From the PrincipalJune 29, 2018
Term 2, whilst a somewhat short term, certainly hasn’t been short on wonderful learning, sporting and extra – curricular experiences across the campus.
In many ways however, the term can be defined by our student’s absolutely stellar commitment to making the lives of those in need much more comfortable through the many events aimed at raising both awareness and funds for a number of very worthy causes including LifeLink. Some of the innovative fundraising activities included our Junior School’s participation in “Busking Week,” which saw wonderful musical talents displayed around the college at lunchtimes. The Battle of the Bands competition last week was similarly successful as was the ever popular, Bumble Bee Bake Sale. What is most impressive though, is the giving nature of our girls and boys, their willingness to dig deep and their very mature understanding of the needs of others. These wonderful attributes can also be seen in our younger girls and boys, with one of our Year 2s, Eimhir Kennedy, initiating a wonderful idea to help people in need this Winter – her ‘Warm Jackets for Warm Bodies’ concept, which has run for the latter part of the term, will help people those who may not have access to warm clothes now that the cold weather has well and truly set in. With the support of the College, she has collected many warm jackets and clothing items which will undoubtedly be very well received.
We were fortunate in late May to host the Parents and Friends Federation of WA Biennial Conference. It was wonderful to listen to our Head Boarder, deliver a moving Welcome to Country and three of our Year 12 Leaders and choir members, sing the National Anthem. The agenda for the day included addresses from the Education and Training Minister, (and SBC Old Girl) the Hon, Sue Ellery MLC, Debra Sayce, Acting Executive Director, Catholic Education WA and Dr Tim Moore, Senior Research Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. A panel discussion on bullying, saw some interesting perspectives from parents, teachers and mental health professionals as well as some very insightful comments from two of our Year 12 leaders who were invited on the panel to offer a student’s perspective.
We were all very excited to have received our formal Out of School and Holiday Care service approval recently and we will commence the programme for up to 30 children, aged between 3 and 12 years, that will also include pupil free days, in centrally located rooms that are both homely and welcoming, at the start of Term 3. Please contact Kate Paterson on 9290 4232 or Paterson.Kate@stbrigids.wa.edu.au to request an Information Pack if you’re interested in your children being a part of this new venture at the College. More details available here.
The Australian Government will be introducing its New Child Care Package on Monday, 2nd July 2018. Consultants from CEWA will work with us as we navigate the application process for the Child Care Subsidy which has been designed to ease the financial burden on families who meet the Government criteria set out in the enclosed brochure. Further information may be obtained from their website: https://www.education.gov.au/ChildCarePackage
Retreats and exams featured prominently this term for girls in Years 10-12. The Year 10 Retreat, ‘Seeing it through the eyes of love’, allowed the students time to discern how they are called to play a part in our St Brigid’s community and to become authentic expressions of Mercy in the contemporary world. Students participated in a variety of activities that included meditation and guest speaker, Anita Finneran from Caritas.
Year 11s attended an overnight Retreat to the Monastic town of New Norcia – a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing sojourn away from the city. The girls had the opportunity to relax and unwind and all of them felt the calming influence of this sacred site. The first day ended with a talk from the wonderful Dom Daniel whose friendly and accessible style fascinated our girls. They had many questions about the monastic life he had chosen for himself which he answered with good humour and patience.
For the Year 12s, with only a term of school remaining at the college, the opportunity to contemplate “The Road Ahead’ at the Fairbridge Camp School in Pinjarra was a welcome interruption to their hectic study and work schedules.
With reports now uploaded and the Three Way Interviews completed, I do hope that all our students have, with their families and teachers, had the opportunity to examine their performance for the semester and outline goals going forward to ensure that each and every one of them achieves their personal best.
Our Year 6s, have spent the term preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation last weekend. Two beautiful Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish saw families and sponsors join the girls and boys for this very special part of their faith journey. The students had the opportunity, prior to receiving the Sacrament, to meet with Bishop Don Sproxton and Father Michael Separovich, who both shared stories about their personal faith experiences.
Last week, we officially launched our Girls Academy in front of 40 invited guests, parents, staff and our own students. The Girls Academy programme has already, Australia wide, empowered thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to overcome the many barriers preventing them from achieving their true potential. We are extremely excited that this amazing initiative is now integral to our commitment to Aboriginal Education at St Brigid’s.
Acts of selfless bravery must always be shared and we were all extremely proud at the bravery and initiative displayed by two of our Year 11 Boarders, Carley Trindall and Hazel Garrett, who had only just completed their First Aid course at the College, when on the next day, whilst on leave from the boarding house, they had to administer first aid to a young girl who had a convulsion whilst they took her for a walk in her pram. We would like to commend them on their quick thinking and calmness in dealing with a very stressful and serious situation. They took the little girl out of her pram and put her in the recovery position, just as they’d practised the previous day, and then called one of their parents who organised for an ambulance. What a fabulous display of courage.
As we end the term, we wish the following staff leaving the College the best of luck for the future and thank them for their valuable contributions to the SBC community
- Pip Thompson – Retiring
- Cherie Hess – Moving overseas with family
We also thank and farewell Cecilia Stallard and Christopher James who have been with us to fill in for staff on Long Service Leave and Anna Libera (Italian Language Assistant) Steven Lowe, Jazmin McKechnie, Jackson Stubberfield and Anna Trepp, all teaching practice students and Ankit Lamichhane, who has been with us on work experience assisting our IT Department.
I wish you all a safe and restful holiday break and thank you all, parents, staff and students for your generous and meaningful contributions this term.
Dr Amelia Toffoli