Congratulations to Mr McBrearty’s Year 12 MindMatters Student Empowerment Team led by College Captain Joe Unwin, Brandon Jubian and Tom Gazey who coordinated a memorable and impactful RUOK Day last Friday 15th September in support of positive mental health in our society . The morning Assembly, featuring the College Choir's rendition of “Hey Brother”, resonated perfectly with the message of guest speaker - our own 1st XV Rugby Coach, strength and conditioning trainer in the Sarto Centre Gym, ex NSW Rugby Player, Bobsled representative and more recently Ninja Warrior, Francis Cullimore. Francis spoke to the Assembly about his transitions and challenges faced throughout his childhood, athletic career and life and the need to:
- connect with others in positive significant and meaningful ways,
- exercise, have a healthy diet and challenge yourself using healthy routines,
- seek qualified support with the help of your support network when you find yourself under mental stress, and
- show empathy rather than sympathy and walk life’s journeys with your companions.
Nick from Batyr - named after batyr (‘hero’), the talking elephant from Kazakhstan and referring to giving a voice to the elephant in the room - then joined our Year 8 14A and Chatswood Rugby Batyr ambassadors Lachlan Onslow and Zac Davidson and explained how their tour early in the year with the NSW Waratah team raised awareness about The Elephant in The Room: Mental Health concerns in Mudgee and Rural NSW.
Classes then returned to their Pastoral Care rooms to watch a stimulus video and have a conversation around the St Pius X College contemporary whole-school approach to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our extended and inclusive community.
The message was a good, worthwhile and positive one for all our students and community.
Hope UROK. Let's support each other positively regardless.
Year 9 Camps
Excitement grows as we begin our first full cohort use of Huntington House (or “Workul Koo”, meaning “One God”) in Week 1 next term. Huntington House is a great facility we share with CBHS Lewisham and Year 9 Coordinator Mr Ticli and Outdoor Education Coordinator Mr De Silva will be facilitating activities including surfing lessons, paddleboarding, a bushwalk incorporating an indigenous awareness session with local elder Stuart McMinn, Reflection and Sustainability education. The groups will be working closely with James Cummins of the Positivity Project while on these formative “Rites of SPX Passage” events.
Year 9 Homeroom 1 will attend the first half of Week 1 Term 4 with Pastoral care staff Ms Fernando, Mr McBrearty, Mr Anderson and Mr Kovacic followed by Homeroom 5, with Homerooms 2 and 4 attending in Week 2 under Stage 5 Wellbeing Coordinator Ms Foord and Pastoral Care Staff Ms Doyle, Mr Olson, Mr Lacey and Mr Kennedy. Homeroom 3 attend Camp in Week 4 with Mr A Brannan, Mr Whelan and Mr O’Byrne allowing our Performing Arts Festivities to take precedence in Week 3.
Edmund Rice Centre Dinner 21st Birthday Celebration
With the Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice, Homebush, celebrating its 21st Birthday last Friday week St Pius X College was well represented amongst a diverse gathering of Christian Brothers, Teaching Staff, Social Justice Advocates and Supporters of the Edmund Rice Centre. The keynote address was delivered by Senator Pat Dodson from Broome WA who Edmund Rice Centre Director Phil Glendenning AO considers the “Father of Reconciliation”.
Kaleb Taylor, Aboriginal Liaison Officer to Christian Brothers High School Lewisham and great friend of the College, led his Lewisham Team in an Acknowledgement of Country Ceremony conducted by Cassandra Gibbs of the Kamilaroi people from Goodooga, after a big effort in driving down that day.
It was a great pleasure to catch up with Zaki Haidari, who now works at Canberra University and is well known to the College. He is a fine example of positive outcomes in refugee integration into Australian society. Zaki visited us in May to watch Ms Fernando’s production of Boy Overboard, was the subject of Year 12 student Alex McLarty’s Art Major Work and is highly impressed with the social awareness and empathy of our students.
Running for Rowie
Congratulations to Ms Foord, Mr Russo and the Year 9/10 MindMatters Student Empowerment Team students who actively supported the Willoughby community event “Running for Rowie” as part of the Blackmores Running Festival last Sunday. Particular commendations to Tom Wong, Harry Rowe and Nick Slack among others who ran the event. Our student team received huge commendations for the example they set in running the BBQ and hosting the children’s activities for the gathering back at Willoughby Bowling Club. The event raises money and awareness for services which support children during periods of loss and grief.
White Knight Walk
There is still an opportunity to take part in this walk from the Spit Bridge (Park on the Southern/ Mosman side) to Manly in support of Liam Knight’s Foundation which raises awareness and funds to generously support victims of violence in their rehabilitation. The walk takes place this Sunday with an 8.00 to 8.30am start and registration can be made via the website http://2017walkagainstyouthviolence.gofundraise.com.au/
Please see Mr Brannan if transport is required from Chatswood to the Spit (departing 7.30am from Chatswood) and then returning from Manly later in the day after the conclusion of the BBQ (adjacent to Manly Wharf).
Clean Slate Without Prejudice
Best wishes to the small band of Boxercise and socially-minded Years 9 and 10 students recruited by Ms Foord, our Years 9 and 10 Wellbeing Coordinator, to participate in the Redfern-based Clean Slate Without Prejudice Boxercise Program on both Fridays of the holidays.
The group will meet at Chatswood at 5.10am, travel to Redfern and meet with delegates of The Tribal Warrior Indigenous Education Group and Redfern Police to participate in this Boxercise session. “We learn by doing and empathy rather than sympathy”. (Francis Cullimore - RUOK Day 2017)
Please see Ms Foord or Mr Brannan for more details.
The Kings School National Boys' Education Conference
Best wishes to Senior Studies Coordinator Mr Tony Cunneen and MindMatters Year 10 Student empowerment Team Facilitator Ms Veronica Kugananthan who have been invited to present at the Kings National Boys Education Conference on Monday 9th October. They will present on the highly regarded Year 12 Bush Retreat Program which Mr Cunneen has been successfully running at St Pius X College for over 20 years. The Bush Retreat program has added great value and been a significant rite of passage experience for generations of our students. It is fitting therefore that we share our insights from this element of our Pastoral care programs with other like-minded educational institutions through Mr Cunneen and Ms Kugananthans’ expertise.
Mr S Brannan - Head of Student Services