Newsletter - Term 2, Week 8, 2018

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Dear Parents and Carers,
At the start of the year I spoke of my desire to create a culture of leadership at Xavier Catholic College.  I remain committed to this goal.  At the core of this concept is the notion that leadership is not about individuals exercising authority, but about creating the dynamic within the organisation where every member is empowered to exercise leadership. 

To put it simply, while I may be “the boss”, this does not give me all wisdom and power, nor the right to act as an authoritarian leader passing the “right” answers down the chain of command.  Rather, my role entails the empowering of my Leadership Team, staff, students and parents to exercise their leadership and wisdom.  While I take responsibility for the overall direction of the College, core to the culture of leadership is to empower each person in our community to seek wisdom and to contribute their gifts. 

The hope would be that in such a culture the same principle applies at every level.  My Leadership Team would hopefully run their teams along the same lines – not providing the answers, but empowering their teams to seek the answers from within the rich tacit knowledge that exists in the organisation.  Likewise, the classroom teacher empowers the learner to make decisions for himself and discover the truth (whether it be educational or behavioural), rather than disseminate wisdom as a jug pours water into a mug. 

It dovetails well with our new Responsible Behaviour Policy.  Ultimately education must empower learners to take responsibility and exercise leadership in their own education and personal growth.  While a culture of leadership is harder work than a culture of control, the long-term benefits are much more rewarding and truer to our gospel calling.

An important part of leadership within the school context is the role played by student leadership. We have just completed the process of selecting our Captains and Vice-Captains for the 2018-2019 school year. Their challenge is to promote and liberate the spirit of leadership throughout the student body.

From such a small cohort of students, the quality of applicants was immense. I believe this bodes well for the year ahead.

In the process of selection each student’s application and interview was carefully considered. But the most important factor was the responses gathered from students and staff.

So, I am pleased to announce our 2018-2019 School Captains and Vice-Captains.

Our Captains and Vice-Captains for the 2018-2019 School year are:

Captains: Lachlan Espulso and Lucy Glass
Vice-Captains: Thomas Miller and Jade Dundas.

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I congratulate these fine young people and wish them every success.

I thank all those who were shortlisted. All were outstanding.

We now go into the process of choosing our 8 House Leaders and 8 Ministry Group Leaders. This is a significant change which will elevate and promote the important work of our Ministry Groups.

With the calibre of applicants we have seen thus far I am confident that student leadership at Xavier Catholic College will continue to blossom.

God bless
Simon Dash

National Reconciliation Week
Last week the College recognised National Reconciliation Week. As part of National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation. The central theme for 2018 “Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. This theme formed the central focus as we came together at assembly on Wednesday and recognised National Reconciliation Week as P-12 community. You can also view a short video created to encourage students to learn more about our shared history.

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P-6 Disco Thursday 21st June
The P-6 Disco will be held on the Thursday 21st June from 5 pm to 7 pm.  Please note that parents are required to attend and are requested to remain on site throughout the duration of this event.  A sausage sizzle and drinks will be available to all families, with more information to be provided to parents in the coming days.

Prep Come and Try Day 2
On Friday 1st June the second Prep Come and Try day for 2018 was held.  This was a very successful morning and the Kindy students who attended thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Thanks to all the staff, parents and special helpers who attended this event and made it such a special morning. 

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Year 4 Healing Mass
Our Year 4 students joined the local St Joseph’s parish on Monday to attend Mass.  This was followed by morning tea with the parishioners and the opportunity to spend time with some of our local citizens. It was wonderful to see our student’s mixing with many of the regular parishioners and we thank Father Regi and the St Joseph’s parish for their warm welcome. 


