Last Saturday marked the beginning of Reconciliation Week. It was National Sorry Day - National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country's Aboriginal People especially the actions taken during the 20th century by Australian government policies resulting in a “stolen generation”. It is an opportunity for us to especially reflect upon the pain and hurt that was caused when aboriginal children were separated, often forcibly, from their families. We marked the occasion with signage and short rituals before our First XI and...
Last Saturday marked the beginning of Reconciliation Week. It was National Sorry Day - National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country's Aboriginal People especially the actions taken during the 20th century by Australian government policies resulting in a “stolen generation”. It is an opportunity for us to especially reflect upon the pain and hurt that was caused when aboriginal children were separated, often forcibly, from their families. We marked the occasion with signage and short rituals before our First XI and First XV fixtures. The captains of both teams exchanged indigenous message sticks from their own school communities.
National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year from 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. This week is a time for each of us to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort. During this week we have placed a sign on the roof of the O’Connor Building with the words “Don’t make our history a mystery”. Mr Luke Royes and the ministry team has placed signage and important facts about our indigenous history around areas of the College and over the week each house has participated in the simple and powerful indigenous flag raising ceremony. During the course of this year, we have deliberately informed our young men about facts of our local indigenous culture during our whole school assemblies. We have always opened our assemblies with the placement of our College message stick and Welcome to Country. This is now a permanent part of our assemblies. At St Patrick’s, we believe that it is very important that our young men take reconciliation seriously and starting to know our own indigenous history is an important part of this journey.
This week is the 7th week of the academic term. There are now only three more weeks before they take an end of semester break. I am sure that the remaining weeks will be quite busy with assignment submissions and preparations for the end of semester exams. This is an ideal time to spend some time with your son to see how well prepared he is for the assessments and what planning they have put in place to ensure that they achieve their best possible results.
We held our Open Day last Tuesday evening. This is a little earlier than we have done in more recent years. Many families registered and attended the event and I hope that they found it to be very helpful to them in working out their son’s future education. I was very proud of the way that so many of our young men remained behind to assist us as tour guides or assistants within the displays. Their pride in the College was evident for all to see and I received many positive comments about their efforts. All the teaching staff also attended to allow our visitors to speak with them about their subjects and the College. The event was very well planned by Mrs Jackie Upton, Mrs Stacey Bishop and Mr Frank Torrisi. I would also like to thank the many parents who assisted us on the evening and for supporting us by allowing your sons to remain at school to be a part of the event.
Last Monday, Mrs Jackie Upton sent out a communication to all parents regarding an on-line survey commissioned by Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA). The survey has been sent to families within all our schools across Australia. The information that is collated from the responses will be used by EREA to plan for their future directions. The information from our own parents will also be sent to me for our own analysis and planning. I urge all parents to take the opportunity to spend about 15 minutes to complete the survey as the information will be very valuable for us.
I attended a Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) senior leaders’ forum with Troy Schultz this morning. It was a most informative meeting updating us further with information regarding the movement to the new QCE 2020. We are confident that the work we have done to date regarding organisational changes and staff professional development holds us in good stead for a smooth transition to the new system. We will be holding another Parent Information Evening on Monday 11 June to further update our Year 10 students and families since we met last year. All other families with sons in Year levels younger than the current Year 10 students are also invited to attend. The meeting will be held in the Christian Brothers Building starting at 6:00pm.
During this week and over next week, our Year 10 students will meet with personnel from Business Improvement Australia (BIA) for their one-to-one counselling sessions. At the completion of the interviews the students and their parents will receive a report from BIA that will be useful to them in considerations for future employment and subsequent senior subject choices.
This evening, our Chess team will travel to Iona College for their fixtures. Tomorrow, our junior teams will host Iona at Curlew park for Football and Rugby fixtures whilst our senior teams will travel to Iona College for their games. It is worth noting that our Chess team as well as First XI football and First XV rugby teams are all still very much competing for premierships. This is our second last fixture and I am sure that all teams would love to have as much support as possible. Whilst Iona College is a reasonable distance to travel, it would be great to have our players remain behind and watch the First XI starting at 12:15pm and the First XV game starting at 2:15pm.
Next Monday evening is also our Parent Information Evening with several presentations aimed at information for parents raising young adolescent men. Mr Darren Kearney and his House Dean team have gone to a lot of trouble to organise speakers that are suited to the ages of our students. It is also an opportunity for parents to hear about some of the formation programs that this team has (and will) introduce across this year as a part of the student formation program.
I hope to see many of you over the weekend and on Monday evening.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!