Newsletter - Term 1, Week 8, 2024


From the Pen of the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers

Last week we celebrated our Narwari House Mission Week. It was the culmination of a massive effort by students and staff to raise awareness and funds to support Caritas Australia, the Catholic organisation that provides overseas aide and development. A huge congratulations must go to Narwari House Dean, Gerry Glass for the energy and enthusiasm to make the week so successful.

​Each of our Houses has a patron and Narwari is no exception. The patron for Narwari is Blessed Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers in Waterford, Ireland. Having been educated by the Brothers for 9 years and teaching in Edmund Rice Schools for 26 years, I have a strong connection to the Narwari patron. His life journey and commitment to the marginalised is inspirational. ​

From its very genesis Edmund’s education was challenging and subversive.  It deliberately attacked the social system that allocated people for life into categories, like rich and poor, set for them by those with influence and power.  Edmund welcomed children from low socio-economic backgrounds into his home and into his life as his guests, having a right to be there because of the common humanity that they shared. Their welcomed presence into this very foreign setting would have meant a great deal to these children and their parents.

Like Edmund, our key calling is to live out the dream for the liberation of all.  This occurs within our community as we seek to liberate minds and the hearts – to open up possibilities for all students regardless of their backgrounds and to give everyone an even chance.  But equally, we are called to look beyond our walls to the plight of those in our world today who do not receive a fair go. 
Some years ago, Dr Denis McLaughlin penned a book outlining the life of Edmund entitled: The Price of Freedom: Edmund Rice Educational Leader.  It is a pivotal study of the life and spirituality that underpinned the ministry of Edmund Rice which challenges many of the myths that have built up over the years.  Dr McLaughlin undertook extensive historical research to re-examine the life of Edmund and to articulate the values that were foundational to his educational mission.  The study presents three foundational beliefs that are as relevant today as they were in Edmund’s time:

Presence – For Rice, life was about apprehending or being present to an already existing relationship with God, and then responding to this relationship by being present to and loving that which God loves…. God’s mutilated and distorted presence especially in the poor, marginalized, damaged and rejected was at the core of an Edmund Rice Education.

(IMAGE: "Edmund Rice Image" by st patricks college sutherland is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit​)

Compassion – For Jesus the quality of our human life is dependent upon our nurturing compassion… Compassion is the atmosphere that vitalizes and revitalizes Edmund Rice Education.  The cultivation of an ethic of compassionate care is at the core of Edmund Rice Education.

Liberation – Compassion by definition demands action to address tyranny and oppression.  Justice is the social manifestation of compassion.  It is about providing a critical education and deliberately provoking consciousness-raising in learning about the way systems control and limit authentic growth.  Edmund Rice’s education not only cultivated an ethic of care in its schools but sought to challenge and transform conditions determining oppression.

D Mclaughlin. (2007). The price of freedom : Edmund Rice, educational leader. David Lovell Publishing.

Xavier Catholic College strives toward a liberating education that inspires young people to make a difference in the world.  As I have said to many parents, when you choose to send your child to Xavier Catholic College, you are choosing to join a community that has a gospel orientation that will at times go against the popular values of society.  This is at the core of being the Xavier family.  We join a family that has foundational values, a vision for the world and a responsibility to be inclusive, rather than exclusive.  

This powerful, counter-cultural message calls us to ‘welcome to the table those whom God has already invited’. We cannot be cocooned in our comfort. We must reach out with compassion to those who are voiceless and embrace them as our brothers and sisters no matter what discomfort this may involve.

The former Congregational Leader of the Christian Brothers, Br Philip Pinto, threw down this challenge when he spoke at a conference in Ireland entitled ‘Out of Darkness Colour Breaks’: 

“What would it mean to be radical disciples of Jesus today? 

We know that Jesus wanted followers, not fans! He did not call disciples to worship him, but to follow him. It is not about worshipping Christ so much as following Jesus. 
Can we be as radical in our time as the first followers were in theirs? 

What if following meant opening our communities as places of real hospitality to those who have no one to hear their story? 

What if we gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and learned to live non-violently? 

