A very warm welcome to all new and returning staff and students to the 2017 academic year. The year has commenced well with our Year 7 students being assisted by our Peer Support Leaders. We extend a welcome to a number of new teaching and support staff into the College: Ms Teagan Doyle, Ms Leah Stone, Mr Paul Grebe, Mr Matthew Caden, Ms Hope Raaf-Grebe, Mr Raymond Wood, Mrs Andrea Pedley, Mr Bill Curtis, Mrs Moana Edmondson, Mrs Tracey Cowan, Mr Ashley Hoogendyke, Ms Marlene Leemeyer, Mr Andrew Italiano, Mr Samuel Caddy, Mr Patrick Golemo. A special welcome also to Ms Brenda Della-Sale, Mr Bernard Depiazzi, Ms Vanessa Lockwood, Mrs Carmel Forrest, Mrs Tracy Woodhouse, Ms Maria Delle Donne, Mrs Maria Hingston and Mr Barry Gartrell who have returned from leave.
2017 is the bicentenary year for the Marist Order as we celebrate the anniversary of the first two young men who joined Marcellin Champagnat in order to provide education and care for the young people in La Valla in France in 1817. Our founders provide a great role model of trusting in God as they commenced their work. The Marists and the Mercies have been a driving force to provide a service for those in need, especially in education for the young. I would call on our students to follow the example which has been set to be involved in all that is on offer in the College, to strive for excellence in all that they do and aim to be the best person they can be.
It appears that there is always something interesting occurring to challenge our problem solving skills at the beginning of a school year. The staff and students on the Marist campus are to be commended on minimizing their power usage last Thursday when Western Power shut off the power in the area to complete local works. With the cooperation of all on campus we were able to maintain generator power to the essential services for the school day.
If it is not bushfires, it is rain which impacts on our Year 7 camp/activity days! In anticipation of rain which is forecast for tomorrow, the final activity day for Year 7 students has been postponed and will now be held on Friday 17 February. Friday 10 February, therefore, will be a normal school day for Year 7 students.
OPENING MASS AND ASSEMBLY
We have commenced our school year with an Opening Mass and assembly held on each campus. Our Masses were lovely ceremonies and we are very grateful to Fr Wayne Bendotti and Fr Edwin Ocho, our celebrants on the Mercy and Marist campuses, respectively. Our assemblies which followed provided the opportunity to bless and install our student leaders and present them with their badge of office. Our student leaders provide a great service to the school community and it is pleasing to see their willingness to initiate many interesting activities for the students.
The Marist campus assembly also provided the opportunity to make the presentation of the Kelderman Award to Andrew Italiano, who achieved the top ATAR score for BCC in 2016. I am very grateful to the Kelderman family for their continued support in providing this award which recognises academic excellence. Our Ex-Students Association also generously support academic achievement to recognise students who achieve an ATAR score of 99+ and high achievement in Vocational Education and Training. Andrew Italiano joined the 99 Club with a score of 99.35 and Jane Huey was our top VET student for 2016. Both students received their awards and $1 000 to assist them in their further studies.
Academic success and achieving personal best comes from hard work. All students, especially our Year 11 and 12 students, are encouraged to aim for excellence in all that they do. This requires students to apply themselves consistently, complete all work set by their teachers and establish a good revision program to revise the work covered each week. This will ensure that each student is thoroughly prepared for their daily lessons and their assessments. All students should set reasonable, though challenging goals in each course and ensure that they attend school each day. Disruption to the learning program from avoidable absences should be minimised and I ask parents to avoid taking students, especially senior students, on holiday during term time.
In December, BCC hosted the Marist Cricket Carnival. While we had limited success on the field, the carnival was a great success, in no small part because of the sporting efforts of our team and the hospitality provided by our host families who billeted the visiting students. I am very grateful to the many staff, students and parents who had a role to play in the success of the carnival and special thanks to Mr Travis McGuire for his overall management of this significant event on our school calendar.
The first two days of the Year 7 Activity Days has gone very smoothly and the children have had a great time engaged in the various structured activities and had the opportunity to get to know many new people. The assistance of the Peer Support Leaders and staff have been much appreciated during this transition into secondary school.
Our best wishes to our Year 12 students for an enjoyable Ball which is to be held this Saturday evening. This is always a lovely event and our students do us proud in their presentation and behaviour on the night. Thank you to the Ball committee and the staff who have worked hard to ensure that everyone has a great time.
God bless you all.
Denise O’Meara - Principal