Principal's Video News

Thank you to those who made contact with our state politicians to advocate for a reconsideration of the unfair $400 payment to all students in government schools and only a small portion of families in Catholic schools. I will be meeting with Christine Couzens MP next week to further advocate against the discriminatory targeting of this payment. I am hopeful that our advocacy will result in a fairer distribution of funding.

There have been a number of significant events at school in the last few weeks. On Wednesday last week we celebrated Edmund Rice Day. It was a fitting celebration of our heritage and our commitment to social justice. The staff and students had a great day, including a memorable liturgy, and your generosity means that we are now able to fulfil our financial commitment to those most in need locally, in Uganda and in Timor-Leste. Later that same day, I was delighted to have a video call with Father Emma in Uganda. He asked that I pass on to you the heartfelt thanks of students, staff and families from the school in Kensekka.

On Friday, former student Br Brian Bond visited St Joseph’s. Br Brian is the Director of Edmund Rice International (ERI); an organisation based in Geneva which engages in advocacy for social justice through the United Nations. Br Brian had lunch with a group of our senior student leaders and our staff who are visiting Uganda in July. He spoke to us about the work of ERI and other advocacy and social justice initiatives from across the world. ERI has goals which are very much aligned with those of ‘Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders’ which I wrote about in the last newsletter.

On Monday morning this week, boys and their mums or female carers gathered in the gym for Mother’s Day breakfast. This was a real community celebration with many staff commencing well before daylight to ensure a cooked breakfast awaited our guests. Thank you to all involved.

Lisa Pope will be absent for the last five weeks of term as she takes leave to work in the Rueben Centre in Nairobi. Lisa will be working with Br Frank O’Shea, a former staff member at Chanel College and friend of St Joseph’s. We wish Lisa well for her travels and look forward to her safe return. During her absence, John Mitchell will be acting Deputy Principal – Learning.

There is currently a shortage of teachers in Victoria. We continue to attract high quality staff as we have an excellent reputation as being a good place to work. Our students are generally respectful and cooperative and our teaching colleagues are supportive and collegial.

We are receiving fewer applicants for positions when they become available, particularly for short-term contract roles. We are currently advertising for three replacement roles for Term 3 and later this term we will advertise for teachers across all faculties and year levels for 2025. If you are an excellent teacher seeking a change or know someone who is, I would encourage you to direct them to the employment section of our website.

The health and safety of everyone in this community is a priority for us. May I remind all families of the importance of informing the school if a student suffers a concussion outside school. This is best done by informing Reception, after which we can inform teachers to ensure that the student receives any support they need and are not exposed to anything that might place them at risk. And finally, in recent weeks we have noticed a marked increase in the number of students and staff absent having tested positive for COVID-19. We encourage everyone to be mindful of the risks of infection and transmission, take appropriate precautions and test where required.

God Bless

Tony Paatsch