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New Life

New life has burst into action at ATC over the past few days. This year, we have 1321 students and 185 staff. Over 200 of our boys are new to the College and we have 33 new members of staff so along with the smiling faces (mostly!) of our returning students and staff, there is plenty of new life as we begin our 2021 journey.

Christmas can be a profoundly special and meaningful time. It can also be a time of struggle and isolation for some in our community, but I hope it has been a time for some renewal, rest, and re-energising for our families. The birth of God in the person of Jesus, is the birth of compassion and hope for our world and it is a world that is crying out for both.

Our extended family welcomed Number 41 on debut on Christmas Day. His name is Hugo, and he is my 7th great nephew or niece. He was super popular on debut and the look of wonder that is in his eyes in this photo I took of him captures that yearning for connection, relationship, and love that we all have. We welcome our new families into our community here at ATC and we look forward to their contribution and all they will bring to our story.

My hope is that in 2021 we can be the face of God for each other in our community and in so doing, the face of compassion, optimism and hope for our young people as they are for us.

We enjoyed a positive, calm, and relational first week at school. Thank you to everyone who made the beginning of the year an enjoyable time. I thank and congratulate our Year 12 students who have enacted their theme of ‘Belong’ immediately, through their strong and sincere engagement with our Year 4 and Year 7 students at the Brotherhood events last Thursday.

Our Gala Day last Friday was a tremendous success and an enjoyable day where, I hope, our new Years 7 to 11 students began to feel even more connected. Congratulations to the Saints, Connacht House on their victory. It was also great to welcome so many of our Year 4 boys and their parents to an afternoon of games on Saturday.

Parent Information Evenings

Key staff look forward to welcoming parents and caregivers to our information evenings this week on Monday (Senior School, Years 10 and 11 – 6pm to 7pm). Wednesday (Middle School 6pm for Year 7 parents and 6.30 pm for Year 8 and 9 in Home Rooms) and Thursday (Junior School 6pm for Year 4 parents and new Year 5 and 6 parents and 6.30pm for Year 5 and 6 in Home Rooms).

Under the current guidelines, we respectfully request that just one parent per family attends please as Nudgee Junior Hall has a maximum capacity of 160 persons and our classrooms for Home Room meetings have a capacity of 34. We look forward to a time where these guidelines are further relaxed, and we can return to having more parents at these and other occasions.

Traffic and Our Neighbours

I am increasingly concerned about how the volume of traffic associated with the College is impacting on our neighbours in nearby streets. We are very conscious of our responsibilities in our local community, and I seek your support to ensure that we are mindful and considerate of our neighbours.

I expressly request that ATC parents and caregivers do not use the Workout Indooroopilly Gym car park, either as a pickup point or as a method for driving through, as doing so inconveniences the owners and their clients. Another area of concern is when parents park away from the College and walk to a traffic island and call for a student cross the street. This is a very dangerous practice and must stop please.

Last week I wrote about sensitivity to our residential neighbours. Parking in the nearby streets for pick up causes significant congestion and I have received correspondence from some neighbours that they cannot enter or exit their street or home at times because ATC cars are parked near and even over their driveways. Twigg Street is particularly of concern as it is narrow. I specifically highlight Twigg Street and Boundary Road as a concern as parking on both sides of a narrow road causes severe congestion and parking over driveways shows complete disrespect to our neighbours.

I understand that the volume of traffic at the conclusion of the school day is significant, but safety is a shared commitment. I ask parents and caregivers to join the ‘system’ that is in place, follow our road rules, travel slowly through the campus and exercise patience. As the Co-curricular Program gets fully underway, the traffic will be somewhat more staggered, but this will continue to be an issue for us as a school community nestled within a suburban context. Your support as a community member is vital and appreciated.

Volunteer Training for Child Safeguarding

An important aspect of the culture of hospitality, partnership, and service we share is through our many volunteers across the life of the College. A responsibility we share as adults is the provision of a safe and caring environment for our young people in all that we do, and this is reflected in our compliance policies and procedures. All visitors and volunteers must review the Key Messages for Visitors and Volunteers document and please click here to complete the online training which only takes a few minutes. We will keep a record of which parents/caregivers have completed the training. Unfortunately, if you have not completed the online acknowledgement, you will be unable to volunteer in various activities across the College. Your support with this is greatly appreciated.

Child Safeguarding Policy and Practice

Further to this, Edmund Rice Education schools have a strong commitment to the safeguarding of children and clear policies and practices that we promote and follow here at Ambrose Treacy College. Mandatory reporting of all concerns that are in the interests of protecting our young people’s safety and well-being is a priority at our school. I encourage all parents and caregivers to preview our Child Safeguarding policies and information on the College website under the ‘Community’ tab. I encourage all parents and caregivers to feel comfortable to contact a member of our Child Safeguarding Team if you have a question or require some assistance or support. Our Counselling Team are an excellent resource in this and other regards and I share Staff contact details below:

Junior School Siobhan Brophy
Middle School: Jane Ellice
Senior School: Keith Halpin
Mr Conor Finn, Dean of Formation chairs our Safeguarding Team.

God bless.

Chris Ryan

ATC Seniors 2021