Newsletter - Term 3, Week 2, 2018

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Dear Parents and Carers
Welcome back to Term 3 which looks like being another busy and industrious term. By now you should have received your child’s Semester Report which shows areas of growth as well as areas requiring further development. It is a great opportunity to sit and discuss the report with your child and revisit some of the goals they made at the start of the year. Beyond Parent-Teacher Interviews, please do not hesitate to email teachers so we can coordinate efforts. The partnership between home and school is paramount for successful outcomes.

I emailed all parents the link to the Brisbane Catholic Education survey “Tell Us What You Think” last Friday. While the results are specific to our school, this is also a system-wide initiative that BCE will utilise in establishing its vision ‘Beyond 2020’ and developing their own strategic plan for the Archdiocese. For Xavier Catholic College, it will be another great source of information to inform our own planning in our ongoing efforts to continually improve as a school. Your support is deeply appreciated.

Towards the end of the holidays I was fortunate enough to attend the Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA) Conference in Cairns. Among the keynote addresses were Senator and former New South Wales Premier, Kristina Keneally whose topic was “Throwing the Hail Mary pass”, Father Frank Brennan SJ AO who spoke about “A faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith”, and Professor Russell Bishop who covered “The end of failure”. On the final day we heard from three people who had overcome adversity to achieve incredible things. My personal favourites were Somali Refugee, Jamila Gordon who spoke about “The power to dream and the courage to pursue them” and an extraordinary young Cairns girl who graduated in 2007 whose topic “The gender divide: strategies to get girls into engineering and technology” were incredibly powerful.

Father Frank Brennan’s opening remarks summed up the spirit of a challenging and thought-provoking conference:

You have asked me to be 'tropical and topical' and to reflect on 'Leading in Diverse Times in
the Church and in the World'. Let me put a couple of tropical questions. As a school principal
flying back south after this conference, how should I be feeling and what things should I be
alert to, ensuring that my church is more accountable and transparent and true to the gospel
in the wake of the royal commission, what should I be thinking about school funding, what
should be my approach to employment of LGBTI staff and to pastoral care of LGBTI students in
the wake of the same sex marriage debate, and what should I be drawing from Pope Francis to
animate my school community about stewardship of the environment, responsibility for the
poor, spiritual contentment in an age of disruption, and getting the mix right of truth, justice,
love, mercy and joy? How are we to give women their place at the table when they cannot
preside at eucharist? How are we to assure Indigenous Australians their place at the table
when governments make laws and policies impacting especially on them and their heritage?

This conference should be a sacramental moment, food for the journey, sustaining us and
providing a sense of true north as we head south into the complexity of the family relations of
our students and staff and into the disruption of our politics and public life.”

His closing remarks were just as poignant, challenging and inspirational:

When Pope Francis met with the Vatican Curial officials before Christmas last year, he told

'Christmas reminds us that a faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith. A faith that does
not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow. A faith that does not raise questions is a faith
that has to be questioned. A faith that does not rouse us is a faith that needs to be roused. A
faith that does not shake us is a faith that needs to be shaken. Indeed, a faith which is only
intellectual or lukewarm is only a notion of faith. It can become real once it touches our heart,
our soul, our spirit and our whole being; once it allows God to be born and reborn in the
manger of our heart; once we let the star of Bethlehem guide us to the place where the Son of
God lies, not among Kings and riches, but among the poor and humble.’

As Angelus Silesius wrote in The Cherubinic Wanderer: "It depends solely on you. Ah, if only
your heart could become a manger, then God would once again become a child on this earth."'

'As you leave this tropical and topical conference, ask yourself: Is your school a manger where
God is daily manifest in the children of this earth? Are your students bored with Catholicism
because your faith is only intellectual or lukewarm? Do you really believe that your faith can
become real touching your heart, your soul, your spirit and your whole being?”

I believe Father Frank’s comments should lead us all to reflect on our faith, where we stand on important social issues and how we can live the gospel in a way that speaks to the heart.

God bless
Simon Dash


23/07/2018   NAIDOC WEEK
27/07/2018   Bastille Day Celebrations
27/07/2018   Year 7-12 Oztag All Schools Tournament
28/07/2018   Artslink's 2018 Youth Talent Quest
29/07/2018   Sunny Coast All Schools Touch
31/07/2018   Year 7-12 Parent/Teacher Interviews
01/08/2018   CEW Mass
02/08/2018   Athletics Carnival Pre-Events
02/08/2018   Year 3-6 Junior Choir Gympie Eisteddfod
03/08/2018   13-19 years XCC Athletics Carnival
03/08/2018   Year 7 PSDE
03/08/2018   Prep Come and Try Morning Day 4
04/08/2018   Year 7-12 All Hallows Touch
06/08/2018   Year 3-12 Choir Maryborough Eisteddfod
06/08/2018   Year 3 Maryborough Eisteddfod
07/08/2018   BCE Excellence Awards
07/08/2018   School Production - Grease


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To ensure our community of schools are as safe as possible, Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools and offices will conduct a ‘’mock” critical incident exercise on Wednesday 1 August.

