Friday 05 May 2023

From the Principal

  • Term One Congratulations
  • 60th Anniversary Celebrations
  • Child Safety
  • Democratic Principles and Values for Education
  • Term One Congratulations
  • 60th Anniversary Celebrations
  • Child Safety
  • Democratic Principles and Values for Education

Term One Congratulations

Dear Parents and Carers,

In my opening school address I spoke to students about giving their best and being their best as we embarked on a new school year. I also spoke to them about ‘The Eight to be Great’ for a new school year which included:

1. Being passionate, enthusiastic, and positive about what they are learning and doing at school.
2. Working hard so they can grow as a person and as a learner.
3. Understanding that at school and as with life we each experience challenges and difficulties along the way, so focus on one or two things that they need to work on, rather than too many things at once.
4. Pushing and challenging themselves, to be better and to not give up too easily.
5. Being open to new ways of learning and studying.
6. Staying motivated to improve so that they can experience positive learning progress.
7. Remembering they are part of something bigger, so remember to give of themselves by helping others out, being respectful and finding ways to serve the Ave community inside and outside the classroom.
8. Being persistent and disciplined in achieving their goals as there is no such thing as overnight success.

I can honestly say that students have embraced many aspects of ‘The Eight to be Great’ in what has been a very busy start of the school year. As such, I would like to congratulate all students for their participation, engagement and commitment throughout this term.

60th Anniversary Celebrations

A reminder to families that in Term Two the 60th Anniversary Mass will take place on Thursday, 22 June 2023 at St Patrick's Cathedral.

Please be aware the date of the 60th Anniversary Mass has moved from Friday, 12 May 2023 due to a change in the Archbishop Peter Comensoli’s availability.

Child Safety

At Ave Maria College we are committed to the care, safety and wellbeing of our students and see this as a central and fundamental responsibility of our college. Our commitment is drawn from the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice, and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospels. Our College Motto, Striving for Truth through Love, guides our collective efforts in enabling our students to thrive in recognising the truth of God’s love and their own call to seek truth and love, in themselves and in their relationships with others.

The following principles underpin our commitment to child safety at Ave Maria College.

• All students deserve, as a fundamental right, safety, and protection from all forms of abuse and neglect.

• Our college works in partnership with families and the community to ensure that our students are engaged in decision-making processes, particularly those that have an impact on child safety and protection.

• All students have the right to a thorough and systematic education in all aspects of personal safety, in partnership with their parents, guardians and carers.

• All adults in our school, including teaching and non-teaching staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors, have a responsibility to care for children and young people, to positively promote their wellbeing and to protect them from any kind of harm or abuse.

• The policies, guidelines, and codes of conduct for the care, wellbeing and protection of students are based on honest, respectful and trusting relationships between adults and children and young people.

• Policies and practices demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements and cooperation with the Church, governments, the police, and human services agencies.

• All persons involved in situations where harm is suspected or disclosed must be treated with sensitivity, dignity, and respect.

• Staff, clergy, volunteers, contractors, parents, and students should feel free to raise concerns about child safety, knowing these will be taken seriously by the College Leadership.

• Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained, with information being provided to those who have a right or a need to be informed, either legally or pastorally.

As part of our policies and procedures the College has a Child Safety Reference Group which includes both student and staff representation. This group meets regularly throughout the year. The College also has a number of nominated child protection officers, from our Sub-School Leaders and Counselling teams. Our senior child protection officers include:

• Ms Leonie Rushbrook, Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)
• Mrs Natalie Meddis, Director of Student Wellbeing
• Mr Dane Calleja, Executive Deputy Principal (Learning and Operations)

Parents and carers who wish to access more information regarding child safety at Ave Maria College are welcome to visit the Child Safety section on our College website in the ‘About’ tab.

Democratic Principles and Values for Education

Additionally, at Ave Maria College we recognise that the school plays a vital role in advancing democratic ideals and principles. For democracy to continue to thrive, children must be taught democratic ideals and principles and to value its way of life. Ave Maria College will explicitly and implicitly support and promote the principles of Australian democracy, including a commitment to:

• Elected government
• The rule of law
• Equal rights for all before the law
• Freedom of religion
• Freedom of speech and association; and
• The values of openness and tolerance.

At Ave Maria College we are committed to the Values for Australian Schooling which include:

Care and Compassion - Caring for self and others.

Doing Your Best - Seeking to accomplish something worthy and admirable, trying hard, pursuing excellence.

Fair Go - Pursuing and protecting the common good where all people are treated fairly for a just society.

Freedom - Enjoying all the rights and privileges of Australian citizenship free from unnecessary interference or control and standing up for the rights of others.

Honesty and Trustworthiness - Being honest, sincere, and seeking the truth.

Integrity - Acting in accordance with principles of moral and ethical conduct, ensuring consistency between words and deeds.

Respect - Treating others with consideration and regard, respecting another person’s point of view.

Responsibility - Being accountable for one’s own actions, resolving differences in constructive, non-violent and peaceful ways, contributing to society and to civic life, taking care of the environment.

Understanding, Tolerance and Inclusion - Being aware of others and their cultures, accepting diversity within a democratic society, being included and including others.

Concluding Prayer

As Term One draws to a close, I would like to wish both students and staff a well-deserved break. I hope that all our community have a relaxing, restful and safe break. We look forward to welcoming our students and staff back on Wednesday 26 April for the start of Term Two.

And finally, as Easter approaches, I would like to wish all families a blessed Easter as I conclude with the following prayer:

Lord, as we gather as family and friends:
We invite you once again into our lives.
May the hope of your resurrection brighten our days.
May the promise of your spirit working in us light up our lives.
May the love you revealed to us shape our giving.
May the truth in your word guide our journey.
And may the joy of your kingdom fill our homes.
As we gather underneath the banner of your life,
We thank you for all you provide as we celebrate
Your glorious resurrection. Amen.

God bless and may we trust in the truth of God’s word as we strive for Truth through Love.

Ms Tanya Hutton