08/06/2018    Years 7-8 Maryborough Dance Eisteddfod
12/06/2018    Readers Cup Wide Bay Finals
12/06/2018    Year 12 RE Excursion to Masters Lodge
13/06/2018    Years 7-12 Assembly
13/06/2018    Combined Board Meeting (hosted by XCC)
15/06/2018    Prep Come and Try Morning (Day 3)
19/06/2018    Years 3-12 Choir OZCARE Visit
20/06/2018    House Assemblies for Athletics
21/06/2018    P-6 School Disco
22/06/2018    K-2 Athletics Carnival
28/06/2018    Junior 8-12 years Athletics Carnival
28/06/2018    Year 7 PSDE
28/06/2018    QCS practice
28/06/2018    Year 10 QUT Applied Maths Seminar
28/06/2018    Year 2 Urangan Pier & Reefworld Excursion
28/06/2018    Year 11 Student Leaders Twilight Retreat
29/06/2018    St Peter the Fisherman Mass (Burrum Heads) (Year 6)
29/06/2018    Term 2 ends
30/06/2018    SCHOOL VACATION
30/06/2018    Confraternity Rugby League
30/06/2018    QISSN Tournament

The Sacrament of First Communion will be held on Sunday 12th August and Sunday 19th August 2018.  A Parent information night will be held on Thursday 7th June at 6.30pm at the Church. In the Year when children turn 9 (Year 4), they are welcomed to the Lord's Table and receive Holy Communion for the first time.    This is the final celebration of their Christian initiation.  Children must be Baptised and have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation (in 2017 or earlier) to receive their First Holy Communion.  Please contact the Parish Office on 4124 3334 for further information. 

Wide Bay Cross-Country
Xavier had over 20 students represent the Hervey Bay District at the Wide Bay Cross Country trials held at St James Lutheran College in Hervey Bay. All students are to be congratulated on their efforts throughout the day. Congratulations to the following students who have been selected in the Wide Bay team to compete at the QLD Cross-Country titles: Colton Blyth, Tarah Smith, Toby Powers and Chantelle McCarthy. Toby Powers deserves special mention for once again claiming age champion honours at this event, this year for the 15 years Boys division.
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Xavier students representing Wide Bay
Thus far in 2018, Xavier has had over 50 students selected in Wide Bay teams. We congratulate all these students for this outstanding achievement and wish them all the best in their respective Qld Championships. Below is a selection of photos of students competing for their Wide Bay teams. Parents of students are encouraged to email photos of students representing Wide Bay to Nathan Milne at

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Broncos Challenge Rugby League

After their victories in the Fraser Coast Division of the Broncos Challenge Rugby League competition, both the 13 Boys and Open Boys teams travelled to Bundaberg yesterday to play games against Bundaberg State High School in Round 2 of the competition. Coaches Michael Tyrrell and Tony McQuaid were proud of the efforts of all the boys and the spirit in which they played the game. The 13 Boys had a convincing win and will now proceed to Round 3 of the competition. 

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Xavier will be offering the parents and family of students an opportunity to purchase a ‘Supporter Shirt’ that can be worn at Xavier extra-curricular events in support of our students competing in inter-school events. The design will be a sports polo style shirt with Xavier branding.

Supporter’s Shirts will cost $44.00 each.  Shirts can be ordered and paid for through the Qkr! app. They will look like this but will have embroidery on the front and screen printing on the back. Orders close June 15th.

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Sunflower Competition results

The Sunflower Growing Competition was held last Monday in JPAC. Students from Year 7, Year 9 STEM and Year 12 had since February to grow the biggest and best sunflowers. We congratulate all the participants especially those who were able to keep the plants alive and thriving.

Award Winners:
Mrs Perry: 1st place The Most Ornamental Plant
Emily Powers: 2nd place The Tallest Plant
Charlotte Everett: 3rd place The Biggest Pod
Ebony Trembath: The Heaviest Whole Plant
Maeve Riley: The Encouragement Award

Calista Esposito: 
1st place The Shortest Plant
3rd place The Largest Flower
Isabelle Brittain:
1st place The Largest Flower
3rd place The Heaviest Flower
Chelsea Aston: The Senior Award
1st place The Tallest Plant (1.9m)
Grace Knighton:
1st place The Heaviest Flower (530g)
2nd place (tied) The Largest Flower
1st place The Biggest Flower Pod
2nd place The Most Ornamental Plant
Sarah Garty:
2nd place The Heaviest Flower
2nd place (Tied) The Largest Flower
2nd place The Biggest Flower Pod
3rd place The Tallest Plant
3rd place The Most Ornamental Plant
The Junior Award was awarded to both Sarah and Grace who had remarkable success with their plants.
There was a tremendous team of volunteering students who, along with Mrs. Smith, assisted with the judging, measuring and photographing. We thank you all very much for your help.

