Principal’s Update 2016 – 13

On this 1st day of September, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on and pray for creation. It was the Orthodox Church which declared this date in 1989 as the World Day of Prayer for Creation. Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Catholic Church now joins the Orthodox Church to raise awareness of, and reflect on, actions we can all take to address the critical demands of climate change. Please take the time to listen to this compelling message from Pope Francis.

Last Thursday I attended the launch of Dominican Education Australia at Siena College, Melbourne, following the previous week’s launch at Santa Sabina College. This new entity, Dominican Education Australia (DEA), is built on the work of all of those dedicated Dominican women who founded and nurtured Dominican schools across Australia. At Santa Sabina College the Dominican Sisters are still very much part of our community as shown this week when they met with our Year 12s for morning tea. The threads of our Dominican community are intricately woven through the stories of the Sisters, and the stories of many staff who are ex-students of the College.

As our Australian Olympians arrive home from the 2016 Games in Rio, we applaud the dedication and expertise of our elite sportsmen and women, and excitedly await the arrival of new Gold Medal champions in the form of the Australian Women Rugby 7s. At Santa Sabina College our vision of sport is one that fosters participation, personal excellence, and contributes to the development of the whole person. As such, it reflects the College Mission and values, and is a vibrant part of the co-curricular life of the College P-12. We are justly proud of our long sporting history, traditions and achievements. We aim to provide a balanced, diverse and well-organised program that meets the needs of every student. Whether or not students are competing at elite levels or simply enjoying social games with their friends, there are opportunities for every student. Through their participation, students develop an appreciation of sport, recreation and exercise as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Talented sports students are identified and supported to maintain their training regime through negotiated and personalised academic programs.

The Sports program strengthens school spirit, builds community, and promotes fair play, participation, skill development, resilience, teamwork and leadership. It also generates sheer enjoyment and fun. It is particularly appropriate in our community where we value positive education and academic care, that the link between physical and mental health and well-being is recognised.

There have been sporting highlights at Santa Sabina College this term. Our netball season ended last Saturday, with nine teams competing in the ERNA Grand Finals. Four teams were crowned premiers, including our top team ‘Santa 3’, who came from behind to draw the match. At the CGSSSA Championships Athletics Carnival, Santa achieved one of its best results in recent history, and was placed third overall. At the CGSSSA Hockey Championships, Santa was equal first with Loreto Normanhurst.

Our traditional strengths in Volleyball were reflected in the NSW all-schools event with the following results:

  • Santa 3 Open Girl Champions
  • Santa 2 Open Girl Runners-up
  • Santa 4 Under 17 Girl Champions
  • Santa 6 Under 15 Girl Runners-up

Year 12 student Mikaela Stevens was a member of the Australian Under 19 Women’s Volleyball Team which played in the Asian Volleyball Championships, while fellow Year 12 student Bridget O’Malley played in the Australian Under 19 Women’s Volleyball Squad which toured the USA. Three Santa girls – Jessica Criss, Stephanie Muirhead (Captain) and Lara Muirhead, represented the NSW 15s & Under All Schools Volleyball team.

In Dance, our Primary Dance ‘Black’ gained 2nd place at the Sydney Eisteddfod, and our Contemporary Troup received a Highly Commended at the Ryde Eisteddfod. In Futsal the U13s team achieved a Gold Medal in the Regional competition, and qualified for State. The Open Girls team reached the Semi-Finals of Regionals.

We will celebrate all this year’s sporting and music achievements in Term 4 at our combined Sports and Music Awards evening.

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Father’s Day celebrations today. Thank you to our generous P&F for the hospitality they supplied on both campuses.

As our Year 12 students peer over the horizon of their last few weeks at school, we encourage them to maintain that balance of study, physical activities and relaxation.

“Just as we need the courage to be happy, we also need the courage to live simply” – Pope Francis

Dr Maree Herrett