Newsletter - Term 2, Week 8, 2017


Dear Parents and Carers
Recently we held our first Parent Engagement Committee Meeting and I thank the dozen parents who made themselves available on the eve of the long weekend.

I was grateful for the feedback on some of our proposed changes and the rich conversation that took place. Likewise, it was terrific to hear parents put forward their suggestions and concerns in such a constructive manner. Among the topics that were covered were our assessment design and procedures, creating flowcharts for parents so they can easily follow our new Anti-Bullying Policy and our Responsible Behaviour Policy, questions regarding our Parent Portal and other communication methods, along with questions about Trimesters, Access for Year 11 and 12 students and Composite Classes.

It is so important for the College to hear parent perspectives in order for us to make changes that will lead us to new levels of excellence. Those who were unable to attend the meeting can always email me at the College with their thoughts, ideas and concerns.

I am looking forward to the next meeting in Term 3 and hope that numbers will expand as I want to hear from parents about their thoughts on the School Uniform, among other topics.

Open and honest consultation is critical for both school improvement and building up a strong sense of community. When we listen to each other and our voice is valued we tend to want to be involved and develop a strong sense of belonging.

Our Staff Consultative Committee meets later this week and, again, this has proven to be invaluable as a means of hearing the ideas of staff and their feedback on the impact of proposed changes.

Additionally, we are in the process of establishing a Student Voice Committee with representatives from every House and Year Level from Years 5 to 12. Student voice is increasingly being seen as an important part of creating a positive culture within a school community. A mechanism where students can provide their thoughts, feedback, ideas and concerns can have a powerful impact on a school environment. It also allows for the expansion of leadership opportunities.

The role of the Student Voice Committee is to:
  • represent the student community and act as a communication channel between the College Leadership Teamand the student community;
  • actively contribute to College decision making in promoting a positive student experience;
  • inform the Principal about emerging issues for students;
  • provide input into the development of policies and services that support students and advance the quality of learning and wellbeing;
  • encourage student feedback and share College initiatives resulting from student feedback.
I look forward to our first meeting which will occur in Term 3.

God bless
Simon Dash

Dear Parents,
There have been number of exciting events at the College this week. 

Readers Cup
On Tuesday over 200 students visited the college to participate in the Readers Cup.  This the second year that Xavier has hosted this event and we look forward to the opportunity to host many more.  This a wonderful event which, under the guidance of Mr Graham Bebington, has been very well organised and well received by other schools in the community.

We are pleased to announce that all three of our teams were place-getters in the competition. These 12 students have trained extremely hard since before the Easter holidays, in order to perform as well as they have. Results are as follows:

Year 5/6 Team – Regional Winners, off to the State Championships in September - Lily May MacKinnon, Louise Drake, Finlay Ignatenko & Declan Drury.

Year 7/8 Team 1 – Regional Winners, off to the State Championships in September - Sarah Garty, Stella Ignatenko, Ethan Drury & Alexander Pacifique.

Year 7/8 Team 2 – 3rd Place - Ash Usher, Tegan Dawe, Jasmine Miller & Aidan Nugent.

2017 Readers Cup.jpg

Morecombe Foundation
The Daniel Morecombe Foundation visited the college on Tuesday to deliver their very important message regarding child safety.  As we remember Daniel we also look to the future and giving our students the skills they need to make good choices if faced with a compromising situation.  Our thanks to Bruce and Denise for taking the time to join us.  The students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and will take away a lot of information around respectful relationships and the importance of child safety.  If you would like further information on this topic, please use the link below to access the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website.

2017 Morecombe Visit.jpg

Councillor Daniel Sanderson – Prep Visit
Cr. Daniel Sanderson will visit our Prep classes this week to deliver a very important message as one of the Reading Heroes for our Prep students. This program is being run by our Prep team and involves an invitation being extended to people with different roles in the community to come in and share their love of reading as well as why they need it for their job/role.  The Prep students thoroughly enjoyed having Mrs Lynette Freeman visit last week and are looking forward to meeting their next Reading Hero.  Our thanks to Mrs Relf and the Prep team for organising this wonderful initiative

2017 Reading Heros1.jpg

Broncos Trip
Safe travels to the staff and students who are travelling to Brisbane on Friday to watch the Broncos v Rabbitohs game.  I know that the students and staff are all very excited about attending this event and the fact that Mr Dash will be driving the bus for the big game. 

General Reminders
  • With the cold weather arriving we have seen an influx of incorrect jumpers and jackets.  A reminder to all parents that students are required to wear a college jumper/jacket only when in school uniform. Please contact the school if you are having trouble obtaining a school jumper/jacket for your child/children.
  • With the flu season arriving please give some consideration before sending your child to school if they are unwell.  Often a day’s rest will prevent ongoing illness and assist with limiting the spread of the winter cold.
  • Junior reports are currently in the process of being compiled.  These reports will be available to parents on the last day of term via the Parent Portal.
Mr Russell Davey & Ms Kerry Sidaway (Heads of School)

Pentecost Sunday
The Coming of the Spirit. “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4)

This past weekend the Church celebrated Pentecost Sunday, the day where we recall the moment when the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus and blessed them with the gift of tongues. The disciples immediately went out into the world to preach the message of Jesus to people of all nations. It is important that we remember that this story is not meant to simply be remembered as an amazing act in the name of Christ. Rather it is a call to each of us to speak the word of Christ in our world. In all that we do we are presented with opportunities to spread Christ’s message of unconditional love. You may want to ask yourself this week, how has the Spirit enabled me to proclaim the word of God through my words or actions?

