Newsletter - Term 1, Week 2, 2024


From the Pen of the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the new school year with a special welcome to those who are new to our Xavier family. I sincerely hope that your Christmas and New Year were both enjoyable and rejuvenating. I also hope that Christmas prompted some reflection on the wonderous love of God and a deep sense of gratitude.

Last week I spoke briefly to our Secondary students. In addition to welcoming them, I described the start of a school year as a point of great potential. We begin with blank exercise books and unused pens but, hopefully, as the year progresses, they symbolically represent our growth in knowledge and wisdom. I also spoke of the need to set goals if we are going to turn that potential into actual success. In the words of the great Rugby League Coach, Jack Gibson, “Potential never won nothing.”

I challenged students to not only set goals but to plan on how to achieve them. Goals without plans are just dreams. Attaining your goals takes discipline and effort.

Finally, I asked students to make this the year of ‘NO EXCUSES.’ Own your outcomes whether good or bad. Over my career I have coached a lot of sport from Cricket to Rugby to Soccer, usually coaching the Open Teams (i.e. First XI Cricket, First XV Rugby, First XI Soccer). One rule that I enforced in each team was to never criticise the Umpire or the Referee. Too often you hear a lot of complaints at halftime or at drinks breaks. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some awful referees and umpires. But, to focus only on this is simply making excuses to lose. It is something that is beyond our control.

My demand was to focus on what was within our power to change and to take charge of our own performance and effort. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I did manage to fill a trophy cabinet with this approach.

In psychology they refer to this as the ‘internal locus of control.’ It means we take responsibility for our attitudes and our destiny. We judge ourselves by our own internal standards. The opposite approach is to point the finger at external factors. This often leads to blaming others for the outcomes – the teacher, the curriculum, their fellow students. 
Take charge of your life and your destiny. Take the responsibility for the outcomes and this will promote your effort and agency which are the building blocks to achieving your personal best.

I also hope our students see their education in a spirit of wonder and awe. I came across a story recently that illustrates this point.

A young girl was on a train sitting next to her mother and looking out the window. Excitedly, she exclaimed, “Look! A horse!” and a moment later, “Look! A farmhouse!” She kept drawing her mother’s attention to everything she saw. After a time, her mother became embarrassed and said to the man who sat opposite, “I’m sorry my daughter is going on like this; she still thinks everything is wonderful.”

Should this incident give rise to such questions as: When do we stop thinking everything is wonderful? When we grow up? Does growing older mean growing jaded and dulled? Is it only by travelling to faraway places that we can marvel again? Can’t we experience wonder and awe in our daily lives anymore? Albert Einstein has a caution for us: “Those who will pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe will truly live. They will see what others miss. They will feel what others cannot. Life for them will be both exquisite and mysterious.” 

If we are not careful, our life can be consumed by mundane concerns and an endless struggle to keep our head above water; life can become a daily battle with no end in sight. 

Maya Angelou, the famous American poet and civil rights activist, once said, “Making a living is not the same as making a life.” Yet, life can be beautiful if we learn to capture the magic moments of wonder and awe.

Children express surprise and delight in their new discoveries and observations, let us not apologise for them; let’s join them, encourage them and be thankful for the opportunity they give us to enjoy their wonder and awe.

To begin with, we need to keep our eyes and minds open to new possibilities. If we confine our existence to our five senses and reduce our life into something that we can predict and control, we diminish our capacity for wonder and awe. Our lives should not be consumed by demands and desires. We might need to learn again how to bring alive God’s Spirit within us, how to enliven the gift of wonder and awe that the Spirit has given us. Elizabeth Browning’s poem illustrates this value of enlivenment: 

Earth’s crammed with heaven, 
And every common bush afire with God; 
But only he who sees takes off his shoes, 
The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.


To embrace this approach to living does not require a dramatic event to be experienced. We don’t need a volcanic eruption, a cyclone or a tsunami; what we need to do is to open our hearts and minds, our whole being to the wonder of God’s presence within us, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and God’s presence around us in the beauty, the wonder, the variety of nature. 

Psalm 19
God’s Glory in Creation and the Law
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament[a] proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens[c] he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and nothing is hid from its heat.

Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 19 - New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved February 1, 2024, from

Blessings and Peace,
Simon Dash
Xavier Catholic College

Head of Primary - Russell Davey

It is always amazing how quickly students return to school and settle in to a new school year.  After the extended break you could be forgiven for thinking that the start of the year would be reasonably unsettled.  In fact, the opposite has occurred with all classes quickly returning to school routine, approaching each day with enthusiasm and a commitment to learning. I can honestly report that students are settled, focused and ready to learn.  They are a wonderful group of students who display every day the Christian values of compassion, service, and respect for their neighbours, finding Jesus in all things as they go about their day.  As a parent body you should be very proud of your children and I encourage you to continue to communicate with the school so we can work towards the best results for your child. 

Some key events for the weeks ahead are shown below: 

Year 6 Leadership Badge Presentation 
In 2024, our Year 6 students are welcomed as the leaders of our Primary school. To acknowledge the importance of their role as leaders and to formally induct them into this role, we will present all Year 6 students with a badge and they will read a pledge to our school community at our first P-6 Assembly on Wednesday February 7th. Please join us for this special occasion in GOA if you are available. 

Open Classrooms 
Parents and carers are invited to join us on Monday, 12 February for our Open Classroom evening.  All classrooms will be open from 3.30 pm for parents to visit and meet both their child’s teacher and other parents from their class community.  Teachers will also hold a short information session during this time as per the schedule shown below:

timetable - primary.jpg

Parent Teacher Interviews
Primary Years Parent Teacher Interviews will take place in Week 7 and 8: Monday, 4 March to Friday, 15 March. Please book a time via PTO once notified that bookings are open. Class teachers will be able to provide an update on how your child has settled in the school routine this year.  It is also an important opportunity to discuss any concerns you have regarding your child’s learning going forward. 

Head of Secondary – Ursula Witham-Young

Welcome back to our families and a special welcome to all new families. We extend a warm welcome to our returning students whose energy and commitment continue to make Xavier Catholic College a dynamic place of learning.  To our new students, we are thrilled to have you join our diverse and talented community and we look forward to getting to know each one of you and witnessing the unique contribution you will bring to our College.  It has been a wonderful start to 2024 – where we will continue to ‘Aim for more in ‘24’.  By this, we want our students to strive to be more. Be more help at home, try harder at school and strive for more in their sport, workplace or in the community.  I hope this message finds you well rested and ready for the adventures of our upcoming academic year.
I write this from our Year 11 Camp where I have the privilege of working with our Year 11 students. Our students have been challenged to ‘step up’ which fits in well with our theme of ‘Aim for more in ‘24’.  There is a palpable sense of anticipation and enthusiasm in the air with our students. 

We would like to congratulate the Seniors of 2023 for their amazing results, and we look forward to welcoming them and their families back next week to our Academic Assembly where we will announce our Dux. Many of our graduands have accepted offers to university or full-time work. 

Over our student free days, our dedicated staff have been hard at work preparing engaging lessons, creating innovative learning environments and devising new ways to inspire and challenge our students. 

As we start 2024, let us embrace the opportunities for growth, discovery and collaboration that lie ahead. Together we can make the school year a memorable and successful chapter in the collective journey of learning and achievement at Xavier. 


Change of Address
If you have recently moved to Hervey Bay or if you have changed your residential address, please click on the “Update Your Details’ tile on the BCE Connect App and follow the instructions. This will ensure we have your current residential and postal addresses reflected in our student database.  

Vocational Education and Training (VET)
The VET team is excited for another big year of Vocational Education and Training at Xavier Catholic College in 2024. Pathway options available to students are detailed below. Please feel free to Email or pop in and see Ms. Moloney or Mrs. Keal in the VET office (Room 26).

VET at Xavier.jpg

Care and Concern Committee
Xavier Catholic College has a group of parents who volunteer their time to welcome and help other members of the school community. They do this by: 
  • Holding first day morning tea (Meet and Greet opportunity) when and where possible.
  • Providing meals for school families experiencing a crisis. 
  • Providing information about the school to families.
  • Assisting the College Board in planning and reviewing the Pastoral Care Policy of the College.
  • Working closely with the Campus Minister.

At all times we encourage you to explore the parent portal or to talk to your child’s classroom teacher or Pastoral Care teacher about any questions that you may have as your first point of contact.

Each House has parent contacts, ranging from P-12.  We are currently seeking parents to join our parent committee and to become a parent contact.  If you would like to nominate yourself or to request further information of what is involved, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister). Confidentiality is utmost for our committee and any information shared with our parent contacts will not be passed on unless you so desire it.

