A warm welcome back to the College to Mr David Gardiner, Deputy Principal following his leave. Thank you to Mr Conor Finn, Mr Sam Brown and Mr Jared D’Roza for their work in acting positions whilst Mr Gardiner was away. Welcome back to Ms Shani Maclean, Ms Varna Metcalf, Mr Paul Reeves and Mr David Tobin from leave. Please refer to the Coming Up blog from Mr Conor Finn which outlines other staff changes and we warmly welcome all new staff to the College.
Sadly, Mr Damian Steele, Director of Co-curricular Sport and Culture has been appointed to a leadership and administration role in sport outside of the education sector over the break. We warmly congratulate Damian and thank him for his significant contribution to our Co-curricular Program growth over the past three and a half years. Damian will conclude his time at the College in Week 4 of this term.
Year 11 Leadership Camp
Our Year 11 students embark on their Leadership Camp this week. This is a special signpost experience for the entire group and a part of the discernment process in selecting their leadership representatives for 2023. All Senior students play a key leadership role within our community, and we wish them well for this time and thank our Heads of House and the Formation Team for their coordination of this event.
Ambrose Treacy College is proud to join our nation in celebrating NAIDOC week this week. As a Catholic community, we celebrate this special week by gathering for Eucharistic Liturgy and I thank our College Chaplain, Father John Gillen for celebrating Mass with us. We are equally proud of our partnership with the Clontarf Foundation and of our 36 students who culturally identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island people. This year’s theme of Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! is an imperative challenge and invitation to both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together. We look forward to sharing in culture through the leadership of our Clontarf students this week.
As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition, every five years, the College is visited by a panel of senior representatives from Edmund Rice Education Australia and Brisbane Catholic Education to review the College’s progress since the time of the previous renewal. ATC was last visited in 2016 in the second year of the development of the new school when it was up to students in Year 9 and 40 teachers on staff! There has been quite a lot go on in the ensuing years!
This consultative process includes student, parent and staff voices and we look forward to the visitation by the panel which will take place in Week 3 of this term. Following this, at this stage of our development, we believe that it is timely for the College to engage with the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) National School Improvement Tool, and we have accessed funding through the Queensland Catholic Education Commission to undertake this process in Term One next year. This process measures our development and progress against nine domains common to all schools and sets of data developed by ACER.
These two rigorous sets of data will inform our 2024-2026 Strategic Plan which we will develop and articulate in the second half of 2023.
The play and eating space project next to the river behind the Middle School precinct has been some time coming since being damaged during the flood in February. We are excited now that it is only a week or two away with the final touch being safety rails installed this week for the stairs and ramp ways. We are undergoing a consultative process with local indigenous representatives with regards to a special name for this community space.
Over the last year, we have been working with M3 Architecture to design a significant project for the Waterford Senior School precinct. There are three aspects of this project:
• A three- story building which will face the current Senior school Waterford building and includes a new Senior School Reception, a 200-person lecture theatre and staff spaces on the ground floor and fourteen extra classrooms on floors two and three along with a large undercroft covered area for gathering and eating spaces, bathrooms, and arrival to the Senior School precinct.
• An extension of the Hospitality teaching and learning facilities through where the current Senior School Reception and offices are.
• An extension of the Tipperary Staffroom space to double the seating capacity which allows for all secondary school staff to be centrally located together in the Tipperary and Waterford zones and for the top floor of the Edmund Rice building to be freed up for non-educational offices such as Finance and Human Resources.
Over the course of the year in planning, the economic environment has changed significantly which will present a more challenging cost point when we come to tender in September/October. Having benefitted significantly from the grant block authority when building the College, we are not in a position to apply for funding but through careful stewardship and planning, are in a position to build this much needed expanded classroom space for opening during 2024. However, we are carefully analysing and monitoring the potential costs of this multi-tiered project and will need to make informed decisions in the coming months.
The College is currently at 95% room occupancy in the timetable and in general, a more workable ratio is nearer to 85% which this project will provide. This Waterford duplication project also future proofs the College for further master planned projects such as the demolition of Nudgee Junior Hall and the surrounding demountables and connected Year 7 classrooms for a Performing Arts precinct at some point in ATC’s future. A Community Hall and Sport Facility is earmarked in master planning prior to this project and is the next priority in our capital works planning post the Waterford project. The ultimate cost of our Waterford Project will inform the timing of our Community Hall and Sport Facility project. I will keep the community informed of this progress in the coming months.
God bless.Chris Ryan