Principal's Video Update - Issue 13

In the last newsletter, I discussed the faith dimension of the College, including our values and social justice, as one of the reasons families choose a St Joseph’s education for their sons. During the last two weeks I have been reminded of many of the other things that are wonderful about the St Joseph’s school community, things we might consider the fabric of a St Joseph’s education and many of which become part of the DNA of a St Joseph’s graduate.

The Parents and Friends Fashion Dinner really is social justice in action and raised over $20,000 to support education at our sister school in Uganda. Next week our students will take part in the ‘Triumph-lite’ music festival which will support education in Timor-Leste. These are wonderful examples of our community living the values that we espouse.

Last week the College Advisory Council gathered for our annual seminar. Under the leadership of Shona Eland as Chair, the Council worked through a range of issues. The final iteration of the 2023 – 2027 Strategic Plan was approved and the 2023 budget was provisionally approved. The Council also was presented with plans for the redevelopment of our arts precinct, an overview of the teaching and learning across each of the sub-schools, and a summary of the work of the Community and Development office. The wisdom and generosity of the advisory Council in committing to this event is greatly appreciated.

At the Westcourt achievement ceremony this week students were recognised for their excellence in language-based leadership initiatives including Victorian Young leaders to China. The individual and team successes of both the 1sts and 2nds premiership winning ACC football teams were acknowledged.

On Tuesday night our College musicians performed the world premiere of ‘The Little Bush Buddha” and other performance items. The concert was a wonderful celebration of music College and left me in awe of the ability of our musicians to bring joy to others. A strong music and cultural program and a strong sporting program support an academic agenda and are sometimes referred to as bookends of a successful school. Clearly we are!

The Father's Day breakfast was another great community event this week. Over 550 dads, granddads and students enjoyed each other’s company and breakfast cooked by the staff and some senior students.

Our Year 12’s continue to lead the school effectively. Our VCAL students will conclude classes at the end of term and our VCE students are eight weeks away from final exams. It is particularly pleasing to see that the College Library, which has extended its opening hours, is being more extensively used by our senior students with groups of over 20 some nights taking advantage of independent and supported study options. It is also worth noting that figures published last year show that those students finishing their secondary education at St Joseph’s prior to Year 12 are twice as likely to be employed as graduates across other schools in the region.

As our Year 12 group moves closer to graduation, the process of identifying our senior student leadership group for 2023 has commenced. An outstanding array of candidates have submitted themselves for consideration and once again next year the College will be in excellent hands from a student leadership perspective.

Our commitment to and practice of respectful relationships and inclusivity is more highly developed than any other school that I am aware of. The formal curriculum components of this are prominent and feature in student interactions and relationships. Women, (staff, volunteers and Sacred Heart students), are present, visible, valued and respected. Approximately 50% of our staff are female and with shared classes throughout the senior school over 100 Sacred Heart students are studying on this campus with a similar number of St Joseph’s students studying at Sacred Heart.

There is always public discussion and speculation around the value, or otherwise, of single-gender education, in particular all-boys environments. There is research to suggest that boys show higher achievement in a single-gender environment, particularly in early adolescence. (There is more than a newsletter article needed to fully elaborate on this!) There are some who suggest that an all-boys environment amplifies less desirable male qualities resulting in a macho, misogynistic view of the world. I would love the chance to have anyone who holds this view spend time at St Joseph’s.

In short, the last two weeks have reminded me of the privilege we all have in being a part of the St Joseph’s community. I hope you and your son have had the chance to be involved in many of these elements of College life and I hope that these musings provide the catalyst for reflection on much of what is good at this College.

I have been made aware that a small number of places have become available for Year 7 in 2023. If you know any family who would like to join us please encourage them to contact our registrar, Adel Mawson on 52268177.

God Bless