What if discipleship was taken seriously as we fought against losing our soul in a consumerist society?  

What if women were truly equal? What if a contagious joy was the hallmark of our assemblies or community meetings? 

Can we hear it not as a command to change other people’s thinking so that it matched our own, but to move to people beyond our cultures so that together we might move out of our small worlds?”

Out of Darkness Breaks. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2024, from

At times this mission confronts us with tough choices and the temptation to take the easy road.  But, at the end of the day, staying true to the vision of the gospel will provide the richest education and the greatest reward, both individually and collectively.  I thank all parents, students and staff for choosing to belong to the Xavier family and for your ongoing support in helping Xavier Catholic College remain authentic to its mission.

Blessings and Peace
Simon Dash

Head of Primary School - Russell Davey

I was lucky enough to attend the Year 6 camp In Brisbane.  When I spoke to the students on camp I found myself reflecting on my own school experiences and those key moments which contributed to my own development and formation.  With the ongoing focus on academic progress it would be easy to pass over the benefits students take away from these experiences.  As a school, it is important that we prioritise time to recognise the spiritual, emotional and social development of our students.  Forming good individuals is as much a part of the journey at school as the learning we focus on each day.   All our Year 6 leaders were asked to reflect on their time at camp and what they took away from these three days and a common theme in these reflections was the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and take on new and exciting experiences. 


(PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

Click through to our Facebook page for a full gallery from the 2024 Year 6 camp.​

I also want to acknowledge this week our Year 3 and Year 5 students.  Their attitude and application when completing the NAPLAN assessments has been outstanding.  I have bene very impressed with their positive approach and their persistence when attempting difficult questions.  As a community we congratulate all involved and thank Mrs Love for her tireless work towards the organisation and completion of these national assessments. 

Some key reminders for the coming weeks:
  • A reminder to all parents who volunteer at the school that they are required to complete student protection training before working within a classroom.  Please contact the school if you require more information.
  • Please ensure you notify the school via the student portal if your child is going to be absent. Parents/carers are required to explain any student absences.  Information regarding the various ways to do so can be found on the parent portal and college website.
  • We will celebrate Xavier Day on Wednesday, 27 March.  All parents are very welcome to attend our liturgy at 8:45 am in GOA. 
  • Our College Cross Country will be held on Thursday, 28 March. All parents are very welcome to attend and support the students as they complete their respective tracks.

And finally, a reminder that the last week of the term is a shorter week with Good Friday falling on the 29th of March this year.  A reminder will also be sent to all parents via the College Facebook page. 

Have a great week,  
Russell Davey​

Head of Secondary School - Ursula Witham-Young

International Women’s Day
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion. At Xavier, we held our inaugural International Women’s Day Breakfast last week. We hope that we will be able to hold this every year, to promote the role we all must play in forging women’s equality. We had a guest speaker from Yoorana a local Women’s Domestic Violence and Resource Centre. Julie spoke to our students, staff and family members about the need for this organisation and the work we can do to support them through our donations. We raised $552 to go to Yoorana. 

I would like to say a special thank you to Mr Milstein and his hospitality class for their work on our amazing breakfast. Also, to Mr Ryan who assisted with organising and collecting our raffle prizes. 

First Prize – the whale watching voucher donated by Hervey Bay Boat Club was won by Abby Matthew
Second Prize – the necklace donated by World Treasure Designs was won by Mary Arnold
Third Prize – the spa voucher donated by Serenity Skin Spa was won by Isaac Jones
Fourth Prize – the gift hamper donated by Bloomers Hervey Bay was won by Imogen Duro

Movie vouchers donated by Big Screen Cinemas Hervey Bay were won by:
N. Golden
Mya Lynch
Trudy Webster
Laurel Ball
Laura Oliver

A special thank you to all the local businesses that supported out event!


(PHOTOS: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

Attendance Matters
Attendance can have significant impacts on student progress, achievement, wellbeing and their future success in work and in life. To improve educational outcomes for every student, regular school attendance requires prioritisation by students, parents and schools.​

Attendance Matters Posters P-12 4.jpg

(IMAGE​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​

Research confirms that regular student attendance matters and that poor attendance, from as early as Prep, has long lasting impacts on a student’s learning and life.

