Congratulations and thank you to our Seniors who led the way in welcoming our new students. Our Gala Day held for students in Years 7 to 12 finished the first week of school with plenty of fun, community building and activities and this week we begin to settle deeper into our classes, routine and learning. I look forward to seeing lots of parents at our Parents and Friends Meeting, Information Evenings, our Opening Mass and activities over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you to all of our staff, both teaching and non-teaching who have worked hard to prepare the school for the new year, our many volunteers and our parent and caregiver body for helping to start the year positively. Thank you to our vibrant Parents and Friends group for their organisation and hosting of our Working Bee and welcome picnics for Year 4 and Year 7 families. I respectfully remind our community to please complete the ATC key messages for volunteers and complete the online form which promotes and supports our ATCommunity as safe and inclusive. We deeply value your contribution to the life of the school.
College Strategic Plan 2020-2022
During 2019, a significant community consultation was carried out in the formation of the new College Strategic Plan for 2020-2022. As a new Principal, I am finding it a wonderful resource! Our new College Strategic Plan has three priorities:
• Charism and Culture
• Challenge and Excellence
• Partnerships and Sustainability
Over the next few weeks, I would like to break these themes open with our community as we launch the next phase of our ATC journey.
Charism and Culture is and always will be our first priority. The term charism in the context of Catholicism refers to God-given gifts allowing individuals or a group to live their faith in a particular way. In our Edmund Rice tradition, we are guided in this by the four touchstones of our schools;
• Liberating Education where our goal is to create a culture where everyone is free to strive to be the best that they can be. At ATC we call this ‘personal excellence’.
• Gospel Spirituality where our goal is to create a culture of hope, peace and justice. At ATC, we wish to work in partnership with our parents and caregivers to form Men of Courage.
• Inclusive Community where our goal is to create a culture of mutuality, collaboration and courage which is evident both within our community and in the relationships and partnerships we form. At ATC, we celebrate the goal of ‘something for every boy’.
• Justice and Solidarity where our goal is to create a culture where our young people are formed as servant leaders of making a positive difference within their families and local, national and global communities. At ATC, this is captured in our school motto; we strive for our students and graduates to be Signum Fidei, Signs of Faith for our world.
At Ambrose Treacy, the foundation on which we stand as we seek to bring the four touchstones of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition to life are our Pillars of Learning, Leadership and Service. We are blessed with a very clear set of compass and roadmap for our strategic priority of Charism and Culture.
How can we make this accessible and understandable for our ATC boys? The leadership of our first group of seniors in 2019 in bringing our ATC Men of Courage framework to life is a key for all of us and a legacy of these pioneering young men.
C We are Compassionate
O We are Optimistic
U We are Upstanding
R We are Respectful
A We are Accountable
G We are Grateful
E We are Empowering
This year, we are particularly emphasising the values and actions of COMPASSION and OPTIMISM. Words on a page can remain just that and it is one thing to ‘talk the talk’ of compassion and optimism but of greater importance is to ‘walk the walk’ of these actions in the simple, every day and ordinary life here at the College and beyond. At our opening assembly on Wednesday last week, our College Captain, Tom Perissinotto spoke with the student body about the notion of “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good” and tied this mantra with our goals of compassion and optimism this year.
During this week, I have been overwhelmed by the friendliness of our students as they have looked me in the eye, shaken me by the hand, introduced themselves to me and had a chat. I have found this simple act of compassion for a new member of the community has made me feel very optimistic about being here! I trust that your sons and you have had a similar experience. Tom’s invitation into the 2020 journey is about doing the simple things well and our boys do that in spades. This was especially evident in the leadership of our Seniors this week. I wish Tom, College Vice Captains, Mitchell Bradshaw and Rory Kerr, our House Leaders and all Seniors the best and thank them for a great start to the year.
As an Australian, a Catholic person, a leader, a teacher, a husband and a father, I honestly can’t think of two better focus words and calls to action than compassion and optimism for our community and for the boys and young men in our care in 2020. I look forward to our 2020 journey as we use them as our inspiration and guide in all that we do.
There was certainly some good news for a few of our teachers over the holidays. I would like to congratulate Elise Moritz (nee Smith) and Kate Tyson (nee Thompson), on their recent weddings over the Christmas holiday period. Two staff members also welcomed new additions to their families: Beck Smout welcomed her second child, Charles just before Christmas and Kristle Skennar welcomed her third child, Katherine, last week. I am pleased to share that all mums and new family additions are all going well.
Date Claimer – Kick Off Cocktails
On Saturday 15 February the P&F will host their first major event of the year, a Kick Off Cocktails evening on Westcourt Deck. This is a great way for our parent community to gather and celebrate the start of a great year for the College. As an added incentive for families we will be conducting our regular raffle of a term’s tuition fees that evening. Remember you must be there to win. We keep drawing until it is claimed.
I would ask the community to please keep Sarah Hart (Coordinator Inclusive Practices) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of her Father-in-Law. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the pain of his passing.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace. Amen.