‘Be the change you want to see in the world.There’s no place to begin than with yourself”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

As I reflect upon the first five weeks of the school year, I am astonished at the quantity of work that has landed for both staff and students.  I hope the students have engaged themselves in their learning especially as we commence the assessment period. The College has once again provided significant resources in the art of study through the Elevate Study programs.  Each year group, have had the experience of the Elevate Study Skills unit over the past two weeks.  These targeted workshops provide each year group with strategies to assist them in their study.  With many of the assignments for all students due over the next fortnight, I would encourage parents to go to their son’s Canvas page, under Pastoral Care and find the study program appropriate for their sons’ year group.  This resource is for all students and parents to use for the continued learning success of our sons.

 

During my opening address to the students and staff I stressed the importance of their re-commitment to the College’s vision and mission, Learning Statement, The EREA Charter and to the liturgical theme for 2019.  By returning to the College, each student has clearly stated that he will endeavour to fulfil his role in upholding the integrity of these statements and documents.

 

The Opening College Mass was an outstanding celebration with seven past Principal’s and eleven past College Captains in attendance.  Their presence provided us with a connection to the past 60 years and allowed the College the opportunity to acknowledge their contribution to the leadership of the College during their time at St Dominic’s.  The mass not only officially begins our academic school year, but it provides us with an opportunity to bless the 2019 College Prefects.  It was a wonderful mass and I would like to thank the students of the College for making it such a positive experience.  Thank you, also, to all the parents who attended and for their kind words of gratitude.

 

Below is an excerpt from my speech during the Opening College Mass:

 

“The College theme for 2019, as mentioned throughout our Mass and by our College Captain Benjamin, is “Be My Witnesses”.  The theme, based on the EREA touchstone of “Inclusive Community”, encourages us to listen carefully to the good news and be willing participates in sharing these values.  Pope Paul VI stated:

“Humanity listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if you do listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

Pope Paul VI, Address to the Members of the Consilium de Laiciiiiis (October 1974)

 

We are all witnesses to the word of the Lord, however, as Pope Francis proclaims, to be true Christian witnesses, we must have action not just words, as words are empty if there is no action. 

 

Therefore, to “Be My Witnesses” Jesus challenges us to be compassionate through the experiences of social justice, generosity, respect, empathy and the genuine care for the individual and the community; We are challenged to be witnesses for justice especially for those oppressed by society and to develop a world were peace is a part of everyone’s life; We are to be witnesses for an inclusive community, where all are accepted and welcomed; We must be witnesses in the fostering of right relationships, committed to the common good of our students, staff, parents and community; and we need to be witnesses in a faith sharing community so that we build a better world for all. 

 

As those who have gone before us, were witnesses, we too must be witnesses to these challenges with enthusiasm and determination so that we can stand proudly with our peers in valuing the first 60 years and building on these foundations for the next 60 years.

 

The beginning of a new school year provides the opportunity for every member of the College community to wash away the ‘old’ and have a new beginning.  By returning in 2019, we are recommitting to what it means to be an active member, a witness, to this community. Sharing in the vision and mission of the College.  Therefore, let us unite, as one, to not only celebrate the successes of 2019 but to also celebrate the past 60 years and look forward to a ‘hope-filled’ future. 

 

Let us all keep Jesus in our hearts throughout 2019, as we become the witnesses that we are asked to be, in fostering and encouraging the great community of St Dominic’s College.

 

In Dominus Lux Mea we entrust our future”. 

 

My heartfelt thanks to the members of our staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that our wonderful celebration of the Eucharist at the Opening College Mass was a memorable, uplifting and a sacred occasion.  Special thanks to:

  • to our musicians lead by Mr Wilson and our singers lead by Ms Ede; thank you for your continual support and encouragement of all our boys as they express their God given talent through their musical talents.
  • to Mrs Baluch, Mr Hall, Mrs Keogh, Mrs Gaspersic and Mr Thompson who assisted with the music and the singing.  We have so many talented teachers who are proud to share their gifts for the greater good of the College.
  • to Mr Hine and the sound and lighting crew for the continued professionalism and the smooth running of our assemblies.
  • a special mention to our servers Michael Panitz (Y12) and Mr Hicks for assisting Father Wim in our celebration of the Eucharist.
  • my thanks to all our support staff and in particular Mrs Tyrrell and Mrs Michaleris, who have worked behind the scenes to bring this mass to fruition.
  • to all our amazing maintenance team (Mr Keightley and Mr Henderson) who have dedicated many hours to ensure the Br Warner Hall is turned into our sacred space for this significant mass.
  • to our wonderful teaching staff, for being so accommodating in supporting our Opening College Mass and for their dedication in supporting our students achieve, aspire, dream, for a better future.
  • a special thanks of appreciation and congratulations to our Director of Identity, Mr Culican; who worked diligently for many weeks to ensure we commence the College year with a meaningful liturgical experience.
     

