Congratulations to all Year 9 students and staff that have recently returned from a successful Outward Bound expedition at the Black Ranges, Snowy Mountains and Licola areas.
The weather was largely favourable for the week which enhances participation in activities and helps keep spirits high. It was great to have the opportunity to pay a visit to the Licola camp and connect with a number of groups along the Macarthur River amidst their local service activity which involved planting native trees along the river bank.
Students are to be commended for their independence, resilience and positivity that was exhibited throughout the week.
Special thanks go to Ms Emily Roberts who is our College Camp Coordinator, along with the assistance of our Year 9 Learning Culture Leaders; Ms Nicole Brennan and Ms Rachel MacDonald and all St Francis Xavier staff who attended.
All Year 9’s will also participate in a special reflection day to highlight the benefits of such a great program.
Our understanding of Outward Bound before leaving was it was going to be mentally and physically challenging and pushing us to our limits. We certainly weren’t disappointed.
As the week unfolded, we became more comfortable with our surroundings, what jobs we needed to perform within the group to ensure that things worked efficiently. Different tasks were performed by individuals on different days eg Cooking, Hygiene, Environment and Fire duties.
This approach was beneficial because all individuals would have experienced a range of different roles by the end of our journey. This way strengths and challenges were highlighted to us all.
Making it a deep learning experience.
Activities included; Hiking, Rafting, Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Caving, Canoeing and Tree planting amongst others. The vast array activities meant that there was a different challenge every day, keeping things engaging.
For example, Mr Zadow faced a monumental challenge when he demonstrated a roundhouse kick to his group at Licola and in the process completely split his pants. To his credit, he was resilient and found a viable solution to carry on.
We were also blessed with favourable weather which also helped keep spirits high.
Upon reflection when returning home; our thoughts included the following, these represent some of the positive lessons that will help us all going forward;
Andjelina Gnjidic and Adam Marshall
Abdi Aden tells his story of survival in his book; ‘Yes I Can!’
At a special session held at the Berwick Campus, Abdi talked to all Yr. Seven students about how he came from Somalia and all of the challenges he had faced.
He talked about his life in Mogadishu before the civil war and how it quickly changed his life. When was just 13 years old, Abdi had to flee to Kenya. It was a dangerous three-month journey as he was starving and was nearly killed. Three hundred people started this journey and only 5 arrived.
Abdi travelled to Romania and then to safety in Melbourne. This was truly an inspiring story which highlighted great courage and bravery. It was through his speech that we Aaron Tossy Thomas, Liam Campos and Justin Jose learnt to never give up, even if life seems impossible.
Abdi wrote the book “Yes I can!”. One of his quotes was “Australia will give you a ladder to success. Just don’t wait for the elevator”. We were greatly inspired by his speech.
Report by Liam Campos,Year 7
The whole team had been busy practicing in the library coming into the event. We were all super excited as we travelled to Flinders Christian College to play people from all year levels with different skills to ourselves. It was challenging but a great learning experience and opportunity to better ourselves as chess players.
I look forward to next year and the opportunity to use what I have learned.
Holly Jans, Year 7 Student
Experiential learning was in full swing last Thursday as our Year 8 students took part in Medieval Day. The day itself consisted of a number of interactive workshops highlighting key aspects of medieval life. These included; Etiquette, Armour and Weaponry, Music and Games and Entertainment. This type of active learning helps solidify concepts more deeply as well as being highly engaging and fun!
Last week I attended a training session on the Catholic Bishops’ Plenary for 2020. Information about the Plenary can be viewed at: http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/. Here is a message from the website about the 2020 Plenary Council:
Welcome to the Plenary Council 2020
Together, we are on a journey of listening to God by listening to one another. We invite all Australians to engage in an open and inclusive process of listening, dialogue and discernment about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Your voice is needed – join in! Speak boldly and with passion, listen with an open and humble heart. With faith and guided by God’s Holy Spirit, we journey together, toward the future.
This listening exercise is inviting all Australians to reflect on and answer the question: What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? Between now and March, we will be offering opportunities for staff, students and parents to respond to this question, and to make submissions. Parents are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or Deacon Graeme Pender, email@example.com to register interest in being part of this important event in the Australian Church.
Immersion to The Philippines
Last night we held our second information evening on the Immersion to The Philippines, which is occurring from 7 – 17 December. 12 students and three staff will be travelling to The Philippines to spend time with 42 families, to get to know them, to walk with them in their village for a week. On the way to and from Bantayan, the group will spend time in an orphanage and Good Shepherd centre in Cebu. The trip is being led by Daniel Kuzeff, a member of Catholic Mission. Students have been preparing for this trip all year, and at the information night answered a number of questions held by families. We look forward to hearing of the stories of this group, including teachers Liam Doherty, Rachel MacDonald and Vithiya Suthiavan.
Opening of Our Lady Help of Christians and Ruben Centre Appeal.
Deacon Graeme and I will be attending the opening of the renovated Chapel at Our Lady Help of Christians on Sunday September 23 at 1:30pm. We will be joined by eighteen students who will represent the College on this important day. Our connection to parishes is an important one, and this has been shown in the last two weeks with over ten thousand dollars collected at St Michael’s and St Patrick’s for the Ruben Centre Appeal. We thank the students and staff who attended these Masses and spoke about the continued support for young people that our school and parish give to this worthwhile charity.
Outward Bound Reflection Day
This week we held the Outward bound Reflection Day, with Year 9’s from Berwick and Officer joining for Mass, followed by input from Sam Clear, who shared his journey walking across the world. Students were able to de-brief about their experience of Outward Bound, and hear of the challenges Sam faced in his walk of unity. It was great to hear the questions asked of Sam, who talked about his connection to God, which helped him through many difficult times in his journey.
We now have a Mini-Vinnies cluster at our Berwick and Officer Campuses. Michelle Pereira and Liam Doherty led this day on Tuesday. Three primary schools, along with St Peter’s Cranbourne attended the day. The aim of the Mini-Vinnies Cluster is to explore the ways that our communities can uphold the dignity of all people in our region, with emphasis on building awareness raising campaigns and connection with those who need a voice.
Finally, we conclude with the prayer of the 2020 Plenary Council. We pray this this time will renew our commitment to the Good News of Jesus Christ, as lived and expressed in our Australian Catholic Church.