What will occur?

This “mock” exercise is being coordinated by our crisis management consultants in liaison with Queensland Police and other emergency services. The details are kept under-wraps, known only to a small number of organisers.

Who will be involved?

Principals of the schools directly involved in the exercise have been advised. The exercise will also involve many people from various areas of BCE.

Your school is not directly involved.

What you may hear.

While we will do our best to inform the community before, during and after that this is a “mock” exercise, it may be viewed by some as an actual event. 

Please do not be alarmed if you hear reports of an incident on that day involving Catholic schools. 


Holiday Happenings
We are very thankful to the staff who spent time away from their families during their holidays to provide students the opportunity to take part in an amazing range of activities. The students needed to be commended on their representation of the College at the many events:

QISSN Netball   Ms Hatchett, Miss White and Mrs McGovern 
Confraternity     Miss Hogan and Mr McQuaid 
Kokoda              Ms McDuff, Mr Wright and also Ms Kliendienst and Mr Ninnes for the support they provided to
                          the team

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As you are aware Semester One Reports are now available on the Parent Portal. You will have received an email outlining how to access the Reports as well as information on the up-coming Parent/Teacher/Student interviews. These will be held on Tuesday 31st July from 3.30 – 7.30pm.

To book an interview time you will need to access ‘Parent Teacher Online’ (PTO) through the Parent Portal.   

P-12 Assemblies over the next two weeks
This week we celebrated NAIDOC Week with a whole College Assembly. We thank Bec Woolcock, Indigenous Support Officer, Mr McDonald and Mrs Brennan for the work they did behind the scenes organising the Assembly.

On Wednesday 1st August we will celebrate Catholic Education Week with a Mass. It will begin at 9.30am and a highlight of the Mass will be the presentation of badges to the newly elected Student Leaders as well as presentations to staff who are excelling in their fields.

Kondari Mission Week will have an Assembly on Wednesday 8th August, where we celebrate the Feast of St. Mary the Cross Mackillop.

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Athletics Carnival
The secondary Athletics Carnival will begin in the afternoon of Thursday 2nd August from 12 to 3pm and then continue for the whole day on Friday 3rd August.

The Canteen will be selling food on this day.  Also, the French Department will hold a Sausage Sizzle to raise funds for the 2019 French Immersion Study Tour.

New Prep Playground
As many of you may have noticed, work has begun towards the construction of a new Prep Playground.  This exciting project is the next stage in the College Master Plan and is being funded by our Parents and Friends Association. This is a very exciting development for our youngest students and we look forward to its completion in Term 4.  This project was undertaken in conjunction with the revitalisation of the internal furniture in Prep and Year 1.

Frankies Alfresco Dining Area
The masterplan also includes the development of an outdoor eating area in front of the Frankie’s Hospitality Centre.  This area has been paved and large umbrellas have been placed to provide shade for outdoor events.  New furniture has also been purchased to enhance the area.


Year 7 Come and Try Day
Last Friday our current Year 6 students participated with students from Star of the Sea and surrounding schools in a Year 7 Come and Try Day.  This day was comprised of activities and rotations which they could expect to participate in when they transition to secondary school. This day was the first step in what will be a gradual transition into Year 7 for our Year 6 students.  Well done to Mrs Sarah Love and her team for organising such a successful and entertaining day.  

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BCE Excellence Awards
This year we nominated 5 staff members for the BCE Excellence awards.  Congratulations to the following staff who have received a nomination for these awards which recognise those staff who are making a significant contribution to the College:

• Mr Paul Davoren
• Mrs Cassie Wilson
• Mrs Lisa Hopgood
• Mrs Suzanne Gee
• Mrs Carmel Donnelly

Parents and carer’s would have recently received an email from Ed Smart, which relates to a system we will be using for paperless parent permission forms for excursions and camps.  In place of the previous letter to parents with a permission slip on the bottom of the document, parents and carer’s will now receive an email from Ed Smart with the excursion details and permission request.

Please note that any sporting events requiring parental permission will continue to be received utilising the Qkr! App for the payment of the activity and for permission to attend.

