Newsletter - Term 1, Week 6, 2019

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Dear Parents and Carers
Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday 6 March, 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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Cardinal Pell

The news of Cardinal George Pell's conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has generated widespread media coverage. Brisbane’s Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who is the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and has recently attended the Vatican Summit on the Protection of Minors, has made this statement:

The news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia. The Bishops agree that everyone should be equal under the law, and we respect the Australian legal system. The same legal system that delivered the verdict will consider the appeal that the Cardinal’s legal team has lodged. Our hope, at all times, is that through this process, justice will be served. In the meantime, we pray for all those who have been abused and their loved ones, and we commit ourselves anew to doing everything possible to ensure that the Church is a safe place when for all, especially the young and vulnerable.

Like Archbishop Coleridge, I know that all members of our community will keep in their prayers all those who have been abused, whether that abuse occurred in a family, institutional, church or other environment.

Brisbane Catholic Education’s priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our students. We do everything possible to ensure that our schools are safe places for all. This includes comprehensive and effective student protection policies and procedures and annual training for all staff. Any allegations of abuse in any of our schools is immediately reported to police.

You will find full details of our student protection procedures on our website and on the Brisbane Catholic Education website. Please feel free to discuss these with me at any time.
I thank you for your continuing support of our school, students and families.

Uniform Shop Issues

On behalf of the College I want to apologise for the problems so many parents faced with purchasing uniforms at the start of this year. First impressions mean a great deal and I was incredibly disappointed that for many families this was their first experience of the Xavier community.

Our Uniform Shop is supplied and managed by a company named Weareco. I have met with senior officials from Weareco to review the start of the year and gain undertakings that such a situation will not be repeated.

Later this year there will some changes to the uniform. We are introducing a new Polo Shirt that will have the same design from Prep to Year 12. This will help parents as they will not need to purchase new shirts when their child moves from Primary to Middle to the Senior years. Obviously, with such a change there will be a phase in period so those who have purchased the current Polo Shirts get their full value. We are proposing a 2-year phase in period. Additional items will be to the material that the school shorts are made from as we introduce a stretch fabric. Also, later this year we will introduce optional formal slacks for girls who prefer these to the skirts.

Weareco have supplied Xavier for many years and want to maintain a good relationship. As a first step they have provided a written apology to our community:

Dear Parents,

As your long-term clothing partner, Weareco takes pride in being a reliable supplier of quality uniforms for the Xavier community.  Always striving for perfection in quality and service, we've rarely missed a beat in the 10 years of working together. This year regretfully we would like to apologise for the unusual delayed delivery of a small selection of Xavier Catholic College uniform items during the Back to School period.

While we plan hard to ensure that all orders and sizes are fulfilled in time for the start of term, this year the decision to transition into an updated Polo design in late 2018 coupled with a shift in Formal Hat production, unfortunately, resulted in a temporary shortfall across these two range items until mid-February.

These essential items have now been replenished and we can assure you the Xavier Uniform Shop is now fully stocked for the 2019 school year head.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and frustration this may have caused and thank you for your patience and support, we wish you and your families a healthy and happy 2019.  

God Bless
Simon Dash


Please note the following events:

Start Time    Title
6/03/2019    Ash Wednesday Liturgy (Secondary)
6/03/2019    Ash Wednesday Liturgy (Primary)
8/03/2019    Year 7 Immunisation Day
11/03/2019    P-6 Parent Teacher Interviews
13/03/2019    Year 6 Camp
13/03/2019    School Photo Day
15/03/2019    St Patrick's Feast Day Mass
16/03/2019    FCAC Fast 5 Netball Competition
16/03/2019    FCAC Rugby 7s Competition RC
18/03/2019    NARWARI MISSION WEEK (18-22/03/19)
19/03/2019    St Joseph's Feast Day Mass
19/03/2019    Parent Teacher Interviews (Secondary)
20/03/2019    Catch-up Photo Day and Year 6 Photo Day
20/03/2019    P-12 Narwari Mission Assembly
20/03/2019    YR 5 CAMP-Maranatha (Sunshine Coast)
21/03/2019    Yr 11 AQU Snorkelling GG
22/03/2019    Year 5 & 6 Gala Day
27/03/2019    X-Cite
27/03/2019    Yr 11 Q&A for Seniors
27/03/2019    Holy Week Prayer Stations (Primary School)
28/03/2019    Yr 11-12 French Excursion to France LP
28/03/2019    Year 4 Overnight Stay/Sandy Straits Excursion
28/03/2019    Principal's Afternoon Tea
29/03/2019    Y7-10 WRITING TASK DUE
4/04/2019    Xavier Day
4/04/2019    P-12 Parlauf Relay
5/04/2019    P-12 Cross Country



