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A Culture of Diverse Opportunities

Cook Off grand finalists 2016.

The last seven days have strongly reflected the vibrant community that is Ambrose Treacy College. The boys have had experiences across a wonderful range of activities to conclude Term 3. The week has embodied the culture we are striving to build at ATC.

Foremost the boys have been very busy completing their assessment tasks. There has been the typical workload that this period brings for each boy. My observations and feedback from staff have been that the boys have taken this task very seriously and put in their best efforts. Assessment can bring different levels of stress and each boy may react differently to this end of term demands. But I have never met a boy who does not want to do well in his work. The green laurel wreaths on our College crest depict personal excellence. I congratulate our boys for putting in their best effort to strive for their best with their learning.

I also acknowledge the enormous effort the staff have put in preparing the boys for their assessment, in developing assessment items and all the marking and feedback that is associated. A special feature of ATC is the amount of thought and time from teachers to create a range of styles of assessment to firstly expose boys to different skills and techniques, and also to provide different opportunities for boys to display their ability.

At ATC we believe every student has the capacity to be a leader. Last Thursday and Friday we welcomed all our new families to the ATC community. I mentioned last week how impressed I was with the insights from our selected boys who spoke to the families about their experiences at ATC this year. The other strong impression from last week was the leadership displayed by the Year 6 and 9 students. Instead of selecting certain students to showcase the school, we ask every student in Year 6 and 9 to be ambassadors for their school. It was a delight to see the enthusiasm and passion the boys displayed in being ‘tour guides’ to our new families. It was particularly impressive to see some boys step up from their usual quiet demeanour to convey their pride in what we do at ATC.

Our co-curricular program is important in the holistic education we strive to provide at ATC. Last month we celebrated our outstanding Music program with our first ever Formal Music Evening. Following on from this success we launched the inaugural Sport Awards Evening last night. The aim was to celebrate the achievements of many across the diverse range of team sports and acknowledge their efforts in the many sporting programs we offer.

We appreciate the high level of support from our families and we were pleased to have nearly 700 people pack the NJ Hall. The evening had a wonderful community feel, largely due to the efforts of the Sports Supporters Committee and their band of helpers. They provided the BBQ dinner before the awards ceremony and the ATC commitment to ‘friend-raising’ was very apparent.

The coordinators spoke about the great achievements in each of their sports, the support from families, the involvement of coaches, and the commitment of the boys to their team. The themes were common: The boys at ATC kept turning up, putting in their best effort and continually supported their mates. These traits are why we put in so much effort to provide an outstanding co-curricular program. Our coaching staff also display these traits and I sincerely thank them for their dedication to all-round development of their players. It requires a special person to forgo their own personal and family time to help others. Fortunately we have a large number of caring and dedicated people in our community who contribute to the culture of ATC. I congratulate the coaches on a successful season and all the sportsmen who received awards last night.

On Wednesday we co-hosted with Brigidine College the inaugural QCIS Track and Field competition at the University of Queensland. It was an outstanding day involving athletes from seven schools. Congratulations to our athletes who, along with the Brigidine athletes, won the Overall Aggregate Trophy. The carnival was a great day with connections being made between the young people from the different schools, the smooth running of the carnival, the efforts from all the athletes and some outstanding individual performances. Congratulations and thanks to Mr Shane Koimans and his team, along with the Brigidine College staff, for the excellent planning and coordination of the day.

Cook Off Grand Final
People regularly talk about the strong sense of community at ATC. This evolves constantly on a daily basis. On Tuesday we were amazed during the Cook Off Final at the talent of such young chefs. Thank you to Mrs Rebecca Smout for leading this initiative. It is an outstanding opportunity for boys to showcase their skills and to provide something to the community. The staff have loved the sampling of the food each Tuesday, but above that, the opportunity to interact with the boys in another activity. The crowd in NJ Hall were totally absorbed by the boys cooking on stage in the Grand Final. This support for whatever activity their peers are involved in is very impressive and shows the multiplicity of our student body and it highlights their ability to celebrate the diverse interests of our students.

Enthusiastic supporters of the Cook Off finalists!

My congratulations to the finalists who successfully produced their breakfast dish on stage in 30 minutes. Their task was to complete a dish that involved ‘bacon and eggs’ and present it to the judges. I congratulate the 2016 Cook Off Grand Final winner, Daniel (Year 6), who executed an Eggs Benedict with “precision and flair”. The judges were impressed with his cooking skills as well as his presentation and his ability to stay calm under pressure. These are all attributes of a good chef! 2nd place went to Sam (Year 4) and equal 3rd place was awarded to Matthew & Rob (Year 5).

Thanks to our guest judges for assisting at this event and giving encouragement and advice to our young chefs. Our appreciation goes to food blogger – Sally Wilson, owner of Shouk Café Paddington – Adi Shabtay, the owner of Simons Gourmet Gallery Chapel Hill – Alastair and our Adopt a Cop – Constable Will Pattie. We are thrilled that Alistair (owner of Simon’s Gourmet Café) has very kindly told the 4 winners of the Cook Off that their dish will be put onto the Simon’s Specials Menu next term! All customers will be able to order these winning dishes and some of the proceeds of these orders will be kindly donated to our ATC P&F! What I love most about this competition is that it promotes ‘boys in the kitchen’ and offers opportunities not always readily available to boys of this age.

Car Show
On Sunday a number of car fanatics gathered on Jack Bowers Oval for the Annual Car Show. This day is a highlight for so many boys and their Dads. Thank you to Paul Gleeson for being the driving force behind this event.

Henry Gardiner
It was a pleasure to attend the last prayer service for the term for Henry Gardiner in Year 5. Henry is battling his cancer and is making strong steps to recovery. It was great to hear Henry talk about returning to ATC in 2017. The support from his mates is super impressive and wonderfully uplifting for Henry and his family. Mr Warr led the prayers and spoke about Mercy being compassion, consideration and support which are strong characteristics that these young ATC men are already displaying.

As can be the case, there are a number of staff changes for next term. Mr Peter Hunter has accepted another position and leaves us after 5 years involvement at NJC/ATC. Peter has great relationships with the boys and has certainly helped significantly the boys who have been in his classes over that time. Peter has been a key figure in our IT Committee and has had high involvement in the co-curricular program. Peter will be replaced in Term 4 by Mr Brett Tompson. Brett has completed contracts previously at NJC and so is very familiar with the College. Mrs Rebecca Smout will be on Long Service Leave for Term 4 and will be replaced by Ms Janine McGrath. Janine is currently a regular supply teacher at ATC. I wish Peter all the best for the next step in his professional career, Rebecca all the best for a wonderful break, and welcome Brett and Janine to the teaching staff for Term 4.

Well, that is a brief overview of the last seven busy days. It is typical of the active community that is ATC and the end result is that there is a degree of anticipation and weariness looking forward to the last day of term. So much effort from staff, students and families creates so much action and a significant level of satisfaction at the end of Term 3. I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing holiday and look forward to us all returning on Tuesday 4 October for our final term of the year.

David Gardiner, Acting Principal