Should any changes to contact details or medical information be required, these must be made via the Parent Portal, not via Ed Smart.  

Please contact the School office should you require assistance.

​Playgroup will start again this coming Thursday, 26th July
8.45am – 10.45am in Goa Hall
Bring morning tea for your child
Stay for a cuppa and a chat with other parents and grandparents!
All welcome to come and PLAY!

Prep recently celebrated their 100th day of school. They have done lots of exploring around the number 100 and the different ways we can show this number. As part of the celebrations the children were involved in icing special ‘100’ biscuits and imagining what life would be like when they are 100 years old. They were also given an optional holiday project, to create something that showed 100. The creations the children came up with were wonderful. 

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Scholastic Book fair has arrived at Xavier Library!  A huge selection of book titles and stationery items are on sale, with prices starting from $1.00.  The sale finishes this Friday at 9am. 

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Dear Parents/Carers,
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a process that all schools must do every year. It counts the number of students who receive extra adjustments or ‘help’ at school because of a disability, as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). 

To count a student in the NCCD, schools must think through some key questions: 
  1. Is the student getting help at school so that they can take part in education on the same basis as other students?
  2. Is the help given because of a disability? The word ‘disability’ comes from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and it can include many students.
  3. Has the school talked to you or your child about the help that they provide?
  4. Has the school kept records about the help they provide, the student needs and the reasons that the student needs this help? The school will need to keep copies of tests, student work, assessments, records of meetings, medical reports or other paperwork and information about how the student’s learning is moving along over time.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on school students with a disability (NCCD) provides all Australian schools, education authorities and the community with a clear picture of the number of students receiving adjustments because of disability (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992) in schools, and the adjustments they are provided which enable them to access the curriculum and participate in education on the same basis as other students.

The Australian Education Regulation 2013, requires that all schools provide information to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training for the purposes of NCCD. The information that schools must provide to the Department includes, in relation to each student with a disability at a school:
  • The student’s level of education (ie. primary or secondary)
  • The student’s category of disability, aligned with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (ie. physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional)
  • The student’s level of adjustment (ie. support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary, substantial or extensive adjustments).
Please note, any information collected, will not identify any individual student, in any way.
For further information regarding the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for students with a disability, please visit:

If you have any questions regarding NCCD, please contact:
Tracy Grambower
Dean of Inclusive Education – Xavier Catholic College


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)
• 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. Each House has parent contacts and they range from P-12.  If you wish to contact any one of our parent contacts their details will be published each term in the College Newsletter.  We are in need of parent contacts in our P-6 area so if you would like to nominate yourself or to seek further information regarding what is involved please do not hesitate to contact myself, Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister).  Confidentiality is utmost for our committee and any information shared with our parent contacts will not be passed on without your consent.  

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This week we have been celebrating NAIDOC Week as a college, with Art, Storytelling, traditional games, dance, and guest presenters. Thank you Bec Woolcock for organising a wonderful program for the week.

Our Bastille Day celebrations are taking place this week. Throughout the week, the tuckshop is running French-themed specials. A colouring competition is currently running for students in P-6, with entries closing at 3pm on Wednesday, 25 July. On Friday, 27 July, a whole school assembly will be held in Period 1. Year 7 and Year 8 students will then participate in activities during Period 2.
Please note that Friday is a normal uniform day – there are no costumes this year.


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We are very excited to share the news that this year, as part of the Learning Enrichment Acceleration Program (LEAP),  Xavier has 5 teams entering the Opti-Minds Sustainability Challenge. 

The Opti-MINDS Challenge is a problem-solving event for participants between the ages of 6 and Adult.  Teams of 5-7 select one challenge – Language and Literature, Science and Engineering or Social Sciences - and create a performance to demonstrate a solution to the problem. 

The team will have 6 weeks to work on their solution, during lunch hours at school. The solution must be dramatised and then presented to a panel of judges and an audience (including family and friends) on Opti-MINDS Day – Saturday 25th August. 

There is also a Spontaneous Challenge. This is a timed event where team members respond as rapidly and creatively as possible to an unseen Challenge. This response is also presented to a panel of judges.

Students have a lot of fun as they develop their academic potential by honing skills in problem solving, higher order thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. They also learn a great deal about the complex social and environmental problems facing our world as the challenges all have real world relevance. 

The first heat of the competition is at Bundaberg on 25th August. If successful at the heat students will travel to Brisbane for the State Finals held at the University of Queensland. 

We wish our teams the very best of luck and look forward to the creative solutions they generate in responding to the challenge.

