Newsletter - Term 1, Week 8, 2023


From the Pen of the Principal​​​​​

The importance of ensuring students have a voice has become an increasingly important part of education. Over the last few years, we have tried to provide multiple avenues for students to express their ideas, insights and feedback. One of these has been the creation of a Student Voice Council with representatives from Year 4 to Year 12.

Since establishing the Student Voice Council, students have helped shape the following changes:
  • Clarifying the best form of diary that students find useful.
  • Input into the Mobile Phone policy.
  • Input into the Hair and Jewellery policy.
  • The proposal to clean the picnic tables daily (now in our Cleaning Contract).
  • Advice about the placement of tables around the campus.
  • The introduction of formal trousers for female students. 
  • Advice on changes to the uniform (e.g. new shirt and better/stretchier shorts).
  • Improvements to our toilets.
  • Advice on our Traffic Management Plan.
  • Suggestions about how best to retain students and create a more welcoming culture.
  • Input into the new Values, Vision and Mission Statement.
  • Input into future directions regarding media and social media.
This list is not exhaustive by any means but serves to illustrate the impact students can have on Xavier Catholic College.

On behalf of the College, I congratulate the following students on their selection and look forward to hearing their ideas and suggestions at our first meeting later this week:

​Blessings and Peace,
Simon Dash

Head of School – Primary

In my most recent article, I discussed the importance of ensuring your child is at school each and every day - when they are fit and healthy to do so.  This week, I want to remind all parents and carers of the importance of also ensuring that you engage with your children when they are at home. It is well proven that just sitting with your child and discussing their day can have a significant impact in terms of academic progress and their personal and social wellbeing. 

It can be all too easy to become preoccupied with work and life and we often forget about the most important aspects of any relationship… time, communication, and the ability to listen.  My role as Head of School can be a busy one and it would be all too easy to allow the demands of the job to interfere with my family and my most important role, being a dad!  

Most days I am very good at ensuring I have boundaries in place to ensure I do not allow work to impact on my family - but I still need a reminder every now and then. I have included some tips below that may just help you to ensure you have time for your children and do not miss the important moments and opportunities that do not last forever. I have certainly adopted a few of these over the years and have found that they make a big difference both for my children, but also for myself personally. 

My top tips are:

  • Limit nonessential activities.
  • Learn when to say "no.”
  • Establish boundaries and unplug.
  • Consider your weekly schedule.
  • Find a hobby to share with your child.
  • Practice healthy habits/exercise with your child/children.
  • Practice stress relief (take some time for yourself).
  • Leave tasks and projects at work… spend time with your loved ones!

As we near the end of the school term I would like to remind all parents of some key events that will be occurring in the Primary Years across the final two weeks of Term 1. This information will be shared via BCE Connect and our College Facebook page.  I will also email all parents before the end of the term with key staffing updates and any reminders for the new school term (beginning Monday 17th April). 

Please see below and mark these dates in your calendar if they apply to your children. 

  • Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th March – Year 5 camp 
  • Friday 24th March – Year 6 Gala Day
  • Thursday 30th March – K-6 Cross Country
  • Friday 31st March – Xavier Day 2023

My thanks to all parents and carers for your ongoing support and contribution to our school community.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher or a member of the College Leadership Team should you have a concern or matter you wish to discuss.

Russel Davey
Head of School, Primary​

Head of School – Secondary

International Women’s Day

On 8 March we celebrated International Women's Day. This year the theme was #EmbraceEquity and the need to have conversations about why equal opportunities aren’t enough and why equal isn’t always fair. To truly embrace equity means to deeply believe, value and seek out difference as a necessary and positive element of life. To embrace equity means to understand the journey required to achieve women’s equality. 

We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity

We were also very privileged to have Councillor Jade Wellings come in and address our assembly. Cr Wellings is currently the only female on the Fraser Coast Regional Council.  Her advice to our women and girls was that they’re capable of doing anything they set their mind to. 