This week, 38 Xavier Catholic College students will receive the sacrament of Confirmation in a special liturgy with Bishop Joseph Oudeman O.F.M. Cap at St Joseph’s Church in Pilaba. Students will attend one of two liturgies either on Wednesday or Thursday evening at 7:00pm. The rite of Confirmation is one of seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. It is a sacrament of initiation which completes baptism by sealing the participant with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and anointing the recipient as priest, prophet and king. Bishop Joseph will also visit the college on Thursday morning to spend time with staff and students. We congratulate the following Xavier students who will receive the sacrament:

​Mia Anderson ​Lily Baker ​Kian Black
​Cotton Blyth
​Luc-Jean Bond ​Julius Bond
​Dylan Borsboom ​Zarielle Brady ​Layla Carr-Serdiuk
​Holly Courtney ​Jessie Courtney
​Layla Davis
​Sebastian Denny ​Harriet Everett
​Samara Foster
​Liam Geale ​Mia Geale ​Ronan Gilbert
​Cash Hanley ​Brandon Govers ​Skylah Harding
​Abbie Henderson
​Kiana Kerr ​Jayda Kerr
​Kallum Jones ​Raemah Krause ​Heidi Krause
​Abby Krause ​Hayden Kubler ​Pierce Mailer
​Joshua Marxson
​Mia Ninnes
​Sam Ricketts
​Mackenzie Riedy ​Will Spencer ​Eloise Tinker
​Keeley Ward ​Rhylee Ward

“Live Simply”
Many of us in society have grown up with a worldview that makes a virtue and goal out of accumulation, consumption, and collecting. It is often hard for us to see this as an unsustainable and unhappy trap because all of our rooms are decorated in this same colour. The catch phrase, “I produce therefore I am” and “I consume therefore I am” might be today’s answers to Descartes’ “I think therefore I am.” However, these identities are all terribly mistaken and it requires great courage and commitment to see our world as gift. 

This way of seeing the world, as one to be consumed, has blinded us so that we now tend to falsely assume more is better. This way of living can produce a future of strained individualism, severe competition as resources dwindle for a growing population, and perpetual war. At times our culture impresses to us that there isn’t enough to go around.  Often countries largest budgets are for war, bombs and military gadgets.  Education, health care, the arts or basic infrastructure are often budgeted significantly less in some countries, leaving many disadvantaged, hungry and without much needed medical assistance.

Simple living is the foundational social justice teaching of Jesus, Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Pope Francis, and many more including all hermits, mystics, prophets, and seers since time immemorial.  Richard Rohr writes “Franciscan alternative orthodoxy asks us to let go, to recognize that there is enough to go around and meet everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed.”  Today there is no greater challenge then to live simply so that others can also.  As we celebrate the work of Jesuit Social Services, and Jesuit Refugee Services let us not forget the great work that we are capable of through our daily actions and lifestyle.  Take up a challenge to reduce, recycle or reuse some of your goods. “Live simply, love generously, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” 

Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week is not a time for blame or anger. It is a time to reflect on our past and to grow together. This year during National Reconciliation Week, let us go beyond kind words and actively encourage everyone to get involved in the reconciliation journey. Let’s take the next steps, and work together for a great future for all peoples of this great nation.

Thank you for making Wednesday's Senior School, and this morning’s Junior School, National Reconciliation Week Liturgies such wonderful occasions. It was very moving to see the students coming up together in unity to do the prayers of the faithful and to make their mark towards taking the next steps.

As a part of the ceremony, Xavier Catholic College 2016 graduate Rhiannon Lowe has received the Brisbane Catholic Education Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teaching Scholarship.  Carmel Wallace, Senior Advisor from BCE, presented the scholarship along with a new iPad to Rhiannon as part of Xavier Catholic College’s National Reconciliation Week assembly.
It was during a school trip to Vanuatu where Rhiannon decided to change her university selection from Law to Primary Education.

‘While in Vanuatu I saw first-hand the positive impact education can have, not just on young lives but also on whole communities’, she said.

‘Receiving this scholarship is such an honour and it will help to support my studies over the next few years’.

The BCE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teaching Scholarship aims to support Indigenous students who undertake an Education Degree after completing senior studies at a BCE school. 

