Newman News Term 3 Week 4: From the Principal

Wellbeing Week

Feeling well, or ‘wellbeing’ is fundamental to our overall health and enjoyment of life. Taking care of our wellbeing should be both an individual and a collective pursuit. Being present, allows us to consciously monitor how we are travelling emotionally. This week the College celebrated Wellbeing Week. The structure of the celebration was undertaken in the Primary by our Primary Leadership Team and by our Captains of Wellbeing, Belle Jenkins, and Kai Kazmer along with Mr Martino in the Secondary. Each day, we focussed on one important aspect of ‘being well’. Monday’s focus was ‘presence; Tuesday’s focus was ‘healthy, Wednesday’s focus was ‘gratitude” and Thursday’s was ‘connected” with parents, teachers and students affirming all that is good in life.  Lapathon was also held on this day which the students thoroughly enjoyed.  

On Friday 11 August our staff will participate in Professional Learning led by speaker, Mrs Lisa Danza from Access EAP. The topic of the session will be looking inward for wellbeing.  

As I write this article, I have the screen in my office in constant scroll mode through the hundreds of gratitude certificates written by students that are addressed to other students and staff, acknowledging gratitude for the positive impact members of the community have on them. Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) are three practical approaches that help us exercise strategies cultivating wellbeing. Paying attention to what and who provides us with life giving energy and happiness, allows us to feature these more regularly in life. Taking care of our wellbeing should be both an individual and a collective pursuit.

Year 11 Leadership Workshops 

A group of Year 11 students have been taking a deep dive into preparation for senior leadership in 2024. Mrs Sarah Ellam, Leader of Wellbeing Year 11 and various members of the College Executive have been working alongside the students in their leadership workshops in recent weeks. Our staff have remarked about the group’s passion and dedication to continue the legacy of good leadership on behalf of all Newman students. On Wednesday afternoon, Dr McCrory and I were delighted to lead a session with the students focusing on the group crafting a mission statement for their leadership in 2024. The quality of their work was outstanding and they were able to articulate a connection between who we are as a Marist community and how their leadership can progress the support of students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12.  

Speak Up Success 

Our Year 5 and 6 students have been involved in an extensive undertaking where they have crafted their skills to meet the challenge of public speaking. On Tuesday 8 August, three Newman students, Vienna Crisona, Grace Taylor and Lola Vogl were recognised for their presentations in the Speak Up contest. We congratulate the Year 5 and 6 students for taking on one of the biggest challenges anyone faces – public speaking and celebrate the work of these students in the next stage of the finals.  

Feast Days

On Tuesday, we recognised the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross, Mary MacKillop, the first Australian to be canonised. She is a figure that both religious and non-religious Australians have been able to relate to- she experienced many of the challenges in life that we encounter today. Mary did not allow those challenges to define her and worked to bring the joy of education to regional Australian communities where there was little opportunity for formal education. Our MacKillop Guild students have a rich and grounded patron to follow, and we give thanks for the life of St Mary MacKillop. 

Next Tuesday 15 August, we join with the World Church to mark the Feast of the Assumption, commemorating the end of the earthly life and assumption into Heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Feast Day was chosen for the Marist Brothers at the time of their foundation by Saint Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Brothers and Marist Education.   As one of 54 Marist schools across Australia, the Feast Day of the Assumption is an annual opportunity for all members of the Newman College community to gather, give thanks, and to celebrate our shared Marist identity.