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Friday, June 2nd 2017

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Term 2 Week 6: From the Principal

Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat

pic 2Today we celebrated the life of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. At liturgies across the College, we recognised and affirmed the Marist Project, which commenced two hundred years ago. Recently visiting the sacred places where Marcellin lived and worked provided much insight into the vision he espoused to make Jesus Christ known and loved in a country (France) that had ostracised the Church.

In post-revolutionary France the Catholic Church had, in effect, been taken over by the state. Its premise, its actions and values were being critiqued by society. The Marist Project established by Marcellin was a response to an uncertain time. It was the birth of a spirituality; a distinct path to Christian discipleship that saw education as a means of sharing in the mission of God.

Pic 1Marcellin’s vision for learning was that young people would become virtuous citizens, committed to participating and transforming society. In 1817 in rural southern France, his ministry engaged dislocated and disconnected youth. He recruited young people to become Marist Fathers, Brothers and Sisters to be teachers who would walk with and support millions of young students across the world.

At Newman College today we carry this Marist Project forward. We celebrate this vision by how we seek to be transformative in an ever complex world. Ultimately, we seek to create an educational environment which harnesses the potential to engage, affirm and empower the students in our care. As a faith-oriented context, our school needs to continue its evangelising mission whilst striving to be a centre of excellence, which continually reflects upon its practices. We cannot lose our primary mission, which is relational. Today our celebration of being Marist is consistent with fifty or so other schools across the country. We, in solidarity, value our tradition looking forward to a future with the same hope and aspiration as our founder did in a small rural hamlet in the south of France La Valla 200 years ago.

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Marist Meetings
Earlier this week I attended meetings in the Eastern States with principals from Marist governed schools across Australia. One of the major issues addressed was that of future funding. I wish to assure our families that Marist Schools Australia is working closely with relevant Government bodies to ensure the best outcome for our schools. I will keep families updated as more information comes to hand.

2016 Annual Report
The publishing of an Annual School Report is a requirement of all Principals. The Report provides parents and guardians and the wider College community with information about how the school has met its strategic direction, key student outcomes, workplace composition, teacher standards and qualifications, student attendance and levels of satisfaction. The reporting of these requirements meets the accountability for the Australian Government and the System Agreement for the State Government. I invite parents and guardians to view the 2016 Annual Report by clicking here.

PK-12 Psychological Services
As indicated in an earlier newsletter, the College is engaging an external consultant to review the psychological services offered across the campuses to ensure that the needs of all students PK-12 are met in a timely and effective manner. The College Administration is acutely aware of the imperative of having the best possible services in place at the earliest possible time.

With the departure of Jackie Cesareo, and while this review is underway, School Psychologist, Denise Bendotti, is allocating time at the primary campuses, complementing the services of our Social Worker at the Primary school, Caryl Gioia.

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