A warm welcome back to all students and staff for Term 4.
As we commence Term 4, our hope is that the holiday period has provided an opportunity for relaxation and family time so that you are ready to return with a sense of optimism and purpose. This term looks to be exciting and hope filled as we look to welcome students and staff back to our Bosco and Mannix campuses.
I feel humbled and blessed to have been chosen to lead this great dynamic Catholic school by the Board and the Salesians.
I acknowledge the outstanding contribution by Neil Carter who has admirably led the College community as the Acting Principal in what has been an extremely challenging and uncertain time. Neil has demonstrated a commitment to the wellbeing and learning of all members of the Salesian community and as a result Salesian College has continued to flourish with his leadership. Thank you.
As students you have continued to adapt to the challenges associated with COVID-19 with determination to improve your learning. I have been fortunate to get some insight in Term 3 to your commitment to school events, activities and classes and I have been very impressed by the contribution of our young men. Whilst we are in home learning each of you have a choice…I encourage you to continue to make a choice to study hard, complete all work tasks to the best of your ability and to seek regular feedback from your teachers. This is easier said than done without the connection on campus to your peers and teachers. Each of you are finding ways to learn at home and I commend you for your perseverance. It is important to acknowledge that the skills and resilience you are developing during this time of remote learning will be critical in your future studies, work and family life.
Hopefully you had an opportunity during the holidays to contemplate the circumstances that we find ourselves. The opportunity to reconnect with family, contribute to chores at home and have access to a quality Salesian education is important to recognise and be thankful to God.
We are mindful of the dedicated work of the senior students who have taken advantage of the significant revision program over the past weeks in preparation for their upcoming examinations. Well done to all involved and thank you to the staff for supporting practice exams and revision lessons during their break.
Tomorrow we welcome our Year 11 and 12 students studying Unit 3-4 subjects for the GAT and later in the week our Year 12 VCAL students to school. The boys will be appropriately recognised at the upcoming Valedictory Assembly on Friday 22 October.
Thank you to our Year 12s who have been so admirable in their approach to their studies and commitment to the College. A special thanks to the exceptional student leadership of Steven Tran, Keelan Corcoran, Robbie Miller and other Years 12s who have continued to foster student morale and a learning culture. We wish each Year 12 VCE student all the best with their exams and for VCAL students every success in completing final requirements for their certificate.
For students in Years 7-11, we will continue to support your learning via remote learning for the next three weeks before we welcome you back to school. We are very much looking forward to welcoming each of you back on campus, reconnecting you with your peers and teachers, and providing learning opportunities under necessary restrictions to ensure meaningful Salesian experiences.
I have been buoyed by the exceptional calibre of our Year 11 student leaders who will play a key role in the transition of learning back to our Bosco and Mannix campuses. We will continue to pray and discern which boys will lead our College in 2022, with an announcement to be shared with the community in the near future.
To our parents, thank you. You have continued to entrust your son/s into our care and have supported initiatives that have nurtured and supported his faith, wellbeing and learning during the lockdown.
Throughout my transition last Term, I gained a sense that our teachers are doing exceptional work in providing a Catholic school for boys in the Salesian tradition that is welcoming, celebrates diversity and promotes relationships built on mutual respect. Likewise, they have promoted high expectations for your son to strive for academic excellence through innovative and supportive teaching, creating a sense of belonging and community, and promoting a sense of hope and optimism for each boy.
It is my hope that it is sooner rather than later that we can welcome parents back onto the school grounds to pray, to learn and to celebrate together as community. I encourage you to contact your son’s Oratory teacher, subject teachers or Year Level Coordinator if you have any concerns regarding your son’s wellbeing and learning.
With the government roadmap opening up in October and suggesting a higher incidence of COVID cases there will no doubt be varying levels of emotions amongst students, parents and staff. Salesian is committed to building a caring community and I have no doubt the support and love from one another will continue as we seek to understand each other in coming weeks. The College Leadership Team has repeatedly met during Term 3 and the holidays to prepare for a return to school to help ensure the safety of all. I thank the team for this important work.
To mitigate the chances of COVID transmission, it is imperative that we each role model COVID safe protocols during our time on campus. Correctly wearing a mask, sanitising and social distancing are measures that will help. Whilst mandated for all staff to be vaccinated, I encourage eligible students and their families to partake in vaccination to help protect their school, community and family. Most important is that if you are unwell or are exposed to a COVID case, stay at home and get tested, thus ensuring the safety of our wonderful community. Further details will soon be provided regarding the COIVD Safe Plan and returning to school.
I encourage each of you this term to come from the heart; by caring for one another and being open to promoting relationships built on mutual respect in the weeks ahead.
Let us continue to pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus and Help of Christians, for her loving motherly protection.
Omnia Omnibus (All things to all people).
Mr Mark Ashmore