Principal's report

28 July 2016

Dear ACK community,

Child Safety

You may remember that recently I wrote to all families, alerting you to the changes in the child safety standards in Victoria, and their implications for how our school supports students to understand and know how to respond to matters of safety and abuse. 

This week, we brought that process to life with age-appropriate presentations to our students at every year level, that included information about:

  • What it feels like to be safe.
  • Reading early warning signs that a situation or relationship may be unsafe (physical reactions, external signs and emotional responses).
  • How to support friends who may disclose that they are party to an unsafe situation (by speaking with a trusted adult, or making contact with a help-line).
  • The various support mechanisms that ACK offers to help respond to unsafe situations.
  • And at the VCE level, we also looked at the Victorian legislation around the age of consent, the new grooming laws and the responsibility for everyone over the age of 18 to report concerns of child abuse to the police.

A sample of the key points of the presentations, along with information we have prepared to help students and parents respond in times of need, can now be accessed through a special page on our school website entitled Student Safety and Wellbeing – A Child Safe School, The link is at the top right of  the website.

Students were also informed of a new dedicated email address safety@assumption.vic.edu.au which alerts our two Child Safety Officers, Maureen Kurzman and Maurice Di Muzio, of any concerns they may have.  Maureen and Maurice have been specially trained for this important role.  Parents are also welcome to use this email address to alert the school of any safety concerns (including issues such as bullying).

We appreciate that some of the things we spoke about with students may have been new or surprising information, or which they had not considered before. If you require the support of our counsellors to discuss the matters raised with your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school using the safety@assumption.vic.edu.au. address.

The site also includes a number of polices and procedures that we have enacted in support of our work to create a child-safe culture at Assumption. If you would like to use or copy any of our documents for your local club or organisation, don’t hesitate to do so…the more we can raise awareness and action around child safety, the better the experience of childhood and adolescence will be for the young ones we care for…and their friends.

The problem with greed

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus settles an inheritance case. He cautions listeners against any kind of greed. He tells them that their lives are not made secure by what they own. They must grow in a true sense of values and recognise that their real life cannot be measured in terms of material possessions. 

Jesus, how patient you are with us as we struggle with our earthly desires. We want more and yet more. We look with envy on what others seem to have – better homes, better jobs, better ways of living.  Help us, instead, to be grateful for what we have, for your goodness to us, and for who we are as children of God. Amen.

This week’s reflection and prayer comes from the Sacred Space Prayer Book 2016, published by the Irish Jesuits. Their beautiful reflections and prayers can also be found online at http://www.sacredspace.ie/

 

Peace and blessings

Kate Fogarty