Tracy Grambower
Dean of Inclusive Education
Year 10 Social Science Opti-MINDS Team

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Courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice…
Known as one of the toughest team endurance events open to high school students in Australia, the Kokoda Challenge winds its way through the Gold Coast Hinterland across a course that doesn’t have to go far to find altitude. Over the last weekend of the June/July school holidays nine Xavier students, three teachers, and six support crew members set out to find their limits. Very few people ever choose to do a marathon in their lifetime – it is an amazing feat of endurance and mental strength to run 42.2 km. Very few people decide that a marathon isn’t enough and add almost 10km to the marathon. Very, very few people decide that that still isn’t tough enough and add over 2500 metres of elevation to that distance. Yet our students did. 

The Kokoda Challenge is an event that is put on by the Kokoda Youth Foundation to raise money to support their charity. The charity selects student applicants to take part in their leadership program which culminates in a group of participants taking on the real Kokoda Trek in PNG. The program trains the students both to prepare for the trek mentally and physically but also looks to give back to the community through community service and leadership building opportunities. This aligns perfectly with our school echoing through our school prayer… to give without counting the cost, and also in our vision for our graduates leaving school in Year 12 as men and women for others. 

Starting at just after 11 am in Numinbah Valley, the students set out running and walking their way over iconic Gold Coast fire roads and single-track trails through SEQ Water land, Canungra Army Land Warfare Training Area, and Nerang State Park to finish up at the Nerang Velodrome after midnight Sunday morning. The course doesn’t hide what it is – a gruelling test of the body and mind. Right from the get go it hit our teams with the Chester Road climb and the single track SEQ Water track climb making 3 of the first 5 km of event straight up. Further down the track we ventured into Army land towards the infamous Canungra climb; a climb that rises well over 300 meters in elevation in about 1.3km. Our legs were screaming by the time we hit the top and thankfully it was our next checkpoint. At that point, out came the headlights and safety vests as the sun went down as we prepared to tackle the remaining 25 km of the course in the cold and dark. What goes up must go down and down Hellfire Pass took us to our next and last supported checkpoint. We almost fell into the arms of our support crew and the hot cup of noodles, as well as first aid on our ITBs, backs, and quads were appreciated more than words can say.

By comparison the terrain of the last 20km had nothing we hadn’t seen before and nothing we didn’t expect. So, that is to say, it didn’t ease off starting from the checkpoint with a straight climb up the back of Mt. Nathan. Temperatures dropped to the low single digits and the pitch black night of Nerang State Park made for a sometimes intimidating scene for our last stretch of trail. Our GPS watches and phones all ticked over 48km but we hadn’t reached the last checkpoint. It had slipped our minds but at the morning race briefing they had announced that they had to change part of the Nerang SP section due to track damage which meant an added 5km to the course. That fact came flooding back as we reached CP 13 – the last checkpoint where they calmly told us we NOW had 5km left. 

As we stumbled, trudged and staggered forwards out of the darkness we started to hear the loud speakers announcing finishers crossing the line. Then blurry lights filtered through the almost impenetrable darkness and like a mirage the finish line appeared lit up like something out of Apocalypse Now and at 12:58 am we crossed the line… together… three teams… one school. 

An event like this doesn’t happen without commitment and support. The teams would like to give their profound and deep thanks to our support crew and sponsors. The support crew were there to make sure we were fuelled, taped, clothed, watered and ready at the starting line. They gave up their own time and holidays to make sure we had every chance at success. It can’t be said enough that trail running is a logistically difficult thing to pull off and the crews and sponsors saw the value in making this happen. The financial support of Xavier’s P&F, Morgan’s Sewing Centre, Made Neat, St. Francis Xavier Primary School (Runaway Bay) and the Hervey Bay RSL ensured that the only challenge we would face would be that of the course and not financial ones.
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Team Leader Shannon McDuff 
Team Member Meg Mason
Team Member Grace Farrelly
Team Member Daniel Drake
Support Crew Gavin Drake
Wendy Mason

Team Leader Colin Wright 
Team Member Brodie Harris
Team Member Flynn Whelan
Team Member Nathan Munson
Support Crew Phil Munson
Jo Kliendienst
Team Leader Michael Wellings  
Team Member Maddy McGowan
Team Member TJ Smith
Team Member Keely Blenheim
Support Crew Matt Ninnes
Kate McGowan

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Maths tutoring timetable
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 Please note: Miss Murtagh's tutoring will not commence until week 5.