Next year we hope to make this competition open to more students and to grow a plant impressive enough to be hard to beat in the State competition. This year we were only a few grams off 3rd place for heaviest flower.

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XCATS news
There are three teams of students who are members of the XCATs (Xavier Chemical Analysis Team) and they have been practicing for the Regional Competition which ws held at the Sunshine Coast on the 2nd of June.
As a practice for this, the XCATS competed against one another in a Chemical Analysis Tournament at XCITE.
All students performed very well and we especially congratulate the following students:

First Place:
Raemah Krause
Second Place: Kelsea Haupt
Third Place: Poorna Jayasinghe.

Regional Competition results:

The RACI Regional Chemical Analysis competition was held at the Sunshine Coast University on Saturday.

Our students performed very well and we congratulate them all on their efforts in this challenging event.

Special mention for outstanding Individual results were:

  • Ethan Makaresz: High Distinction and was the most accurate chemist of the whole competition  
  • Raemah Krause: High Distinction
  • Lachlan Hall: Distinction
  • Kelsea Haupt: Credit
  • Poorna Jayasinghe and Eleanor Beach: Competent

A huge congratulations to our senior team of Poorna Jayasinghe, Ethan Makaresz and Kelsea Haupt were placed second in the competition and so have achieved a place in the National Finals in September. This is the second year this team has qualified for the finals. So it is back to the lab for training for this team.

Students enjoyed an afternoon at Sealife at Mooloolaba to relax after all their hard work.

The Award for the best performing XCAT of 2018 is therefore still up for grabs.  Kelsea Haupt won this award in 2017. Leading the 2018 competition at the moment is Raemah Krause.

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Robotics Workshop
As part of the Xavier STEM program, students from years 7 to 9 took part in a robotics workshop. With the help of Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, the CEO of the Tech Girls Movement, students were given the opportunity to build a programmable droid. Using coding and sensors they were able to control their droid’s movements and sounds.

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Apex Debating Semi Finals at Xavier Catholic College

Last night saw local high school debating teams go head to head in the semi-final of the 2018 Apex Schools Debating Competition. Xavier hosted the evening, which started off with the Year 7/8 team from Xavier facing Fraser Coast Anglican College Team 2 with the proposition in front of the house stating, “that rough play leads to violent behaviour in children” – a statement that Xavier wholeheartedly rejected in their role as the negative. In a closely fought war of words the Xavier team of Isabelle Brittain, Kirra Byrnes and Stella Ignatenko came out on top.

The Junior teams were next to take the floor with again, Xavier Team 1 contesting against Fraser Coast Anglican College Team 2. The matter before the house in this case was now, “that TV shows and movies that glorify crime should be banned”. The quality of the competition was evident from the outset with both teams trading highly developed insightful arguments. The timing of Xavier team in presenting their position was impeccable with each speaker being within a few seconds of their allotted six-minute window. Quite a feat considering that large chunks of their debates are created on the fly. Replicating the results of the debate earlier in the evening, the Xavier Junior team of Jazmyn Hanily, Jasmine Miller, and Lachlan Maag were humble in their victory!

The Fraser Coast Apex Grand Final is scheduled to be held on the 19th of June with the location yet to be named. In the 7/8 category Xavier Team 1 will face Fraser Coast Anglican College Team 1 – a team we have lost to earlier this year! It will be a challenge! For the Juniors, again Xavier Team 1 will face Fraser Coast Anglican Team 1. The winners of the Junior competition will get the opportunity to progress to the Queensland State Debating Titles on the Sunshine Coast later in the year. Good luck to everybody!

The teams would like to thank all the parents that are critical in the hours of practice, meetings and late evening. Without your support, the teams couldn’t experience the success that they do.

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KOKODA CHALLENGE 14th – 15th JULY, 2018
For the last seven weeks, in the early hours of the day, Xavier students have been crawling out of bed before the sun peaks over the horizon to do the hard yards – pounding the pavement along the Esplanade or scrambling up the single-track trails out in Toogoom. For what purpose? This year, eleven dedicated students will take on the Kokoda Gold Coast Challenge aimed specifically at high school participants; The Jim Stillman Cup. The 48km trail ultramarathon is held every year on the Gold Coast as part of the longer 96km Kokoda Gold Coast Challenge. This is the first year that Xavier has entered student teams in this competition and our teams are looking forward to this rewarding, challenging and positive experience.