The focus needs to be on a unified, comprehensive and equitable approach that targets students from the beginning of Prep, promoting attendance, addressing barriers to attendance and learning, re-engaging disengaged students to the classroom and re-engaging disengaged families to the school. Brisbane Catholic Education's approach to supporting student attendance has a focus on every student on time every day and has five key principles:

  1. Attendance is everyone’s responsibility
  2. Engage with the school community and families on the importance of attendance
  3. Celebrate and acknowledge high attendance
  4. Support and re-engage students with attendance below the expected benchmark
  5. Track, monitor and follow up on unexplained absences

With every blessing
Ursula Witham-Young​


​​Prep 2025 Come and Try sessions
Come and experience the welcoming Xavier Catholic College community while your child explores our beautiful Prep facilities - meeting teachers and making new friends before starting school in 2025. RSVP to one or all of the sessions by clicking this link.

We can't wait to meet you!

Prep Come and Try 2025_FINAL.jpg

(IMAGE​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​

​​Ignite Conference 24
Please Email if your child/children are interested in attending Ignite Conference 24. Costs and transport will be confirmed once there is an idea of numbers. Accommodation will be simple, sleeping on the floor of a Brisbane college. 

Ignite Conference 24
19-22 September 2024
St Laurence’s College, Brisbane

For more event information, click through to the Ignite Conference 24 website.

Care and Concern Committee – Help Needed
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.  

We are currently asking for donations of meals for our Care and Concern freezer.  If you are able to help, please make a meal at home, label it with ingredients used and the date baked and then freeze.  When it is convenient please bring to College Reception and we will place it in our food bank.  If you would like to know more about the Care and Concern Committee and are willing to volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Donnelly directly. 

World Water Day – 22 March 2024
Water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access to it, tensions can rise. 

Access to drinking water is a human right. There is an urgent need to work together to protect and conserve our most precious resource. Cooperation on water paves the way for cooperation on all shared challenges. We must use water as a tool to create a more peaceful and prosperous world for all. 
Water is under growing pressure. The water-related impacts of climate change are worsening and a growing global population is placing increasing demand on a finite resource. Within many countries, people’s access to safe drinking water is unevenly and unfairly distributed. Between countries, the widespread lack of transboundary cooperation on shared water resources poses a risk to the quality and quantity of water supplies and therefore threatens social and international stability. 

Poor provision of water services can delegitimize States. The inability of a government to provide basic water services can lead to a delegitimization of State institutions and ignite social unrest, especially in the context of food insecurity, high unemployment and internal migration. 

Water for Peace, the 2024 United Nations Day for Water is aptly named and fits into our year 12 cohort motto, Unite in Peace and Solidarity.  Here in Australia, Queensland and Hervey Bay, water can bring peace and is a basic human right.  How we use and preserve water will demonstrate our respect and care for others.  Every human being is sacred and when humanity cannot access a human right our world needs to ask ourselves how we can unite in solidarity to provide peace, care and options for others so that they may simply live.  This World Water Day, begin to discern how do we use and protect water in a way that gives others life.   

Clink on this link to read about how Caritas is providing clean water to Leaia and her family. You can support Caritas by buying a ticket in our Easter raffle and make a difference where love is needed.

Carmel Donnelly 

Narwari Mission Week 2024 - raffle.png​​

(IMAGE​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​​

Clean Up Australia Day
The relatively small (in comparison) Xavier Catholic College community made its contribution towards tackling a much larger problem on Thursday. The ‘Clean Up Australia Day’ initiative aims to raise awareness around the environmental impact of litter and waste, promote community involvement in environmental conservation and inspire individuals to take action to protect and preserve our natural environment. 


