I prepared the following community message below for you all last week. On reflection, this message could not be more timely and noteworthy as we enter a four-day COVID-19 lockdown. As a community we can all appreciate the team effort required from our government leaders and health staff in responding to COVID-19 and providing valuable information and support to the Western Australian community. This team effort has been replicated many times over by our own Leadership teams in the College. Last night and throughout today I have met via Teams with various Leadership teams within the College and discussed the impact of the lockdown, and how we would need to work together to support our community. I am incredibly grateful for the support provided by these teams to ensure we could provide timely information to our families and ongoing support to our students. The safety and wellbeing of all within our community is paramount and I am confident we can achieve this if we continue to work together.
Please stay safe and look after each other as we approach the term break.
TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More
Team is a term that is used time and time again but what does it mean. Some would use the acronym TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More – to define what it means and although there is truth in that definition, I believe what matters more is how individuals demonstrate the values of their team.
This means being clear about the values of the team, displaying those values and being accountable. For those of you who are following the Euro 2020 Football competition (rescheduled due to COVID), you may have seen some talented footballers and you may also have witnessed a young man truly live the values of his team. For those of you who are not football fans, bear with me as I explain the incident and actions. Last Sunday, it was the 43rd minute of the Denmark vs Finland match. An innocent throw-in directed towards Danish attacking midfielder and five times Danish player of the year recipient, Christian Eriksen, was received in the most unconventional manner, and what happened soon after was absolutely heart-rending. Eriksen collapsed on the ground, almost immediately. On the other end of the pitch, Simon Kjær (Danish captain and central defender) rushed towards Eriksen. In a situation of great anxiety, Kjaer quickly put Eriksen in the recovery position, ensured his team mates created a protective circle around Eriksen, and then comforted Eriksen’s wife. As Captain, Simon Kjær demonstrated the key values of his team to the rest of his team, and the world – selflessness, Empathy, Inspire Unity, and Courage.
Back to a football pitch a little closer to home (Middle Swan) and our Year 8 boys were playing a NEAS game against a rival school. The team had played a great game and in the dying minutes of the game the team captain was given a penalty to end the game. He paused, looked around and beckoned to one of his team mates who hadn’t had much contact with the ball throughout the game. On the sidelines, the coach was wondering what his team captain was doing but watched with great interest. The captain provided the opportunity to his team mate to shoot a penalty goal. A little nervous but encouraged by fellow team members, the young man shot for goal and led the team to a resounding win. His smile told the story better than any words can. He had achieved a goal that he hadn’t thought possible and the icing on the cake was that his hero, his dad, was there to witness it! The action of the team’s captain and team members demonstrated our values of excellence within our community by being inclusive and demonstrating a sense of compassion for their team member, key elements of our faith.
Excellence in our community can be measured in a variety of ways – spiritual, leadership, academic, sporting, positive and inclusive relationships to name a few. Many within our community have answered the call of Pope Francis to be more than observers of life, having taken up the responsibility and commitment of serving our school and the local community – providing inspiration, hope, and encouragement to those around them. Some examples that spring to mind include:
- The care for College resources and ensuring that you leave the environment in a clean and usable state for the next class of students.
- Students ensuring that their code of conduct is respectful, safe and allows all within the College community to feel safe, respected and able to learn.
- Students ensuring that they live up to the standards set by the College to demonstrate their pride in the College and their self-respect.
- The care for those within our community who are struggling. Whether this is through PCG buddies, friendship groups, student leaders or our Touching Hearts Program.
- The Homework Club launched for our Year 7 and 8 students by our Year 12 Academic Captains, helping our youngest students grow and thrive. The homework sessions are designed to build student confidence with learning and managing subject workload pressures better. It is also a great opportunity for students to make new friendships and connections with older students.
- Together we are better – The theme of this year’s liturgy conducted by our students from the St Joseph Centre for their families and members of our community on Friday. With the support of our wonderful staff, the students planned a beautifully interactive liturgy sharing their faith, taking on leadership roles and sharing their gifts with those in attendance. After the liturgy, our students proudly shared their learning with their families, demonstrating how they had achieved excellence in our community.
- The sharing of student gifts and talents in Sports and the Arts.
- The academic achievement of students across the year levels.
At La Salle College our values are centred on Christ, who inspired the work of St John Baptist de La Salle. We are committed to our faith, excellence within our community and our spirit of service and compassion. These values are lived out in our community in a variety of ways but the challenge of ‘team’ La Salle is to ensure that every member of our community espouses these values in their everyday life and interaction with one another.
How are your actions breathing life into the values of our College?
Ms Giovanna Fiume