I am delighted that we have had a positive start to the year. It has been fabulous to welcome all our new Year 7 students and students who have joined us in other year levels. The students have all settled well into the year and I am looking forward to a productive and fun year.

Our theme for 2022 is ‘Daring to Live with Courage’. There is no doubt that over the last couple of years, we have been challenged to live with courage as we have navigated the many challenges presented to us due to the global pandemic.

To live with courage is to be your authentic self. To have the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Sometimes that is not easy, particularly if it goes against what everybody else is thinking and doing. To be courageous is to turn up with all your heart, to be vulnerable, to show joy and to see God’s love in all.

There are many people that we can look to, to show us what daring to live with courage looks like. The courage that Mary and Joseph showed when called to be the parents of Jesus. The courage of Mary MacKillop, who chose to live a life of service to God and establish the Sisters of St Joseph, and the courage of Jesus who trusted in God and in what he was called to do and be for us. There are many examples of courageous people in all faith traditions that can and do inspire us to be people who dare to live with courage and love.

In our contemporary world, we only need to look to our current Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, a man who has shown great courage throughout his life as he endured discrimination due to his disability. A man that has attitude and courage. A man who is his authentic self. He has the courage to challenge people to accept people for who they are, he is a real advocate for people with disabilities. He has inspired us to be courageous and to love with all our heart.

This year, I encourage us all to have:

The Courage to trust in God;

The Courage to be ourselves;

The Courage to show our vulnerability;

The Courage to take risks;

The Courage to challenge;

The Courage to stand up for what is just;

And the Courage to love.

It was delightful for us to welcome back a number of our 2021 VCE/VCAL high achieving students for an awards ceremony to acknowledge their success.

We are incredibly proud of our College VCE Dux, Vivian Wei, who received an ATAR of 97.85. Vivian’s ATAR puts her in the top 3% of the State. We are equally proud of the College VCAL Dux, Olivia Tsakalofas. Both Vivian and Olivia have been dedicated and hardworking students who have made a great contribution to College life throughout their six years.

Congratulations also to Elana Kralefska who received a perfect study score of 50 for Product Design. As you can imagine, achieving a perfect score is no easy feat! It takes a lot of hard work, determination and dedication. We are so very proud of Elana and what she has achieved.

Our annual swimming carnival was held on Monday 21 February. The students attending participated with much enthusiasm and it was great to see so many impressive times throughout the day. Congratulations to Providence House who were victorious on the day. My thanks to Tom Dicker, Sports and Co-Curricular Leader, for his great planning and organisation for the day. I am so very proud of our Student House Leaders who encouraged and supported the students so that they could do their very best and also have fun. Thank you to the many staff who assisted on the day and a special thank you to the staff who participated in the student verses staff activities, it is always a highlight of the day.

Thank you to parents and carers for Covid testing your child/children twice a week and have informed us of any cases. As you may be aware, the twice weekly testing will continue until the end of Term 1. Information in regard to our Covid Safe Plans for the camps scheduled in the last week of term will be provided in the coming weeks.

During last year, I commenced working with a number of people in order to address a number of bus issues that the College was concerned about. We have engaged the services of Movement and Place Consulting, a transport and planning consultancy firm to assist us with this project.

As we continue to work through Term 1, please be aware of the numerous activities that are planned over the coming weeks and be assured that all Covid safe requirements are being adhered to.

I encourage and challenge all members of our wonderful community to continue to be open to all the amazing learning, faith and wellbeing opportunities that the year will bring. Let us all embrace our theme, ‘Daring to Live with Courage’.

Kate Dishon