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Officer Campus – 29 November 2018


Last week we had our final campus assembly for the year. The assembly was hosted by McDonagh House, and the theme of the assembly was Teamwork. McDonagh House Captains Elizabeth Lawless and Ryan Van Roy shared with the community important elements of teamwork, reminding us that it is working as part of a group to achieve a common goal. Year 11 student Izaiah Roche was a guest at our assembly and shared how he undertook an amazing challenge of walking the Kokoda Track this year, which required a lot of teamwork.

The assembly was a celebration of a thriving Officer Campus community. We celebrated our students’ successes, talents, and our year together. Thank you to Ms Thompson, Director of Students, on coordinating an epic assembly. It truly was a collaborative effort that celebrated our staff and student community.




Student of the Term

This year we were all invited to Be the Light of the World. Each person’s light shines brilliantly in its own way. The student of the term awards is a way that we recognise how individual’s light shines brightly. Congratulations to all student of the term 4 recipients: 

Year 7 Students of the Term: 

Year 8 Students of the Term:


Year 9 Students of the Term:


This term we received many nominations for students who were all very deserving of this award. We would like to acknowledge these students and also congratulate them on their nominations:

Year 7 

Bridget Carney, Ria Kumar, Kade De La Rue, Mitchell Rook, Tyler Canute, Zac Godden, Alexandra Williams 

Year 8

Elaine Kandawasvika, Erin Byrne, Aaron Borg, Mary Wijewardene 

Year 9 

Justin Ocheya, Jacinta Naismith, Lauren Symmons, Nichu Shibu, Tara O’ Sullivan, Calvin Barone 


Colour Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following students who received Colour Awards at our recent assembly: 


James Jones, Deng Kiir, Janeesha Digo, Kade De La Rue, Tierney Baker, Rachel Takla, Cienna Jones, Abbey Young, Emily Ryan-King, Melanie Fonseka 


Claudia Poblete Bustos, Erin Byrne, Alecia Pham, Alannah Auld, Mary Wijewardene, Hailey Goodman 


Rory Jaremczuk, Kaitlin Byrne, Tahlia Simmons, Karly Meinecke 


Youth Ministry Students 

The following students have been real leaders in our community through their willingness to give so much of their own time during lunch breaks and whenever required to rehearse and practice the songs we use to enliven our Masses and liturgies. Their enthusiasm and their skills have brought a true sense of life, faith and celebration to our year level and campus Masses. We congratulate these students for their dedication: 

Jayda Hudman, Emily O‘Toole, Gloria Orlando, Sky Eagle, Michelle Xu, Erin Boyles, Caleb Klimak, Rory Jaremczuk, Hailey Goodman and Carline Tuazama 


Alyanna Trajano and Matthew West, Campus Captains, and Ms Cetrola, Head of Campus assembly speech: 


Alyanna: We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together. It is important that each and every team members’ contributions are recognised and acknowledged as part of the team’s success. Throughout this year, the teaching and support staff of St Francis Xavier College, particularly Officer Campus, have been a significant part of our team, being a constant provider of care and support. They have relentlessly guided us, allowed us to recognise and exceed our potentials and provided us with opportunities that shaped us into the individuals and leaders we are today. 

Matthew: We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff, teaching and support staff, of the Officer Campus for their commitment, efforts and contributions in providing us with opportunities that allow us to develop into the best people we can be. We would also like to show our appreciation to Mr Feeney, Mr Newcombe and the College Executive team whose efforts often go unnoticed. They work tirelessly to improve our College.

Ms Cetrola: We have extraordinary staff here at the Officer Campus, and as we look towards 2019 there will be only a few changes to our staffing. However, with the Commencement program starting for our senior students on Monday, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Mr Price, Mr Medorini and Mr Palmer who are not leaving the school but moving to the Beaconsfield campus and we wish to thank them for their contributions to the Officer campus.

On behalf of the College I also want to wish well Mrs McDermott and Ms Boyle as they both take maternity leave. We wish them all the best and also thank them both for their immense contributions as leaders of our Officer campus community over many years.

On behalf of the Year 7 and 8 students, and the staff, I wish the Year 9 students all the best in their senior years. Year 9 students, we thank you for your contributions to the Officer Campus over the years, you will be missed by all of us, and we look forward to hearing of your successes in the future.

Every day at St Francis Xavier College Officer Campus we are reminded of the power of hope, and how with hope all is possible. We are an incredibly diverse learning community at the Officer Campus, and it is one of life’s gifts that we share in every day. This year our students were called to be the light of the world and to be the voice of our community. The voice that celebrates diversity, the voice that accepts all, and the voice of love. Our students definitely embraced this and through the many opportunities presented to them over the year, they were able to demonstrate and share this within our campus, College and wider communities.  

Our Officer Campus community is thriving and it is a great privilege to lead this campus. I congratulate all students on their efforts, their personal and collaborative perseverance to achieve their best and be a better version of self.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank our staff who work tirelessly to support our students with great zest and commitment. All the staff, teaching and non-teaching staff, at this campus are incredibly committed to their students and it has been a real privilege to work with you all.

And thanks to our parent community for entrusting us with their children and working in partnership with the College.

Our 2018 year has been one that seen our campus community flourish in hope and enabled our students to be the voice.

Matthew: At the start of this year, we asked you to be a part of our journey. The journey towards being our best selves, towards being the best community we can be and towards being the light of the world. Today, looking back upon the year we’ve had, we can proudly say that Officer Campus has done just that. It’s great to reminisce and witness what our campus has achieved in 2018.

