From the Principal

In recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ spiritual and cultural connection to Country and a commitment to Reconciliation, we would like to acknowledge the First Peoples and the Traditional Owners and custodians of the Country.

We respectfully acknowledge our Elders past and present and remember that they have passed on their wisdom to us in various ways. Let us hold this in trust as we work and serve our communities.

A warm welcome to today’s Term 1 Assembly, an important event in our calendar to celebrate achievements in our community and look ahead to Easter.

Our Salesian College Vision states that we are a dynamic, joy-filled learning community, that inspires all boys to strive for excellence in the spirit of Don Bosco.

Term 1, I have witnessed enthusiasm for learning, and students supporting others to be the best they can be. Walking into classrooms there has been a clear intent to by students to focus on your learning. This is important that this remains a focus.

Like all schools, Salesian as a community has encountered challenges with illness or isolation causing interruptions to learning. I thank our students and staff for your perseverance and understanding. I am proud of the many people in our school who has ensured that we were able to continue classes as planned this term.

Our community is very fortunate that we have a dynamic group of young men who want to serve others. Raising awareness for Ukraine, raising money for Caritas, collecting clothes and items impacted by the floods and initiatives like the World’s Greatest Shave allows us to put our faith in to action by serving others.

Service also has happened at our Bosco and Mannix campuses through extending a warm welcome, supporting a younger student through the peer mentoring program, acting to make our yard free of rubbish and supporting a Year 7 in transition. Each of these examples align with our values of respect and belonging.

Our Easter Story

During the past 40 days we have been preparing for Jesus’ death and the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord. Jesus spent time in the desert where he was hungry and thirsty, but remained resolute in his trust in God. Lent is the time where we are able to reflect of our faith, prepare for what it means and to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Have you ever wondered why children participate in hat parades at Easter time? Or where the Easter bunny came from? Or why chocolate eggs have become synonymous with the most important events in the Catholic calendar?

In our consumer world we can become lost in the advertising of Easter eggs, bunnies and hot cross buns. As people of faith we need to explore further the true meaning of Easter.

Whilst these rituals are symbols of contemporary Easter celebrations, it is our Catholic beliefs that underpin our behaviour and allows us to celebrate the rising of Jesus.

The celebration of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the crucifixion and death of Jesus on Good Friday and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday make this an important and uplifting week in Catholic schools and parishes.

Easter is the greatest celebration in the Catholic church because it is the completion of the Holy Week that ends with the resurrection of Jesus. Easter celebrates the beginning and foundation of Christian belief. Jesus rose from the tomb after the crucifixion, showing that He conquered sin and death. He is the only Son of God, who through this amazing resurrection, brings us closer to God and our faith.

Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first,

also went in, and he saw and believed;

for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

This resurrection of Jesus helps us to see how our faith allows us to set aside our doubts and differences, and know that we are not broken through His love for us and through the light of the world that is Jesus.

Easter is a time to remember that we are all saved. Jesus died so that we could be saved from sin, and that although we do sin as humans, if we see Him as that light that can bring us out of darkness, we can live in His light continually.

Pope Francis in pray to Mary, reminds us that,

“Amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life.”

Jesus had to accept his death on the cross to awake us. His resurrection gives us hope: Hope in divine and human love, kindness, and compassion.

The Easter resurrection of Jesus teaches and reminds us to be people of hope and optimism, renewed by our faith.

And the answer to my questions?

In the mid-1800s in New York when upper class families would attend Easter services they then emerge wearing new bonnets in celebration of the spring season.

Rabbits are known for reproducing in large numbers and are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.

The egg is also an ancient symbol of new life and in that way is also a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let me wish each of you all the blessings of the Easter Season.  Let us find joy in the simpler things we are being invited to notice.  Let us find hope in the resurrection and in each other.  This Easter Season may you be released from your burdens of worry and may your hearts fill with the hope of new life.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday with family and friends.

Mark Ashmore