The Tri-UMPH Music Festival has been a feature of the Combined Geelong Catholic Secondary Schools for two decades and has provided the opportunity for our students and staff to come together in solidarity to support the community of Timor Leste. Originally scheduled to take place in 2020, Tri-UMPH was to be held on 9 September this year.

In recent days, the Principal’s of Clonard College, Iona College, Sacred Heart College, Saint Ignatius College and St Joseph’s College have consulted key organisers and met multiple times. We have come to the difficult decision that Tri-UMPH will not run in 2022 and will be postponed indefinitely.

We make this decision acutely aware of the vast amount of work that the students and staff on the organizing committee, led by Simon Cahir, have put into planning and we know they will be incredibly disappointed. However, we are confident that they will have gained much from the planning experience and we will seek to recognize this work appropriately. Similarly, we are conscious of the disruption this decision will cause to the many performers, support staff and service providers who have committed their time and talent for that event and we will seek to acknowledge this.

Many factors have been considered in coming to this decision. These include:

  • The priority of the health and wellbeing of our students and staff
  • The predicted peak of the current COVID wave expected later this term
  • Concern for large scale COVID transmission in an environment where social distancing is impossible
  • Our current operational advice from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools to avoid large gatherings of students and avoid mixing students from multiple schools
  • The importance of learning continuity, particularly for senior students approaching final assessments and exams
  • The concern of many staff and students about being required to attend this event

Tri-UMPH 2022 was scheduled with the expectation that we would be in a ‘post COVID’, environment and none of us envisaged the current situation. We will be meeting with the organizing committee in coming days to acknowledge their work and to determine many issues, including options regarding ticket refunds and merchandise sales. We will write to you with all additional information regarding these matters in the coming week.

Luci Quinn