Alyanna : It’s been an honour to see our campus work as a team, to see many students exceed their potential, to see the respect, encouragement and compassion shown by the community and to see Officer Campus grow as one. It fills us with pride knowing that we are a part of a community that celebrates the strengths, talents and uniqueness of each student. On behalf of Matt and I, we thank you all for the contributions you’ve made to our campus team this year and for shaping this year’s journey into a memorable and successful one. We hope that each and every one of you continue to shine bright by simply being proud of your own voice. 

Matthew: On behalf of Alyanna and myself, I would like to thank everyone here, for being a supportive cooperative and enjoyable team. Throughout the year we have both learnt many things and you have all been part of that so once again thank you.

Alyanna: Our journey this year, as a team of two, 10, or even 700 has been one that we will never forget. Unfortunately, now’s the time for our adventures to take different paths, but we thank each and every one of you for being a part of our journey, for allowing us to be your voice and for joining us in being the light of the world in 2018. Thanks Officer, it’s been quite a ride.


Catholic Identity


Advent begins this Sunday

This prayer was prepared by Lindsay Sant, our REC at the Beaconsfield Campus. Our Liturgy and Justice Captains led this prayer at the Beaconsfield Campus assembly yesterday.

As we approach the season of Advent, we remember the ways in which our Indigenous brothers and sisters commemorate Christmas. Indigenous artist, Duwuun Lee, created this depiction of the Nativity of Jesus from his perspective. He describes it in the following way:

The painting is a celebration of Jesus Christ who is held on high in the coolamon. The white figure is the Holy Spirit that is always with us; whoever looks at the painting will receive his blessing.

The star is the guiding light to help people on their journey in life and to find Jesus.

The blue cross reminds us that Jesus died on the cross to redeem our sins and celebrates His birth.




What do we value during Advent?

In our Religious Education classes, we have been learning about different ways in which faith is represented in society. This has led us to looking forward to the season of Advent which begins this Sunday and marks our journey towards the Christmas season. When we hear that Christmas is coming, our first thoughts may turn to shopping lists, who to invite on Christmas Day or frantic plans to decorate our homes.

While these things are important, it’s easy to forget that Advent and Christmas come with a set of values which are meant to guide our Christmas journey.

These values are symbolised in our Advent Wreath. The four candles of the wreath represent faith, hope, joy, and love. Imagine if every person prioritised these values, what would our world be like. Imagine if YOU prioritized these values, how would your world change if you were a little more faithful, more hopeful, more joyful, more loving.


Reflection on Jesus

Advent reminds us that we are accompanied by Jesus in our human journey. The birth of Jesus brought with it, hope and possibility. By sharing our human nature, God dramatically broke into human history to tell us that we are important and that everything we do can make a difference.

Consider the example of George Bailey, lead character in the classic Christmas film, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. George’s life falls apart after his small town community bank is on the verge of financial collapse. He bitterly states “I wish I were never born’. At this lowest point in his life, he is shown by an angel what would have happened if he hadn’t been born –

  • his younger brother would have died if he wasn’t there to save him from drowning when they were children,
  • his brother would not have saved over 100 other lives during the second world war,
  • many people in his town would have lost their homes because George’s bank didn’t exist to help them,
  • his wife never married an inspiring husband,
  • and the children he loved were never born.

The message of this film is the message of Jesus’ birth, your life and everything you do with it matters.

Let us pray that we can approach this Advent/Christmas season first with faith, hope, joy and love

Lord Jesus, just as you showed the importance of what one ordinary life can do, we ask you to inspire us to use our ordinary lives to be bringers of hope, bringers of faith, bringers of joy and bringers of love. Through your Holy Spirit, direct our words and deeds and fill them with justice, compassion and mercy. Through us, may each person we meet be touched by the heart of God.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen


Our Student Leaders met Bishop Patrick O’Regan.

Last Thursday eight of our College leaders spent the day with Bishop Patrick O’Regan at the Catholic Education Office in Warragul. Our College, Vice, Liturgy and Justice Captains prepared a presentation about our school, including the hopes and dreams of the Year 9’s whom they had met the week before. I am pleased to report that our students made an excellent presentation to the Bishop, they articulated clearly the ethos, gifts and talents of our community, and were able to connect the faith of our College, (Jesus our way, truth and life) with our actions that expressed our faith, liturgy, soup van, winter sleepout, etc.

Our Captains – Matthew Lawless, Kailee McAuley, Connor Hinds, Susmitha Raju, Chloe Jones, Luke Cranswick, Ben Shields and Jasmine Mamontov enjoyed meeting the Bishop, along with the captains of the other six secondary schools in our Diocese.


Plenary 2020 continues.

Staff and students have taken part in Plenary sessions across the College. Parents are invited to join a session on December 5 at the Beaconsfield Campus.


Year 12 Retreat 2019.

By now you would have received the revised letter about the changes to the Year 12 Retreat. It is essential that forms are returned by the end of this year for the Retreat. We are pleased that Fr Rob Galea, robotics expert Marita Cheng and wellbeing expert Margaret Hepworth will be joining us across the three days. Each of these three are world experts in their fields and will inspire our students.


Feast of St Francis Xavier

Monday December 3 is the Feast day of St Francis Xavier. Celebrations begin with the first Berwick Soup Van Christmas party for those involved in this service on Sunday December 2, including those we serve. This event has been organised by our Year 12 Youth Ministry students, including gift bags and entertainment. It is a wonderful expression of our faith. It is close to ten years that the Berwick Soup Van, began by past students of St Francis Xavier College, started. Over that time our students and staff have been dedicated to serve our local community.

We are celebrating Mass at the Officer and Berwick Campuses as united year levels. REC’s Liam Doherty and Michelle Pereira have organized a special day of activities about our great saint to accompany the day. These two faith events express our St Francis Xavier Goal:

Our community is a living witness to the Gospel where Christ is encountered.

May Jesus walk with us through the Advent and Christmas seasons. We thank God for this time of difference, encounter and peace.

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