Newman News Term 1 Week 2 : From the Principal

The start of 2022 has been significantly disrupted by COVID-19 and the myriad guidelines that have been put in place for schools.  I assure parents that the College is doing all it can to ensure a safe environment for our staff and students.  Please click here to visit the COVID-19 page on the College website to view correspondence that has been circulated to date.  As more information is provided by the WA Government, we will inform parents and guardians of the impact on our local context.

Newman College Council Formation

Last Saturday, our College Council members attended a beginning of year formation program, delivered by a member of the Marist Mission and Life Formation Team.  The opportunity to reflect on our mission was summed up in the quote ‘Mission comes first.  The church does not have a mission.  The mission, rather, has a church’, (Bevans 2009).  At the heart of our Marist community is our family spirit which is built on the premise of the common good articulated by our Founder, St Marcellin Champagnat, to make good Christians and good citizens. As a leadership, our decision-making matrix is underpinned by our formative experiences in mission and our commitment to the faith and learning development of our young people.

Our Vision for Mission is our guiding light in our school in how we engage with our Catholic Identity and how we create formative experiences.  We aim to provide opportunities for our young people where they reflect on critical questions that determine their place and engage in the world.

At our Student Leadership Commissioning Mass this week, Monsignor Kevin Long noted that leadership is underpinned by service which, put simply, is action.  For our young people the questions of rights, responsibilities and power to be good Christians (and Citizens) is a process of discernment.  As a Catholic school, this discernment is based on the principles of Catholic social teaching, the Gospel imperatives and our experiences of mission.

200 years ago St Marcelin Champagnat identified the need for education for dislocated rural children.  This ambition was to enable underprivileged youth the opportunity to participate and ultimately compete in the world.  Marist education is now in over 80 countries across the world and serves over 800,000 people.

In 2022 we hold the same ambition to create the opportunity for our young people to participate and make a contribution both individually and collectively to our society with the view to consider the other person, however challenging that may be at times.

The Sesquicentenary of Marist Education in Australia 2022, Marist Alumni Project 

This year marks 150 years of Marist Education in Australia in which the first school class occurred in 1872 at the Rocks, Church Hill, in Sydney.  As part of these celebrations, Marist Schools Australia is recognising those who have been educated by the Marists and have made a significant contribution to Australian society.  All Marist schools across Australia have been invited to nominate those who have made such contributions.  Following extensive research by our Archives Team, a number of worthy candidates were identified and the common denominator of all was clearly their service to the common good.  The outcome of the project is the creation of an Anthology of Outstanding Australian Marist Alumni.

Next week we will be celebrating the High Achievers of 2021 and, at that event, I will provide an outline of some of those with whom the College has chosen and subsequently nominated.

We look forward to the weeks ahead with the hope that as one community we can walk together in solidarity.

John Finneran