Newsletter - Term 1, Week 4, 2018

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Dear Parents and Carers
I recently read “The Goal of Life” by Father Laurence Freeman, a Benedictine Monk from the United Kingdom who is an expert in Meditation. Since then I have been practicing meditation as regularly as I can. I found the experience of stillness and quietness, trying not to think but to open my heart to the presence of God, invigorating but also disturbing. It made me realise just how frenetic life is in my day to day activity and how little time I put aside for quietness. I do not think I am alone in this regard. The pace of life today is hectic and even when we sit down we tend to be thinking about a thousand things at once, rarely allowing ourselves the time to empty ourselves and just be still.

I think the same issues confront the students. Life is busy for young people and when they have some time to themselves it is often filled with computer games or television or texting. To sit still in the quietness is a rare experience for most of our students. However, whether religious or not, such a practice is important to a person’s health and well-being. As a College we have a 10 minute weekly meditative practice called the ‘Examen”. But, I certainly realised from reading Father Laurence’s book that such practices should not be limited to the school curriculum. Perhaps families would consider setting aside a ‘quiet time’ each day – no television, no computers, no games, no texting – just to sit in stillness. It’s worth a try.

Ash Wednesday
On Wednesday, 14th February, our community begins its Lenten journey with an Ashes Service at the College.  Lent is a time of preparation for the gift of new life that we receive at Easter.  During this time, we are called to reflect upon our need for God and to address those things in our lives that distract us from the wholeness that only God can bring.

The great 20th Century author John Steinbeck once wrote: “All people’s sins are attempted shortcuts to love.”  Every person on this planet wants to feel valued, cared for, respected and loved.  We all desire to feel whole and complete.  Unfortunately, as part of our human condition, we all make the mistake of seeking this sense of peace by taking approaches that fall short of the mark.  We all take shortcuts.  At the time the shortcuts may look desirable, but in the end they do not bring the peace and wholeness that we truly seek.

During Lent we reflect on our lives.  We take the time to read the warning signs that indicate where we are off track.  Just as we take notice of the “Wrong Way – Go Back” sign on the highway, during Lent we are called to front up to the shortcuts we take and turn our lives to the only true source of happiness and peace – we are called to turn our lives to God.  The journey of faith that leads to God takes a lifetime – there are no shortcuts.  As our hearts sense the joy and completeness that our God brings, the shortcuts are seen for what they truly are – hollow and ultimately unsatisfying.

The God I believe in keeps no record of my “sins”.  The God I believe in believes in me more than I could ever believe in myself.  The God I believe in loves me and sees the beauty and wonder that has been created in me.  The God I believe in offers a constant invitation to experience the completeness that can only come through turning my heart to that unconditional love.  The more I manage to do this (as imperfect as my tentative action may be) the more the shortcuts seem hopeless, incomplete and flawed.  The God I believe in desires, not to punish me for my sins, but to liberate me from the lack of satisfaction that they bring.

To take this journey is to take the road less travelled.  But the peace each shaky step I take brings to me is enough to keep me headed along the long road with my heart open to God’s voice.  In many ways, our Lenten journey is a microcosm of the journey we take through our lifetime and reminds us of the truth expressed in the words of St Augustine: “Our hearts, O Lord, are restless, until they rest in thee”.

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Anniversary of the National Apology
Tuesday, 13th February, was the anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generation. I remember vividly in 2008, on a Wednesday morning, I tuned into the parliament to listen to Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, offer an apology to members of the ‘Stolen Generation’ on behalf of the parliament of Australia.  It was a powerful and appropriate speech that acknowledged that such symbolism must be backed up with substance, but hopefully forms the basis for the emergence of a new partnership built upon respect.  In summarising the speech to the students on that Wednesday morning, I made the point that the challenge of reconciliation is not a theory, nor a slogan, but a reality that needs to happen at the local level if our nation is to move forward.  The future of reconciliation will be lived out in communities like ours – and its success or failure will be defined by us.  But, reconciliation means more than tolerance – it is ultimately about celebrating our cultural differences as a sign of strength.  We are richer for that variety of cultural backgrounds reflected in our community.  Like all journeys, reconciliation will take time.  But, committing ourselves to walking that journey takes courage, faith and trust.  As a community, with God’s help, let’s continue on the path to healing:

Prayer for the Journey of Healing
Almighty and loving God,
You who created all people in your image,
Lead us to seek your compassion as we listen to the stories of our past.
You gave your only Son, Jesus,
who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven.
We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession
of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship
that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced.
We live in faith
that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
have endured the pain and loss of loved ones,
through the separation of children from their families.
We are sorry and ask God's forgiveness.
Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless and inflicted and heal their spirits.
In your mercy and compassion
walk with us as we continue our journey of healing
to create a future that is just and equitable.
Lord, you are our hope.    Amen.

© Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission
National Council of Churches in Australia. 2003.

God Bless
Simon Dash


Please note the following up-coming events:

14/02/2018   Ash Wednesday Liturgy
14/02/2018   Year 7-12 Broncos Challenge Rugby League
15/02/2018   13/19 Years WB Cluster 1
15/02/2018   Year 11-12 AQU Snorkelling
19/02/2018   HB District Swimming Carnival
19/02/2018   Year 7 Retreat
22/02/2018   Year 6 Retreat
23/02/2018   Year 11-12 Drama Camp
23/02/2018   Year 10 English Grin & Tonic Production
28/02/2018   Lady Elliot Island Excursion
1/03/2018    Year 11 AQU Snorkelling
5/03/2018    P-6 Parent / Teacher Interviews


If you missed the recent Secondary Swimming Carnival video or flashmob War Cry, please check them out by clicking the images below:

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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 students 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 past two weeks are shown below:

Opening Mass
The P-12 College community came together with Father Regi and invited guests to celebrate our Opening Mass on Tuesday 6th February.  This key event in the College calendar was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our shared faith and remind ourselves of the importance of ‘Finding Jesus in all Things’.  We also stopped to recognise our Year 6 students who have entered their second year of College Leadership and induct our Middle School leaders.  Thanks to Mr Mcdonald, Mrs Brennan and their team for their organisation of our Opening Mass.


P-6 Open Classroom/Welcome BBQ
A new initiative in the P-6 community this year was the introduction of class based Parent Information sessions. These sessions were very well attended by parents and demonstrated the strong parent involvement which we prioritise at Xavier.  The BBQ dinner was also very well received and gave parents the opportunity to meet and greet fellow parents.  Thank you to all parents who attended and supported the Open Classroom afternoon. We hope to continue to offer opportunities for parents to be involved in our College life. 

Year 7 Camp
Last week our Year 7 students and a number of staff headed off to Garapine, near Kybong to take part in the Year 7 ‘getting to Know You” camp. As discussed last year, we moved our Year 7 camp to earlier in the year to provide the opportunity for students and staff to get to know each other as well as build relationships that are vital to the learning and teaching process. This year, due to increasing enrolments, we have gone back to five classes in Year 7. We welcomed the Xavier Year 6 students from last year, but we also enrolled another 40 students from across the Fraser Coast as well as further afield. It was therefore important to hold the camp early in the year, to establish a ground work for successful relationships.

We thank Mrs Sarah Love for her organisation of this camp and the teachers, including the Year 7 Core Teachers, who gave up time with their families to provide this great opportunity for the students.

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Year 12 Retreat
As you read this Newsletter our Year 12 students are taking part in their annual Retreat. The aim of the Retreat is for students to develop the realization that a major goal of everyone in Year 12 is to be the best student and person they can be. Therefore, it is important for them to continue to develop their whole person and come to appreciate the worth of each individual and that of the whole group. This will enable them to address issues that affect the group and to contribute positively to the group as well as support each other as needed.

Students were fortunate to hear from many of our past students about how they faced challenges at the same age and shared strategies that helped them through Year 12 and into the next stage of their life. We thank Tom Stringer, Adam Donnelly, Dale Roffey, Morgan Dixon and Kelsey Fowler who were the Class of 2008, the second group of graduates from Xavier, for sharing their experiences.

We thank Mrs Donnelly, Mrs Brennan and Mr McDonald for the work they have done in developing the program as well as the staff who attended to facilitate the sessions.

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Lent is the time for Christians to prepare for Easter and beyond. It’s a time to renew and deepen our faith through reflection and prayer, and to sacrifice something to learn what it means to rely on God and put our faith into action. During the days of lent we are encouraged to reflect on our own life, consider the needs of others and strengthen our relationship with God.  The following is a reflection on this point in the Lenten period and how we can make a significant difference in the lives of others.  We also take the time to look at the work of Project Compassion and the difference this is making in the lives of others.

Mark 9:2-10  The Transfiguration
The Transfiguration is quite a unique event in the life of Jesus. One evening Jesus took three disciples up a mountain to pray – probably not the first time Jesus had done this. They thought they knew what they were in for – when suddenly they were knocked to the ground by a blinding light. Jesus was transformed, his face and clothes dazzling like the sun – something of the divinity of Jesus had broken through.
There is a parallel in our own lives. Long hum-drum days can be pierced by a momentary insight of eternity. We realise with a new certainty that we are loved by God, that we have an eternal destiny, and that life is of immense value. This is true for every human being. Hence arises our duty to show respect for others and to support them in securing the basic needs of life.

