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Gone Camping!

I remember the first time I went on camp. I was in Year 3 and was a first-year member of the Bunya Park Cubs in Toowoomba. We had one night camping in Jubilee Park on the edge of the Great Dividing Range near my friend’s house in a paddock where his pet goat, ducks and chooks lived. It was brilliant!

I recall being nervous, practicing my knot tying, tent pitching and backpack packing with my Mum and Dad. This and other later experiences provided important ‘deeper water’ experiences for me. Over time, I went on lots of camps as a cub, a primary and secondary school student, Duke of Edinburgh program participant and teacher all over south- east Queensland, the north and south coasts and the Darling Downs. The excitement as ATC has prepared for ‘Camp Week’ has been palpable and infectious and brings back plenty of happy memories.

Camp isn’t everybody’s favourite activity and that is ok of course. I have been very impressed by the breadth and depth of our programs, the creativity of our partnerships and the scope and sequence of the experiences on offer. Across the entire program, from school based, to our Year 6 journey to Canberra to our Year 12 fellows engaging in the rich experience that is our Claddagh program, there is an extraordinary effort made to provide challenge, diversity, inclusivity and opportunity for learning about self, each other and elements of the broader world.

Year 4 Camp

On behalf of the extended ATCommunity, I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary generosity and commitment of our entire staff who make this week possible. I can say with some authority that this is a very special element of an Ambrose Treacy College formation experience and that the contribution of our staff, with the support of their own families, is a blessing to our community and in my experience, certainly unique. I thank our staff most sincerely. Thank you to Mr David Gardiner and Ms Tammy Sleeth for the leadership, oversight and co-ordination and all staff who are leaders of particular programs. Thank you to our parent and caregiver body for your partnership with us and faith in us as we facilitate these programs. I wish all of our students a wonderful week which is safe, enjoyable and as rewarding as it was for an eight-year-old Cub who slept in his mate’s paddock back in 1978!

Senior Exams

Our Year 11 students enter their first phase of formal exams this week and our Year 12 gentlemen are well underway with assessment interspersed throughout the term and this week. Our best wishes are extended to all of our young men for this assessment period.

One of the features of the new model of senior schooling is that the traditional rhythm of a term where assignments would be due late in the term building towards some exams at the end of the term is a thing of the past. Rather than a learn, assess and move on to new material model, there is less assessment but it is spread throughout a term or semester and the peaks and troughs of busyness are not as acute but regular and can vary a little from subject to subject. Knowledge and skills are built up throughout the journey leading towards external exams in Term 4 of Year 12 that call on what has been learned throughout the course, particularly what has been learned in Units 3 and 4 weighing 25% for numerous subjects and 50% for Maths and Science areas of study. It is a new way of being at school for students, teachers and parents throughout all Queensland schools. It requires a mode of study that is continuous and consistent throughout the year with regular revision. We will keep working together to support our Year 11 and 12 students as they become accustomed to this process. I thank all staff and parents for their support of our young men.

International Women’s Day

This coming Sunday marks International Women’s Day with the theme of “An equal world is an enabled world”. As it happens, next week, my 84-year-old father is having lunch with a group of former colleagues of my Mum. She passed away almost three years ago. The colleagues are former Senior Queensland Police Officers who are presenting Mum with a posthumous medal of service as she was the 28th woman to join the QPS and went on to become a plain clothes detective. When she was married, it was policy that women had to resign from the public service. This service medal is in recognition of the wrongdoing of this policy. It would have been nice if it happened whilst she was alive, but she loved the people who are presenting it and we are grateful for this. In some ways we have come far but there is much more to be done in our contemporary society around the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. We are not immune to this challenge at ATC and along with other all boys schools, it is important that we reflect on this theme and challenge ourselves to take action which is inclusive, respectful and empowering with women on our staff and within our community to promote the positive formation of boys and young men. On Monday 9 March, I have invited all of our women on staff and student representatives to a morning tea to gather in recognition and celebration of International Women’s Day and our inaugural guest speaker for this new tradition is Kaylene Perissinotto, a member of our College Board who practices as a Special Counsel Solicitor and is Mum to Tom and Matthew who was our representative at the United Nations Youth Australia Conference over the weekend. Congratulations Matthew! Our hope is that this forum will be the beginning of other initiatives that promote the value of an equal world is an enabled world.

Staff News

Mr Marcello Cecchi, Hospitality Teacher and Year 9 Homeroom Teacher, recently tendered his resignation as he has decided to move back to regional Queensland with his daughter at the end of term. We wish Marcello and his family all the best in their move. Marcello will conclude his time with us at the end of Week 8, March 20 this term. Arrangements will be put in place to support these classes for the final two weeks of term.

Mr Nathan Burgess has also notified us that he will be taking up a position at another school as Head of Sport. Nathan’s last day with us will be March 31. Nathan has been employed at ATC since 2016 and has been fundamental in the development and operation of the Sport Department. I have been greatly impressed by Nathan’s commitment, skills and service in my short time at the College and we thank him and wish him well as this will be an excellent opportunity for professional growth for him.

The College is presently externally recruiting for Mr Cecchi’s position and is appointing an internal acting position for Mr Burgess’ position for the remainder of the year. We are at a stage of growth and development where this position and aspects of the sports team require review for 2021. This process gives us the opportunity to commence our reflection and decision making.

God bless.

Chris Ryan

Learning to SUP today - Year 5 Camp