“You are more powerful and strong than you think you are.” 

Cr Wellings is also a believer in lifting other people up. 

“Don’t tell other women or girls, or even other people what they can’t do. Tell them what they can do.  Let’s support each other and treat everyone with kindness and respect.” 

In the previous newsletter I discussed this year’s focus on student attendance. Each day of school missed makes a difference, with the effect on learning accumulating over time. From an early age, if children are taught that they need to ‘show up’ for school and make a commitment, this positive mentality aids academic and career success and brings benefits in adulthood.

School attendance is compulsory and schools in Queensland expect their students to be in class around 200 days in a year. There is no safe threshold to missing school. Researchers wanted to know how many days of absence children could ‘get away with’ before it started to affect how they were doing at school. The answer was none. 

After conducting research for the Australian Government Department of Education, researchers found there was a real need to develop new initiatives to encourage parents to understand the value of regular school attendance, even from a very young age, and to establish stable and beneficial routines for attending school.

Brisbane Catholic Education has the following Guiding Principles for schools as we establish partnerships with families to improve engagement, progress, achievement, and wellbeing of each student. 

  1. Families are the first educators of their children; BCE values partnerships with families to ensure the best possible success for students in learning and life.
  2. BCE schools are inclusive and welcoming and embrace the opportunities which engagement with families provides.
  3. BCE schools are committed to evidence-based approaches to learning and wellbeing.
  4. BCE schools engage families in multiple ways in their child’s learning and wellbeing.
  5. There is an open two-way dialogue between families and BCE schools that enables families to have an active voice in their student’s learning journey. 

Ursula Witham-Young
Head of School, Secondary​


Secondary Parent Teacher Interviews and Term Student Progress Reports

Secondary students’ Term One Progress Reports are now available on the Parent Portal through BCE Connect.

The Student Progress Report is an interim report providing an indication of progress and performance at this stage of the year. A more formal report for each subject will be provided in the Semester 1 Report (issued early in Term 3).

You can also discuss your child’s progress at Parent / Student / Teacher Interviews.

  • Date: Tuesday, 21 March 2023.
  • Time: 3.30pm – 7.30pm
  • Venue: GOA Performance and Activity Centre

At these meetings, you will be able to discuss how your child is progressing with the content so far, their application to learning, future goals and any areas for improvement.

Please use the PTO Tab (Parent Teacher Online Tool) to secure a time with teachers.

We look forward to seeing you there!

More information can be found in the Email sent to parents / guardians on Monday, 13 March.​

2023 Next Step Year 12 Completers Survey

All our students who completed Year 12 last year will soon receive an invitation to do the Next Step survey. 

The short five-minute survey asks graduates about the study and work they have been doing since finishing school. 

The results from the survey help our school improve our senior programs and prepare students for work and further study.

We ask parents, siblings and friends to encourage our graduates to complete the survey. If their contact details have changed, please assist survey interviewers with their updated details or forward the survey to their new address so they can participate. 

Graduates may receive an invitation by mail, email or phone. The survey can be completed online or by phone.

For more information about Next Step, including previous results, visit

That’s a wrap: Narwari Mission Week 2023

Congratulations to everyone who took part in Narwari Mission Week 2023.

The carnival games in the Primary School last Tuesday were so much fun – we had crazy hair, egg-and-spoon races, footy passing and face painting, to name just a few activities.

It was great to see so many students involved and having fun!

Thank you to all parents, students and Primary staff who helped make the event such a huge success.

Interhouse carnival games in the Secondary School were held on Friday and also proved popular.

Students from each PC participated in golf, footy passing, quoits and 3-point basketball shots. Xavier has some seriously talented students!

Again, thank you to all students, PC teachers and Secondary staff who assisted on the day and in the build-up to Friday.

Well-done to Dirum for taking home first place, by an ever so small margin, in the Secondary carnival games.

Narwari is already looking forward to next year’s mission week, as it’s always one to help inspire, raise awareness and promote inclusion.

