From the Head of College, Graham Leddie
New Board Chair
It is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of the College’s new Board Chair, Dr Mark Davies. Mark has been Deputy Chair since 2014 and a Board Member since 2011.
Mark is a specialist neurosurgeon with over 25 years’ experience. He is currently the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at St George Hospital, as well as an Associate Professor (Conjoint) at the UNSW School of Medicine. Mark is the immediate past President of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He graduated from Waverley College in 1981 and holds a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Hons) from UNSW. Mark also holds a Masters of Law degree from the University of Edinburgh in Medical Law. He has four children, two of whom are fourth-generation Waverlians.
I look forward to working closely with Mark and the Waverley College Board in 2018.
Positions of added responsibility
Further to the staff update in my last newsletter, I would like to congratulate the following staff on their appointments as iLeaders for 2018:
- Ms Patricia Alborough
- Ms Cassie Perry
- Ms Charlotte Stephens
Thank you to Mr Andy Andrews who has served the College over the last 16 years. Andy has held the positions of Assistant Head of Science, Chemistry Teacher and Head of Year throughout his time at the College. He has contributed to the debating and football programs as well as social justice initiatives. We wish Andy all the best in his new position at Marist Kogarah as Assistant Head of Science and thank him for his service to the College.
Some of you would have seen the brilliant work titled ‘Nature’s Embodiment’ by 2017 Year 12 student Dylan Quirk, which has now been selected in the HSC ArtExpress exhibition. From 9,097 students who submitted bodies of works for the HSC Visual Arts Examination, 460 students were nominated. Congratulations also to Year 12 2017 student, Adam Hutchinson who was nominated for his work, ‘The life of Joachim Brandt’, but just missed out on final exhibition selection.
On 18-24 November, Daniel Gandy (Year 11) was in Cambridge, New Zealand competing in the Oceania Track Cycling Championships as part of the New South Wales Team and also representing Australia in the U19 Team Pursuit Championships. The U19 team were successful in winning Gold against the New Zealand team in the final, posting a time of 4min 11sec over the 4km event. Daniel also achieved a silver medal in the U19 Points Race, and 4th in the Omnium and Individual Pursuit, narrowly missing a medal in each.
Mental Health First Aid
This week 20 staff members participated in a course run by college Psychologist, Tessa Prior, on mental health first aid.
Mental health first aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.
Course content is derived from a number of consensus studies incorporating the expertise of hundreds of researchers, clinicians, mental health consumer advocates and carer advocates across the English speaking western world.
MHFA courses provide our teachers with:
- Skills in how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
- Knowledge of the possible causes or risk factors for these mental health problems
- Awareness of the evidenced based medical, psychological and alternative treatments available
- Skills in how to give appropriate initial help and support someone experiencing a mental health problem
- Skills in how to take appropriate action if a crisis situation arises involving suicidal behaviour, panic attack, stress reaction to trauma, overdose or threatening psychotic behaviour.
The college’s aim is to have all staff undertake this important training. If you would like to learn more about this important program it is available here: https://mhfa.com.au/about/our-activities/what-we-do-mental-health-first-aid
My thanks go to Tessa Prior for pioneering this important initiative at Waverley.
Old Boy Ordination
A Waverley Old Boy, John Ting (Class of 1984), was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on 22 November 2017 by Cardinal Fisher.
Deacon Ting, 53, came to Australia from Malaysia as a teenager, and is a chemical engineer. Spending time working and volunteering as youth leaders in both Singapore and Malaysia, Deacon Ting and his wife returned to Australia in 2001 to again volunteer as youth workers with the Australian Chinese Catholic youth. After completing a Master of Arts at the Catholic Institute of Sydney in 2008, Deacon Ting discerned his call to the permanent diaconate.
Although deacons have served the Church since its beginning, with the ordination of the first deacons described in the Acts of the Apostles, the presence of the diaconate as a distinct, permanent ordained ministry gradually declined before disappearing in the Middle Ages, with the role of deacons mainly linked to those who are ordained as “transitional deacons” prior to being ordained to the priesthood.
After the Second Vatican Council discussed the desirability of restoring the permanent diaconate, In Pope Paul VI decreed that the order of deacon could be conferred for a life-long ministry upon married or celibate men.
Prior to this, the office of the permanent deaconate had not been exercised in the Western church for more than a millennium.
In his homily, Archbishop Fisher explained the crucial role of the deacon to the Church.
“Deacons are specialists in sacred hatch, match and dispatch; they do baptisms, marriages and funerals,” the Archbishop explained.
“If a deacon is a who before he is a do,” the Archbishop said, “the who is a servant.”
“Whether he’s preaching at Mass, taking Viaticum to the dying, assisting the bishop in the chancery, organising charitable works, or hatching, matching and dispatching sacramentally – he is first and foremost about service.
“St John Paul II called deacons ‘the Church’s service sacramentalised’ and ‘living signs of the servanthood of Christ’s Church’.”
On behalf of the entire Waverley College community I extend warmest congratulations to Deacon Ting.
Vale Anthony McDonald
Sad news this week for one of our families with the death of Anthony (Tony) Francis McDonald, an old boy from the Class of 1949 and a proud Waverlian. Tony had a successful career as a solicitor and was for many years actively involved in the Parents’ and Friends’ Association and the Old Boys’ Union. He was also a regular at the May Procession and attended the Back to Waverley days, including the last one, which he very much enjoyed. His son, Tim McDonald, attended the College (Class of 1984) and his grandsons, Hugh (Year 6) and Ewan McDonald (Year 5) are now attending the College. A prayer was said for Tony at the Junior School this week. Tony is survived by his beloved wife Eleanor, his daughters, Philippa and Elizabeth, and his son, Tim.
He passed away on Sunday 26 November 2017. His Funeral is to be held at St Anthony’s Church at Clovelly at 10.30am on Monday 4 December 2017.
New Principal for St Charles’ Catholic Primary School
Congratulations and a warm welcome to Mr Paul Croker, whose appointment to the role of Principal of St Charles’ Catholic Primary School in Waverley was announced yesterday by Dr Dan White, Executive Director of Catholic Schools for Sydney Catholic Schools. Mr Croker will commence in the role in Term 1, 2018.
Paul comes to the role from Thomas More Catholic Parish Primary School Ruse and was previously the Principal at St Michael’s Catholic Primary School Nowra and Holy Parish Primary School Gowrie.
Mr Croker replaces Ms Hilary Cameron, who has led St Charles’ since 2015. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Ms Cameron for the excellent relationship she has maintained between our schools as part of the Waverley Parish of St Charles Borromeo. On behalf of the Waverley College community I wish her all the best for the future.