Dear Families and Friends
During our NAIDOC Week celebrations, we focus on the journey and importance of reconciliation with First Nations people. The theme for 2022 is, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! What does this mean exactly? Well, it’s a call to action for people to trade their position as passive bystanders and become active campaigners. It’s no longer good enough to deem yourself an ‘ally’ without putting in the work. Whether this be through calling out racism, repairing relationships between the wider community and Aboriginal and Torres Islander people or working towards treaties, every little bit counts. Relationships are at the heart of our reconciliation journey. Reconciliation lives in the hearts, minds and actions of all community members. We all have a role to collectively build sacramental and loving relationships within our community that values First Nations peoples, histories, cultures, and futures – this is our reconciliation journey. This way we create a stronger and safer community for all.
The drive for reconciliation grows out of our belief that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God. Each one of us is different in our own unique way. There will never be another you or another me… ever! Pope Francis puts it this way in Laudato Si 65: “We were conceived in the heart of God, and for this reason each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” From this we can see the primacy of love; We are loved! We pass on this love as love of God, love of self, love of others and love of the country. As a community we need to find ways to live out this love. To love another requires an active response.
As a community we are called to show the spirit of reconciliation in action, and action always takes courage! The spirit of reconciliation begins by asking “How can I help?”. Yes, we are all called to help. The actions of reconciliation are simple, they require each one of us to do our very best. Firstly, to create a culturally safe place, where each member of our community feels safe to be themselves. We must know and respect ourselves, be reflective and aware of our own values and attitudes and the impact of these values on others. Ask – do I have an unconscious bias or discrimination? If yes, take responsibility to address bias and provide constant reminders to others of the unconditional love of God. Secondly, work towards growing knowledge and respect for the diversity of First Nations peoples, communities and cultures. Being open to learn, listen to understand and build quality relationships, take action to call out any behaviours that diminish the light of others, address any actions that reduce the value of another person. Once we know ourselves and each other better, we can do better, each day a step further on the transformative journey of reconciliation together. We had many opportunities across NAIDOC week to Get up! Stand up! Shoe up! I would like to thank Ms Farmer and our First Nations students for their contributions to the planning, organising and leading activities that made this week a very special one for the College community.
Make a Difference (MAD) Day
There was great joy and excitement as the much-anticipated annual MAD Day approached. And it did not disappoint – what an amazing day! It was a wonderful display of community spirit, a day that binds us together as a tangible example of our sense of family. We showed the warmth of our community, the love and belonging that draws us together and celebrated all that is wonderful at La Salle College as we commemorated our founder, St John Baptiste de la Salle.
We began the day with Mass celebrated by Father Rodrigo. We are most grateful for his support of the College and the day. Our fete component was a roaring success, I saw students from every year level and house come together to share the most amazing experiences, showing friendship and pride in the College. The Talent Quest demonstrated the depth of quality talent and the wonderful sense of humour that keeps our community buoyant. I would like to commend all those staff, students and parents who contributed to the success of this day. Words fail me in trying to describe the depth of feeling, camaraderie and excitement that was present.
Congratulations go to all those staff and students that contributed to creating an undeniably successful day!
The College’s Music Night was held on Friday 9 September in the Patricia Rodrigues Gymnasium. The audience was treated to an incredible array of talent from singers to flautists to our concert band as students from Year 7 to Year 12 joined together to put on a wonderful show. The hard work and preparation that went into staging the evening was clear to see, and the performances were highly enjoyable. Welcomed by our College Music Captains, Luka and Colby the audience settled in for a very special evening. No matter your musical taste, there was something for everybody throughout the evening with genres such as jazz, rock and classical covered through instrumental performances, band performances, choirs and soloists.
Music Night would not be possible without the tireless and talented Music staff including Ms Samantha Ashman, Ms Kate Thumwood, Mrs Helen Gordon and the dedication of the many tutors who support the students, both throughout the year and on the night itself.
Student Body farewells our Year 12s
Our Year 12 students have been excellent leaders and role models for students within our College community. As their time at the College draws to an end, it was befitting for our students and staff to acknowledge their contributions to their House and the College through a variety of activities on Monday 19 September 2022. The student’s final day began in a glorious fashion with the College staff and the Year 11 leaders hosting a breakfast for the Year 12s. It was a joy seeing the students sharing special moments together as a group. With their bellies full of a delicious breakfast, our Year 12s then partook in House Liturgies where PC teachers and students had the opportunity to bid their peers farewell. A few tears were shed, but mostly there was laughter and the promise of keeping in touch in the future. The Year 12s final assembly provided an opportunity for them to be acknowledged by all within the students’ body before handing over the leadership baton to our year 11s. On their procession out of the Assembly, the current Year 7s formed a guard of honour for the Year 12 students. This was a special moment for our Year 12s who formed the guard of honour for our Year 7s at the beginning of the year.
The Year 12s final event at the College will be their Year 12 Graduation Liturgy and Ceremony on Tuesday 18 October 2022 in the Patricia Rodrigues Centre. This formal occasion will allow parents to celebrate their child’s achievement with College staff. In the meanwhile, I wish our Year 12 students all the very best for their final assessments. Knowing that there is only a short time to go, it is essential to continue to put your best foot forward in this final sprint to the finish line.
At the conclusion of another very busy term, I hope that all of the students and staff enjoy a well-deserved and revitalising break and look forward to seeing everyone on our first day of Term 4, on Tuesday 11 October 2022.