I hope that families and staff had a relaxing break over the September / October holidays. Year 12 commenced their HSC last Thursday. We gathered together to ask for God’s blessing on each of them as they commence this final stage of their schooling. I have every confidence in the success of each of our students and believe that our students have worked hard and have been very well prepared by our staff.
This Friday is World Teachers Day. The complex and demanding work of teachers often goes unheralded. We are blessed to have dedicated, caring and committed teachers who go above and beyond each and every day. I am often in awe and extremely thankful for their willingness to provide as many opportunities and experiences for our students beyond the school day, the endless before and after school and holiday classes that take away from their own family time. Teachers deserve our thanks and our respect. For the last two years our P&F have provided a thank you morning tea that deeply moves our staff. The smallest thank you and acknowledgement means so much to every teacher. I encourage our community to take a few minutes to thank a teacher and recognise their daily hard work and commitment for our students.
Over the break sixteen Year 11 students and four staff travelled to India for our annual Immersion experience. The Immersion involved 12 months of organising and preparation under the wonderful leadership of Mr Moussa, which prepared us as well as possible for a truly unique experience, one that in some ways is difficult to put into words.
The Immersion is about personal transformation through a lived experience, one that brings us into solidarity with other communities. It is challenging in every respect and provides life-long memories as much for each of us as visitors as for our hosts. It allows our students to experience life, faith and a new perspective with a heightened appreciation for what simplicity really means. Coming face to face with the people and children in Trichy and recognising them as our brothers and sisters and as new found friends has enriched our lives and given us a broader view of the world and our responsibilities in it and to it.
In a recent article in Christlife, “What does it mean for Contemporary Marists to be Marian?” Br Michael Green explains that our Christian discipleship is lived in and from our individual encounter with the Divine, our range of interpersonal relationships, and our service of others. All three. Our immersion is a wonderful opportunity for our students to be Marian.
“To be Marian is to be liberated, empowered and impelled with the indwelling God’s desire to seek out relationship with those in need. The more Marian we are, the more that people’s encounters with us, as was Elizabeth’s with Mary, will induce joy, hope, liberation, and ultimately a recognition of Christ. It is all in the personal encounter. Signs of the presence of God’s reign will be magnified. Marian today.” Holy today. Br Michael Green FMS
The opportunity to visit our sister school, Marist Nursery and Primary School Viyalanmedu, Trichy, one of the poorest regions in India, was a great privilege. The welcome we received from the beautiful and amazingly happy children made the challenges of climate, noise and the environment disappear in an instant. It was so very special to spend time with foundational teachers and students who will graduate to high school next year.
Until you visit this community you don’t realise the significant difference that we have been able to make and will continue to make to the lives of these children. Education is the key to freedom from poverty, the key to a better life.
Last week we welcomed our Year 7, 2020 students for Orientation. What a great group of future Marists. During the evening our new College Captains Jaymelee Bou Francis and Sam Markarian spoke to our families. I would like to share their words with you as they so eloquently talked about their experiences of being a student at St Patrick’s Marist College.
Sam: "Good evening Mrs Hay, parents, teachers and to you the future 'Class of 2025' commencing your studies here at the College next year. It is with great pleasure that I stand here before you all today as the College Captain of St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas for 2020. My name is Sam Markarian and I couldn’t be prouder in serving each and every one of you alongside Jaymelee, Joseph, and Gabriella.
First of all, I would like to congratulate each and every one of you for your application to study at St Patrick’s Marist College accepted. The collective decision you and your parents have made to study at the College is wonderful.
Ever since I began my studies here at the College, teachers and students alike were quick to welcome me into their extended Marist family. I was given a purpose and provided with a sense of belonging in a caring and nurturing environment. To be able to lead the College and the Marist family we have, is an absolute honour in my eyes. Through my leadership, I want to ensure that each student enjoys their time here at the College and genuinely feels like they belong.
As we move into the Year of 2020, aspects of school life I wish to work further on include the mentorship of junior students by seniors and the strengthening of relationships in year groups. If these goals are achieved, the lives of junior students will become just that bit easier in addition to increased harmony in each grade.
On a final note, the next six years of your school life will pass by in the blink of an eye, so if there was any single piece of advice I would like to pass on to all of you tonight, it would be to just enjoy your schooling and make the most of it. It goes without saying, the more you put into school, the more you are going to get out. You should seize the opportunities for participation in extracurricular activities such as Concert Band, Debating, and representative sport. From experience, participating in these activities has strengthened my relationship with my fellow peers and my presence in the College.
Lastly, I would just like to mention that I am available to anyone who may need my assistance or who would just like to talk. As Captain of St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas, I am humbled to serve each and everyone of you. Thank you."
Jaymelee: "Good evening Mrs Hay and Staff!
I am honoured to stand here before you as I extend a warm welcome to the parents and congratulate the future students who are preparing to commence their high school studies here at St Patrick’s Marist College in 2020.
My name is Jaymelee, and alongside College Captain Sam and Vice-Captains, Gabriella and Joseph, I have been given the privilege to serve as your College Captain for 2020.
In the past, I have been lucky enough to play the role of 'Tracy Turnblad' in the College’s production of Hairspray and 'Anita' in the College’s production of Rock of Ages. Our College not only provides countless academic opportunities, but creative opportunities as well. While musical theatre is one of my passions, to serve you, my friends, peers and members of the Marist community, is not only my passion but my biggest priority and greatest achievement.
I am truly blessed to have been given the privilege to attend and now lead a College that holds their Catholic and Marist identity to such high esteem. As a Catholic College, we strive to deepen each individual’s relationship with God by providing opportunities to explore our faith. I have just recently returned from a two week Immersion to India along with 15 other senior students and 4 staff members. It is in India where I learnt that Marist is a universal term actively being lived out in places far beyond our College grounds. It comes from combining Mary and Christ. To be a Marist means to live in the way of Mary and just like Saint Marcellin Champagnant, put Jesus’ love into action. This Immersion is just one of the incredibly eye-opening and spiritually awakening opportunities that this College has to offer.
There have been many moments throughout my years of schooling that I have walked through the school gates and felt a sense of security and happiness, reinforcing the family spirit that the presence of this Marist community radiates.
Instead of speculating ideas and hopes for our college community, I am certain that by specifically furthering aspects surrounding mental health and wellbeing, our environmental impact and increasing productivity within schooling hours that they are just some of the goals that as one we aim to conquer in 2020, not only for the students presently attending St Patrick’s Marist, but for brilliant students like yourselves who have been selected to attend College next year.
I am so incredibly proud to say that I am a part of such a thriving and genuinely Marist College community and confidently believe that the journey we will embark on this coming year will be guided by our faith in God and willingness to say yes.
As a leader, all that I can simply ask is that we work together. I want to enhance the aspects of this College which proudly separates us from the rest but know that it cannot be done alone.
The best advice that I could give to any student is to always remember and live by our College motto. Esto Fidelis - be faithful. Have faith in your school and it’s teachers for they will guide your learning and encourage your growth. Have faith in your parents, because everything they do for you comes from a place of love. Have faith in God, because through Him, all things are possible. But most importantly, have faith in yourself, because any success you achieve here at the College will begin and end with you.
I could not be more thrilled to welcome you all into our College community as we continue to live out our College motto “Esto Fidelis”, by being faithful and acting with a strong mind and gentle heart.
Today the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report “ Nurturing Wonder and Igniting Passion” was released. It has a strong and consistent message that change is required in order to best serve children and young people of NSW in the future. The review can be found on the NESA website https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/home.
I look forward to and exciting and productive Term 4
Mrs Angela Hay