19 March 2015
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Parents and Friends are again to be congratulated on a fantastic job in bringing together the 2015 fete. Those who came along enjoyed a terrific afternoon of entertainment and community time (and a few hair-raising moments on the rides!). While the fund-raising is important, events like the fete are mostly valuable because they allow people to come together, in a positive and safe atmosphere, and spend some quality time.
We appreciate the hard work of the relatively small team that organised the day (seriously, there were only about 15 on the fete committee), and all those who came along to offer assistance (many, many more). The P&F are a tremendous support to the teachers and the students through their work. I encourage you to come along to one of their meetings, and see what they’re up to: it isn't a forum for gripes or barrow-pushing – it’s a team of interested parents, intent on providing opportunities and resources for our students and their learning. It is easy to become disconnected from the school community in the secondary years – the P&F is a terrific way to model community responsibility to your children and a great way that you can be involved with a group of energetic, welcoming and positive adults who recognise the importance of building social cohesion. (Please click on fete photos below.)
Congratulations to the following raffle winners:
1st prize - Colin Brennan
2nd prize - Glen Morgan
3rd Prize - Cudmore family
4th prize - Warrior family
5th prize - Divina Middleton
6th prize - Debra Pickering
7th prize - Daniella Borg
8th prize - J Grant
Athletics and Year 12 Retreat
The Interhouse Athletics Carnival last week was a wonderful day out (with awesome weather after some early drizzle), that provided staff and students with an opportunity to use our gifts in different fields. Congratulations to those who competed in and supported the carnival, making it a joyful day for all concerned.
Next week our year 12s head off on their retreat. Consistently at school reunions, former students speak about their Year 12 Retreat as a highlight of their school experience. Certainly, it is a unique time of pause and reflection that allows these busy young adults to attend to their emotional and spiritual selves with care and support. We wish them well in the experience ahead, and keep them prayerfully in our thoughts for a wonderful growth experience together.
ACK and social media
You might have noticed that there’s been quite a bit more traffic on the school’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages recently. If you like to stay in touch with the day-to-day life of the school (and let’s face it…who wouldn’t) then this is certainly the way to do it. If you are attending school events and happen to catch a great snap on your device, feel free to email it (and some details) to email@example.com and we’ll make sure the community gets to hear about it. For those who’d like a bit more information about social media and parenting, there’s a terrific site from the Australian Government which covers all sorts of areas of interest, including online safely, parental controls, what kids are using and more! It’s at http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/parents.aspx
Reconnect with the Easter story
Over the past few days, my year 9 religion class and I have been working our way through the Easter story. It’s always amazing to me how much the story of Jesus’ last days touches the hearts of those who hear it (yes…even year 9s). We can easily gloss over the story, forgetting that it begins as one of pain, loss and even horror. Perhaps that’s why the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ was so shocking – because we hadn’t fully appreciated what a violent act Jesus’ execution was.
The Easter liturgies over the coming weeks are full of symbolism and story. On Palm Sunday, we remember how Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem like a king, knowing that in just a few days, this same crowd would be calling for his execution. On Holy Thursday, communities gather to remember the last supper Jesus had with his friends, and the teachings he passed on to them about courage, community and faithfulness. Then, on Good Friday, we gather at 3pm to retell the story of the Passion of Jesus – his arrest, trial and execution. It is always interesting to be present at this solemn commemoration, as people sit in silent contemplation of the horror of state-sanctioned murder – obviously made more poignant this year as we confront the current experiences of the Bali 9 duo. I suspect we will better understand the shock and sadness of Jesus’ followers with a little more empathy as that part of the story is retold. And we gather in darkness on Saturday evening, ready to symbolically allow the light to overcome the dark, to renew our baptismal vows and to celebrate the knowledge that God really does triumph over even the most desperate situations.
Why not make some time this Easter to reconnect with the story by joining your local community for an Easter service. The times are available on your respective parish websites, and with all the sublime symbolism and moving stories, it’s an opportunity to remind ourselves why Easter is the most important date on the Christian calendar.
Loving God, let our hearts hear the story of Easter with a new spirit. May our hearts be changed and our lives reflect all that is good, right and just, so that others too feel connected and inspired. Amen.
Peace and Blessings