2017 Reconciliation.jpg

Circle of Silence
On the 14th of June, just a few Wednesdays away, many students across the entirety of Xavier will be participating in a Circle of Silence. Run to express solidarity and support with people seeking asylum, students will give up their lunchtime to raise awareness for the hardships refugees face every day. These students will arrange themselves in circles in different parts of the school, and sit in silence for the entire lunch break. Our contribution to such an event will not go unrecognised, as this event is held nationwide alongside other passionate communities. Details of our contribution to the event in 2016 are below.  We hope to extend the number of participants in 2017. We encourage fellow students to join us on this day, to stand in silence and raising awareness for those who do not have a voice.

SVDP School Poster Competition
A big thank you to our year 9 leaders who last week gave our P- 5 students a little helping hand to complete or start a poster for the competition.  Just a reminder that all posters need to be in the collection box at student reception by Thursday 15th June so that we can send them away in time for the cut-off date. Good luck with your creations and thank you for making the time to make a difference by sharing your social justice ideas and passions in this competition. 

Students from Year 4-12 have been invited to sit the Australian Mathematics Competition in Term 3
on Thursday 27th July Lesson 1 and 2.  A permission form was given to students who were interested on Monday 22th May, if your child has missed out on a letter and wish to participate in the competition please email me on and I will give them a form.
The competition cost $6.50 to enter.

Please be careful which child you select when making payments for things on the QKR app.
Quite often it includes a permission slip for excursions and this causes problems when made out to the wrong student. For example some of the participants in the Secondary School Maths Competition are listed as Prep students!

Next term, on Friday 21 July, (second week back), all Xavier students will be celebrating Bastille Day, France’s National Day. All students will be encouraged to come in costume – either as a French personality, a combination of the French colours (red, white and blue) or an outfit reflecting a period of French culture or history. Prizes will be awarded for the best individual and group costumes in each year level.

The day will begin with a special parade, the singing of the national anthem and group presentations reflecting the significance of this special day. Secondary students will be involved in a range of rotational sporting activities like petanque (French bowls), lacrosse and French waiter’s races during the day. There will be a separate program of activities organised for the Junior school students. Morning tea (chocolate éclairs and croissants) will be provided for all students. Lunch (quiche and garlic bread) will be provided for all year 6, 7 and 8 students and any students studying French in years 9, 10, 11 and 12. The afternoon will be devoted to athletics events in preparation for the athletics carnival.

In order to assist with the catering, we need to appeal to your generosity to provide us with donations of quiches and garlic bread for lunch for our years 6-12 French students.
If you can assist, either Quiche, garlic bread, or both please email the details of what you can provide, along with your child's name and class to by Friday July, 14.

Un grand merci,
Lynette Pritchard – French Teacher

Ben Mogor, Matt Bauer, Riley Birkett, and Flynn Whelan comprised a winning team at the annual Science & Engineering Challenge held last month at PCYC. Eight high schools competed in 8 activities with squads of up to 32 students from Grades 9 & 10.

The team-members said that their design was simple but effective as they noticed that all building girders were made of linked triangles, so they included that in their structure which made the frame very rigid. They won the competition for distance and for accuracy.

2017 Science and Engineering Challenge.jpg

UQ Women in Engineering is pleased to announce that the WE Explore Engineering - Regional event is happening again in 2017!

Students will be inspired by the journeys of female engineers during presentations at Engineering Futures Evening. They will then stay overnight in a college and spend the following day tackling three of our hands-on engineering workshops to discover why engineers are society's problem solvers.

Getting to UQ
Transportation will be provided to UQ from a designated pick-up area at Torbanlea, and Maryborough.

There will be a small fee to offset transport and accommodation. Bursaries will be available for students seeking financial assistance.
"Register now"

Date:  20 - 21 July 2017
Time:  Thursday, 20 July - arrive to UQ by 3pm.  Friday, 21 July - depart UQ by 2pm.
Pick-up and drop-off time from each location to be advised.
Venue:  The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Xavier has had a large number of students represent Wide Bay for various sports already in 2017. As these events are organised at the Regional level, parents of students attending are encouraged to send in any photos of Xavier students in action. These can be sent to Nathan Milne at Below are some photos of Xavier students who recently represented Wide Bay at the State Touch Carnival. Congratulations to all students who are excelling in their sporting pursuits and representing Xavier with such distinction.
2017 Wide Bay Reps.jpg

The athletics season is just around the corner. With Narwari taking out the Swimming in Term 1 and Buthu victorious at this term’s Cross-Country, it will be exciting to see which house reigns supreme at the 2017 Athletics Carnival. Below are the key dates for athletics events in Term 3:

Thursday 20th July    1500m events (1st break starting at 10:45am)

Friday 21st July    All age groups will complete 3 field event rotations starting at 12:45pm and concluding at 3:00pm. These events will follow Bastille Day celebrations in the morning. Year 11 and 12 students will be required to remain at school for Periods 5 & 6 (usual access time) to complete the field event rotations.

Monday 24th July    3000m events (1st break starting at 10:45am – no Age Championship points)

Tuesday 25th July    800m events (1st break starting at 10:45am)

Thursday 27th July    200m events (starting at 1:30 though to 3:00pm)
            All age shuttle-relay
Friday 28th July        2017 13yrs-Open Athletics Day (commencing at 8:40am)

More details on this exciting event to come.