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Renewed Energy for a New Term

Welcome back to the final term of the year. The first week back has started well and most students seem settled and the normal routine of life at ATC has quickly slipped into place. If the holidays were a hive of activity in your household, I hope then that the return to school allowed you to return to some degree of normality.

The start of a new term always brings with it a great deal of renewed energy and vigour and this term is no different. My feelings over the first week back have been that the recent holidays have been an ideal opportunity for re-energising the batteries for staff and students alike and I am looking forward to what is always a busy last term at the College.

New Students

I would like to extend a warm welcome to five new students who commenced their ATC journey with us last week. Aidan Crouch (Year 7), Edward Gracey and Jackson Vory (Year 8), Joseph Donnelly and Simon Martinez Laverde (Year 9) all began last week, and it has been pleasing to see them quickly settle into life at the College.

Waterford West Building

The start of this term has also realised the completion of the last stage of our planned master building program and the completion of the Waterford West wing. Complementing the Waterford East building, this wing will open an additional ten new general teaching spaces, a new office for the Heads of House and a common room space for the year 12 students. I would like to congratulate our builders, Bryant Construction, for their energetic work to finish the construction on time and importantly they worked with us to see the building come in on budget as well.

This final stage has been the fourth stage of our master building plan for the opening of ATC. The first stage realised the conversion of the main Edmund Rice building, the second stage saw the completion of the Callan, Westcourt and Kilkenny buildings as well as important carparking and internal roadworks, whilst the third stage produced the Tipperary East and West, Waterford East and the St Francis Xavier centre as well as external road infrastructure including the traffic lights on Kate Street. It has been a long journey since construction began in 2014 to allow our opening in 2015. For most families who have been with us from the start, construction has seemed to be a constant companion for us.

The completion of the Waterford West Building reaching out to Kate Street completes a major focus for our senior school. The ‘mass’ of the Waterford building gives an imposing presence to the western end of our campus. The three-storey building has a basement on the western end as the land slopes away and given that Kate Street sit another floor below this basement, the top floor is actually five stories above the street. I am eagerly awaiting the final signage that will sit on the feature brick western wall; it will add a distinctive ‘labelling’ to our presence in this western corridor. I would like to acknowledge the great work of our architects Fulton Trotter Architects who have diligently worked with us on this journey. Their attention to detail and their creative flair have realised a wonderful campus. Similarly, I would like to acknowledge that this last building was made possible due to the financial support of the State Government through the Queensland Catholic Education Commission Capital Building New School Funding. We will have an opportunity to formally acknowledge all the support we have received when the building is officially opened early next year.

Year 12 2020 Leaders

The changes to the senior school QCE processes will realise several changes to the year 11 and 12 landscape. One of these changes will be the external examinations associated with the new ATAR allocation for the year 12 students seeking a pathway to tertiary study. These examinations will see term 4 for year 12 students taking a strong focus and their presence at and around the College will be reduced. With this change we have taken the decision to see our year 11 students take on their student leadership roles in term 4 to allow our year 12 students to focus fully on these important exams.

On Tuesday morning as a part of our welcome back assembly, we inducted our elected senior leaders for 2020. Played in by an Irish bagpiper, the occasion was significant, and it realised the start on an important new tradition at the College. Conor Finn, our Dean of Formation, introduced a new concept, story and connection with the unveiling of the Stone of Courage that harks back to the ancient Irish mythology around the Stone of Destiny. Tradition is always an important feature of Colleges and the student leaders’ assembly certainly laid an important foundation for our student leader journey. I congratulate our elected leaders on their appointment, and I am confident that the College will continue to be blessed with exceptional role models for our younger students.

Jazz by the River

I hope to see many of you this Saturday at our fifth annual Jazz by the River event. Jazz by the River is our major community event for the year, and it celebrates much of our cultural life at the College. From an extensive art display of all art students’ work, to sumptuous picnic style eats, to our own talented students showcasing their remarkable jazz music talents to an all-star jazz performance finishing the night, the event has it all. As has been the case previously we look forward to a bumper crowd as we gather around the amphitheatre of our internal drop off zone. The art displays will be showcased in the Nudgee Junior Hall with opening night of ARTery on Thursday from 4pm. I would encourage you all to join us for our major community gathering for the year.

Prayers

Life is often filled with sadness and the recent holidays were no exception. I would ask the community to please keep Aidan Willimott (9 Campbell) and Ryan Webb (11 Connaught) and their families in your thoughts and prayers following the sudden sad passing of their fathers Ken and Michael. Both Aiden and Ryan were very close to their fathers and their sudden passings have left an enormous void in their lives and their families’ lives. I would also ask the community to please keep Harrison Quin (Year 10, Leinster 3), Harlen Taylor (7 Wynne) Joe Drane (7 Treacy) and their families in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of Harrison’s Grandmother, Harlen’s Great Grandfather and Joe’s Uncle Adrian.

During the holidays I was aware of the sad passing of Damian Griffin. Damian is an old boy and former parent of the College and he is the uncle of Jacob Craig in Year 4. Damian has bravely fought a 19-year battle with his brain cancer, and he has been an inspiration to all he met with his positive and determined attitude. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain for all these families following the passing of their loved ones.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen

Congratulations

I would like to congratulate one of our teachers, Simon Martin on the recent birth of his son. Simon and Rachel welcomed Rafferty Xavier into the world at 3.8kg and 53cm long on Monday 30 September. Both Rachel and Rafferty are well and as you can imagine Simon has a very wide smile as he spends some quality time with his expanded family.

With best wishes

Michael Senior