Principal’s Update – 17 October 2019

Welcome to Term 4. We have much to look forward to, and still much to celebrate. Our music students and staff who have just returned from their European music tour will share the highlights of that tour in a concert at St Brigid’s Marrickville this evening (17 October at 6:30pm). You can also catch up with their experiences from the blog that students maintained throughout the trip. Our HSC students begin their examinations today, and our very first IB Diploma students commence their exams on 6 November. We wish them all the very best for their exams as we pray with and for them. They are well prepared, diligent students who should approach these exams with confidence in their ability, and appreciation that they have many gifts and attributes that can never be measured. Just a reminder to parents of HSC students that Mrs Angela Thomas, Head of Teaching and Learning, is on leave this term. Ms Santina Gambrill is the Acting Head of Teaching and Learning for Term 4, and is the person to contact regarding any relevant HSC exam matters.

Our staff commenced the term with a day of professional learning on Monday. Del Monte staff actively engaged in the Staff Spirituality Day at the St Vincent de Paul Centre at Auburn. The school liaison representative from the centre addressed the group and shared insights into the services and work that St Vincent de Paul are involved with, staff went on a tour of the warehouse area and then packed hampers in the food barn. Staff on the 6-12 campus began the term with bigger picture planning and programming, and with uninterrupted collaboration time. This is essential in our context of significant curriculum changes that we need to implement in every subject area. Our staff are very committed to their professional learning, and this, of course, is key to improving the educational outcomes for our students.

In this first week we have had the privilege of inducting the 2019-2020 College student leaders in the company of their families, peers and staff. College Captain Isobel Burkhard gave a very impressive first speech. She seamlessly moved from the local to the global as she passionately argued about the power of youth involvement and advocacy for change. Like her predecessors she will be an inspiration to the Year 6-12 student body, and will be enabled in her role by her executive: Vice-Captain Grace Campbell, College House Captain Caitlin Zocco, College Committees Captain Francine Geronimo, College SRC Leader (Faith and Mission) Clara Elias and College SRC Leader (Student Voice) Sophia Juarez, and by the broad distributed leadership model of Santa Sabina. The executive positions are supported by the wider group of leaders including House Captains, Committee Captains and House Prefects:

Gunagulla House Captains – Naomi Ghosen and Chloe Hatcher
Kurrawa House Captains – Emma Graham and Caitlin Snoch
Mundawora House Captains – Lucy Dolan and Hannah Svoboda
Teangi House Captains – Emma Southon and Alyssa McKeon
Yetinga House Captains – Mia-Jade Attie and Emily Mattocks
Weelya House Captains – Rachel Frecker and Emma Fan

Debating and Public Speaking Committee Captains – Pia Curran and Sarah George
Environment Committee Captains – Eloise Struthers and Scarlett Covell
Liturgy Committee Captains – Hope Elias and Taylor Faker
Music Committee Captains – Alana Goodchild and Felicity Yau
Social Justice Committee Captains – Ellen Teece and Isabella Azzopardi
Sport and Health Committee Captains – Teagan McDonnell and Mariam Amin
Media and Communication Committee Captains – Madison Hotop and Clarissa Kalamvokis
Drama and Arts Committee Captains – Rose-Marie Moussa and Madeleine Aedy

Gunagulla House Prefects – Isabella Tran and Jordan Woods
Kurrawa House Prefects – Bridget Clark and Miriam Maher
Mundawora House Prefects – Ailish McDonagh and Bridget Crick
Teangi House Prefects – Olivia Debs and Jessica Guerrera
Weelya House Prefects – Olivia Ayoub and Tiana Pike
Yetinga House Prefects – Julia Favotto and Gabrielle Harrington

Congratulations to all of these students on being elected by your peers and staff, and best wishes for your leadership journey. At the beginning of 2020, the new leadership teams of Del Monte and the Middle Years will provide opportunities for younger students to hone their leadership skills.

One of the great benefits of a P-12 College is the chorus of voices that make up our school. So whether a student is in his or her earliest years, or in Year 12, student voice matters. During last term, we engaged with representative groups from Primary, Middle and Senior Years about the future strategic development of the College, and I want to share with you the Primary students’ ideas. They were asked to imagine different aspects of their school well into the future: its values, learning, environment, faith and community. Here are some of their ‘gems’: a hologram of St Dominic, grassy rooftops on classrooms, a room where you see the stars and their names, our own silent time with God, class pets for wellbeing, a room filled with technology and holograms of learning tools and coding stations, sugar-free Friday, Italian cooking classes, connection with other schools via Skype or other apps, solar panels to save electricity, robots as helpers, and a slide that goes from Kinder to Warami. We’ll do our best to incorporate their suggestions!

As I commence my final term as Principal, I reflect on the significant events and achievements that I have shared with you, and look forward to the final times I will have this term to be with you.

Saturday 23 November 11:00am – Santa Sabina College Fair
Wednesday 27 November 6:00pm, ICC Sydney – Combined Speech Night
Friday 29 November 6:00pm – Farewell Dr Maree Herrett
Wednesday 4 December 6:00pm – Festival of Readings and Carols

In closing, I share this prayer that was dedicated to our HSC students this morning.

Dear Lord

As we begin our exams today, come into our hearts so that we may let our light shine. Grant us a discerning mind, a retentive memory, ability to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing ourselves. Guide our work during these examinations, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. Help us to remember that each and every one of us is equal in dignity, and deserving of your love.

This we ask through Jesus Christ.

Dr Maree Herrett