Newsletter - Term 2, Week 6, 2023


From the Pen of the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers,

Last week I had the privilege of attending Brisbane Catholic Education’s inaugural Inclusive Education Symposium in Brisbane. I was joined by three of our hardworking and dedicated ST:IEs (Support Teacher – Inclusive Education). The speakers were outstanding and we all left challenged but affirmed.

One word that kept coming up was ‘equity.’ It can easily be confused with ‘equality’ but there are important differences. Equality is treating all people the same, whereas equity is providing resources based on needs. As one of my old mentors once counselled me: ‘we must treat unequals unequally.’ It may be odd phrasing, but the message is clear: there are people with special needs and this means we may need to devote extra time, resources and effort to them. At its most obvious level, it can be seen when wheelchair ramps are installed for ease of access. 

There is a cartoon that caught my attention some time ago:

It demonstrates the difference between equality and equity in a simple yet brilliant visual illustration. I also like the third panel titled ‘liberation’ or it could also be called ‘inclusion.’ Inclusion is the final and greatest step we are challenged to make. Our ultimate goal is to remove the barriers all together. 

The other challenge is to maintain high expectations. Regardless of ability levels, all should strive for their personal best. I will celebrate the C+ from an academic ‘battler’ just as much as the child who achieves an A+. For me, liberation is about ending the notion that you are competing with your peers. The only competition that really matters is against ourselves and the desire to be the best we can be with the gifts and talents we possess.

During my last two Principalships I had large numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, particularly in the boarding school. I regularly reminded staff ‘low expectations is the worst form of racism.” Likewise, in a school like Xavier Catholic College, with many students from low socio-economic backgrounds and a sizable population of students with disabilities, I have added ‘low expectations is the worst form of social discrimination.’ 

This is very personal to me. My father worked the lines at the Golden Circle Cannery. My mother and father received an education only until Year 8 before joining the workforce. When my father passed unexpectedly when I was 14, he left behind our mum to raise 6 children on a widow’s pension. 

If my family was a statistic, we probably had a few things stacked against us: undereducated parents, low socio-economic background and, for quite a number of years, a single parent family. When you put that together it would generally suggest that we were up against it. However, my siblings and I had the opportunity to attend a Catholic School. The Christian Brothers would not accept excuses. I remember their mantra ‘if God gave you a gift, you have a responsibility to share that with the world. And God won’t accept excuses either.’ 
The result? We all went on to complete University and have successful careers: a Veterinary Surgeon, a Cytologist, an Accountant, a School Teacher and two Principals. All because we were challenged by unrelenting high expectations.

There is a short prayer that I turn to when I need to challenge myself to gain a better perspective and cease ‘beating myself up’ over little things. It is a prayer for self-acceptance:

Starting today, dearest Father, help me to live my life being myself and not pretending to be someone else. Help me to love and accept everyone else the way you created them. Please give me wisdom enough, love enough and courage enough to seek your way, your truth and follow it in all I do. Help me to remember that when I reject others, I reject myself and when I reject myself, I reject You. Clean my mind of any emotional poison it has known through abusive words, actions of others and of myself. Please help me to be happy to share my time with my loved ones and to forgive them for any injustice and hurt I feel in my mind. Give me to love my family and friends unconditionally, to find better, loving ways to communicate with everyone, that there is no winner or loser.

Today is a new beginning. Help me to start my life over, help me to love you above all, to love others and treat them with dignity, to be happy to be alive and to no longer live in fear of love. Help me to become great in Kindness, Love, Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Generosity, and Compassion so that I can be at peace with all of your creations forever and ever. Amen.

Blessing and Peace
Simon Dash

Acting Head of School - Primary

On Thursday all of our P-2 students will travel to Star of the Sea to participate in the annual Star of the Sea and Xavier Under 8’s Day.  This is a wonderful day out and an opportunity to celebrate with our youngest students.  Our thanks to Mr Wilson and the staff of Star of the Sea for hosting us in 2023

Please see below for further information:
The theme this year is ‘Play – You, Me & Our Communities.’  Our teachers, along with our Secondary Early Childhood students, are organising many exciting activities around the theme, including crafts, gross motor fun, music and cultural experiences!

  • When:  9:00am – 11:40am Thursday, 25 May. Please be on time as we are travelling by bus to SOS.
  • Wear:  Play clothes - we may get messy, hats and joggers are essential, sunscreen can be applied before leaving home or on arrival at school.

Winter Uniforms
As we enter the colder months in Hervey Bay, please be reminded that all students are only permitted to wear the College jacket and bottoms when at school.  Under clothes such as singlets and thermals are permitted if they cannot be seen.
If you are in the process of purchasing these items for your children or are waiting for an order, please notify your child’s teacher via their student planner. 

