Principal's Video News

Principal's Video News

There is currently a narrative in public discourse which links gender violence and gender inequality to the way boys are educated at school, ignoring other influences on young men. The finger is often pointed at independent or other non-government “elite” boys’ schools as a major contributor to these evils. The conclusion often drawn from this narrative is that one is more likely to be, or become, a supporter of male hegemony, a misogynist or a perpetrator of domestic violence if one graduates from a boys only school.

My experience of working in and with boys’ schools, suggests that this is misleading. It is certainly not true at St Joseph’s. In fact, I believe that the truth is demonstrably quite the opposite. A St Joseph’s education is more likely to make one a caring, empathetic man who respects and values women as equals. I think we have many thousands of Old Collegians who are living examples of this.

As the largest educator of boys in the region, we are committed to educating our students to help eliminate gender-based violence in the community and empowering our boys to challenge sexism and misogyny and advocate for gender equality. We educate boys to be respectful and compassionate young men who know how to form respectful relationships based on equality and respect, and free from violence of any kind.

As Australian society grapples with the scourge of domestic violence, we seek to raise awareness and ‘shine a light’ on the responsibility of men to end all forms of gender-based violence in the community. Our students and other men in our college community understand and commit to our role in this. We acknowledge and stand in solidarity with those affected by domestic and gender-based violence.

Commencing on 1 May, we will be lighting the façade of our Peter Chanel Centre, adjacent Carey Oval, purple overnight for a week. We do so in support of the 1 May Candlelight Vigil to remember and honour those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. We also take this action as a visible symbol of our commitment to be part of the solution to gender-based violence and inequality in Australia.

Our new timetable and weekly structure has now been in place for approximately 15 weeks. We have surveyed students and staff to obtain their feedback on how the changed arrangements are working for them. In the Deputy Principal’s section of this newsletter, Lisa Pope has provided a brief summary of feedback received so far. I encourage you to provide feedback. A working party from Sacred Heart and St Joseph’s will consider all feedback before making any adjustments to align the timetable and schedule to the learning and wellbeing needs of our students and staff.

God Bless

Tony Paatsch