The Season of Advent commences next week. In the life of the Catholic Church, it is a time for preparing for the pending celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas. Within our own community we will attend Christmas liturgies during the remaining weeks of Term across all Campuses. During this time we are invited to deepen our personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
I encourage families in the weeks ahead to take the time to reflect on this invitation and perhaps make the time to attend one of our remaining Community Masses which are held each Thursday morning at 8.10am.
Over the course of last week, NAIDOC celebrations were held across Australia. In our community, students actively participated in celebrating the history, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at our respective Campus assemblies. This occasion again reminds all of us of the importance of Reconciliation in our country. Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, we are committed to strategically and practically building a culture which acknowledges, affirms and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As a Marist School, we strive to embed our Marist characteristics every day; Family Spirit, In the Way of Mary, Simplicity, Presence and a Love of Work. At the core of these characteristics is the developing of relationships that are imbued by our family spirit, united in Christ’s love.
To this end, we want our staff, students and families to increase their understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning. We strive to create a culturally supportive environment so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australian families build a community of respectful relationships.
Capital Development – Learning Hub Marcellin Campus
This week saw additional restrictions to the movement of staff and students across the Marcellin Campus. Due to landscaping works commencing this week until the end of year, many access paths have been cut off.
I take this opportunity to thank staff and students for their ongoing patience as we move to the end of the building program. We are confident that the significant inconvenience experienced during 2020 will be rewarded when we commence operating out of the new state-of-the-art facility from the commencement of 2021.
Today marks the end of WACE and Year 11 Examinations for our Senior Students. We trust they are satisfied with their efforts leading up to this period and that their results are commensurate with their efforts.
Last week, I attended the GATE Showcase at the Lavalla Campus which was well supported by parents. The focus of the Showcase was the students’ Project for Homeless. I commend the students for their high level of critical thinking and reflection that went into their presentations. This Showcase exemplified the strategic direction the College is taking in building opportunities for students in our Gifted and Talented Program.
In 2021 a strategic priority area of Transformational Learning identifies GATE as an area of development across the College. To that end, we have appointed a GATE Teacher K-10 who will commence developing a plan to provide:
- Implementing learning and teaching programs for students identified as gifted and talented for K-6 and co-curricular programs for students Years 7-10
- Professional Learning for teaching staff
- Leading parent and community engagement opportunities that promote the College’s gifted and talented offering
College Production – Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
We are looking forward to attending our much anticipated Production, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, later this month. Students and staff have been working tirelessly to ensure an enjoyable and engaging event. Due to COVID-19 restrictions for seating, further sessions have been scheduled. If families have not yet organised their tickets, I encourage all to do so by clicking here.
Memorial for Mrs Caroline Payne, Principal Corpus Christi College Bateman
Last Friday, WA principals were provided the opportunity to attend a Memorial Mass for Caroline Payne. Caroline passed away earlier in the year following a long illness. However, the COVID-19 situation did not allow such a Memorial to take place at the time.
Caroline was an outstanding leader and educator exemplified by a long and successful career in Catholic Education. She spoke fondly of her time with the Marist Brothers in Bunbury as an early career teacher and the impact the charism had on her formation as a person. She took that ‘Love of Mary’ everywhere she went and we at Newman had the good fortune of her being a member and Chair of Council for three years.
Caroline has had a significant and wonderful impact on many students and their families. During her career, she has reached out and touched many lives and leaves a very special legacy both within Catholic Education and Newman College.