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Farewelling our Pioneers

External exams conclude on Tuesday and our Year 12 gentlemen will gather on Wednesday for a Rites of Passage Retreat Day with Mr Matt Warr and key staff. Our Valedictory rituals will take place on Thursday and will include the involvement of all boys in Years 4 to 11 and staff in celebrating and farewelling our 2020 Seniors.

Pleasingly, with a change in the health restrictions coming at just the right time, we have been able to invite our Year 12 parents and caregivers onto the site to share in some of the final rituals before gathering at Riverlife for the Valedictory Celebrations of Mass, lunch and the Graduation Ceremony.

Our first Senior group of 2019 will always be remembered and respected for their pioneering role. It is fair to say that the Seniors of 2020 and their families very much share in this journey and achievement as well. The leap of faith to join the ATC project was a significant one that has come with much joy and, at times, some challenges as well. This group has taken on the experience of the new model of senior schooling, leadership during the pandemic experience, were the most improved academic cohort at the conclusion of Semester 1 this year, led the way in service, boxed above their weight for years on the sporting field and have been enormous contributors to the cultural life of the College.

They have done all of this with good grace, humour, naturalness, and positivity. We will miss the Seniors of 2020 and we thank them for their significant role in shaping our College. We look forward to their continued connection to the community as Old Boys and wish them well in their transition to study, training or work. They will always be welcome at their school and we look forward to many more years of friendship and community with them.

I also take this opportunity, as I will at Valedictory on Thursday, to thank the parents of the 2020 Seniors for their courage in joining the ATC journey and for their wonderful contributions to our community in the early years of our story. We are grateful for the opportunity you have given your son and grateful for the opportunity you have made possible for our teaching and non-teaching staff to partner with you throughout the years; for some, a nine year journey. We wish our families continued health and happiness and invite everyone to remain part of ATC and know you are always welcome.

ATC College Foundation

The College Foundation is a philanthropic entity that seeks to raise funds to support bursaries for boys who may not be financially able to access an ATC education, families who need assistance and capital works projects to sustain the future of the College.

As we are a growing school, this is a young, but committed and vibrant peak body group of our community. In 2018 and 2019, successful ‘Long Lunches’ were hosted as a key friend and fund-raising strategy. We look forward to the return of this event in the future.

In 2020, at the conclusion of the first 6 year phase of the College, the Foundation has been able to provide funds equivalent to the education of an ATC boy from Year 4 to 12 or for 8 boys for the first year of the secondary education. Over time, our goal is to build on this platform to provide further opportunity and support. I thank the community for their generosity and the Foundation for their efforts in providing these funds.

Another opportunity to contribute to supporting the work of the Foundation is to make a tax-deductible gift contribution. A significant number of families from our two graduating Year 12 years in 2019 and 2020 have gifted their $500 enrolment bond to the Foundation as their son completes his time as a student at ATC. These funds go directly to supporting another boy to have an opportunity to attend the College or a family in need to be supported and we are deeply appreciative of this generosity and kindness and thank these families. Of course, as always, it is understood and respected that not all families are either in the position or wish to donate this gift. All gifts received are humbly appreciated and used to support a boy in need.

As the Foundation was established, the Old Boys Association was linked as an arm of the core business of the group. 2020 has been a challenging year to connect socially with our 2019 Seniors and we cannot wait to be able to do this in the future. In 2021, our first College Captain, Patrick Robinson, will join the College Foundation Board as a voice for the ATC Old Boys Association. This will be a not insignificant moment in the unfolding story of our College. Patrick and I have recently been in contact with the Seniors of 2019 and we look forward to energising the ATCOBA arm of the College along with our 2020 graduates and subsequent years.

I thank the members of the College Foundation chaired by Mr Luke Ingham-Myers for their energy and commitment. We recently held a strategy and development day for our team, and we look forward to a bright future as we continue to plant the seeds for the development of this important community strategic project. I take this opportunity to recognise and thank all past and present members of the Foundation Board over the first six years of ATC for their leadership; not least of whom is Mr Michael Senior, for his vision and example.

Staff news

Ms Melanie Mons Wolff leaves the College this Thursday 19 November to commence her new position at another school. We wish Mel every success in her new role and thank her for her strong contribution at ATC over the past 3 years. I have the pleasure of announcing Ms Caitlin Sneddon has been appointed to the role of Coordinator of Visual Arts, commencing in mid-January 2021. Mrs Annabel Wolf who recently underwent an operation to remove a benign tumour from behind her eyes is home and recovering well. We continue to pray for a speedy recovery for Annabel and look forward to having her back with us next year.

Prayers

I ask the community to please keep Angus Rowan (7 Wynne) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his Grandfather and Jackson Moore (7 Lynch) following the recent passing of his Uncle. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of his passing. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.

God Bless.

Chris Ryan