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From the Principal

Principal, Mr Graham Leddie

Principal, Mr Graham Leddie

Read more: Enrolments Years 5 & 7 for 2023 closing in 2 weeks, CAS Swimming Championships, National Day of Action Against Bullying, St Patrick’s Day, Inaugural Waverley Giving Day, Roundtable on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in High Schools

 


Enrolments 

Years 5 and 7 enrolments for 2023 will close in 2 weeks. We currently have more applications than positions available for both Year 5 and Year 7. So should you have a sibling enrolment, please ensure that this is in by the closing date of Wednesday 31 March.

Our 2020-21 Engage, Inspire, Empower advertising campaign continues to raise the awareness and profile of our remarkable College, its gifted educators, and excellent facilities. Waverley students in their blue and gold alongside their teachers, have been seen by tens of thousands of Sydneysiders on billboards, buses and at Westfield.

This Campaign was launched because it was imperative that we enhance and strengthen our branding. We especially needed to build a sharper awareness of our Years 5 and 7 enrolment application closing dates. And concurrently, we created a smarter and more sophisticated seasonal school uniform to represent Waverley College to its greatest potential. 

 


Swimming and Diving 

Congratulations to Ms Nicola Silsby, Mr Nick Nezval, Ms Kath Knowles, coaches and our swimming and diving teams on their recent impressive performance at the CAS Swimming Championships. 

 


Two Significant Days 

The College celebrated two significant days this week, The National Day of Action Against Bullying and St Patrick’s Day. In each Wellbeing group over the week, teachers and students strategised ways of addressing any bullying, what do you do if you are bullied, and calling out bullies. At the College we have no place for anyone who wishes to bully someone else. 

Foundational to the College’s story is our Irish heritage, which we recall on a day such as St Patrick’s Day, in a year that marks 200 years of Catholic education in Australia and 118 years at Waverley College. The Catholic Church in Australia was largely built through the combined efforts of Irish men and women who came to this country in large numbers over successive generations up until the middle of last century. This Gaelic ancestry included not only the Sisters, Priests and, in our case, Christian Brothers, but also working-class men and women who wanted more for themselves and their families than was available in their own country. 

 


Inaugural Waverley Giving Day – Wednesday 31 March

Next week we are launching our inaugural 24-hour Waverley Giving Day on Wednesday 31 March, onsite, in conjunction with the fundraising platform Charidy.com. 

What Are We Raising Funds For?

This College Foundation Board initiative is an opportunity for us to raise much-needed funding for Edmund Rice Bursaries for students suffering financial hardship. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, many families in our school community are still really suffering.

Our Bursaries assist students whose family financial circumstances prevent them from joining, or continuing their education with us. This might be because of the loss of a job, a severe injury, or a death in the family. Or from circumstances where there is just no prospect of a Waverley education. For a family in crisis or with no normal prospect of such an education, the reassurance that their kids will still be able to start or continue at Waverley is an enormous relief. For the students, the ability to join or stay with the Waverley community can have life-long impacts.

Our Giving Day will be exciting! It promises to be a celebration of our College, our students, and our commitment to creating a more inclusive community. To maximise our success on the day, we will be talking with you further about becoming involved. Whole community support plays a crucial role by expanding our network of donors and promoting information about the day.

I encourage everyone to enthusiastically participate in Waverley Giving Day. I have already donated and I am challenging everyone in the community to donate as well. Every bit counts. Dig deep! Keep an eye out for more information next week.


Roundtable on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in High Schools

I am continuing to address the serious issues raised by Ms Chanel Contos’ recent online petition and accompanying testimonies, demanding for consent education reform in Australian schools. I strongly agree that it is important for schools to use their position to challenge a culture that objectifies women, normalises sexual abuse and assault, and shames and blames the victims of those assaults. 

After recently meeting with Chanel and nine eastern suburbs principals, it was clear that her overall message is one of optimism: that we should not be looking back in blame but looking forward to what we can do to instigate change, and many of us believe that by working together this can be achieved.

Over many years, the Australian Human Rights Commission has developed significant expertise in both understanding the prevalence and nature of sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as responding to, and preventing, sexual harassment and sexual assault in a range of settings.

From their work in this area, they have learnt that sectors working together to develop a response is often much more effective than the development of individual responses. Accordingly, they believe it would be beneficial to meet as a group to discuss the challenge of sexual harassment and sexual assault and to share some of the practical steps being taken to prevent and respond to these behaviours.

To this end, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Ms Kate Jenkins and National Children’s Commissioner Ms Anne Hollonds have invited some school principals and key decision-makers to attend a roundtable at the Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney to discuss sexual harassment and sexual assault response and prevention in the education sector.

I will be attending this roundtable on Friday 26 March. I will continue to keep you updated on the steps we will be taking as a College to address these challenges.