I would like to take this opportunity, in the final edition for 2015, to thank all of our students and families for your patience and support in my first year as College Principal. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to many more years in the role at this great College. I would also like to thank all of the staff members of the College for their support and dedication to each task. This College is very lucky to have a staff that is very much committed to the best intentions of each young man who attends St....
I would like to take this opportunity, in the final edition for 2015, to thank all of our students and families for your patience and support in my first year as College Principal. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to many more years in the role at this great College. I would also like to thank all of the staff members of the College for their support and dedication to each task. This College is very lucky to have a staff that is very much committed to the best intentions of each young man who attends St. Patrick’s. In particular, I wold like to make special mention of the College Leadership Team. Frank Torrisi, Chris Campbell, Zoe Morgan, Matthew Hawkins and Paul Corfield have consistently worked above and beyond their roles and have made me feel most welcome. Their support and advice has been invaluable to me in my inaugural year.
This last week is a reasonably quiet week as the students are completing their final assessments and the Year 11 and Year 10 students are on block examinations. Whilst things appear to be calm on the exterior, there is certainly much happening on the interior. The teaching staff members are working to get the marking and reporting completed. This process will continue until Wednesday of next week. The remainder of the staff week will be taken up with staff members packing all of their possessions from each staff room as we will be painting and replacing carpets in each room, as well as making changes to the staff room layouts. We will also spend some time on analysing the student reporting information to learn from this semester’s teaching and plan for next year. Our support staff members are also very busy at this time of the year with assisting with the printing of exams and organising the reporting process and mail out.
There will be a significant amount of building and renovations occurring over the holiday period. I would especially like to thank Mr Murray Schultz and his property services team of Jim Mann, Chris Walsh, Ian Black, Neville Dowell, Michael Prackett, Rory White and Jack Kelly for the work that they will be doing over the holidays. Apart from the relocation and cleaning of the staffrooms, there will be refurbishments in the Callan Centre (new Exceptional Learner Department) rooms, a new staffroom in the temporary Art Room in the Br Saward Building, the movement of the Uniform Shop, movement and refurbishment of the IT Support room in the O’Connor building back into a general classroom and movement of IT staff into the current Exceptional Learner Department under the Br Saward Building.
Whilst the Uniform Shop will be relocated into the Seaview Building, unfortunately this will not be completed until after the start of the first term. This means that the Uniform Shop will still trade from the current demountable leading into the first term. To assist with the usual rush, we have extended the hours and weeks that the shop will be open over the holiday break. I would encourage families to get in early this term if possible. There will be limited work done on the building after this is finished. This will also be dictated by the change of restrictions that may be placed on the building by the Brisbane City Council (BCC) in their change to the City Plan 2014. The BCC have promised us the opportunity for consultation during this process.
The Cultural and Sporting Precinct is well behind in its schedule. It was originally meant to be completed by mid-November. However, there have been some problems encountered by the builders and the building program has fallen behind. In reality, we do not believe that we will occupy the building until the second term next year. This has caused us an amount of angst in adjusting timetables and organising replacement demountable buildings. We will have three demountable buildings in the carpark area outside of the swimming pool. These will house the Dean of Teaching and Learning and Dean of Students as well as the College Counsellors (2). Another will be used as a general classroom. The fourth demountable building will be placed outside of the print room near the tuckshop. This will be used as a temporary Art room. I had a recent tour of the work site and the building is starting to take shape. It will certainly offer some outstanding facilities for the College into the future.
At the end of next week the College staff will also farewell some of our colleagues. Mrs Melissa Deacon, Mr Ian Brown, Mr Allan Clark and Mr Blair Drabble will be leaving the teaching staff. We will also have Mrs Cassie Purcell (Semester 1), Mrs Katie Moro (Terms 1-3), Mrs Stevie Hepburn (Semester 1), Mrs Kate Mulvihill (Semester 1) and Mrs Susan Harris (Semester 1) on Maternity Leave from the beginning of the year. Mr Nick Toohey will also be on leave in the first semester as he travels to Track and Field meets across Australia and around the world to try and gain selection into the Australian Olympic Team for the Olympic Games next year. From our support staff, Mrs Robyn Donaldson will be on leave in the first term and Mr Pouyan Habibi will be leaving us permanently. Pouyan joined us in 2014 as a part of the Work and Welcome Program. Consequently we extended his employment for all of this year. Pouyan has been an exceptional member of staff and his daily presence and smile will be missed. He is relocating to Sydney in early December. On behalf of the College I would like to thank each staff member who is leaving us permanently. I hope that their time at St. Patrick’s will have formed fond memories and that each has become better at their job as a result of working here with colleagues.
Christmas is a time for celebration. It would be fair to say that this is also one of those times when the religious significance can be overshadowed by the commercial advertising. As Catholics, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is pivotal to our story. Therefore, the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas should always be at the centre of our celebrations. As adults, it is also a part of our responsibilities to remind our children of this. This will also allow them to make sense of the rituals and purpose for our celebrations.
I pray that all of the students in our community enjoy the break from the school routine and have an opportunity to relax and refresh as best they can. Likewise, I appreciate that not all parents will be able to take a break over this period, but I hope that the extra time with your sons is enjoyable and memorable as they grow up so quickly.