Embracing, Equitable, Empathetic - EMPOWER WEEK

I certainly hope yesterday was a special day for everyone – whether as a Mother, daughter, or celebrating an important woman in our lives. I hope it was a day filled with love for all families. My Mum is 88 and I love her as much as ever. I also acknowledge those families that have lost a significant woman from their family but remembered them fondly yesterday.

It is a centuries-old custom for Catholics to dedicate the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this Year of Faith, it is good to consider the faith of Mary. When we think of our Blessed Mother, we recognize that she is indeed blessed, not only because she was the Mother of Jesus, but because she believed in Jesus’s words. Mary is our model of faith and she teaches us to believe as she believed.

I look forward to the ATC Mothers in May event on Wednesday evening. It is designed to celebrate the mothers in our community, their contribution, commitment and support in raising their sons and to offer them time to connect with other ATC mums.

Greetings from Ireland

Chris Ryan is currently in Ireland for the Edmund Rice International Congress along with 250 other Edmund Rice leaders. He has been blessed this week to be immersed in the history of our founder Edmund Rice and has visited the home where he grew up in Callan plus the site of Edmund's first school in New Street, Waterford.

Empower Week

This week, the College is facilitating an initiative called “Empower Week" celebrating Neurodiversity, Disability, and Inclusion. As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition, ATC has a touchstone of inclusive education. The purpose of this week is to confirm for all members of our ATC community that they are loved, valued and welcome at Ambrose Treacy College.

Our goal is to empower all students to feel that they have dignity and respect of others because of who they are and what they do. We aspire to the goal of everyone within our community feeling supported and empowered to be their best selves, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, diffabilities, or religion. We know we are not perfect, and this is an aspiration, but it is a worthy and important one.

The symbol of neurodiversity - “describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.”

Education is key to promoting a sense of inclusion. This week there will be a different focus each day to promote knowledge, awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Today the theme was Dyslexia, with homerooms engaging in videos and discussion. All families are invited to attend a session tonight at 6pm in the Chapel, with a presentation by Mr Gavin Bryce who is the current Principal of Craigslea State High School. Mr Boyce is a leader in Inclusion (Masters in Inclusive Education), Mental Health, and supports young people to find their own strengths. Importantly he will be sharing how he was able to overcome barriers, channel his strengths, achieve personal life and career goals

Tomorrow's theme is Neurodiversity, with homeroom activities plus a presentation at College Assembly by one of our parents, Mr Fintan Keogh, who will focus on the message “don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something”.

Wednesday the focus will be on ADHD/ADD, Thursday ASD and Friday anxiety. There will also be demonstrations and games of Goalball, a Paralympic sport that our staff member Raissa Martin, and students Oliver Fanshawe and Zac Stanley Jones are talented participants of.

Senior A Debating

Congratulations to the ATC Senior A Debaters who successfully competed against The Southport School last week to take out the win. This talented dedicated team, under the direction of Mr Liam Maguire, continue to excel in ATC’s first year in the QDU Senior A competition.

Matthew, Patrick and Jack

Thank you to the ATC supporters who attended the event. It was incredible to see so many people from our community supporting and cheering the debaters on.

P&F Donation

ATC’s Co-curricular program boasts 30+ clubs with over 600 students taking part in at least one club over the course of the school year. Recently, the P&F generously granted $8400 to assist in resourcing our Clubs Program.

Over the last term we have been busy purchasing hundreds of items to help facilitate the many wonderful experiences our students have participating in their respective interest group. Garden equipment, speakers, board games, robotics kits, chess kits, art supplies, cooking utensils and entry fees to competitions and many many more! The students of ATC would like to say a big thank you to the P&F for their donation.

The opportunities that our Music Department provides continue to be amazing. Tomorrow evening – Tuesday 16 May - our Jazz Orchestra will be performing at the Brisbane Youth Jazz Festival at the Jazz Club at Kangaroo Point. I wish them all the best.

Formal Uniform

At ATC, we believe that our uniform plays a critical role in fostering a positive learning environment and building a sense of community among our students. Our uniform promotes equality, discipline and a shared sense of identity. Today marked the first day for students being required to wear their full formal uniform. Overall the students looked very smart arriving at school today. Naturally, a few students arrived without the correct uniform. Can I ask all families to ensure that your child arrives at school in the correct uniform and that they understand the significance of wearing it appropriately. This will be of importance for School Photo day on 25 May. I have also noticed attendance and punctuality issues with some Senior School students and ask you to refer to the App notice from Mr Finn today that has more details.

College Tour

This Thursday 18 May we host our second College Tour for the year. Over 400 people again have registered to come and experience the ATC difference. I thank the staff and students who will volunteer to showcase our wonderful community. CLICK HERE to register to attend this tour or one in the future.

I again remind current families and your friends that enrolments are becoming very tight at ATC, and early enrolment is important. If you have any queries, please contact our Head of Enrolments, Robyn Donaldson.

God bless,

David Gardiner

Acting Principal