7 - 12 Parent Teacher Interviews will be held on the evening of 19 March in GOA Hall. You can book these on PTO from our school website, BCE Connect App or the link which will be emailed to you with your login and password.  Please note bookings will open at 3pm on 11 March and close at 1pm on 15 March.  If you do not receive your login details via email, please contact Kim Heckels on 4197 1177.



On Tuesday March 5, our Year 12 students were presented with their senior jerseys. The Prep students bestowed the jerseys to their eldest peers, a wonderful symbol of the 13 year journey of growth our students take. 

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This week the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. The College will hold a Secondary School liturgy at 9am in JPAC and a Primary School liturgy in Goa at 10am; all are welcome to join us.

The season of Lent is a period when we reflect on the times we may have turned away from God and our duty to love one another. On Ash Wednesday we begin this journey with a day of fasting and penance. The ashes which we receive on our foreheads in the shape of a cross are an outward symbol of our human frailty and of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We are called to make this season a time when we heal our broken relationships with God and one another.

The season of Lent is also when Caritas Australia holds their annual Project Compassion campaign. This year’s theme is, “Give Lent 100%.” I invite you to read the stories of each of the individual projects which are highlighted each week (Link below). We can help these brothers and sisters of ours through prayer and donations where possible.
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Broncos Challenge Rugby League
The Broncos Challenge Rugby League competition has been running for 2 weeks now with Xavier having students represent the school in Year 7 & 8 Boys, Year 9 & 10 Boys, Open Boys and Girls teams. All games are played on Wednesday afternoons with venues and times communicated to students each week. All parents and families are invited to come and cheer on the students at those games.

Fraser Coast Futsal Competition
Congratulations to the Open Boys Futsal team who finished runners up at the recent Fraser Coast Futsal competition. After a slow start to the day where the boys lost their two opening games, the team rallied and roared home to win 3 straight games and almost take out the competition with a narrow 2-1 loss in the final. All boys played exceptionally well with Henry Riley in goals earning special praise from coach Mr Chris Relf.

Hervey Bay District Swimming Carnival
This carnival was postponed from Monday 25 February. It is now occurring on Monday 11 March at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. All arrangements for the day are the same as before. Students will come to school for Periods 1 and 2 and will catch a bus from Xavier at 12pm. There will not be a bus returning so students are asked to arrange private transport home. The carnival is due to finish at 4pm and ALL students are expected to remain with the team until the conclusion of presentations. This information has been communicated to students last week.

Primary AFL Gala Day
On Friday 1 March the Xavier AFL Team, consisting of 12 boys and 2 girls, competed against other Hervey Bay schools in the QFLQS Cup. Throughout their three games the students showed great determination and good sportsmanship. Congratulations to the Kawungan Boys’ Team who will advance onto the next level.
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This year the 16 students from Year 11 and 12 Senior Drama were treated to two very different performances, a fantastic acting skills workshop and a trip to the Gallery of Modern Art to see the Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition.

On Friday evening, 22 February, the students attended the amazingly funny yet powerful SINGLE ASIAN FEMALE by La Boite Theatre at the Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove. This amazing show was performed in an intimate arena style theatre – a new experience for many of the students – to great acclaim from the audience. The show provided many opportunities for discussion about both the themes of the show as well as the staging and performances.

