Newman News Term 3 Week 4: From the Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians

Wellbeing Week

This week we celebrated wellbeing with a particular focus on gratitude.  Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  As a Marist school a key characteristic is our Family Spirit.  As a school of 1900 it is this family spirit that binds us in how we walk with each other and in the relationships that we cultivate. 

In his book, the Kindness Revolution (2021), Hugh MacKay – a well-known sociologist, contends that we can restore hope, rebuild trust and inspire optimism through kindness.

In a world that has been so disrupted through COVID-19, geopolitical wars and the imperative of individualism and competition, showing gratitude, if not kindness, is fundamental to supporting the wellbeing of all people.

I attended the Years 9 and 12 assembly this week where students read out gratitude statements about their peers and teachers, a simple “thank you for charging my laptop”, “thank you for holding my books” or “thank you for saying hello”, were so powerful in their simplicity.  Our children are grateful for each other and for their families.  They imbue a Marist spirit that is predicated on the Gospel’s imperative of love.  Our Founder, St Marcellin Champagnat, asked his Brothers to know and love all people.  This is what we want for our College and this is why Wellbeing Week is one small step to ensuring every child, teacher and family member knows that they are valued, are valuable and are loved.

In a week when we celebrate the Feast of Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross (8 August) and the Feast of the Assumption (15 August) it is appropriate that we reflect on our immediate and wider Marist family.  We give thanks for our Marist Brothers as they continue to provide support, wisdom and presence in our Marist Community.  I would like to welcome Br Joe Hughes as the newest member of our Marist Churchlands community and we look forward to his presence in our community.

Annual School Improvement Plan Intent – Sustainability

A key priority area in our Annual School Improvement Plan is Sustainability.  In 2022 we have committed to developing “sustainable practices to support an ongoing commitment to the protection of the environment and ongoing sustainability of College resources”, including recycling. 

At our last Secondary School assembly, our College Student Leaders, Isabella O’Rourke and Joshua Downes, challenged the students to consider how they could all be stewards for the environment.  They informed students that “over the coming weeks we are trialling recycling and asking students If the recycling bins are filled with food scraps or with items other than the ones we have just mentioned, then everything in the yellow bins is placed in landfill and is not recycled. Landfill breaks down very slowly and can emit toxins into our soil and groundwater, becoming an environmental hazard for years to come. We ask you all for your support and cooperation in using the recycling bins properly so we can make a start becoming a more environmentally friendly school.”

Our Mini Marist at Lavalla have done the same. 

Please click here to read the content of my speech.

Marist Schools Australia Biennial Conference, Brisbane

Last week, Vice Principal – Lucie McCrory, Deputy Principal Primary – Lisa McClue, Director, Mission and Catholic Identity – Simon Martino, and I attended the Marist Schools Australia National Conference in Brisbane.  Marists from around Australia and beyond gathered together for a series of symposiums and workshops.  Newman College presented two symposiums:

Learning Strand – To Live is to Change; to be Perfect is to have Changed often

Formation Strand – Vision for Mission: To Form “Good Christians and Good Citizens”

Both presentations were well received and we enjoyed very positive feedback.  Overall, the conference was outstanding and an excellent opportunity for our leadership staff to promote the College’s School Improvement agenda as well highlight the central role of ministry at Newman College. 

COVID- 19 Update

The Department of Health leads our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Advice from the Chief Health Officer is that mask wearing has proven to be a highly effective method of reducing the spread of COVID-19. The state government will continue to provide the public with timely and scientifically proven advice.  This information is updated regularly and can be found on HealthyWA.

Mask wearing is one of a number of measures we currently have in place to reduce the number of serious cases in the community and to protect ourselves from COVID-19. Whilst strongly encouraged, mask wearing is not mandatory except when travelling on public transport (including school buses) and when following the testing and isolation protocols as a close contact.

Working together, we can all help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our school.