Welcome to 2019
In 1959, 80 young men commenced what has become an institution in the Penrith region, that is, St Dominic College. Today, over 1000 students will step through its gates and either commence or continue their development in becoming fine young gentlemen. The College holds a unique place in the life of so many young men and women who have walked the corridors and the Christian Brothers have had, and will continue to have, a significant role in its history. Over the past 60 years, the College has developed from a small old house on five acres, to many multi-purpose buildings, catering for the needs of all our students in a blended learning environment. An amazing transformation that has required the support and commitment of so many hard working families. 2019 is a testament to all those who have helped develop the College into becoming this extraordinary community.
A new year provides each of us an opportunity to wash away the ‘old’ and start with a clean slate. Just as we renew our baptismal promises during the second Sunday of the New Year, we too, renew our commitment to developing ourselves in a Catholic environment in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice. Therefore, we recommit to:
· creating a caring environment
· being an inclusive community
· pursuing and encouraging excellence
· being life-long learners
· achieve our personal best
· being part of a connected learning community
· our catholic traditions
· the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice
· opening our hearts and minds to the EREA Touchstones
· being witnesses to the Gospel values.
As we recommit to these values, let us set high standards throughout 2019, so that we can contribute to the stories and traditions that have made the last 60 years so successful.
I would like to welcome our Year 7 students and their families to the larger St Dominic’s family. Though many of the boys and the parents were rather nervous on the first day, there was a genuine sense of excitement as they moved across the campus over the course of the day. Know that you too are now part of the 60 years of St Dominic’s College.
Once again, the 2018 HSC results were outstanding with 30 Band 6’s, a highest ATAR of 99.5 (Ahmed Khan) and two students whose art work will be part of ART EXPRESS being the highlights. Each member of the cohort should be congratulated for their contribution to the overall success of our HSC class. We look forward to the Class of 2019 continuing with these strong educational trends and have even better results.
Not only do we have new students commencing but a number of new staff members who commence their journey as part of the family. I would like to wish Mr Kyle Churchill (PDHPE), Mr Thomas Kroon (TAS), Mr James McKay (HSIE), Mr Brendan O’Keefe (Visual Art), Mrs Megan Waygood (Science) and Mrs Christina Michaleris (Communication and PR Officer) every success throughout their time here at the College. I am confident that your experience and knowledge will be of great value to the entire community. May the Lords’ light shine brightly for you through 2019.
All staff and students will be faced with new challenges throughout the year, however, a group of teachers have been provided with additional responsibility. I would like to wish Mrs Nicole Pritchett (Y9 Pastoral Coordinator), Mrs Simone Baluch (Acting LOTE Coordinator), Mr Timothy Easterbrook (Acting TAS Coordinator) and Mrs Nicole Monteleone (Acting TAS Assistant Coordinator) a fruitful year whereby their leadership shines throughout and the light of the Lord shines upon them as they lead their different domains.
The Liturgical theme ‘Be My Witnesses” is based on the EREA Touchstone of ‘Inclusive Community’ whereby we are encouraged to be an accepting and welcoming community, fostering positive relationship with all those we encounter, therefore, committed to the good of all people. ‘Be My Witnesses’ challenges us not to be ‘bystanders’ but rather demonstrate our commitment through words and actions. Let us focus on not being ‘bystanders’ but getting our hands dirty and continue making St Dominic’s the inclusive community that it prides itself upon.
Though we turn 60 years old this year, the goals and aspirations of our students today, have not really changed from those years earlier. All students want to become the best person possible so that they can contribute to the wider community in a positive manner. They want an education that will liberate, making them more knowledgeable about a changing world that requires strong, loving, compassionate, determined, loyal, peaceful, hard-working, spiritual, faith-filled young men. This continues to be our challenge as we work in partnership to develop these young men.
Please pray for Mrs Sandra Hazell (Edmund Rice Learning Centre Coordinator) and her family. Mrs Hazell’s mother (30th Dec) and father (4th Jan) passed over the holiday break. Our prayers are with Mrs Hazell and her family.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.
I hope that 2019 is filled with much success for each and every member of our community. Through hard work and a commitment for each other, being witnessed to the gospel values, I know that students will add their story to the 60 year history of this great College. I encourage all parents/guardians to be involved in the life of the College, in particular, the learning agenda for their sons. Be encouraged to be once again extraordinary in 2019.
Dominus Lux Mea
Mr Michael Ronchetti