Thank you to all staff, parents, and students for participating in this year’s Narwari Mission Week.

Don’t forget you can still buy tickets for Narwari’s Eggnormous Easter Raffle. Tickets are available through Qkr!

You can find more photos from Narwari Mission Week, 2023 on Facebook.​

International Women’s Day art competition - 'Embrace Equity'

International Women’s Day imagines a gender equal world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination - a world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Difference is valued and celebrated in order to celebrate women’s achievements. 

Students across the College participated in the International Women’s Day Art Competition, which is currently on display at the library. Please take the opportunity to view the display for the remainder of the term. Students created an artwork i​n response to a woman in their life that inspires them.

Well done to all artists who participated in and supported the competition. 

Congratulations to the following recipients! Certificates and prizes will be distributed at the next available assemblies.

PLACE and a RUNNER UP award for the following categories:

Runner Ups: Flynn Thomas (Prep); Adeline Humphries (Yr 1); Aubrey Warren (Yr 4); Poppi Hosking (Yr 7); Abigail Franks (Yr 9) and Lily Hare (Yr 12).

Winners: Remi Hall (Prep); Preston Rogers (Yr 1); Willow Moore (Yr 4); Summer Osborne (Yr 7) and Lahni Claridge (Yr 12).


Art is made to be shown,
Mrs McArthur 
Dean of Learning Enhancement Arts / Technology

Homework Hub

  • When: Wednesday, 3pm to 4.30pm
  • What: Come for a little or a long time
  • Who: All students Years 7-12
  • How: Supervised by Teachers
  • Where: Library

The Homework Hub is a safe, supportive and productive student meetup out of school hours to assist students in completing their homework.
Homework Hub provides vital support for students who need a little help or just want a quiet place to study with free Wi-Fi.

Homework Hub can provide:
  • A safe, quiet and calm space for students to concentrate.
  • A supportive environment.
  • One-on-one or small group support.
  • A chance to share knowledge.
  • Work collaboratively on assessments.
  • An opportunity to build relationships.
  • An opportunity to develop good work habits and a positive attitude towards learning.
  • The chance to develop skills involved in becoming an independent learner.

Indigenous Support Staff

We are proud to introduce our Indigenous Support Staff to the Xavier Catholic College community. The team plays an important role in assisting students across the College from P-12.

Alison McGovern – Indigenous Student Support Coordinator
Works: Monday to Thursday

Mercina Minnecon – School Officer (Primary School)
Works: Tuesday and Wednesday

Allen Laure – School Officer (Secondary School)
Works: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (Fridays on campus in the workshop)​

Is there a (future) doctor in the room? 

Four Xavier Catholic College students gained insight into the world of medicine recently by taking part in The University of Queensland’s Dr4aDay program.

Nonso Nkire, Isabelle Brittain, Sara Hazelwood (Year 12s) and Madison Bonello (Year 11) worked alongside UQ Rural Clinical School trainee doctors – including a former Xavier Catholic College student - to experience what it’s like being a doctor.

Participants were able to ask questions about studying medicine and experienced a shift in a simulated ward, where they worked on a manikin to insert cannulas and tracheostomy tubes – among other procedures.

The day provided valuable insight into the medical industry, with Nonso, Isabelle, Sara and Madison all optimistic about their possible future career paths.

Yellow T-shirt Day

Students and teachers at Xavier Catholic College are being urged to wear yellow shirts on Tuesday, 28 March to show support for those living through the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye.

The College community will wear yellow shirts as a symbol of hope and to raise awareness for the continued needs of people affected by the tragedy.

Students and staff are encouraged to give a gold coin donation via Qkr! (Earthquake Disaster Appeal) or bring a coin on the day to support our Catholic agencies on the ground feed, clothe and provide shelter for survivors.

All donations above $2 are tax deductable.

Please give generously, wear yellow and remember that hope rises with every donation.

We look forward to seeing a bold statement of support and love for all through your collective participation.

