Despite the weariness that comes at the end of an 11-week term after exams, SACs and end-of-semester assessments, we are finishing well with an unmistakable sense of hope and accomplishment. It has been a joy to spend time with staff and students in this past fortnight. My mantra when thinking about hope this year has been to ‘see hope, hear hope, speak hope, practice hope, and spread hope’. I have witnessed this in so many ways in the past fortnight in the pursuits, learning, and successes of our students.

Our Year 7 students have been exploring a range of innovative projects during their Growth Days and had the opportunity to showcase their learning thus far in the expo this week. From affordable food boxes for seniors to thermal electro generators that convert heat in desert sands to power, combatting electricity poverty, wellbeing journals and fashion designs inspired by butterflies and moths. The array of learning has been wonderful. When I asked about what they had learned about themselves as learners, I heard: “I’m more capable than I thought, it takes patience to see things through, I can keep going until I get it right, I have been really challenged, I have discovered a new interest and passion through a question.” I heard hope listening to the depth of conversation about the learning process and their application of the elements of the New Metrics competencies.

This morning I joined the Year 8 students pouring hot chocolates with SRC Leaders Lucy and Amy as the year level celebrated the end of term.  

Last night at the Year 12 Winter Ball our students were great ambassadors for the College, enjoying the company of each other and their fellow students from the combined Catholic Colleges of Geelong. There was a great spirit of giving, with substantial fundraising for the Zoe Kennedy Foundation and Hope Bereavement in Geelong. Despite the sore feet I am sure many memories were created as part of this rite of passage. College Captains Charli and Summer need a particular shout out for the huge amount of work they put into the coordination and organising of the event. We are also grateful to the staff led by Sarah Fish who enabled this event to take place by providing supervision and support.

Our students and staff visiting Timor Leste have almost been away for a week and are now in Viqueque. Whist in Dili they visited the Australian Embassy and met with the Deputy Ambassador who had done her research on Clonard and warmly welcomed us. In Viqueque, our girls are supporting the English program at Uamorai primary school where Clonard sponsors the Librarian, making friends, watching local soccer, and experiencing the hospitality of the local people. We look forward to their safe return and the stories of hope they bring back to share.

I have seen hope in how our College staff have been modelling learning and reflection, with all College staff leaders undertaking a review process with Brendan Maher from Leading Teams who has partnered with the College over the past 12 months in leadership development. Feedback systems for growth and development have been a key focus of the leadership development program. The openness and authenticity with which staff have engaged in this process has been a credit to the staff culture here at Clonard. Assistant Principal reviews with an external consultant are also underway. As part of their professional development this term six teachers engaged in quality teaching rounds, an evidence based program out of the University of Newcastle to promote teacher growth and efficacy. These teachers have been positive about the process and appreciative of the time to reflect collaboratively on practice. 

Some of you may be aware of family, friends or colleagues who are educators looking to make the move to Geelong. We will be hosting a Prospective Staff Open Day on Saturday 20 July 11,00am-12.30pm. Encourage them to visit the employment page on our website for details. 

A reminder to families who have received enrolment offers to complete your acceptance as soon as possible.

There is a sense of anticipation and excitement with our upcoming Quad School production of “The Addams Family” just around the corner! Our talented cast and crew have been working tirelessly to bring this iconic show to life. From the eerie mansion to the quirky characters, every detail has been meticulously crafted. Last night, we welcomed our orchestra members to join the ensemble. Our talented musicians, under the guidance of our dedicated conductor, have transformed the score into something magical. If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, don’t delay. This promises to be a great show – a delightful blend of humour, mystery, and all things spooky. Gather your family, invite your friends, and immerse yourself in the world of the Addams family.

Finally, I have seen hope in our Oak Centre which is progressing well. The fine weather, although not great for farmers, has been excellent for building!!! This week during the site visit we noted joinery is in, painting is well underway, and fit off is commencing. We are confident the build will be completed this year.

As we prepare for the holidays, parents are reminded to check Operoo prior to the return of school for some housekeeping in readiness for the start of Term 3 around uniform expectations and general behaviours. Don’t forget to add your voice to the Tatu Strategic Planning Survey.  

As we enter this holiday break I offer a prayer of gratitude from ‘Show My Gratitude’ by Kelli Mahoney: 

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life.  

You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined.  

You have surrounded me with people who always look out for me.  

You have given me family and friends who bless me every day with kind words and actions.  

They lift me up in ways that keep my eyes focused on you and make my spirit soar. 


I wish everyone a safe and restful break from the routines of school and in that slower time may you too ‘see hope, hear hope, speak hope, practice hope and spread hope’.