Steep climbs, ankle twisting descents, roasting heat, freezing winds, icy water crossings, countless blisters and inevitable black toe nails await our adventurers. There are three brave teams of five signing up for this maiden excursion. Each team consists of four students and one teacher. They will slog it out over 48km of terrain used to train Australia’s elite soldiers for jungle warfare, to make it to the finish at the Nerang Velodrome. They won’t be alone in this endeavour. There are seven checkpoints over this distance with two specifically for meeting up with their support crews. All this in under 33 hours.

As students have already found out in training, this task is more a mental challenge then a physical one. It isn’t about who can go the fastest, but more about who can slow down the least! This event looks to foster courage, endurance, sacrifice and mateship in students while reminding them of the price the ANZACs that fought during World War II on the Kokoda Track in PNG paid.

If you would like to support our teams in this event, please email Shannon McDuff on

University Open Days:
USC – Fraser Coast          Saturday 23 June             10.00am-1.00pm        USC Website 
USC – Sunshine Coast     Sunday 22 July                  9.30am-2.00pm
USC – Caboolture             Sunday 5 August              10.00am-1.00pm

ACU - Brisbane                Saturday 28 July               9.00am–2.00pm         ACU Website

Bond – Gold Coast           Saturday 28 July               2.00pm-6.00pm

CQU – Brisbane               Thursday 9 August            3.00pm-6.30pm          CQU Website 
CQU – Bundaberg            Saturday 11 August           9.00am-1.00pm
CQU – Rockhampton        Sunday 19 August             9.00am-1.00pm

Griffith – Brisbane             Sunday 12 August             9.00am-2.00pm         Griffith Website
JCU – Townsville               Sunday 19 August                                             JCU Website 
JCU – Cairns                    Sunday 26 August     
QUT – Brisbane                Sunday 29 July                 9.00am-3.00pm          QUT Website   

SCU – Gold Coast              Sunday 29 July                                                SCU Website   

UQ – Brisbane                   Sunday 5 August               9.00am-3.00pm        UQ Website     
UQ – Gatton                       Sunday 19 August            9.00am-3.00pm

USQ – Brisbane                 Friday 7 September          3.00pm-7.00pm          USQ Website
USQ – Toowoomba           Sunday 19 August            10.00am-2.00pm

Please check the websites for confirmation of dates and further details.

The annual TSXPO with the Qld Work and Skills Expo are on at the RICC, Brisbane on 21st and 22nd July.  This expo is a one-stop-study-shop for students and parents to gain an insight into the vast array of courses and career opportunities on offer from an extensive and diverse range of providers from Queensland, interstate and overseas.  Government agencies such as DET, QTAC and QCAA and other professional associations will also be able to provide details on professional employment opportunities, graduate recruitment, scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance including HECS and VET Student Loans.   Further details can be found at
A reminder to please update any changes to your details via the Parent Portal.  This includes address changes, new telephone numbers and email addresses.  We cannot process any changes that are not in writing. 

Students from Years 4 -12 have been invited to sit the Australian Mathematics Competition in Term 3, Thursday 9th August.  A letter was given to students who were interested on Monday 14th May.  If your child has missed out on a letter and wishes to participate in the competition, they can collect a letter from student reception.

The competition cost $6.50 to enter. It is to be paid via Qkr!, with the final payment to be made by Friday 22nd June 2018.

If you have any queries please email me:
Janine Ritter (Dean of Mathematics)

Bookings are now open for the Xavier Production of Grease.  Please click the image below to secure your preferred seating.

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2017 Yearbooks
If you would like to purchase additional 2017 Yearbooks for Grandparents, friends and relatives they are now available for purchase on Qkr! for $16.50. Collection from College reception.

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Georgie is a local artist and Xavier alumni (graduated 2013). After receiving her Bachelor in Creative Arts she has returned home to the Bay and now will be presenting her first solo art exhibition ICONS in June at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

Georgie invites the Xavier community to opening night on the 22nd of June at 6pm. The exhibition explores Scripture, faith and a variety of historical images used throughout the course of Christianity.

The opening is free to public, family-friendly and no RSVP is required. Alcohol will be available with complementary nibbles and live music.



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