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Energized for a New Term

Kokoda Track Walkers
Sebastian Silanesu and Jacob Forster proudly flying the Australian flag during their Kokoda Trek

Welcome back to the start of term 2 and I hope the holidays have been a restful time for you and your family. By the sounds of a few students there has been a hive of activity in many households

Kokoda Challenge

One story I was thrilled to catch up on at the start of term was concerning two of our current year 9 students. Jacob Forster and Sebastian Silanesu joined five other students and their fathers to walk the Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea. This trek of 96 kilometres covers a challenging terrain and follows in the footsteps of the many courageous Australian and PNG soldiers who bravely fought the invading Japanese forces during World War II.

The trek was conducted under the leadership of Gio Silanesu and was undertaken as a part of the boys’ road to manhood where they were taken out of their comfort zones and given the opportunity to experience the thrill of working together and achieving what might seem like the impossible. As a part of this trek the boys in conjunction with the rest of their team have raised $12,297 so far for the Mates4Mates cause which helps provide rehabilitation for current and ex-service Australian Defence Force personnel. Well done Jacob and Seb, this was a great effort!!

EREA School Renewal

As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition we are called to be a school community that gives authentic expression to the Charism of our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice. To assist school communities in this endeavour Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) oversees a process that challenges schools to continuously review the way in which they are being authentic to this charism. This school renewal process aims to validate the school community’s response to living out the four EREA touchstones, Gospel Spirituality, Liberating Education, Inclusive Community and Justice and Solidarity that are integral to the EREA Charter.

This week you will be sent a copy of a letter that will officially outline our upcoming visit by the EREA School Renewal Identity Team. The role of the Renewal Identity Team is to assist the College in this ongoing reflection process by joining the life of our school community for a few days and offer a report on how they have heard and seen the College community’s culture live out these touchstones. The ultimate outcome of the School Renewal Identity Team visit will be to generate a report that would lead to the Accreditation of Ambrose Treacy College as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition.

Over the next few weeks you will have the opportunity to participate in this process either indirectly by responding to a community survey or directly by being involved in an interview with the School Renewal Identity Team. I would encourage you to assist us by taking up an opportunity to be involved in this important renewal process.

Open Classrooms

I am pleased to be able to report that the final touches of the new Callan, Westcourt and Kilkenny buildings have been completed over the holidays and it has been nice to be able to walk around the school grounds and not see a tradesman completing work. Now that the buildings have finished and I have had a chance to draw a breath I have to say that I am thrilled with the outcome of the new buildings. The functionality of the new spaces has been well received by staff and students and the ‘look’ of the buildings is striking. Whilst there will be time to formally thank our Architects, Fulton Trotter Architects, I would like to acknowledge the creative and responsive work that they have done to achieve these facilities. Whilst it has been a construction zone I am aware that a number of our families have not had the opportunity to walk around and look at the new facilities.

I would like to invite families to come to our open classrooms day next Wednesday morning and afternoon. From 7.30 -8.30am in the morning and 3.00 – 4.00pm in the afternoon we will have all the facilities open for families to have a causal walk through the new middle school precinct. I would encourage particularly our junior school families to see if you could find a few extra minutes either in the drop off in the morning or in the pick up after school to take the opportunity to have a look around. Most families I have spoken to have been pleasantly surprised by what they have seen. We have a great natural environment to enjoy and the new facilities have been thoughtfully ‘inserted’ into this wonderful back drop. I hope to see a number of families next Wednesday.

Well Done

One of the pleasing aspects of the ATC sport journey is the range of opportunities that exist for students here at the College. Over the last couple of weeks even though it has been a holiday time, many of our students have been enthusiastically engaged in sport. It was great to be able to see our boys working hard in preparation for the three football codes upcoming seasons.

Our soccer players participated in the EREA Cup, we had a rugby camp at the College while our 6A rugby team ventured to Armidale for a tournament and our AFL players competed against Iona College in a Zone competition. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and generosity of a number of our staff who made all this possible.

In the pool we had Daniel Woodrow competing in the National Under Age Swimming Championships in Adelaide; Daniel swam personal bests to record a bronze medal in the U13 50 m Freestyle and placed 4th and 5th in the 100m and 200m freestyle. This is a phenomenal effort to achieve these results in such a strong sport on the national level. Well done Daniel.

Also in the pool but in a different domain we had a number of boys representing Queensland in the National Canoe Polo Championships. This is a sport that Queensland has done well in recently and this year the under 13 and 16 State teams both won Gold medals at these championships. I would like to congratulate our year 9 students Liam Warriner, Jack Steel and Harry Elder who were a part of the winning Under 16 team, while Carter Reid (Year 9) and Lachlan Reid (Year 7) were in the Qld B team that won silver in this age group. In the under 13 Division Angus Hosking (Year 8) Lachlan Reid (Year 7) and William Reid (Year 5) were members of the gold medal Qld team. Well done to all, this is a fantastic effort.

I was also delighted to hear some wonderful news for one of our students Christopher Kiel-Chisholm (Year 8) who following his recent first placing in the Primary Pairs at the 2015 Australian Figure Skating Championships has been invited to participate and represent Australia in a pairs figure skating training camp being held in Berlin by the International Skating Union. This is a fantastic opportunity for Christopher to be exposed to world class coaches and skaters. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we wish him well in this upcoming camp.

Prayers

I would ask our community to please keep Dylan O’Meagher (Year 8 Bodkin) and his family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his grandfather. We hope and pray that the passage of time will heal the pain that his passing has brought to all his family. Eternal rest grant unto Him O Lord, May perpetual light shine upon Him, May he rest in Peace Amen.

Mr Michael Senior, Principal