Dear Staff, Students, Families and Friends of the College,
The loss of a student is a tragedy that no school community ever wants to experience. Unfortunately it does happen, and when it does, it is devasting and is very challenging for both students and staff to come to terms with the loss and to process their emotions. This was experienced on St Patrick’s Day this year when the College community heard of the loss of Year 11 student, Corey Partridge. Corey was a special character. His personality was such that he had friends in all year groups throughout the College. He meant so much to the Rugby League group, the Basketballers, those that loved cars and 4×4 driving, in fact he touched the hearts of staff and students throughout the College. It is tragic in every sense of the word.
This year’s motto, ‘Welcome, Nurture, Celebrate’ was embodied by Corey. He was the first person to say ‘G’day’ across the playground and help those students’ new to the College. Corey loved St Dom’s and his passion was infectious. The loss of Corey has had a profound effect on the community. Through the darkness of his passing, it was so powerful to experience the support that students and staff displayed to and for each other. Corey had such an influence on so many members of the College community, evident by the impact of his passing. To support the community, the College Chapel was left open for Staff and Students to sit quietly and reflect on their emotions. A reflective writing opportunity was given to individuals to write a message to Corey and his family on what Corey meant to them. At the end of the week, these reflections were collated and bound in a hard covered book and presented to the family at a remembrance ceremony held at the College a week after Corey’s funeral. We hope by reading these reflections the Partridge family will be able to a gain a better insight into what Corey meant to the St Dominic’s community.
St Dominic’s is a wonderful College. It provides a plethora of experiences for our students. This would not be possible without two extremely important groups: the staff and the families of boys at the College. Over the break we had two significant events.
I congratulate the members of the EREA Football team that travelled up to Brisbane to compete in a national competition against the other EREA colleges throughout the country. St Dom’s has always performed exceptionally well in the competition. After winning last year the boys were keen to defend their title. Such was the incredible standard of the competition despite not losing a game, we did not make the finals on goal differential. Despite this, the boys represented themselves extremely well, on and off the field. I wish to thank them for their efforts. I particularly thank the staff, Mr Hall, Mr Margerison and Mr D’Souza. I wish to also thank the Parents for their support of both their son and the College.
The other significant event was a cultural tour to Japan for a number of students across Years 8 -12. This wonder life experience where students visited historical landmarks and were immersed into the Japanese culture was such a beautiful experience for our students. The boys billeted with local families, challenged themselves in a variety of cultural experiences. As you could imagine, the planning of such a trip is enormous. I huge thank you to Ms Wampfler for her organisation of this trip and for taking on the responsibility of leading fifty odd boys and five staff on an overseas trip. It is no mean feet. To the staff that attended, Ms Amor, Ms Brien, Ms Lister, Mr Rawding and Mr Zammit, thank you so much for giving up your time to provide the boys with such an opportunity. Once again, thank you to Parents/Carers of the College for entrusting our staff in supporting your son overseas.
Welcome back to Term 2. I trust that you had a wonderful Easter and students enjoyed a well-deserved break. We returned to a Staff Development Day where the teaching staff worked on ‘Super 6’ literacy strategies which work to build comprehension and therefore improve the writing capacity of students and is being implemented across all Key Learning Areas (KLAs).
The students returned after the ANZAC Day public holiday and commenced the Term with an ANZAC Day Assembly. This was a powerful assembly where guest speaker Noel McLaughlin addressed the Staff and Students about life on the front line. Noel was so engaging that you could have heard a pin drop in the Hall as he spoke. Noel has an OAM and was a member of the first cohort at St Dominic’s who recently was awarded the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Appreciation marking the end of the Vietnam War. He was the first person awarded this honour by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. You may have already seen on our socials that Noel proudly wore his alumni tie when he received this honour.
Mobile Phone Policy
I thank the community for the way that they have embraced and supported the College’s mobile phone policy. The new policy which bans the use of mobile phones during school hours has been implemented from the start of Term 2. This is based on research that suggests the banning of mobile phones improves academic outcomes, socialisation and reduces bullying & harassment. The feel in the yard is very different. The yard is louder with boys communicating the old fashion way, through speech!
Blessings for the Term
Mr Adam Rafferty