Advertising space in the School Newsletter is available to our parents with businesses in the community. The annual cost to advertise in the school newsletter is $275.00.  Please contact Marion at Reception for further information, or to secure a place.


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)
• 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, as your first point of contact, about any questions that you may have. Each House has parent contacts and they range from P-12.  If you wish to contact any one of our parent contacts their details will be published each term in the College Newsletter.  We are in need of parent contacts in our P-6 area so if you would like to nominate yourself or to ask 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. 
Carmel Donnelly
4197 1165.
House Parent Contacts
Narwari House Parents
                                    Claire Sinclair (Cassandra Sinclair) 41295730
                                    Rachel Neck (Chelsea Neck) 41287859/0417768798
                                    Jo O’Neill (Will/Lucy/Kate O’Neil) 0422942289 
                                    Ellen Geldard (Connor, Lachlan & Matthew Geldard) 41286910/ 0400499508
                                    Mary Arnold (Riley/Corey/Joey Arnold) 0418729967
                                    Karen Grumley (Stewart and Lachlan Grumley) 41243034 / 0413306540.
                                    Cassie Wilson (Max/Anabele/Imogen Wilson) 0409761207.
                                    Kerrie Payne (Cameron Payne) 41280554/ 0407581389
Buthu House Parents
                                   Michelle Wiegmink (Reece Wiegmink) 41287941/0409890188
                                   Deanna Wyvill (Amy Wyvill) 41282176
                                   Karen Goffinet (Alex/Patrick Goffinet) 4128 7375/0421 322 121
                                   Allison McGovern (Madison/Georgia McGovern) 0411 416 943
                                   Shelly Hislop (Jordan/Lincoln Hislop) 0423 506 675.
Dirum House Parents
                                  Rachel Loague (Oscar Loague) 0417792179
                                  Melissa Lynch (Mya/ Noah) 
                                  Helen Hatchett (Bryce/Charli/Summer/Sam Wilson) 0438347153
                                  Kellie Robinson (Nathan & Alysha Robinson) 0448623963

 Kondari House Parents
                                  Michelle Begaud (Blake/Kyle Begaud) 0438242252
                                  Carole Dewhurst (Patrick/Freya Golik) 41206240/0400793188
When : Sunday 18th February
Time:  6pm – 8pm
Where:  John Paul Centre, Hillyard Street, Pialba
Who: Year 7 and above.
Please Bring a Plate to Share…..
Enquiries to Carmel Donnelly

Who: All current altar servers and those who are interested in joining this important ministry.  (Servers need to have received the First
Eucharist and are preferably in Yr 5 and above).
When:     Wednesday, 28 February, from 3.45pm to 4.45pm
Where:   St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Pialba
• To review current practices associated with altar serving
• To instruct in new practices
• To confirm details regarding 2018 involvement
• To catch up with Father Regimon 
What we will provide:
Afternoon tea
What you need to bring: Your smiling face.
Please contact the Parish Office on or by phone on 4124 3334

LEAP (Learning Extension and Acceleration Program)

One of the many initiatives that we are implementing at Xavier this year is LEAP (Learning Extension and Acceleration Program). The overall goal of this program is to assist all students to reach their academic potential. The program aims to:
• Provide a stimulating education in a supportive environment;
• Create opportunities which promote knowledge, concept and skill acquisition;
• Encourage independent student enquiry and learning;
• Encourage students to develop and/or realise their potential;
• Encourage students to respect the successes of others; and
• Ensure that students take pride in their achievements.
There are many aspects of this program, some of which are listed below.
• Extension class groups in Core Classes across Year 7-10
• Elevate Education- Study Skills and Organisation Program across Year 7-12.
• Studiosity – External Online Tutoring Program for students in Year 10-12.
• Year 12 Academic Support group
• Year 12 Senior Pathways Interviews
• Literacy Support Initiative across P-10
• Reading Intervention and Extension Program Year P-2
• Writing Intervention and Extension Program Year 3-6
• Optiminds – Creative Sustainability Challenge
• Readers Cup
Some of these initiatives are new in 2018 and many have been a part of what we offer here at Xavier for some time. We are confident that all students will benefit from opportunities such as these to extend and enrich their own learning and experiences.

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A reminder for those interested in the Xavier Musical this year, "Grease".

• Show Viewing - Thursday Feb 15  (3:15pm Campion)
• Auditions from Feb 19. (direct link to part nominations by clicking the image below)
• Rehearsals from March 1.

