As this is the last newsletter for the year, we look forward with anticipation to the New Year in the Church, the season of Advent and the celebration of the birth of our Lord at Christmas, as well as an opportunity to rest after what has been a very challenging year.
Recently we held our Advent Liturgy. It was a very special occasion and I was so filled with joy at being able to celebrate as a whole community. I love the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Christmas is a season of hope, of greater connection to others, a time for each of us to try and take some time to slow down and just be. However we are ever cognisant that it is not this way for everyone and this Christmas will see more families in need, with greater levels of mental health and loneliness. As a community we continue to strive to put our needs aside, to stop and reflect on the needs of others and to graciously give of ourselves and wherever we can food and items for those in need. I thank the community for your wonderful generosity. In this difficult year, we actually surpassed our efforts from last year. We were able to assemble over 160 hampers for St Vincent de Paul, 30 hampers for The Capuchin Franciscan Friars, and raise over $900 which we donated to the Vinnies team. I thank Mr Moussa for his leadership and for his ongoing invitation to our young people to live out their faith through action.
2020 has been a significant year in the life of not only our Marist family here at Dundas, but for all across the globe. I am constantly amazed at the resilience of people and their willingness to support others, despite their own personal challenges. We are people of hope. Hope flourishes through encounter and community. Hope for me is a belief in our future, a belief in the goodness of humanity. Each and everyday, it is the students of St Patrick’s Marist that give me reasons to be hopeful, they inspire me. I am looking forward to a spectacular 2021.
Throughout the season of Advent and in all that we continue to be, let us be: hope to others, healers, a voice for the voiceless, a friend to the friendless, and a source of strength for the weak. Let us take time to reflect on ourselves, where we can be better versions of ourselves, in the way we love, in our honesty, faithfulness and authenticity and above as people of forgiveness.
I was so excited to be able to share a wonderful night with Year 10 and their teachers at their Social, held at the Waterview. There was so much excitement and joy evident amongst all of the students. The opportunity to come together, to leave the year of COVID behind (while still following restrictions) and enjoy the company of friends, great food and dancing. I was so proud of everyone in attendance. A big thank you to Mr Hornby for his organisation and for the support of Mr Paton and Mr Palmer.
While we were not able to hold our normal Awards Evening this year, we were able to celebrate achievements for the Semester on Tuesday the 8th December with each year group. I congratulate the many students that have excelled this year and were recognised for their efforts. I thank the Administration Staff, Mrs Le Mottee, Ms Stewart and Ms Wadih for their work behind the scenes and to our wonderful Pastoral Leaders who led the awards for their year groups.
This last week we finally got an opportunity to have our Champagnat Day celebrations, followed by our Pastoral Day, both held here at the College. The students and staff had a great time, and there was a wonderful sense of family spirit and community. It was the perfect way to finish our year. I thank Mr Paton for his organisation of our Champagnat celebrations and our Pastoral Leaders of Learning for their organisation of our Pastoral Day with the support of our College Leaders.
|Wednesday, 20th January||College Office re-opens|
|Monday, 25th January||College Closed|
|Tuesday, 26th January||Australia Day Holiday|
|Wednesday, 27th January||Staff Development Day|
|Thursday, 28th January||Term 1 Commences for Years 7, 11, 12 and Peer Support Leaders|
|Friday, 29th January||Term 1 Commences for Years 8, 9 and 10.|
|Monday, 1st February||Swimming Carnival|
|Wednesday, 10th February||High Achievers Assembly|
Our 2021 School Fees have been published on our website and have been added to this newsletter.
There is a significant level of generosity of staff that extends far beyond the classroom. I thank the entire staff of the College for their contributions to both the academic, spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of our young people.
This year we farewell the following permanent staff members two long standing staff members who have made significant and positive contributions to the academic and cultural aspects of our College. Ms. Loraine Pett and Mr Stephen Darcy are retiring after very distinguished careers.
Ms Pett began her career at Patrician Brothers Blacktown in our Diocese, before eventually joining the College in a temporary position in 2006. From the moment of her arrival Ms. Pett demonstrated a great capacity to lead, to bring both staff and students along, with her passion, incredible depth of knowledge for English and her absolute desire to ensure every student achieved growth and success in both her classroom and her subject. During 2011 Ms Pett became the Leader of Learning for English, a position that she held until recently. She has been a key member of the Leadership Team in the College and has had a significant and positive impact. Ms Pett has been a key part of our Debating and Public Speaking, organising, coaching, adjudicating and continuing to build both staff and student skills in these areas. I thank her for the many Friday nights she has given up to assist in this area.
Mr D'Arcy has been a very important part of our Mathematics team since his arrival in 2013. Mr D'Arcy has long served our Diocese as both a teacher and as a Leader of Learning Mathematics across a number of schools for over 20 years, and I myself had the privilege of being part of his team. During his time at the College his quiet determination and passion for Mathematics has seen students continuously achieve outstanding results at the highest levels. In fact, Mr D'Arcy himself was a Marist Parramatta graduate, and we clearly see a person with a strong mind and a gentle heart.
I thank both Ms Pett and Mr D'Arcy for their deep commitment to our community and wish them all the very best as they leave our College as permanent members of staff.
We farewell the following permanent staff members: Mr Wall; Miss Toma; Mr Haddad and Mrs Pavlovich.
We also farewell the following temporary staff who play a key role in filling the gaps when staff are on leave: Miss Celima; Miss Ciaschetti; Ms Curry; Mr Flew; Miss James; Mr Malkoun; Mr Maroun; Miss Mojsiejuk and Mr Nguyen.
To each of these staff members, I thank them for their commitment and contribution and I am happy to say that most have now acquired permanent positions. We wish them every success in the future.
As we come to the close of the year, I have noticed the standard of uniform for some students is not meeting our College expectations. When we redesigned the College uniform we chose not to have socks specific to the College as they are considerably more expensive for families. As a result many girls are wearing incorrect socks. I ask that over the Christmas break, all girls' uniform lengths are altered to ensure they sit at mid knee length and that the appropriate above the ankle socks are purchased.
There is a significant level of generosity of staff that extends far beyond the classroom. I thank the entire staff of the College for their contributions to both the academic, spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of our young people. I thank each of our families for your partnership throughout the year.
To our new families I hope you have enjoyed your first year with us.
As usual, a letter will be sent to families in January outlining key dates and information to start the year.
I hope you have the opportunity to connect with your local parish during the Season of Advent and Christmas, you can find your local Parish Mass times on their websites.
The birth, death and resurrection of Christ, changed our world for the better. May the celebration of Christ’s birth bring joy in your lives and may the spirit of Mary Our Good Mother and St Marcellin Champagnat inspire each of us through this Advent Season.
A reminder that at any time you have a concern or complaint please contact the College as soon as possible. We value your feedback throughout the year.
As you would be aware, we have begun taking enrolments for 2022. The closing date for enrolments will be Friday, 19th March. It is important for current families with Year 5 students (2020) to have enrolments in by this date. This year we have an extensive waiting list for 2021.
As we move towards the conclusion of the school year, I ask that if your child/ren will not be returning you let us know as soon as possible. We have waiting lists for every year group.