Greetings from Healesville!

These past few days I have been attending the Conference of the Principal’s Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools. We have had the privilege of listening to the Theologian Dr Ernesto Valiente speak about Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ and Salvation. It has been inspiring, insightful and challenging. In many ways, whilst I have been a person of Catholic faith for all my life there is still so much to learn and come to understand. Dr Valiente was a passionate proclaimer of the theology of Christology and reintroduced us to the person of Jesus in new and wonderful ways.

As we come to the end of National Reconciliation Week, I wanted to acknowledge all that is happening in the space of building an active culture of reconciliation and connection with First Nations Students. This week our FIRE Carriers led us as a College community in our National Reconciliation Week assembly. They took the time to explain the importance of many of the symbols and rituals that we use in our College to connect with aboriginal people. I was moved listening to our senior students speak about the responsibility many are now feeling knowing that they will have a say in our referendum in the Voice to Parliament later this year. Earlier in May the Australian Catholic Bishops Council issued their statement on the Voice which was shared with our school communities for your consideration. A link to their statement can be found here. At our recent staff meeting we worked to progress to the next steps in creating our Reconciliation Action Plan led by Michael McCallum with support from Aunty Sue Collins. We considered what we already have in place and what else could be possible in light of the suggested actions in the Narragunnawali resource for schools. We also look forward to engaging with our First Nations students and families around this work to ensure their voices are prioritized and valued.

Over the past fortnight our students in Years 7 to 9 have engaged in various sessions around Social Media, CyberSafety and respectful digital citizenship. Leading Senior Constable Robbie Noggler from Victoria Police has given a very factual and current presentation to the students of both the risks and responsibilities of users according to the law. In listening to his presentation, it was clear that as parents we must engage with our young people around their social media use and continue to teach and remind them how to be respectful and safe.

Finally, two reminders. Firstly about supervision in our yard before and after school. Supervision is provided in the library from 8.00am in the morning through to 4.30pm in the afternoon. Students who arrived before 8.30am should make their way to the library space. Teachers are on duty at the gates in the yard from 8.30am in the mornings. We have noted there are some students are arriving well before 8.00am and we ask parents to be aware of the supervision arrangements. Secondly, we continue to receive concerns about students crossing Minerva Road at the bottom of Murphy Lane and not at the designated crossings, either the lights at Church Street/Minerva Road or at the crossing near Westcourt. We encourage students who need to catch the bus opposite the shops at Minerva Road to please use the Church Steet exit of the College grounds and cross at the lights. Please remind your daughters of the safety implications given the extremely busy nature of this area at the end of the school day.