The College Open Day is an extremely important event in the College calendar as it provides prospective families an opportunity to visit the College and begin their experience of this inclusive community. It is during this day that both boys and their parent’s receive an authentic feel of the College and a greater understanding of the spirit of the College. The day is divided into two sessions, each commencing with a brief information session before moving to the tours lead by the students of the College. It is the tour guides (our student volunteers) and the classroom presentations that truly influence the visiting boys and their parents of the quality that exists here and why they should apply to be enrolled into the College. Please encourage your friends to attend the Open Day even if St Dominic’s College is already the preferred school for their sons.

 

A review of 2018 Semester 2 Reports, in particular DSE scores, has provided me with great confidence as our students seek to improve their overall results.  Each year group is unique, but the percentage increase in the commitment by students is clearly evident in the data.  For example, 2018 Y7 63% of students had a DSE score of 85% or above, while 2018 Y8 students achieved over 52% and also had a DSE score of 85% or above; Y9 2018 students had over 63% above 85% while Y10 students, 65% of students were above 85%.  These are outstanding figures and proves comprehensively that St Dominic’s students can do anything.  Congratulations to all students who added value to our learning environment and we look forward to increasing these numbers in 2019.

 

With so many students demonstrating an improvement in their application, other data demonstrates the strong correlation between those students who did well in their DSE score and those who kept their diary up-to-date with their Home Study or Learning Intentions.  The diary is an important resource for all students as it provides guidance and structure.  I strongly commend the College diary to all parents as we work in partnership to continue to develop our sons and their learning. The diary is expected to be completed by all students each week, with parents signing the diary only when students have completed it correctly.

 

Over the first five weeks, there have been significant Parent Information Evenings for Y7, 9, 10 and Y12.  During these meetings, the College has reaffirmed its’ commitment to provide a quality Catholic Education in the Edmund Rice Tradition.  For Year 7, their information evening provided them with the opportunity to meet their son’s EMBARK Teacher.  Year 10 parents were introduced to RoSA grades while Year 12 Parents were provided with some strategies to support their son’s during their final year at school.  The CANVAS workshops supported parents in understanding the current learning environment and how they can be connected to their son’s learning. These evenings assist parents in supporting their child as we continue to develop the partnership that is vital for achieving a positive experience.  

 

The 2018 HSC High Achievers Assembly was an outstanding acknowledgement of the achievements from the High Achievers from last year.  All students were congratulated for their achievements but it was our DUX Ahmed Khan whose speech, hopefully, provided inspiration for not only the Y12 students but for all our students as they strive to do their personal best.  Ahmed’s recognition of the valuable contribution of the staff, once again, provided me with great confidence that our teachers are making a difference in developing the young men of our College.  Congratulations and thank you to all our staff for their diligence and commitment to the learning environment of the College.

 

Year 7 students recently returned from camp with both staff and students highly complementary of the experience.  The staff were glowing about the way in which all the students engaged in the activities and how they supported each other throughout the three days.  I have been most impressed by the manner in which Year 7 have commenced their time here at the College.  As we move into the assessment period, may they continue their development as learners.

 

2019 is in full swing, therefore I would encourage all students to continue to be the change agent as they become the better person.

 

Below I have included the Leadership team for 2019.  I would encourage all parents to contact the most appropriate person when they require additional information or when they require some clarification about a particular matter.  Please go to the source so that we can support you and your son in the most appropriate manner.

 

2019 Leadership Teams

 

College Executive

Principal                                                             Mr M. Ronchetti

Deputy Principal                                               Mr B. Walsh

Director of Business Services                         Ms J. Powell

Director of Teaching and Learning                Mr D. Sheil

Director of Curriculum                                     Mr P. Gorton

Director of Identity                                           Mr Z. Culican

Director of Pastoral Care                                Mr B. Jansz

Director of Administration                              Mr L. Borg

Director of Diverse Learning                          Miss M. Day

 

Year           Coordinators                    Assistant to the Pastoral Coordinators

7                     Mr M. Turner                              Mr M. Darcy

8                     Ms T. Shaw                                         

9                     Ms N. Pritchett                                                

10                  Mr B. Godsell  

11                  Mr M. Levy                             

12                  Mr N. Shankar                                                 

 

House Coordinators

Dharuk           Ms J.Knowles

Rice                Mr B.Cummins

Surawski       Mrs B. Birkett

Tench             Mr N. Zammitt

 

Faculty                        Coordinators                        Assistant

Religious Ed.                       Mr C. Hicks                 

Mathematics                       Mr D. Gerlach                                Mr C. Meek

English                                 Mr P. Magee                                  Mrs C. McSweeney

TAS                                       Mr T. Easterbrook                         Mrs N. Monteleone

VET                                       Mrs N. Monteleone

Science                                 Mrs F. Edwards                             Ms D. Lister

HSIE                                      Mr B. Rawding                              Mr D. Lawson (T1)

PDHPE                                 Mr D. Mackinnon

Visual Arts                           Mr S. Lewis

Music                                    Mr C. Wilson

Sport                                    Mr R. Peake

Internal Sport                     Mr J. Kilbourne                        

Career’s Advisor                Mrs D. Rimmer

ERLC                                   Mrs S. Hazell

CANVAS Support              Mrs J. Walsh

Literacy Support                Miss R. Simpson