Last week was Anti-Bullying week organised by Mrs Padden our Year 8 Leader of Learning Pastoral and the pastoral team. We took the opportunity at our St Patrick’s Day Liturgy to launch our Anti-Bullying Campaign. Every day in the College is an anti-bullying day. In an ideal world we would love to eradicate this kind of behaviour. We continue to educate and talk about positive relationships, about the effects both with and without intent that our behaviour can have on others. I am glad that I am not a young person today. In my youth, disagreements were left at school, gossip could only really happen at school, on the bus home or, if you were lucky, your 10 minutes allocated on the one family phone. Those that wished you ill did not have the weapon of social media at their beck and call.
We must continue to build resilience in our young people. There will always be unkind people, people who want to tear you down in order to make themselves somehow feel better, I know you would have met these people in your own work life. I encourage you to read “Resilience in Teenagers: How to build it” at raisingourchildren.net.au, I have included a couple of quotes below.
You can’t always stop your child from experiencing problems or tough times. But you can play a big role in helping your child build resilience. Your child can also gain strength from other supportive adults, like grandparents, aunts, uncles or teachers. Friends and classmates can be great sources of support too.
Resilience is more than just coping. When you’re resilient, you’re more prepared to seek new ways to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals. Although this might mean taking some risks, it also creates opportunities for success and greater self-confidence.
Next week on Thursday 28th March at 6.00pm we have a parent Cyber Safety Information Session with Susan McLean, Australia’s foremost expert in the area of Cyber Safety and Young people. We hope to see you there. Please note that if you have any concerns about bullying please contact the College immediately.
As we finished the week in great spirits at our annual Cocktail party we were shocked by the devastating news of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. A city that many of us have visited and enjoyed the wonderful sense of friendship and welcome. We were inspired by the response from the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. Her calmness, compassion and empathy have been welcomed by all. I was so proud of our School leaders who emailed over the weekend to ask if they could lead the College in prayer. We came together on Monday morning as a community to pray and to show our solidarity and support of our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand, Australia and around the world.
I would like to share the response of our Bishop the Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv to these attacks:
"I wish to express my deepest sympathies to the victims and those who grieve because of the consequences of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.
To all my Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand, Australia and around the world, I stand in solidarity with you in your horror, grief and distress.
I offer my prayers on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta to the deceased, the injured and to all the individuals and communities who have been affected by this senseless violence.
The attacks on innocent lives at a worshipping place were sadly motivated by hatred and prejudice against people of the Muslim faith.
I condemn Islamophobic, racist and extremist violence in all its forms. It is an offence to God, to believers of all faiths, to all people of good will, and to our common humanity.
Times like this should make us reflect on the way we treat one another in words and actions. We will reap what we sow.
Let us therefore not only eliminate the fruit of prejudice, hatred and violence but also its seeds in their many forms and on many levels of our society.
May Muslims and Christians everywhere respond to the joint invitation by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, to “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity, to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.” (Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019).
In these troubled times, when evil forces seek to divide us on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity or religion, may Muslims, Christians, people of all faiths, and all people of good will remain united in heart and mind and resolve.
May faith bind us in human solidarity, hope drive out fear, and love overcome hatred.
As I mentioned above, we recently held our Parent Cocktail evening, hosted by our P&F. Once again, it was a fantastic night. The food, cocktails, set up and company were wonderful, in fact I would say the tables were a work of art. It was wonderful to meet and talk with many first time parents and parents with students in older year groups as well as Year 7 and hear really great positive feedback. I thank the teachers for supporting this event, our Year 12 leaders for their assistance and the P&F for the organisation, enthusiasm and commitment to the College.
A reminder that if at any time you have a concern or complaint please contact the College. Our school diary has many of our policies and procedures within it, and our website has all of our policies available, including our complaints policy and procedures. It is important to note that from time to time there are incidents that occur between students. As part of our privacy requirements you will not be told of specific consequences for a student other than your own, however you will be informed that the matter has been dealt with in line with our policies and processes including procedural fairness.
Enrolments for 2019 close shortly. We have a significant number of applicants. Please remind friends and family of the closing date.
What a bumper edition of our newsletter. There are many wonderful things happening at the College both in and out of the classroom. What a great place to teach and learn.
Mrs A. Hay