Dear Parents / Carers,
For the last five years the College has been running a successful ‘Headstart’ program whereby each year level shifts up into their following year’s classes in the last week/s of term 4. This year ‘Headstart’ will only run for one week. Transition / ‘Headstart’ will commence on Thursday 30 November. The final day for students is Thursday 7 December. A video has been put together by Lisa Pope and John Mitchell which explains timetable changes and the changed structure of each week including specific details on changes for each year level. This video can be accessed via this link.
I still remain bemused by the disinformation which has been circulating for much of this year suggesting that our students will have a day off each week as part of the timetable changes. This is NOT correct and I’m happy to assure you that students have scheduled classes on five days each week during ‘Headstart’ and in 2024. This is made clear in the video.
School fees for 2024 have been set. We have written to each family providing detail of our 2024 school fees, including an explanation of why an increase has been necessary. This letter can be accessed here.
I would like to ask for the support of all families in reiterating our strong expectation that once students arrive at school each morning they may not leave the school grounds. We have recently had issues with students arriving at school and then leaving the grounds to visit local shops or the homes of friends. Student safety is paramount and is compromised if students leave the supervised confines of the campus.
Last week over 50 of the graduates of 1973 returned to St Joseph’s to celebrate 50 years since their graduation. This was one of the largest reunion groups of similar vintage that we have had come back to visit the College as a group it was a joy to see their pleasure in reconnecting with old friends. I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak with them about the College today and assure them that while much has changed physically, we have retained our commitment to the pursuit of excellence and at the same time have developed an even more truly inclusive culture.
A quote that many of us will be familiar with is that ‘truth is the first casualty of war’. In this age of ubiquitous social media, this has never been truer. In the current conflicts both in Ukraine and in the Middle East it is really difficult to understand the truth regarding what is happening.
War is a great evil that does incredible damage to the lives of those directly affected, but also has an indirect impact on people across the world. One of the results of the current conflict in Gaza has been a rise in anti-Semitism across the world including in Australia.
Historically Christians have been guilty of promoting anti-Semitism (sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly). However, in recent times, particularly since the Holocaust during the Second World War, the Catholic Church has been at pains to repudiate anti-Judaism. Just why anti-Semitism seems so quick to arise is a mystery, perhaps explained by crowd psychology, the human desire for scapegoats and or our willingness to embrace conspiracy theories.
In the conflict between Israel and Gaza it seems clear there is fault on both sides however the Jewish people in general cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Israeli government. Similarly, all Palestinians cannot be held responsible for the acts of Hamas.
We are a long way from this war but we have not remained unaffected by it. St Joseph’s commits to the prayerful support of all people in the Middle East regardless of ethnicity or religion and to advocating for peace. At our staff meeting yesterday we offered a prayer that ‘wisdom’ may guide the Gazan and Israeli decision-makers. (A ceasefire was declared shortly after!).
Wisdom is bright and does not grow dim. By those who love her she is readily seen, and found by those who look for her. (Wisdom 6:12)