Dear St Michael’s College Community,
College Leadership Announcements
As you are aware, in Board Chair Marie Dorrington’s recent communication, she referred to the Board’s exciting challenge of selecting a new Principal for St Michael’s College. As Marie indicated however, “this process may take time, and the commencement date of the new Principal may not be until well into the new year. As such, the Board has appointed Damian Patton, Deputy Principal, an experienced educational leader, to the position of Acting Principal for Term 1, 2022. Damian will also work with John for Term 4, 2021, to ensure a smooth transition into 2022”.
In line with this announcement and to enable the best possible transition process, Damian will assume broader College wide leadership responsibilities during Term 4 prior to taking up the Acting Principal position. We wish Damian all the best, thank him for his willingness to accept these roles, and know that he will have the full support of the St Michael’s College community.
In doing so, I’m also pleased to announce that during both Term 4 2021 and Term 1 2022, Damian McNamara will undertake the role of Acting Deputy Principal – Primary and Nathan Rose that of Acting Director – Student Wellbeing & Administration at the Primary Campus. Again, we wish Damian and Nathan all the best in these important leadership roles.
College Captains’ De La Salle Day Address
Each year, our College Captains address the school community on De La Salle Day and I thank and congratulate Alice and Sebastian on this year’s wonderful address. Below is an excerpt that I would encourage all to read:
Good morning everyone! Welcome to De La Salle Day – 2021!
It is incredible to be able to stand in front of you all again, after another crazy, unpredictable year, with all that’s going on in the world and be reminded of how lucky we are to be a part of such an inclusive, fun, rewarding Lasallian community… a culture so steeped in tradition, yet relevant to us all today.
Now we know that most of you have heard the story of our Founder, St John Baptist de La Salle before, but today we celebrate the achievements of the Lasallian Brothers and the story of how their determination and resilience left a lasting legacy on our world. Saint John Baptist believed that education gave hope and opportunity for all people to lead a life of dignity and freedom, which could not be more relevant to the world today. He dedicated his life to education and training teachers to be role models, have strong leadership skills and teach with purpose and passion. He saw value in the experience and passions of every person, no matter their status, and gave dignity to those who had lost it. The forming Brothers provided a modern education (for the time), to many homeless children, allowing them to become inspired, and take on a completely new, positive way of life.
As Lasallians, we are challenged to reach out and help others, no matter their circumstances. At St Michael’s, individuality and uniqueness is embraced. Within the fences that encase our school, we see elite sportspeople, talented musicians, tradespeople, artists, writers, future lawyers, doctors, police officers, and others with their own, unique paths. Many children around the world do not experience the simple joys of childhood and youth due to poverty, war, sickness and other terrible circumstances that we could never even fathom. So, instead of taking our incredible place in the world for granted, we must grab life with both hands, dare to dream, and breathe in this wonderful elixir that was part of a Lasallian vision 300 years ago. Let us remind you that youthfulness is not necessarily about the years counted on the old-o-meter, but it is about the spirit and passion that radiates when we embrace the gifts of nature, community and love. We must take leaps of faith, get out of our comfort zone, and find our own, unique purpose and mission. So today, in what we like to call the ‘festival of youth,’ we hope you can get out of your comfort zone, and participate in as many of today’s activities as you can, whilst remembering the values of inclusivity and uniqueness.
One of the most important aspects of human spirit is dignity. Dignity means to be respected and valued for who you are, what you believe in, and how you live your life. Simply put, treating other people with dignity means treating people the way we would like to be treated, something that we as a College hold in very high regard. Importantly, dignity is part of the glue that holds many of our relationships together. The mutual recognition between one another about their desire to be heard, seen, listened to, treated fairly; to be understood, recognised and to feel safe in this world allows us to feel a sense of freedom, a sense of independence and a life filled with opportunity, hope and possibility. This directly relates to what De La Salle intended with the Brothers and his teachings: to give the less fortunate the opportunity to achieve their dreams, to help people understand that they are indeed worth something, that their current situation does not define who they can become. At St Michael’s, we aim to live this ideology day-to-day in the way that we treat one another and the value we place on our opportunities.
To the younger year levels, you are on the road to becoming the person you are choosing to be. In doing this, you will meet people of all ages, with different life stories, varying backgrounds, with different views and values. We challenge you to be curious. We challenge you to use your voice. We challenge you to take hold of your Lasallian education which is teaching you to be the uplifting, resilient, strong-minded person that you are, and will continue to be.
To the Year 12’s, this year has brought us all closer together, solidifying our friendships, and teaching us resilience that we will take with us into a bright future. We are just so proud of you. Let’s smash next term and exams!
Moving forward, we hope to keep these themes of dignity, youth, individuality and diversity in the forefront of our minds. We are challenged to open our hearts and minds to the opportunities that present themselves when we begin to explore the wonderful, individual, diverse journeys of the people that surround you.
Alice Kneebone and Sebastian Leaney