The next morning our intrepid crew returned to La Boite for a two-hour acting workshop with Youth Participation Officer Maddie Nixon. This was the highlight of the trip for many of the students who spoke enthusiastically about how engaging and liberating the workshop was for them as people and as young, emerging artists.
Saturday afternoon was another first for many of the students who had never been to an art gallery or an art exhibition before. The Year 12 students were tasked with finding an artwork which echoed the themes of the play from the previous evening that they could reference in their analysis assignment. Similarly, the Year 11 were tasked with photographing their favourite artwork so that they could discuss its relevance with the class upon our return.

Finally, the team saw Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN at QPAC on Saturday evening. This play offered a pristine example of ‘old-school’ Realism, right down to the amazing ‘box-set’ of the design. Admittedly, this play had little relevance to the modern world (in my opinion) and was heavy going for a bunch of tired teenagers (and ageing teachers). Love it or hate it, the show provided lots of discussion, passionate expression and analysis. Job Well done – thanks Queensland Theatre Company.

Overall, a thoroughly worthwhile trip both educationally and culturally.

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Luther Heights Youth Year 7 Camp is great way to start the year. The focus of the camp was getting to know you. Students worked in a team for 3 days where they met individual and group challenges. Activities included;

Big Group Game
Large-scale active fun requiring team strategy and commitment

Catapult Quest
The ultimate construction quest with a competitive edge.

Challenge Course  
A team building exercise completing each activity group challenge at height  

Flying Fox
200m flight with views of Mount Coolum and the ocean landscape.

Mohawk Walk (Low Ropes)
A close-to-ground balance and skill challenge covering 17 elements between trees

Empowered exploration following a lesson in field compass work and navigation

Rescue Me!
An initiative exercise combining first aid, stretcher & raft building in an emergency scenario

Team Challenge
Group activities designed to ignite problem-solving skills and inspire team interaction

There were some fears overcome during this camp.  With the encouragement of their group, students who were initially frightened of heights, climbed a 4-metre ladder to the flying fox platform before jumping off and then returning for another go and a more spectacular jump off.  It was a privilege to watch the determination and strength of character of all students who attempted and or completed the flying fox.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following staff for being group leaders: Tom Riley, Kate Duffield, Shannon McDuff, Brenda Beach, Geena White, Matt Ninnes, Colin Wright and Tilly Davis.  A special thanks to our day visitors who assisted at camp: Lynette Hawes and Annie Sexton.

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Last week the Senior Year 12 Marine Science and Aquatic Practices explored and experiencing the Great Barrier Reef on Lady Elliott Island. This is part of their studies on sustainable tourism and recreation in the marine environment.

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Congratulations to Sara Faraj has won the last two rounds of the 2019 Lions Youth of the Year Competition. Last weekend she represented the College at the Zone Finals in Tiaro. She won the Public Speaking Award and was also awarded the shield for representing the Mary River Lions Club. We wish Sara the best of luck in the Regional Finals in Bundaberg this weekend.

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Thank you to our staff and students who volunteered their time to clean up our school on the weekend for Clean Up Australia Day.

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Before School

8:00 – 8:30am

  Staff Briefing  

Morning Tea

10:35 - 11:20am

Ms Price
1st break
Room 15
Mrs Hopgood
1st break
Room 16

Mr Riley
Room 33     Week A



12:55  – 1:25pm


After School

3:15 - 4:00pm



Miss Murtagh Library

Mrs Hopgood R16

Staff meeting


Dr Turner R46

Mrs Riggs R17




Teachers with no A/B week indicated will be available both weeks.


Before School

8:00 – 8:30 am


Mr Relf



Staff Prayer 

Mrs Wright



First Break

Mr Tyrrell


Room 28


Mrs Glass


Room 10

10.40-11 10am


Mr Tyrrell


Room 28

11- 11.20am


Mr Riley


Room P33

Mrs White

          WEEK A 

Room 1


Second Break     

After School

3:05 - 4:00 pm

Staff Meeting

Miss Murtagh



Mrs Ritter

Miss Hourigan




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