Thank you to all parents / carers who have been able to attend our assemblies on Wednesday mornings. We are very aware that not everyone can attend but wanted to extend an invitation to all members of our Xavier community. Our next P-6 showcase assembly is in Week 9 on 14 June.  

We hope to see you there!

Kind regards,
Sarah Love​

Head of School - Secondary

Parental Engagement
We believe it is very important to work closely with parents and carers of our students, I read this article recently and thought it relevant to include. 

Teachers understand that parental engagement in education is an important ingredient to achieving positive student outcomes and that students need both parental and school-based support to make these academic and career decisions. 

Literature on the issue of parental involvement (in Hoover- Dempsey and Sandler, 1995) outlines three key mechanisms of parental engagement that have a positive impact on student outcomes: 

  1. Modelling – by modelling school-related behaviours and attitudes, parents demonstrate that school based activities are worthy of adult interest and time.
  2. Reinforcement – by involving themselves in aspects of schooling, parents reinforce their interest and attention, and send out a message of positive affirmation to their children. 
  3. Instruction – when parents engage in direct instruction, they can promote learning and knowledge at home, as well as help children develop higher levels of cognitive complexity and ability.

Hoover-Dempsey KV, Sandler HM. Parental involvement in children’s education: Why does it make a difference? Teachers College Record 1995; 97: 310–31. 

Exploring resilience in schooling 
To what degree does a person’s resilience affect their engagement with learning? According to 350,000 student responses to the Resilient Youth Australia Resilience Survey (2019) and recent peer reviewed meta-studies, it matters a great deal. It can be demonstrated throughout primary and secondary school years that resilience is positively correlated with academic achievement.

What is resilience?
The work of Resilient Youth Australia in over 1,300 schools, with more than 350,000 primary and secondary school student respondents, has identified three main components of resilience: to be Connected, Protected and Respected (CPR). The “CPR of Wellbeing” is a clear and coherent framework for happier and healthier schools. Interventions should aim to increase the
number of young people who live connected, protected and respected likely to be involved in risky behaviours, and more likely lives. In a nutshell, CPR is a cornerstone strategy for developing a safe, supportive and healthy school community where students are engaged and in which learning flourishes.

What is the link between wellbeing and improved learning outcomes?
Building resilience helps protect young people against problems related to their wellbeing and mental health while making them less likely to be involved in risky behaviours, and more likely to succeed at school, in relationships and life in general.


Dirum Mission Week

Next week is Dirum Mission Week and we’re looking forward to supporting and raising awareness for Jesuit Refugee Services and Jesuit Social Services through donations from the College community.

All Dirum Mission Week activities are FREE, however if you would like to make a donation, you are able to do so through Qkr!

  • Wednesday – Prim​ary School Activities in GOA
  • Thursday – JRS Jersey Day
  • Friday – Secondary School Activities in JPAC

Thank you in advance for your support!

Experience Xavier Day

Year 6 students had a great time experiencing ‘Secondary School’ on Friday. 

Students were given a taste of what’s to come as they continue their Xavier journey next year. 

Whether it was sharpening their Maths skills, watching experiments in the Science Lab, exploring the campus, participating in Drama lessons or working together during an HPE session, it was great to see so many smiles and happy faces.

A big thank you to our new Year 6 friends from other local schools who joined us for the day. We can’t wait to see you join our family next year!


Click here​ to view the full gallery on Facebook.​

Local Heroes and Role Models

As part of their investigations into Heroes and Role Models, Mr McQuaid’s Year 11 Religion and Ethics class welcomed some local heroes to talk about their contributions to our community. 

These amazing role models engaged in some rich conversations with Xavier Catholic College students about the experiences, sacrifices and rewards that come with their work - supporting those needing assistance or guidance in our community.

Thank you to the following community members for spending some of their valuable time with us last week:
  • Shane from Men’s Walks and Talks
  • Les from USC
  • David from Qld Police
  • Holly from Turtles in Trouble Rescue
  • Val and Jill from St Vincent de Paul

Training opportunities for Secondary students

Three groups of Secondary students are working towards their Construction White Cards, Hand and Power Tools and Working at Heights competencies, with an external Registered Training Organisation (RTO) on campus – free of charge.

Students also received approximately $200 worth of PPE to keep as part of the program.

The opportunity is helping students get a head start with the qualifications they might need for their future careers.
The training is an initiative of our Industrial Training Hub.

Mother’s Day Gallery

Thank you to everyone who attended our Mother’s Day Liturgy.

It was so good to see so many special people in the lives of our Primary students at the celebration.
The Primary School students and staff put on a beautiful Liturgy, with singing, laughter and an awesome photo presentation.

