During our recent campus assembly, we acknowledged the achievements of many students. It was a pleasure to publicly thank students who truly immerse themselves in life at St Francis Xavier College. We congratulated our winning team for taking out first prize for the third year in a row at the Schools on Stage completion; we congratulated our SIS athletes and Teen Chef competitors. Izaiah Roch shared his experience walking the Kokoda Trail. Our College Colours recipients were also presented with their stars.
BRONZE: Kristina Szabo, Alicia Mirabile, Jessica Sutherland
SILVER: Victoria Franco
GOLD: Declan Floyd
The 2019 Student Leadership process continues. I would like to sincerely thank all students who have submitted applications for the various leadership roles available at St Francis Xavier College. Our students are keen to demonstrate servant leadership within our school community. The following 10 students will proceed to the next stage of the process as they seek to be appointed College Captain.
Last year, we commenced planning for the Winter Sleepout as an attempt to spread awareness of homelessness in our community and spread the love of social justice. The ultimate goal for the event was to generate empathy and change the participant’s perspective on the homelessness issue altogether – and hence, influence more community engagement between our College community and our local charities.
As it was an event to fundraise and establish a sense of solidarity between the participants and those who are sleeping rough, there were multiple opportunities for students to emulate the homelessness issue on our campus grounds. Throughout the night, there were workshops where students could put themselves in the shoes of a person experiencing homelessness, such as:
Despite how enjoyable the activities were, the workshops were a way to educate and engage the students.
Furthermore, dinner (which was provided by the Berwick Soup Van) as well as the free time towards the conclusion of the night allowed people to mingle and create new friendships. As planners of the event, it was integral to have like-minded students share their passion for social justice in an environment where they were comfortable in. Participants have also written personal reflections on the event:
“I really enjoyed the activities of the winter sleepout because they were quite fun but also conveyed a strong message that donations to charity should not be your trash, and homelessness is not just those sleeping on the streets but those who don’t have a place to call home. The Winter Sleepout has definitely changed my perspective of homelessness and now I know all the ways I can contribute to help overcome this common issue.” – Anastasia Ramdoo
“Winter Sleepout allowed me to become more empathetic towards the situations of people experiencing homelessness. It was good to learn about their struggles with other who are also empathetic and how we can make a difference to the lives of those who are not as fortunate as us.” – Scarlett
“Winter Sleepout was a great experience which enlightened our knowledge of the struggles and challenges that people experiencing homelessness face on a daily basis. It was also an opportunity to change lives as we helped raise funds for the St Vincent De Paul society. We participated in many activities, such as packing backpacks, hosting a fashion show and building forts out of cardboard. Although it was fun, we are now able to understand the stand against poverty, and empathise for people experiencing homelessness.” – Danielle Wilkinson
When we finished with the event, students were asked to reflect on their night, and share what they have learnt. Fortunately, the 2018 Winter Sleepout was a success and we hope that more students take the chance to combat social justice issues in the future.
Performing Arts Camp
On 31 August, 64 Students travelled down to Don Bosco Camp in Dromana to take part in a performing arts camp for two days. Students from Drama, Theatre Studies, Music and Dance took part in an extensive weekend of practise and technique in preparation for Unit 2 assessment and end of year VCAA examinations.
Students worked intensively with teachers and Guest practitioners who analysed their work and gained feedback to enhance and refine the criteria for assessment and examinations. Music Lecturer Dr William Miles from Monash University came to assess Unit 4 students work giving instrument specific feedback and sharing common strategies for their music performances. Chimene Steele – Prior from Chunky Move Contemporary Dance Company in Melbourne came to work with units 2 and 4 Dance students to work on technique and composition workshops. Gina Michael a Hip Hop specialist from “Ascendant Crew” also came and ran a technique workshop.
Drama Students spent time practising their solos pieces for their end of year examinations and assessments and Theatre Studies students read, analysed, planned and cast a new play they are working on which is Bertolt Brechts “Caucasian Chalk Circle” for Unit 2 study in Modern Theatre.
The workshops equated to two full weeks of classes and the students worked incredibly hard to ensure they were getting the best advice from their teachers and practitioners. Overall the camp was very positive and successful. The students gained a lot from the VCE workshops and there was a great sense of friendship, collaboration and community.
Tracey Shields-Anderson (Camp Coordinator)
In coming weeks, students across the College will be given a Student Profile survey to complete within an allocated Caregroup time. The purpose of the survey is to gather information about individual students’ language, literacy and cultural backgrounds, as well as their education experience. The aim is for subject teachers to have access to this information so that they may more effectively support their students in accessing, comprehending and using English (Standard Australian English) within their classrooms. The College will only use this information internally.
Given students’ oral language skills develop far more quickly than their reading and writing skills the need to develop a profile of their linguistic backgrounds is imperative to teachers’ ability to address individual learning needs. Information collected will be used to facilitate the identification of practical teaching and learning strategies.
Diana Di Conza.
The care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people is a central and fundamental responsibility of Catholic education. At St Francis Xavier we have a zero tolerance for child abuse and are committed to acting in children’s best interests and keeping them safe from harm. The College regards its child protection responsibilities with the utmost importance and as such, is committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure compliance with all relevant child protection laws and regulations and maintain a child safe culture. St. Francis Xavier College is please to support the National Child Prevention week in its efforts to build a Culture of Child Protection in our community.
National Child Protection Week will run from Fathers’ Day Sunday 2 September to 8 September with a range of campaigns, events, and announcements to support the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and remind us that protecting children is everyone’s business.
NAPCAN Deputy CEO, Leesa Water, urges Australians to start thinking about child abuse as something that can be prevented rather than a problem to be fixed after the fact.
“Most people are surprised the learn that approximately 1 in 32 children are the victims of substantiated child abuse each year in Australia.
“And these are just the ones that are severe enough to reach the high threshold required to be picked up by the statutory child protection system. Hundreds of thousands more children have less than optimal lives but are not counted in these alarming statistics.
“However, we know that these rates of abuse are not inevitable. There is clear evidence that much of this abuse is preventable.
“Children thrive when their families have the support they need, and are part of strong connected communities.
“Our aim is to encourage governments, service providers, and the broader community to direct resources and efforts into prevention, so that all children are?valued, nurtured and able to live free from violence, abuse and neglect.”
Importantly, we need to remember that the little things we do every day can help to create safer environments for children. For instance:
National Child Protection Week will include the presentation of NAPCAN’s Play Your Part Awards which honour individuals, communities and organisations that carry out inspiring and effective actions promoting child safety and wellbeing across the country, from rural communities to inner cities, from our suburbs to the outback.
If any member of the St. Francis Xavier College Community would like more information on the College’s Child Protection System please contact John Fazzino – DP Mission firstname.lastname@example.org