful service that very much honoured the many servicemen and servicewomen from the past and present. On Monday we had around 160 students march with some staff members in the Sandgate service. Also, Mitchell Bell (Year 8 student) played the Last Post and Reveille during both services and was outstanding. Our Drum Corps also played major roles leading both the Sandgate and Banyo parades.
This Saturday we commence the second term sport program. This includes Rugby, Football and Cross Country. We also have a strong cultural program including Chess, Debating, Theatresports and continuing music ensembles.
At our spirit assembly on Tuesday, I particularly addressed the students in regard to our sporting teams. The Rugby and Football season always has the most number of students involved. My address focussed on our young men exercising self-control and taking self-responsibility for their actions on the sporting field. Unfortunately the second term also tends to have more students appearing in front of our internal “judiciary” based on their actions on the field in regard to incidents with opponents or officials. As a College, these actions are not tolerated. My point to the students was that sport is meant to be fun and enjoyable for all participants. Their role as players is to play to the best of their abilities and respect their opponents and officials.
Many people may not be aware but the Australian Catholic Bishops recently released a social justice statement titled A Crown for Australia: Striving for the Best in our Sporting Nation. The paper was released after the Australian Bishop’s Conference in 2014. In their paper, the Bishops acknowledge the role that sport plays in our society and they also state that sport also holds a mirror to our society. By this they mean that it reflects the best in us as individuals and as a community, but can also show the worst in us and sometimes the unjust as well. The statement says that “The goal of sport is the good of humans everywhere.”
This statement honours our own touchstone of 'inclusivity'. Sporting activities are great ways for our young men to work together as a team no matter what their backgrounds. One should never feel excluded or discriminated against when playing in a sporting competition, either by their own teammates or the opposing players. Sporting games should also be seen as an opportunity to meet other people and make new acquaintances and friends rather than adversaries or enemies. Sport is also a wonderful community builder when many spectators can meet and enjoy the spectacle as opposed to being so enthralled that their personality changes or they behave in inappropriate ways because of the situation or score within a game. If any of our young men change so much during or after a game based on the result, they need to consider if they are enjoying the experience.
Another significant contribution of sport is for the physical health and well-being of the participants. Here the paper quotes from Pope Francis …. During the game, when you are out on the pitch, you display beauty, generosity and comradery. If a match loses these qualities it loses force, even if the team wins. There is no room for individualism; team coordination is paramount…. When an athlete even a professional one cultivates this dimension of being an ‘amateur’, society benefits and that person strengthens the common good with the values of generosity, comradery and beauty.”
My concluding comments to our young men was that I wanted each week at Curlew Park to be a memorable occasion for each of us and our host schools. We best do this by competing to the best of our abilities, respecting and honouring our opponents and officials and making all of the players and their families feel welcome at our grounds. This message also applies to the many adults who attend our home game and I know that each of our families that attend the games will work with us to model the appropriate manners and respect to players and officials that we expect from our young men. I look forward to meeting with as many families as I can over the coming weeks at Curlew Park. If you see me wandering around, please come up and meet with me. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with and hear from families. I also appreciate that in many of your busy working weeks, this might be the only chance that you might get to say 'hello'.
Thank you to the many families who met with the teaching staff yesterday in the parent/teacher meetings. We had very strong numbers of parents and students attend the meetings. I hope that each of you had the opportunity to discuss further ways to enhance your son’s outcomes for the rest of this year. I know that the teaching staff also found these meetings to be very useful, as a way to not only tell you about your son’s progress, but to also hear from you as well. I would encourage each of you to have a follow up conversation with your son about what each teacher said and to set targets (both in results and study practices) for the remainder of this semester. I would also like to make special mention of the Year 12 students who attended school throughout the full day to workshop and practise for their QCS tests.
Two long weekends in a row is a bit of a luxury and I hope that everyone is afforded some opportunity to rest and spend quality time with families during this extra time away from work.