Mercy College Creative Arts Showcase includes strong SPX representation in Dramatic preparation for December’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Mercy College Creative Arts Showcase last Friday night led by Mercy Drama teacher Ms Amy Gill. The production featured many Pius – Mercy College links, not least of which was the comedic introduction co-hosted by Sam Schyvens (Year 10), and the full dress rehearsal for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival drama production which included Sam Schyvens, Lachlan Donlevy, James Bleasdale, Nic McLachlan (all from Year 10) and Taylor Alan (Year 9).
The powerful production, choreographed and directed by Ms Gill, will feature at the Australian Catholic Bishops Youth Festival from the 7th to 9th December at Homebush and The Domain, Sydney. Our students listed above have joined the Mercy Drama Team in many hours of rehearsal over recent months and the quality of their work was highly evident to the full Concourse audience including many dual Mercy-Pius parents and connections and also CSO Broken Bay officials such as Mr Tony Bracken.
Notably Mercy School Captain 2018 elect and solo French Horn performer, Mary-Ann Heaney, boasts Harry Heaney (Class of ‘16) as her brother, and SPX Kokoda Expedition 2014 and current SPX Cricket Umpire Mark Heaney in her support crew, while Mr Kim Jephcott (SPX College Captain ’89) was there to support his daughters who were key performers on the night. The Mercy College Staff act featured ex SPX parent Mrs Jenny Paton, and Mercy PDHPE Teacher and Girl’s 7s Rugby Coach extraordinaire, Mr Mark Cutler, who ended their performance with a well-executed “lift”, which I am reliably informed is their signature move. At grave risk of leaving someone out, other Pius-Mercy families names to feature included Daniels, Makarewicz, Tobin, Bullock, Coyne, Morton, Vaccher and Frost.
Congratulations again to all involved and best wishes to Ms Gill and the performers from both schools who will feature at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in December.
Chatswood Remembrance Day Commemorating the Centenary of the most costly year for Australian lives on the Western Front, The Charge of Beersheeba and 75 years since the Kokoda - Owen Stanley Ranges Campaign
Next Saturday 11th November the College has been invited to the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Chatswood Garden of Remembrance (adjacent to the Southern end of Chatswood station from 10.35am). We will be represented by College Vice Captain Nikita Papastamatis (Year 11), MindMatters Student Leader Daniel Fileman (Year 9) and a Year 5 Class Captain (yet to be confirmed) in laying a wreath.
Prefects, House Vice Captains and MindMatters students are all encouraged to attend to represent the College in their leadership roles. However with many student leaders committed to Saturday sport, music auditions and the like, we can extend the invitation to attend this ceremony more widely across the College. Anyone interested in attending should see Mr Brannan this week to register and report to him from 10.30am on Saturday in full polished school uniform.
Year 9 Camp and EREA School “Haven” Visit
Our Year 9 Huntington House “Workul Koo” Rites of Passage Camps program drew to a conclusion last week with 9H3 accompanied by Ms Whelan, Mr O’Byrne and Mr Adrian Brannan. Each homeroom has enjoyed an extraordinary growth experience through the camps in recent weeks and on behalf of Year 9, I thank the Year 9 Pastoral Care staff including Ms Fernando, Ms Doyle, Ms Foord, Mr Lacey, Mr Anderson, Mr Kovacevic, Mr Olson, Mr Kennedy, Mr McBrearty and Mr de Silva. These staff facilitated and led the Camp experiences from surfing, paddle boarding to indigenous culture, sustainability, spirituality and personality analysis experiences.
To consolidate their Camp 9H3 had the opportunity to visit “The Haven” which is an EREA Flexi School focusing on reintegration into mainstream education. The Haven is supported by St Edward's Gosford and St Pius X College under dedicated staff such as Chris Kokegai, Sonya Robinson and Paul Briggs and has maintained the EREA ideal of teaching and working “at the margins” over many years of operation. The experience was a powerful one for the SPX students and reinforced the great value in listening to the stories and reaching out to others in the selfless humanistic tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice through the examples of the Gospels. Thanks go to Matthew Hogan who has written the report below on their experience.
Year 9 Camp and EREA Haven Experience Report - Matthew Hogan (Year 9)
The Year 9 camps provided to us this year were different, and in many aspects superior, to all others we had previously attended. The purpose of this year’s camp ran deeper than just being for the sake of enjoyment. Although this was certainly a prevalent aspect, the environment of the camp provides the potential to pioneer a tradition of allowing students the opportunity to mature into young men, and more importantly the impending leaders of the college. This is because the camp itself separated us from the technology that surrounds us, and allowed us a few days to relax on the beachside, and momentarily step back from our busy lives.
When first arriving at the house that we had been provided with, there was a genuine feeling of awe and excitement; something that can be considered hard to come by in a group of teenage boys. There was a good reason for these sentiments, this being that the house we had parked in front of stood apart from all those around it. Expectations were high as we mounted the steps of the building erected in front of us, and we were not disappointed. The front of the house gave a breathtaking view of the beach laid out in front of us, and in the water were whales migrating! Throughout the trip, this calm environment allowed us to just relax, and to enjoy what we had been provided with as we rekindled with old friends, and created bonds anew.
Intertwined with the activities such as surfing and paddle-boarding were other activities which were designed to help us grow into young men. Incorporated into those other activities were underlying themes that questioned the people we were when we arrived at the camp, and helped us consider what we could change so we could grow as people, and help make the world a better place. All in all, this camp was an enjoyable experience that showed many that it is indeed possible to enjoy yourself with as little as a spot in front of the beach and friends to enjoy it with.
When the camp ended, for some more new experiences awaited them. While most students boarded the bus that would take them back to Chatswood, a few went on a different bus that would take them to “The Haven”, a school designed to help children to integrate back into mainstream education. These students were Matthew Hogan, Julian Galevski, Corey Johnson, Daniel Halverson, Caelan Hearne and Ivan Macolino. Over the space of a few hours, we got the chance to experience an altered form of learning. This was an exciting and educational experience for all involved as we ate, played sport and indulged in music drum circles with students of the school, and learned about them.
Those who made this camp possible were not forgotten. A holistic feeling of gratitude has been felt towards those who provided us with it, and many gave sincere appreciation and praise to these people throughout the camp. Both of these combined have provided me and many others with one of the best experiences this great school has to offer.
Student Leaders' Speechcraft Graduation Dinner
Our Year 11 Student Leadership Team will complete their Speechcraft Course by speaking in front of a dinner audience of Parents, staff and Old Boys Association representatives next Monday evening from 6.30 – 8.30pm at Chatswood RSL. Parents who still need to Trybook the event and meal, please refer to previous emails from myself and Ms Brady for details and / or contact us at the College.
The Course which is generously sponsored by the Old Boys Association to develop the public speaking and presentation skills of our students, particularly post the experience of Liam Knight and the founding of The White Knight Foundation, has been a feature of our leadership Team training in recent years. We have been greatly encouraged by the developing skills of our students throughout and no doubt Dan Hall, Nikita Papastamatis and Jack Moran's team will be equally impressive and entertaining in their delivery next Monday evening.
Mr S Brannan - Head of Student Services