From Head of College, Graham Leddie
National Close the Gap Day
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People face life expectancy 10-17 years lower than other Australians. They experience disproportionate rates of chronic disease, mental health and are incarcerated in numbers vastly above those of the rest of the population. National Close the Gap Day is about us recognising the gap and working towards solutions. Edmund Rice Education Australia have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Response Document. The College is currently working on our Indigenous Action Plan. It is pleasing to have 57 of our boys (supported by their parents/carers) apply to attend Indigenous immersion experiences to Walgett, Arnhem Land and Uluru this year. I challenge us to continue to play our part in working towards closing the gap.
Say No to Bullying
Every House is joining in a symbolic creation of a giant human “NO” on Friday morning this week to celebrate National – “Say no to bullying day”. This week boys in Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 have attended bullying workshops and filled in a survey on bullying to help us gather data and assist us target certain areas. Bullying of any type will not be accepted or tolerated at the College. Our Wellbeing Program continues to have a positive influence in creating and teaching positive and right relations between boys. However, like every school we need to be vigilant and continue to have high expectations in this area.
World’s Greatest Shave
Thank you to many of you for your support of the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave program that has been held at the College this week. Many boys have volunteered to have their heads shaved at the College Assembly, and many more students and parents have supported the boys and donated much needed funds to this great cause.
At our Year 7-12 Assembly this week, the current crisis facing many countries in Africa was raised. Sudan and Somalia in particular are struggling to meet the basic human needs of their populations. The College is running a Mufti/Plain Clothes Day this Friday and asking boys to contribute a gold coin or more to this crisis affecting our brothers and sisters in Africa. The crisis is struggling to get traction in the media at present, so our Social Justice team are also asking for assistance in bringing this crisis to people’s attention.
Gifted Awareness Week
Gifted Awareness Week celebrates gifted children around Australia, through promoting their needs and increasing understanding and awareness in the community. This year’s theme for the week is ‘diversity: recognise, realise and respond’.
This week Waverley College hosted the Annual General Meeting of the Gifted and Talented Secondary Teachers’ Association with over 25 schools across Sydney attending. The teachers shared ideas about enriching their top end students and pushing students into this area. Our Applied Philosophy Course drew much interest from other schools.
Last week our Year 10 Applied Philosophy boys attended – ‘Philosophy – A Public Faith’ at State Parliament House. The program was designed for student school leaders and forming future leaders from within a Catholic context and explored the role of religion in matters of public debate. Presentations focussed on the philosophical foundations of free speech, the law around Church and state, religion and government from a global perspective and constructing a sound argument.
Congratulations to Ashley Backlund, Alexander Bayas, Cooper Flynn, Matthew Gallagher, Samuel Hall, Joshua Hamilton, Roy Hampshire, Roman Koteczky, Edward Kranz, Luke Mendes, Connor Pilger and James Ritchie on their contribution. Thank you also to Mr Steve Wilmot and Mr Dominic Hearne.
Swimmers & Divers
Good luck to our Swimming and Diving Team as they compete in the 86th CAS championships at the Olympic Centre at Homebush this afternoon/evening. All boys were presented at Assembly and wished well for the competition. Thank you to the Swimming Supporter Group for their support of the boys throughout the season and the cooking of the BBQ at the final pool session. I know the boys appreciate all that you do.