Blessings Carmel Donnelly  

Iggy’s Breakfast Program
Iggy’s Breakfast Program will commence at the beginning of Week 4 – Monday, 12 February 2024. The program provides a simple breakfast to students who might not always have a nutritious meal at the start of the day.
When: Monday and Friday mornings, 7:45am to 8:15am
Where: Goa Kitchen

Book Club 
Issue 1 of Scholastic Book Club is out now. Catalogues are being handed out this week. All orders are due online using LOOP by Thursday, 8 February. New to Scholastic Book Club? Here’s how you can order new book for your child:
  1. Your child will bring home their Book Club catalogue from school.
  2. You browse the pages with your child to help them choose books that suit their age and interests. 
  3. Order online via Book Club LOOP.
  4. Books are delivered to your child’s classroom!​

Year 7-12 Maths Tutoring Timetable

Tutoring commences in Week 3.

new maths timetable.jpg


Arts at Xavier
Welcome to the 2024 school year. We are really excited for a big year in the Arts at Xavier. This year there will be a school musical for Years 7 – 12, competitions, exhibitions, dance, film opportunities and of course music. So, keep your ear to the ground for information about auditions and opportunities as they develop.

The Instrumental Music program is set to re-launch again this year with places for tuition in guitar, drums, piano, strings and wind instruments. We are very fortunate to have some of the best music teachers on the Fraser Coast working with us here at Xavier.

The Instrumental Music program aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop their musical skills, creativity, confidence, and self-expression. Students will receive individual or small group lessons from our qualified, experienced and friendly teachers and will also have the chance to participate in ensembles, concerts, and other musical events.

If you would like to apply for Instrumental Music, it is now easier than ever with our new electronic applications system. Simply navigate to the Extra Curricular section of the Parent portal and look for a tile / button labelled “Instrumental Music.”

Clicking the above link will launch the form to capture your information. Once submitted, the instrumental teacher will contact you to discuss your student’s experience and suitability for the program. Once you have had the green light from the teacher, it is simply a matter of paying the fee using the Qkr! app and your student is on the road to musical joy. 

Please note though, that one of the differences of this new system is the payment process. Families will no longer be billed for Instrumental Music through the school fees pathway. Instead, payment needs to be made via Qkr! before tuition begins. You can pay by term or pay for a whole year. How easy is that!

I look forward to a creative and productive year in the Arts and wish you well in all your artistic endeavours.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Dunn


Welcome to a new year of Sport at Xavier Catholic College. I am sure 2024 will be another great year, with many sporting opportunities offered by the College. For new families, my name is Ashleigh Flesser and I am the Dean of College Sport (7-12). My role as sports leader includes coordinating Xavier Sporting Teams and nominating students for representative sport trials for students aged 13 – 19 years. Below is some key information about events happening in the first few weeks. 

Xavier Sport Sign On 
Any student in Years 7-12 who would like to play in a Xavier sporting team in 2024 will need to attend an online Teams meeting. This meeting will occur on Tuesday 6th February 6:00pm – 6:30pm. Parents are encouraged to also attend this meeting to get a clear understanding of what Xavier Catholic College sport will look like in 2024. At the conclusion of the meeting, a link will be emailed to students to sign up for any sports they wish to participate this year. Student attendance at the meeting is compulsory if they wish to play a Xavier sport this year. 

Hervey Bay District Trials
Students wishing to gain selection to represent the District, Region or State are invited to nominate for their chosen sports throughout the year. Students aged 13 – 19 years will be invited to complete the nomination process online; parents will then be provided with information regarding the trial. 

Cluster trials.jpg

Xavier Sporting Spotlight
Congratulations to Year 12 student, Lucas Jenkins on his recent performance at the Under 18 Softball National Championships in Perth at beginning of January where Queensland were crowned National Champions. Well Done, Lucas! 

Lucas Jenkins.jpg
(PHOTO: ©️ Donna Jenkins, 2024)​

At Xavier Catholic College, we cherish the opportunity to celebrate the amazing sporting achievements Xavier students accomplish each and every year. If your child has achieved success in his or her sport, please email me at
For any other questions or concerns related to sport in Years 7-12, please don’t hesitate to​ contact me at the College. 

Ashleigh Flesser
Dean of College Sport​​

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Cover Image: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

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