Beyond the Bounds of Newman College
I have said to our students many times over the last four years to think of the world beyond the bounds of Newman College. The world is a big place and we need our students to cast their eyes and expectations into their place in it. The great strength of our College is the plethora of opportunities our students have to engage with the world. Such opportunities were exemplified over the term break when we had students participating on the Arts Tour to New York and another on the Humanities Tour to Sydney and Canberra. Both Cultural Tours highlight our desire for students to seek new ways of learning, seeing and thinking about the world.
Later this term, our Year 11 REMAR students will travel to Mullewa north of Geraldton, to serve in the local community. This will be followed in December by more students travelling to the Philippines on our social justice immersion. Such experiences empower students to gain the skills, confidence and agency to make decisions and create opportunities that impact their lives and the lives of others in a positive way. Moreover, it creates the space for our students and teachers to develop soft and firm skills including adaptability, decision-making, problem-solving, resilience and self-reflection. Critical to these experiences is the role of our teachers. We are very fortunate to have teachers who are passionate about their specialisation which enable such activities to occur. I challenge all our students to take the opportunities that are presented across PK-12. Such a challenge encapsulates our Vision for Learning Shine through the Discovery and its intent to let our light shine.
Marist Schools Australia (MSA) Conference, Melbourne
This week I attended, with Ms Fogliani and Mrs McCartan, the MSA “Holy Today” Conference in Melbourne. Those attending the conference came from the 53 Marist Schools and Ministries across Australia. The central them Holy Today focused on how we can be present to God by actively listening and being present to those we are in relationship with. Pope Francis (2016) contends that listening is more than simply hearing. Hearing is about receiving information while listening is about communication….paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says. This message resonates within the life of our College as we grow. Listening for example to our students and understanding their view and their experiences is fundamental to our future directions.
Bishop Homeming (Diocese of Lismore) in his keynote challenged us to practically consider how we can present to others by taking time to cultivate our relationship with God simply by asking ourselves “What kind of person does God want us to be?” This challenge can be achieved if we take the time to listen and be present. This is the intent of our Marist spirituality and the hope we have for our College community.
The other aspect of the Conference was the opportunity to present our vision Shine Through Discovery – Let Light Shine Mat 5:16. The central focus on our presentation was on building the capacity of teachers in the alignment of our learning framework across PK-12. The aim and result of this intent have been in creating a student experience of learning that will see them engaged and motivated to grow.
Junior PALS Project 2019
Today I was part of an Arts experience, a song, movement and storytelling performance by the Year 4 and 5 students of the Lavalla Dance Troupe. This storytelling performance, choreographed and directed by Mrs Amy Raveendrakumar, was based on an abridged version of Dr Noel Nannup’s creation story, “The Carer’s of everything”. The intent of this PALS Project was clearly communicated by these excellent performers as they told a story that encouraged us to reflect on Aboriginal culture and histories as we walk towards Reconciliation. This performance will also be part of the nation-wide Wakakirri Performing Arts Festival, semi-final, to be held in Perth on Wednesday 7 August at the Perth Concert Hall at 7.00pm – 9.00pm.
Newman Parents Consultative Committee Meeting – Monday 5 August, 7.00pm in the Marist Auditorium Studios
I warmly invite parents and care givers to our NPCC meeting. The them of the meeting will be focused on:
- Early Childhood Initiatives
- Whole School Literacy
- Australian Catholic Youth Festival
- Strategic Plan, 2020 and beyond
An announcement was made this week by the Bishops of Western Australia to incorporate Catholic Education in Western Australia, with the new Company being known as Catholic Education Western Australia Limited. This change will strengthen legal, risk and financial compliance frameworks.
Although a member school of Catholic Education WA, Newman College is a congregational school owned and governed by the Trustees of the Marist Brothers. The incorporation of Catholic Education WA does not affect the governance of Newman College.
Wishing all families are great term ahead.