From the Head of College, Graham Leddie
I look forward to celebrating the 107th May Procession this Sunday with the Waverley College Community. It holds a special place in the traditions of the College and is a celebration and devotion to Our Lady and our Founder Edmund Rice. As always, the event is compulsory for all of our students and a warm invitation is extended to families and friends to join us. Our Parent Association invites all attendees to enjoy afternoon tea together in the Kenny Quadrangle at the conclusion of the Procession. Many Old Boys are also involved in the procession and all are invited to attend the Old Boys’ Union Afternoon Tea in the Performing Arts Centre after the Procession. The Old Boys’ Union’s Annual General Meeting commences at the end of the Afternoon Tea, at around 4.30pm and Old Boys are encouraged to get involved.
Andrew is a renowned clinical psychologist who works across Australia and internationally specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families. He is a Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Learning and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne. His concept of “resilience” offers a coherent framework for the creation of schools that are sensitive to the developmental needs of young people and their teachers and assists students to rise above adversity and obstacles.
I highly recommend you attend some intensive training with renowned psychologist Andrew Fuller on the 22 May at 6:30pm – 8:00pm in the Cosgrove Centre. Andrew will unpack with parents and carers the topic area of ‘Raising boys to be respectful Gentlemen’. Andrew is highly sought after across the country and we thank our Parent Association for sponsoring this event. Andrew will be working with our Year 7s earlier in the day examining the ‘The Learning Brain’, our Year 8s ‘From stressed to strong’ and also working with our staff on ‘Creating Resilient Schools’.
NAPLAN Next Week
I remind parents of Year 5, 7 & 9 students of the NAPLAN of the upcoming tests next week. To read more, please CLICK HERE
Position of Deputy Head of College
As you would be aware, Mr Patrick Brennan is presently acting in the role of Deputy Head of College and he will continue in this role until the end of the year. EREA will advertise the position later in the year with the successful appointee scheduled to commence at the beginning of the 2018 school year. Mr Steve O’Donnell (Director of Co-curriculum) and Mr Gregg Elliot (Head of Senior Sport) will also continue in their respective roles for the duration of the year.
Service to something greater…
Congratulations to Brother Brian Murphy who celebrated 60 years service with the Christian Brothers last weekend. Brian is well known to the College community for his commitment, care and service to others.
CAS Coaching honours
Congratulations to the following staff who have had the honour of being appointed to coach the following CAS representative teams; Mr Scott Coleman 1sts Rugby, Mr Patrick Darvill 1st Football, Mr Steve O’Donnell 16s Rugby and Mr Kyle Newbury 16s Rugby.
Congratulations to the following boys on their respective achievements
Stephen Croft from Year 12 will compete in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition held this Friday. The current Prime Minister is amongst the previous winners of this competition. Stephen will be required to deliver an 8 minute impromptu speech on a topic given on the day.
Australian National Age Swimming Championships
Stuart Swinburn had an incredible week and made the finals in all of the 7 events that he qualified for:
- 1st in 15 years 200m backstroke (0.06 off the national record but qualified for the Junior World Championships and one of only 12 boys selected on the National Team.
- 1st in 15 years 100m backstroke
- 2nd in 15 years 200m butterfly
- 9th in 15 years 200m freestyle
- 9th in 15 in years 400m freestyle
- 6th in 15 years 1500m freestyle
- 7th in 15 years 100m butterfly
- 7th in 15 years 1500m freestyle
- 14th in 15 years 200m backstroke
- 17th in 15 years 400m freestyle
- 23rd in 15 years 100m backstroke.
- 16th in the 14 years 100m breaststroke
Australian Surf Life Saving Championships
I congratulate all Waverley boys who give up their time to patrol and train at local surf lifesaving clubs across Sydney.
At the recent Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships a number of boys achieved excellent results including:
- Ben Walker, Zac Havard and Noah Havard – Silver medal in U19 Male Ski Relay
- Noah Havard and Hamish Donkin – Bronze Medal in U17 Male Taplin Relay team
- Hamish Donkin – 8th in U17 Male 2km Swim; 3rd Taplan Team
- Jonathon Schacht – 8th in the team event of Board Rescue and the individual U17 2km Beach Run
- Oliver Heys – 17th in the U17 2km Beach Run
- Jeremy Heys – 11th in his U19 Male Ski Relay team
- Noah Havard and Jonathon Schacht – U17 March Past team 4th
- William Davison – U17 Champion Lifesavers 7th
Well done to these boys and all of our student who contribute to this iconic part of Australian society.
Daniel Gandy, Year 11, recently came 4th in NSW U19 Cycling Championships National Road Race and is training hard for the National Championships in Geelong occurring in June.
Body Boarding State Championships
Good luck to Byron Bruce-James, Hunter Smith and Liam Flanagan who are competing in the State Body Boarding championships this week.
Concerns about a new television series
You may or may not be aware of a Netflix series called Thirteen Reasons Why that has struck a chord with young people across the country. The series has received criticism and controversy due to its depiction of suicide. Concerns have been raised that the series provides a level of instruction and detail which may lead to young and vulnerable people imitating the process. Thirteen Reasons Why is rated MA15+, so this program is not appropriate content for children under the age of 15.
Additionally, the series has received criticism by the Mental Health Service Headspace. This is detailed HERE
Headspace’s criticism is based around concerns that the series normalises suicide. A powerful quote from the Headspace article is from Kristen Douglas, the National Manager of Headspace School Support, “…the show exposes viewers to risky suicide content and may lead to a distressing reaction by the viewer particularly, if the audience is children and young people.”
Additional concerns have been raised over the lack of a depiction of help-seeking behaviour or positive alternatives to suicide as a solution. Child Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg has stated his concerns in a radio interview that:
- It doesn’t talk about help-seeking “at all.”
- All of the adults in the show are “too busy or disinterested” to help.
- It “sanitises, normalises and glamourises” suicide.
Dr Carr-Gregg’s interview can be found HERE,
If your child is exposed to this series, it is important to not dismiss any concerns that they raise. It is helpful to speak honestly to your child about suicide and emphasise support is available for people who have thoughts of suicide, including resources like Lifeline, our school counsellors and the Kids Helpline. A list of these resources are provided below.
If you have any concerns or questions about Thirteen Reasons Why or suicide please do not hesitate to contact our school counsellors:
- Ms Tessa Prior: email@example.com
- Ms Megan Schmitz: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr Glenn Fleming: email@example.com
For further information about depression contact beyondblue at www.beyondblue.org.au or 1300 224 636.
Telephone resources which can offer advice regarding suicide and depression are:
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- For all urgent or dangerous situations, please call 000.