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From the Principal

Dear St Michael’s College Community,

As we come to the end of the year for some of our secondary year levels, it is important for us to maintain our connections with friends and families through the holiday period. We need to ensure our young people are keeping their bodies and minds healthy following what has been an exceptional year particularly with the COVID-19 disruptions of Semester 1.

A pastoral initiative this year has been a focus on a positive mindset which Mr Williams expresses in the article below.

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

Article written by Mr Matthew Williams, Deputy Principal Pastoral

“Let go” – Resilience Project by Hugh Van Cuyleburg

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students,

I recently read the book ‘Let Go’ by Hugh Van Cuylenberg, the founder of the Resilience Project. Several of the statements and strategies in the book resonated with me, and I want to share these with you as a part of our Catholic community.

Hugh talks about staying connected and conversational with our young people. He encourages parents to have regular conversations with their children and let them know it is okay to be vulnerable and not to be judged or feel the need to be protected by opinions.

A young person’s ability to develop and connect with others is being hampered by a dependence on electronic devices. Data from 2019 showed that Australians would spend, on average, more than forty-six hours a week peering at their screens. This was before COVID! Data also shows that we check our smartphones approximately 85 times a day. There is a name for this, it’s called ‘Nomophobia’, the fear of being without a smartphone. For people to reduce the amount of time spent on devices, research shows that individual flow activities need to be identified. This could be going for a walk, playing sports, board games, going to the beach or spending time with family and friends.

A few strategies which can assist include:

  • Delete all social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram from our smartphones, and if we need to use them, have them only on our laptops.
  • Turn off all notifications. They only exist to encourage us to use an app on our phones.
  • Remove all addictive apps on our home screens.
  • If possible, leave phones at home when you go out.

I encourage all of us to connect more with those around us by communicating in person as much as possible. Find activities that are important to us, that we enjoy and can do with others, or alone. When we ask our children the same questions about finding activities they enjoy, they can find their own flow and become more positive, focused, and happy.

Mr Damian Patton, Principal