Welcome back to all our families for the new school year. It has been wonderful to see our students arrive back eager to learn. I am also impressed with the effort they have made to ensure their appearance is in line with College policy.
Edmund Rice Young School Leaders Vision the Future Together
During the summer break, Young School Leaders from across the country gathered on Wadawurrung Country, at St Patrick’s College Ballarat, as part of the Edmund Rice Education Australia’s (EREA) Young Leaders’ Conference. Over 50 young people from 40 schools in almost every state and territory across Australia participated in the conference, and we were fortunate enough to have our College Captain Lachlan Miranda represent Waverley.
The theme of Conference was Voice and Agency. The Young Leaders explored an understanding of leadership from a Gospel and Edmund Rice perspective, and the importance of justice, Reconciliation, advocacy, service and global engagement. They networked together as they reflected on their own personal journey of leadership and how to look after their own and their peers’ wellbeing. The delegates also had the opportunity to be the first group consulted as part of the mission direction and strategy for EREA going forward.
The Young Leaders were joined online by past Edmund Rice young leaders from South Africa and India, who shared their own experience of leading in their nation’s context. The Australian Young Leaders were invited to collaborate globally this year with other young leaders from across the 20 Countries where Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition operate.
This was an incredibly rich learning experience for Lachlan and we are proud to know he is playing a role in shaping the future of EREA.
Support Services at Waverley College
As part of our College wellbeing initiatives for students, Waverley College has a dedicated Psychology Service located in the Health Centre. One of our Psychologists, Samantha Jessen, completed specialised training with her golden retriever, Mabel, to be a certified therapy dog in training. In 2023, Mabel visited the College on a trial basis – you may have spotted her around campus getting lots of pats and cuddles. This year, Mabel will continue to visit the Senior Campus on occasion as she begins to settle in and get used to life at a very busy school.
Mabel is a two-year-old blonde golden retriever. She enjoys saying hello to absolutely everyone, going for long walks, and playing with her toys. She likes holding hands, playing tug, and will often remind you to keep petting her. Mabel is very playful as a young dog and is always eager to meet new friends.
As Mabel is quite young, she at times finds it tricky to stay calm and relaxed as she wants to play with everyone she meets! With time, we hope Mabel continues to regulate and relax a little bit more to attend the Senior Campus on a regular basis. Please be mindful that Mabel is classified as a learner until she finds her big dog paws and may need some extra patience and grace as she continues to adjust to life at Waverley.
Through Mabel’s presence within the school environment, it is envisaged that she will support student engagement, assist with social skill development, aid with self-regulation and calming, among many other benefits. Mabel may engage with students in a variety of ways including individual interventions, small group and class interventions, as well as a presence across a range of College events.
Understandably, some parents and carers will have concerns about their child’s interaction with an animal within the school environment. These concerns may relate to your child’s fear or phobia of animals, or a health and safety concern. We would like to assure you that interaction with Mabel is completely voluntary, and precautions are being taken to minimise risks. As a result, a risk management plan is available for your perusal should you wish to better understand our planning. In addition, further information about commonly asked questions and concerns is available upon request. Please inform the Health Centre if your child has any health-related concerns regarding animals.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Wellbeing Team.