(PHOTO​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​​

Year 12 leaders have been promoting this within our College community through a Xavier lens this year.  ‘Clean up Xavier Day’ is a program the leadership team hopes to adopt and make a prevalent trend as our school grounds are one small but mighty chunk of our homeland that we are responsible for. Striving to meet the values of Xavier Catholic College, it’s a challenge to all who learn together to seek Jesus in the world around them. God's creation is the wonder and the treasure of our journey together in this life. ‘Clean Up Australia Day’ embodies the spirit of finding Jesus in all things by encouraging individuals to recognise and honour the sacredness of the environment through acts of stewardship and community service.

Mya Lynch
College Vice Captain, Mission

Lions Youth of the Year
Congratulations to Year 12 student Lily Spencer for participating in the Lions Youth of the Year competition recently. Lily had to give a 5-minute prepared speech as well as two impromptu presentations. She also experienced a panel interview during which members of the community asked her about her various achievements, leadership qualities and general knowledge. Well done Lily, you spoke with confidence and enthusiasm and represented the College exceptionally.


(PHOTO​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​​
Early Years Approach to Reading
Parents of students in Prep and Year 1 are invited to attend an information session outlining changes to the teaching of reading in line with the revised Australian Curriculum (Version 9) and the science behind the way children learn to read. The session will also provide information on how parents can help support reading at home.

Early years Approach to Reading.png
(IMAGE​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​​
  • Date: Tuesday, 19 March 2024
  • Time: 6pm – 7pm
  • Venue: Library
  • RSVP: Monday, 18 March 2024 (via Parent Slip)

History Excursion
Xavier Catholic College senior History students travelled to Brisbane recently to explore various collections and exhibits at the Queensland Museum Kurilpa. They then visited the State Library of Queensland for a Research Workshop and were given access to the library’s rare texts, artefacts and artworks on ‘Level 4’. Students also received a personalised tour of ANZAC Square & Memorial Galleries in the CBD to learn more about Australia’s involvement in global conflicts. It was a great day out for our students, who were all fantastic ambassadors for the College.

(IMAGE​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)​​

Maths Superstars
Students who have achieved 133% or higher Growth Rate or 100% Accuracy need to master 4 out of the 6 modules completed each cycle. This newsletter acknowledges those students who achieved this every cycle for Term 1!

Why is 133% Growth Rate important?

Students achieving this consistently show more than a years’ worth of knowledge mastered. As students are filling in gaps in Year 6-8, this is ultimately the goal of Maths Pathway.

Congratulations to the students listed below:

maths stars.jpg

Maths Tutoring Timetable

maths timetable.jpg


P-6 Xavier Day Liturgy
Parents and carers are invited to attend the P-6 Xavier Day Liturgy in Week 10.
  • Wednesday, 27 March 2024
  • 8:45am
  • GOA
All parents and carers welcome!​

P-6 Xavier Day Assembly_2.png
(IMAGE​​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

International Women’s Day ART COMPETITION – ‘Inspire Inclusion'
International Women’s Day (IWD) provides an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the achievements of women. Furthermore, it promotes valuing women’s inclusion to forge a better world where belonging, relevance and empowerment occurs. Students across Xavier Catholic College participated in the IWD Art Competition by creating an artwork in response to a woman that inspires them. Thank you to all artists for their entries. Winners and Runner Ups artworks were on display at the International Women’s Day Breakfast at Frankie’s Café on Friday, 8 March and have since been moved to the College Library. Please take the opportunity to view for the remainder of the term. 

runners up.jpg

(IMAGES​​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

​(IMAGES​​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

Iona Passion Play
St Joseph's Catholic Church Hervey Bay in collaboration with the Iona Passion Play present: the Iona Passion Play.

Three shows only, see flyer below for details.​

Iona PLay Poster v3.png


​Brisbane Broncos
Xavier Catholic College was thrilled to host Rugby League development officers from the Broncos recently. The coaches helped some of our junior and senior students hone their rugby league skills and learn a little more about the game. You can find a gallery from the visit up on our Facebook page.​

(PHOTO​​: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2024)

For the latest images from Xavier Catholic College, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.​

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

Disclaimer: Copyright in some materials appearing in the newsletter is owned by third parties and should not be used or reproduced without the authority of the third party. The links to websites or web pages are for information purposes only. To the extent that such third-party materials are not owned by BCE, we accept no responsibility for such content.