National Reconciliation Week and Bittersweet Farewells

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our history, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

This week commemorates two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

27 May 1967 On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.

3 June 1992 On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.

This morning, as an important and humble part of our engagement with National Reconciliation Week, ATC formally opened Warril Place, our outdoor community area by the river in the Middle School precinct. Warril is a Yuggera word which means “by the river” and it was a privilege to welcome Yuggera Elder, Aunty Deb Sandy and her family to facilitate a traditional smoking ceremony as a part of the opening and blessing of this wonderful new facility for our students and community by the river.

NRW 2023

Mr David Gardiner

It was bittersweet to share the news of Mr Gardiner’s retirement at the end of 2023. I have been in the fortunate position of talking with him about this decision for quite some time, so I was luckily not shocked! Mr Gardiner is a key architect of our culture, and this was most evident on Friday afternoon after school when Mr Gardiner and I were farewelling students in the grounds and many were stopping to chat and playfully remonstrating with him about their annoyance. It was a big day for David and for our young College and we look forward to the next six months with him.

David, Mr Peter Nugent, our College Business Manager, and I are all employed by Edmund Rice Education Australia, not by ATC. Mr Chris Woolley, who started as Chief Executive Officer of EREA Colleges Ltd a fortnight ago has been in regular contact with me and the process for recruiting for our new Deputy Principal is underway and will commence formally in early Term 3.

ATC & St Aidan's Combined Concert

Last Wednesday the College hosted the ATC and St Aidan’s combined workshop and concert. Congratulations to all our musicians on a wonderful evening. This emerging tradition is a great addition to our music program, and we look forward to next year at St Aidan’s.

Week 7

Experience has taught me that Week 7 of a term is when it is important that we all do the simple things well in order to finish the term positively. We have a busy three weeks of term remaining and some students and staff grow tired during this time.

Some possible tips:  

• Time for a re-set; haircut, shine shoes, tidy room, clean out school bag/locker.

• Less online time; limit screen time post 8pm whether it be scrolling, social media, gaming and even school work-busy minds need time to unwind to get a decent sleep.

• Balance; fun, relaxation, sleep, exercise, school work-team work makes the dream work.

• Work rate; this should be a time of term where the benefits of a steady study routine are kicking in and an increase rather than a last-minute cram is what is required with assessment work, revision and preparation.  

Community Prayers

Lord, we pray for those in our community who are suffering. Be with them in this time of hardship and uncertainty. Give comfort and peace to those who have lost loved ones. May their sorrow be turned into strength, and their distress turned into peace. May our hearts remain loving and pure as we seek too always be compassionate to those around us.

Chris Ryan

College Principal