Non-school dresses will also be sold at the second-hand uniform sale on Monday, 27 March (2.30pm to 4.30pm) and Tuesday, 28 March (7.45am to 9am) as part of the Syria and Türkiye appeal. 

Items will be sold for $5. 

Venue: Room 45 (Language Centre).

Senior Jersey Presentation

Year 12 students received their Senior Jerseys last week. The presentation is also one of the cutest traditions at Xavier Catholic College, with Prep students handing over the jerseys. The College’s youngest students had a great time hanging out with the seniors.

​You can view the full gallery of the presentation on Facebook.


Xavier Mini Singers Return

Xavier Mini Singers will be back next term.

Mini Singers gives students in Year 1 and 2 an opportunity to share their love of singing and showcase their talents at school events and assemblies.

The group will be led by Mrs Noelle Relf and Mrs Sally Lingard. Both teachers have a real passion for music and their enthusiasm is sure to be infectious for even the most timid performer.​

Sessions will focus on fun and participation, with students learning different types of songs - such as call and response, chants and rounds.

There is no audition and membership is free! The only requirement is that students commit to the half-hour sessions every Wednesday during first lunch.

Notes will be sent home this week with students who indicated they are interested in joining.

Yours in music,
Noelle and Sally

New Library Books
We are always adding new titles to our wonderful collection of books in the Matteo Ricci Library. Here are three of the newest additions to the library.​

  • Mithandral: Hidden Worlds, by DC Morris ​
  • Last Man Out: A Personal Account of the Gallipoli Evacuation, by Louise Park 
  • The Dragon’s Promise​, by Elizabeth Lim 

If there are any books you would like to see on our shelves, let the Library team know!

And a reminder for all Primary students, you can borrow and return library books during break times – you don’t have to wait until your timetabled Library lesson to do so.

School Photo Day

School photos will be taken on the first Wednesday of Term 2 (19 April 2023).

All Secondary students must wear their formal school uniforms every Wednesday during Terms 2 and 3, including photo day.

The school uniform shop will be open normal trading hours for the remainder of Term 1, as well as Friday, 14 April from 9am to 11am.

A second-hand uniform sale will also be held on Monday, 27 March (2.30pm to 4.30pm) and Tuesday, 28 March (7.45am to 9am) in Room 45 (Language Centre). All items $5.

Survey: Action against bullying and violence

As Australian schools prepare to observe National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence later this year, Xavier Catholic College will also host its own awareness campaigns during our PCs and Year levels.

Last year, Xavier joined 68 per cent of Australian schools to say, “Bullying, No Way.”

We will continue with this campaign during 2023.

What is bullying?

Bullying can be defined as “deliberate verbal, physical and/or social behaviour intended to cause ongoing physical, social and/or psychological harm. Bullying can make people feel anxious, depressed and lonely. It can happen anywhere – in person or online using various digital platforms and devices (this is called cyberbullying). It might be obvious to others or hidden.”

What can we do about bullying?
Bullying can be influenced by social contexts. It is therefore important to understand how bullying might present itself in a school. To do so, it’s necessary to have open discussions and to hear from our students. That’s where the College’s bullying survey comes in.

Mr Dash, like many school Principals, wants to ensure we provide all students with the opportunity for their voices to be heard. He has spent a lot of time refining the College bullying survey to ensure we get more information from students.

The survey will be conducted this week.

For parents: As you may already be aware, Xavier shares a lot of articles from SchoolTV. On the SchoolTV website, parents will find a range of topics with comprehensive videos from leading psychologist, Dr Michael Carr Gregg. If you explore the website further, you will also find fact sheets, suggested books, apps, websites and many more resources.
For more information and tips, click the link: Bullying | SchoolTV.

Instrumental Music

A warm Xavier Arts welcome to our new guitar and drum teacher, Mr Matt Pampeyan. Matt is an accomplished musician and university graduate who has worked extensively in music ministry​​​ across many congregations and groups both here and in the United States. He is a welcome and much appreciated addition to our Arts Team.

