The strength, resilience and support that pervades our College community has marked the tenor of the last week. Shock, confusion and uncertainty have been felt by many regarding the passing of Fr Joe Tran and the surrounding circumstances. Over the last few days our students, staff and families have been magnificent in their sensitivity and understanding. Our Years 7- 12 Assembly on Monday morning was as difficult and challenging a moment as I have ever experienced in school leadership. As I spoke to the students and staff, the question of why and how permeated my every thought. We do not have the answers to what has happened, but what we can do is seek to support each other and provide a space, a school, a community where every person is valued, trusted, supported, and protected.
The dignity of each human being is a critical tenet in our Christian story. The respect for the dignity of all people underpins our Marist charism, identified through the characteristics of presence and family spirit. As a College this can been seen in our relationships, in what we say and ultimately what we do. We will continue to develop, grow and nurture our young people to be respectful of each other, to be loving, and to be hope-filled.
Thank you to families for not only your words of encouragement and reflection but also for the questions of uncertainty and clarification. These have been welcomed and acknowledged. Thank you to Fr Mark Baumgarten, Assistant Priest Our Lady of Grace North Beach, for the beautiful way he celebrated our PK-12 Community Mass on Thursday morning. The prayerful nature of the Mass, coupled with the beautiful singing, truly reflected the very best of our College.
I would like to restate that Newman College, as a member of Marist Schools Australia and Catholic Education Western Australia, upholds the highest possible standards in relation to the safety and protection of children. Ms Lisa Fogliani, Vice Principal, outlines the specifics in her newsletter article today.
Our prayer over the last few days – used with our students, staff and at our Newman Parents evening on Monday – was the peace prayer from St Francis of Assisi. I urge you to take the time to reflect on these words:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
We were delighted to have Dr Justin Coulson attend Newman College last Monday to facilitate two parent sessions. Over 70 parents attended the morning session for parents of Early Education students, ‘9 Ways to a Resilient Child’, and 220 parents attended the Newman Parents evening session, ‘Respectful Relationships: Love at Home’.
Newman Parents is part of the College’s commitment to parent partnership and being active participants in the education of their children, in collaboration with the College. Our next event is taking place on Wednesday 12 June – Cybersafety.
ACC Swimming Carnival
Congratulations to all members of the ACC Swimming Team who performed well in the A Division Carnival on Wednesday. The good story is that we were competing in A Division for the first time in five years. Our placement of 5th out of 7 teams ensures we stay in this Division, thus providing a great platform for the future. Thank you to all coaches and staff for supporting our swimmers.
Parents would have received a letter from me yesterday advising of the approval to commence a major Capital Development Project on the Marcellin Campus – The Learning Hub, in Term 3 2019. Please click here to view the architectural ‘Fly Through’ of the proposed development.
Marist Basketball Carnival
The Marist Basketball Carnival commences in Bendigo Victoria on Sunday 7 April.
Our Open Marist Boys and Girls Basketball teams will travel to Bendigo Victoria next week to compete. This elite national competition brings together the very best Marist Schools across Australia for this prestigious Carnival. Our students have spent many months in preparation and we are hopeful of great results. The strength of the Carnival is in the Marist family spirit within each school and the relationships that are formed aside from the fierce competition. We wish them every success!