Dear SJC Families and Friends
Welcome to winter!! Changes of seasons are always nice and it has been beautiful to see some lovely blue skies and crisp mornings across the last fortnight. I hope that you have enjoyed this beautiful weather too.
Our change of season has not just been confined to the weather, but also our Church. Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, the time we recognise the birth of our Church. The readings related to this day of Solemnity convey the experience of the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples following the Ascension of Jesus. Being granted the Spirit saw the leaders of the Church gain the strength and courage to "go forth and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), and hence, from this point, Christianity spread to all corners of the earth. This moment in history saw the disciples become fully immersed in the mission of the Church and in doing so, fulfil the potential and courage Christ saw in them.
In much the same way that Christ's disciples did, so many of the students at St Joey's are making the most of the skills and abilities that lie within them and showing courage to sour above the crowd and succeed. This has included a long list of students who have recently entered and succeeded in creative arts competitions, represented our Diocese at state titles for sport and represented our College with distinction (particularly in freezing conditions in Bathurst). It also includes students who have been so giving of their time to worthy causes, attained great SEAAR scores and tried their hardest at recent sports carnivals.
I would like to mention and speak of four of these students.
Willow Trimboli - Year 11
Just prior to representing our College at the State CCC Hockey Titles in Bathurst, Willow, along with Kate Sands (Yr 10) and Scarlett Sadler (Yr 10), trialled for the Combined Catholic Colleges Under 16 Hockey team. Whilst sadly Kate and Scarlett just missed out, Willow has fulfilled a long ambition of being selected for the CCC team. This is an outstanding achievement and the reward of many years of effort, travel and commitment. Well done Willow and we look forward to hearing about her future success. She now attends an All Schools Trial camp where a NSW All Schools Team will be selected to compete in Hobart next term.
Hailey Pickett - Year 7
Hailey is certainly a student of many talents having already represented the College at our recent Model United Nations Association event in Tweed (the first Year 7 students to do so) and being crowned Age Champion for Cross Country at the end of Term 1. Recently, Hailey was named one of sixty finalists in the 2022 University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize. Her entry was a painting inspired by the work of American ‘Pop Artist’ Roy Lichtenstein. There were 591 art entries this year, from 46 schools.
Max Liles - Year 12
Max's successes in recent times have been well documented but what he achieved two weekends ago scales the greatest heights that any students who have played rugby league at the College have done. Representing the Northern NSW Catholic School region, Max played with incredible maturity and courage to be named in the Combined Catholic Colleges Open Boys team to play in the upcoming National Rugby League Titles. This is a great achievement and is a testament to the commitment and persistence that Max has displayed across his five and half years at SJC. He now has a realistic shot at gaining representation in the Australian Schoolboys team and I wish him, on behalf of the entire College, all the very best.
Josh Monaghan - Year 11
Josh came to our College at the beginning of Year 10 and since he has done so, he has always shown a desire and passion for doing his best, particularly on the sporting field. Last week, Josh was named Age Champion of the Under 16 Boys division and in doing so, he managed to secure the same title for all of our community carnivals; Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics.
It is clear that these four students, along with many others are doing what they can to fulfil their potential whilst at SJC. I always speak to students of the value of being involved and taking advantage of the many opportunities on offer at St Joeys. To all of these students, I thank and applaud you.
Sadly, I would like to comment on how disappointing it was that so many students, many with their families' support, chose not to attend our Athletics Carnival last Friday. In the past couple of years, our attendance at community events has been close to 75%. Our recent carnival saw nearly 35% of students absent from school. I ask that all families support our efforts to create a community of belonging and connection by ensuring your child attends such events.
Last Thursday saw the final day for our temporary Maths teacher, Mrs Colleen Dempsey. I have explained before that Colleen spend many years at Marymount College and has been retired for a number of years. She will spend some time in the south of the state before returning for casual work next term. In her place, Mr David Bell will commence (Week 10) once he concludes his current position at Carmel College, Redland Bay. We look forward to welcoming David in two weeks' time.
As you read this, the school is undertaking a three-day, externally run review. I look forward to reporting the findings soon and would like to thank the parents and carers who have volunteered to take part.
It was wonderful to welcome a number of parents and carers last Friday night for an informal Meet and Greet Evening held in the College COLA. Thanks to our College Parent Assembly Representatives for conceiving and organising the evening. We look forward to more events like this in the future.
Finally, I would like to offer Mrs Gabby and Mr Mark Yager congratulations on the arrival of their second baby, Cameron. Both mum and baby Cam are doing well and Mr Yager recently returned from his well-earned parental leave. Mrs Yager intends to return to work at the start of Term 4.
Mr Scott Thomson