Calling piano players, students and teachers:  We are looking for a piano accompanist to practice with our school string ensemble. We rehearse on Monday mornings in JPAC at 8am. Anyone who has completed at least AMEB Grade 4 is welcome to email Jenny Conlon on 

Don’t forget, it is not too late to add your expression of interest for Singing / Vocal tuition. We have a number of interested students so far, but we still need more. So, if you would like to treat your family and neighbours next time you sing in the shower, grab an Instrumental Music application form from Student Services or reception. Complete the form, tick the box for VOCAL and you could be giving aquatic concerts from your bathroom. ​​​

School Holidays Office Hours

The Office will be closed from Monday, 3 April 2023 to Thursday 6 April 2023 over the Easter Holidays. The office will reopen between 9am and 3pm from 11 April and 14 April.
Teaching resumes on Monday, 17 April 2023 in the Primary School (Please Note: this is a Pupil Free Day in the Secondary School).

Should you need to contact the College during the holiday period you can Email and we will respond as soon as possible.

Volunteering at Xavier Catholic College

We are fortunate to have many generous parents and carers who volunteer their time in different capacities around the College. If you are interested in volunteering, you will need to complete our online training available at the link below. Please download and read the Code of Conduct, complete the Student Protection training and download, print, and complete the registration form. This registration form can be dropped into our Student Support staff Kerry Mason) in the Manresa Support Room (outside Goa) where we can discuss your availability and the areas you would like to support. This is an annual requirement from Brisbane Catholic Education before you commence your voluntary work in the school each year. 
Student Protection and Code of Conduct Training for Volunteers

Tuckshop Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for some awesome volunteers to help in the Tuckshop when one or more staff are away. Volunteer days will be irregular, as you will only be called on when required. This volunteer work may lead to paid work in the Tuckshop in the future.  
 You will need to complete a Volunteer Pack, hold relevant Working With Children approval and undertake training in Student Protection and relevant safety training for Tuckshop equipment prior to commencement.

 Please email your interest to


Xavier shines at beach volleyball

Xavier Catholic College was a dominant force at the Hervey Bay Beach Volleyball Festival on Tuesday, 7 March 2023.

The festival at Torquay Beach was facilitated by a Queensland Volleyball Development Officer.

Xavier was represented by 17 teams across Years 7-12, with several teams making the play-off stages of the event.

Notable performances included:

  • Zac Drake and Liam Geale – Winners (Boys Yr 11/12)
  • Jackson Dundas and Daniel Lemanu – Runners-up (Boys Yr 11/12)
  • Cee Cee Hilton and Milli Paxton – Runners-up (Girls Yr 9/10)

Congratulations to all students who took part in the festival.

All students were a credit to the College in terms of behaviour and sportsmanship and are commended for their achievements.

An indoor volleyball competition is due to be held later in the year. Contact Mr Paul Damms and Mr Denys Legge for more information.​

Raising the bar

Year 11 student Kai Peacock is making moves on the athletics track.

Kai was one of 20 students chosen to participate in the Raise the Bar program in Cairns in January.

The program saw Kai being mentored by current Australian Olympians and allowed him to connect with industry professionals to gain further knowledge and skills in athletics.

Raise the Bar is an exciting residential camp program run specifically for Indigenous students in Years 10, 11 and 12 who aspire to participate in athletics and further their studies after school.

K-12 Cross-country

Students from Kindy to Year 6 (not including 12-year-olds in Year 6) will run their cross-country on Thursday 30th March. Please see schedule of races below:

Students in Years 7-12 (including 12-year-old Year 6’s) ​​will run their cross-country races on Friday 31st March. Please see schedule of races below:

A reminder to all students who have signed to play for a Xavier Wolves Team Sport in 2023, it’s compulsory that you run/jog the entire cross-country course. Failure to do so will place your participation in any Xavier Wolves team sport at risk.