Those selected to be part of the cast will need to commit to rehearsal on Thursday afternoons, from 3.15 – 4.45pm as well as some weekends and evenings particularly as we move closer to performances in late July and early August.  In a large venture such as this it is important that the cast makes every effort to attend rehearsals as required, so we can work together to create a fun and fantastic spectacle.

Cast members may be required to provide some costume items, however we will ensure that these are commonplace and easily accessed.  More individualised or 'exotic' costume items will be provided.  All cast members will be asked to pay a Production fee of $100. This will cover a Production shirt and refreshments during rehearsals.

Cast members will be asked to sing a Production Agreement that will outline College expectations with regards to participation as well as behaviour.

If you have any questions or specific queries that are not addressed here, please feel free to contact Mr. Damms at school or by email at

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7/8 Maths Competition
Xavier Catholic College is hosting the 7/8 Maths Competition this year, it will be held on Tuesday 14th August at 6pm. We would like students from year 7 and 8 that are interested in being in this competition to attend coaching on Wednesday second break in room 12 each week starting week 4. We will select the three teams from those students who have made the commitment to attend these coaching sessions.
Year 7-12 Maths Tutoring Roster 2018
Before School
(8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.)

Mr Relf
Staff Prayer
Mr Smith
Mrs Wright
First BreakMrs White
Room 4
 Mr Riley
Room P20
11- 11.20am
Mr Tyrrell
Room 42
Second Break   
Mrs Buxton/Mrs Ritter
Room 12
After School
3:05 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Miss Murtagh
Mrs Glass
 Miss Hourigan
Mrs Ritter

Secondary Maths tutoring will commence in Week 3 Term 1. This is not one-on-one tutoring, it is group tutoring. Students are required to have work with them and ask the teacher for help with the questions that they are struggling with. Students may wish to attend to work on their homework/Maths Online or just to get into a good study habit. They can attend as many tutoring sessions as they like in a week.


Congratulations to Hayden Kubler, Raemah Krause and Alex Pronk who represented Xavier in the Lions Youth of the Year Competition. Our students always impress at this event this year was no exception. The judges and Lions and Lioness members were delighted with their efforts in the interviews and with their speeches and outstanding conduct throughout the first round. Alex also won the Lions award for the evening and will progress to Round 2 in Maryborough on 3rd March. As the MC pointed out, all the students who enter are winners, simply for taking up the challenge to participate.

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Sports for Schools

If you shop at Coles please collect the 'Sports for Schools' vouchers and place them in the boxes (soon to be at stores) or drop them into College reception. Our school will benefit with sports gear for P-12, so start collecting now!

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The Drought is Over" - Kondari Wins Years 7-12 Swimming Carnival

After a few years without a win, the Kondari House has taken out the Years 7-12 Swimming Carnival held at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on Friday February 2nd. Despite the overcast and cool Summer's day, students participated enthusiastically in Championship, Participation and Novelty events throughout the day. A highlight event was the Big Splash with the 8 fastest boys and 8 fastest girls battling it out over 25m freestyle. Year 11 student, Tom Veitch and Year 10 student, Kasey Gamble were the winners of this event – by very small margins. War Cries were prominent throughout the day with the Kondari House judged marginal winners by our impartial judges on the day. A big thank you to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre staff, parents, Xavier staff and students for making the day a great success.

Age Champions:

13Quinn VealeTakara Gibbons
14Taj WrightEmma Wylie
15Kyle BegaudKeira Stephens
16Thomas VeitchKasey Gamble
OpenWill KluckLucy Glass & Hannah Gamble

Overall Results:

4th Dirum931

Students who have been selected to compete at the Hervey Bay District Swimming Carnival on Monday 19th February have been notified and information sent home with these students.

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Wide Bay Cluster 1 Sports Trials

Due to the excessive heat around the Wide Bay region, some of these trials have been rescheduled. Details for all sports as follows:


  1. 12-18yrs SURFING – Agnes Water
  2. 13-19yrs SQUASH –Bundaberg
  3. 13-15yrs & 16-19yrs Boys/Girls VOLLEYBALL – Bundaberg
  4. 13-19yrs Boys/Girls SOFTBALL – Hervey Bay


  1. 16-19yrs BOYS CRICKET – Kingaroy
  2. 13-15yrs & 16-18yrs Boys/Girls TOUCH – Kingaroy
  3. 13-19yrs TENNIS – Gympie


  1. 14YRS Boys CRICKET -  Date & Venue TBC  mid Sept
  2. 15yrs Girls CRICKET – Date & Venue TBC mid Sept


Friday Sport

Year 7 & 8 students will begin their Friday sport sessions this coming Friday. Students are reminded to bring a water bottle, hat and any other equipment needed that has been communicated to them.

Roar Active Program

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