Principal’s Update – 10 April 2019

Santa Sabina College was proudly represented at this week’s RSL & Schools Anzac Commemoration Service. Students from Primary, Middle and Senior Years participated in the wreath laying, along with students from public, Catholic, and independent schools from all over Sydney. Our Chamber Choir, Brass and String Ensembles, led by Mr Tim Chung and Mr James Pensini, provided a beautiful and moving repertoire throughout the service. College Captain Kate Coyne was the MC for the whole event, and fulfilled this role with grace and aplomb. We received the following message from a member of the public who was present, and I share it with you as a tribute to Kate, the musicians and to all of our participating students:

Having just attended the Schools ANZAC service, I just had to contact your school to congratulate you on your wonderful students.

Your Chamber Orchestra was absolutely superb. However, I particularly wanted to commend the extremely poised and articulate Miss Kate Coyne. What an impressive young lady she is!  When our media and society constantly only want to portray the younger members of our community in a bad light, it gives me great hope when I am privileged to witness such talent and spirit of community.

Congratulations to your school community – including their parents of course – who are fostering such excellent qualities in the young people in our community.

In this address to the audience, His Excellency General The Hon David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of NSW, spoke about the contemporary relevance of the Anzac story and values to students today. He brought the abstract idea of courage and mateship to a very concrete level by talking about persistence, doing your best, and doing it for others, not just for yourself.

We have being observing the Lenten season through prayer, support of Caritas and Project Compassion, and through our Justice Journey 125. While Holy Week will occur during the term break, we will celebrate the most significant moment our Catholic faith – the resurrection of Christ – in the first week of Term 2. It is an important time for renewal and reaffirmation of faith, and we hope that the announcement of our justice focus will motivate students, staff and families, to further engage in Catholic Social Teaching. Throughout this past term, we have widely consulted with students and staff about justice issues, and now invite all members of community to help us prioritise the issues raised, and select a single issue that the community will support. Parents are welcome to participate in this part of the process through Veritas Online.

Following our very successful 2018 HSC results we were delighted to be advised by ACARA that Santa Sabina is identified as having demonstrated substantially above average gain in reading and numeracy, as measured by NAPLAN. While the teachers do not actively “teach to the test”, our strong and shared focus on literacy and numeracy across the College is certainly evidenced in these results.

Congratulations to the following very successful, dedicated athletes who participated in the last week’s Australian Athletics Championships. Renee Lewis won the Bronze medal in the U18s 3000m; Nicolette Donofrio won the Bronze Medal in the Hurdles, and Alexia Kalamvokis won the Gold Medal in the 2000m Steeplechase.

Completing an intensive assessment period in the last two weeks, Year 12 are headed to Tallong for much needed rest, rejuvenation and reflection.

We wish our students and teachers, travelling either to France for their French language experience, or to Hong Kong, to compete in Netball and Rugby tournaments the very best of luck.

The following prayer for peace was a very fitting part of the Anzac ceremony, and I share it with you here as we begin the school term break.

Almighty God, we ask your blessing for the leaders of all countries that all things may be ordered in wisdom and peace. We pray for the wellbeing of the citizens of all nations. Strengthen and encourage them in their efforts to promote peace and goodwill throughout the world so that we may live in harmony, friendship and peace. Amen.

I take this opportunity to wish all families of our wonderful community a very happy, holy and safe Easter.

Dr Maree Herrett