You can find our full gallery by clicking here​.

Fraser Coast Mayor Visits Xavier Catholic College 

Xavier Catholic College was privileged to have Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour visit campus and engage with students recently.
Cr Seymour met with the Student Voice Council and Student Leaders to discuss a number of issues affecting the community – and young people in particular.

Topics of discussion included: Opportunities for Fraser Coast youth, especially after leaving school, how local government procedures work and why young people should feel confident enough to have their say on issues affecting them, among other things. 

Well done to students for asking such thought-provoking questions.

Prep 2024 Come and Try​

Xavier Catholic College held its first Prep 2024 Come and Try session last week.

There are still two more opportunities for your child (or a family member or friend’s child) to come and experience our awesome Prep facilities.


Containers for Change at XCC

Xavier Catholic College has jumped on board the Containers for Change School Challenge organised out of the Dundowran Collection Centre. 

How you can help: 
  • Next time you cash in your bottles, place your receipts in the XCC school containers or ask the helpers to assign your count to Xavier - don’t worry you keep the money! 
  • Or donate your bottles and cans to the school and the count will automatically go towards the College, as will the money donations – see Scheme ID in the flyer.

Not only will we have two chances to win $500 cash for the College, but you will be playing your part in helping the local environment!​

Numeracy News

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure students have the best possible experience at XCC, the Newsletter will contain advice and resources about how to help your child with Numeracy. Working together gives students the best chance at succeeding.

Literacy and numeracy. Education. (2018, October 2). ​​

Students who have achieved 133% or higher Growth Rate or 100% Accuracy will be recognised each fortnight. To achieve 133% Growth Rate, students need to master four out of the six modules completed each cycle. 
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.

Each newsletter will acknowledge the achievements per cycle and the last newsletter for the Term will acknowledge the whole Terms achievements.

Congratulations to the students listed below!​

Arts and Culture


Yes, it’s official! Xavier Catholic College will be ground zero for an ‘artomic’ sized explosion of the Arts in August! The artistic fallout is predicted to cover the College for a week, with the arts radiating out across the community.

The week-long celebration will feature a walking trail of visual art displays, a student movie festival, music and dance performances, some amazing food provided by our student chefs and the jewel in the crown, the Artomic Variety Night organised and curated by student leaders, Chiara Di Pietro and Bailey Frampton.

There will be some fun surprises within the Artomic Variety Night event, which will include two nights of performances on 15 and 17 August. 

So put a red-hot circle around the dates on your calendar and re-stock your artistic fallout shelters because Artomic is coming!

Visual Arts

There are also a number of exciting activities on the go for the College’s visual artists.
Have a look at the awesome opportunities available to creatives wanting to enter design, photography or art competitions.

Issue 4 of Scholastic Book Club out now

Students received the catalogue this week – they can also be viewed online!

Scholastic Book Club orders must be in by 3:00pm on Friday, 2 June.  All orders must be placed using LOOP, the Scholastic Linked Online Ordering & Payment platform accessible from Book Club - Parents | Scholastic Australia .  

LOOP is safe and easy to use and eliminates the need to return paper order forms and cash to school.  Books will be delivered to your child’s classroom, unless you have marked the order as a gift.  Each order helps earn free books and teaching materials for our school.  

Happy reading!

Rite of Christian Initiations of Adults – RICA

The RCIA prepares adults for initiation into the Catholic Church, with the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The Hervey Bay Catholic Parish is about to start its next program, which will be celebrated upon completion at the 2024 Easter Vigil.

If you or someone you know wants to become Catholic, please contact the Parish office on 4124 3334 or Email to register.


QISSN: Netball fundraiser

Xavier Catholic College will send two netball teams (Open Girls and Open Boys) to the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball (QISSN) carnival in Brisbane during the first week of the June school holidays.

Both teams have been training since March in preparation for the carnival and are looking forward to a successful week of netball.
The teams have organised a raffle to help raise funds ahead of QISSN. 

By supporting the students, you stand the chance of winning a State of Origin jersey of your choice – valued at $160! The winner will be drawn on Thursday, 22 June 2023.

All funds raised will help cover the costs of taking part in the carnival.

Get your tickets now via Qkr!

Don’t Forget

You can also stay up-to-date with Xavier Catholic College by following us on Facebook​ and Instagram​. Thank you to all the parents and carers who have already joined our growing online community.

Haven’t seen an Email from us in a while? Make sure you check your Inbox settings to make sure you’re receiving all important correspondence from Xavier Catholic College.

Oh yes, it’s a short week this week. Friday is the Fraser Coast Show Holiday. Enjoy the long weekend, see you all on Monday.​