Specialist Mathematics Excursion
On June 28th the prestigious university, Queensland University of Technology was the host to many students from across Queensland as part of their Mathematical open days. Xavier Catholic College was lucky enough to be invited to a seminar held by esteemed university professors to learn more about the uses of mathematics within real life situations. Despite the 4.00am start and some off-key singing in an extremely cramped bus, the Applied Mathematics Seminar was something we could never forget. 

One professor by the name of Peter Van Heijister had the entire theatre at attention despite him first telling us, “don’t study mathematics…it’s BORING.” He and the other professors went on to communicate to us the opportunities that come with studying mathematics. We learnt about the processes employed by biomathematicians, what a duck’s quack looks like in the form of a sound wave and the trends and computerised algorithms that mathematicians use to keep our world in a progressive state. 

As well as this we had students currently studying maths degrees tell us of the opportunities they had experienced while studying. One student in particular told us that he had been applying maths to agriculture in a research program right here in Queensland. So, even though we may not always enjoy maths, the guest speakers from QUT highlighted the mathematics pathway to us as a possibility for our future. 

We were also given the amazing opportunity for a tour from a student currently studying at QUT. He told us about how the building was one of the most economic and environmentally friendly in Australia. We were also treated to the ‘Cube’ experience where we learnt about coding and its uses. The aim of the ‘Cube’ game was to code rubbish collecting robots to collect all different types of rubbish including glass, paper, cardboard and general waste. We were all pushed to achieve all the achievements set forward by some of Mr Relf’s unlikely ‘trash talk’. All of us found this a very enjoyable experience. 

After the seminar, the 17 Year 10 students who elected to go on the trip were treated to an amazing lunch at King’s College before taking a tour of the prestigious residential college. It was exciting to see more of what the future might hold for us. The college was beautiful but I believe the highlight for most was the tour of the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus. The beautiful courtyard and grand libraries kept us gobsmacked through our tour. Not to mention the on-campus lolly shop and Boost Juice! It was amazing to see our prospective futures coming together and despite the long hours spent on the bus, the experience was something that we would love to see offered again.
By Brianna Skyring and Henry Riley

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The year 9 STEM class finished the semester with a Science Conference where they presented their findings from their Individual projects in Campion. The projects have also been on display in the Library.

Students were encouraged to choose an area of interest to investigate. They had the choice of a Science or a technology project. Students who selected the Science option proposed a question and designed and implemented an investigation to find the answer to this question. Some of the questions investigated were: How does grooming affect the heart rate of a horse? What is the most suitable material for a parachute? What is most effective solution for cleaning your hands?  What bridge design is the strongest?  What type of bread lasts the longest? What is the best weight to use in a catapult? What distractions affect your learning the most? How does bracing affect the strength of a tower? How does light affect the growth of a plant? How to most effectively grow crystals? What launch angle results in the longest range of a rocket?  As a technology project, a student produced a scaled model of the solar system. It is designed to be set up in the College grounds and can be used by future year 5 students.

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UQ Science Experience
A full bus of 50 science students, from years 9 to 12, attended the UQ Experience Science event in Brisbane last Tuesday. Students attended a lecture and rotated through three of the many interactive workshops. The workshops related to all areas of science and mathematics and one even linked all of these to solve a “zombie” pandemic. After the university activities, students went to the Queensland Museum. At the museum, students were able to visit the Egyptian Mummy display and the Perception Deception activities. The excursion was an opportunity for students to learn more about science and to explore future science careers.

QLD Cross Country
Congratulations to those Xavier students who competed at the recent QLD Schools Cross-Country titles. Toby Powers excelled at this event and finished 5th in the state. This is a wonderful achievement for Toby and a great reward for the long hours of training that he commits to. Toby will now compete as a part of the QLD team to compete at the National Cross-Country titles in August.

Secondary Athletics
A reminder that the Secondary Athletics (13yrs to Open) carnival is happening Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd August. Families are invited to come and watch this interhouse competition and see the vocal House and College spirit on show. There have been significant changes to the field event schedule since the last publication of the program in the previous newsletter. Please find below, the updated schedule of events.

Overview of Events
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Schedule of Events – Thursday 2nd August
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Schedule of Events – Friday 3rd August – ATHLETICS DAY
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Athletics Nomination Procedures
Students will have an opportunity to nominate for championship events this Friday during P3. Students who are away on this day will need to see their House Dean prior to this day if they wish to nominate for an event. The nomination procedures are as follows:
• 3000m, 1500m and 800m events: No nominations are required for these events. Students wishing to compete need to report to the race marshal prior to the event. Please note that the 3000m event does not go toward Age Champions points.
• 400m, 200m and 100m events: For each of these events, there are two Championship races held. In each championship race, there are two students per house which means there can be a total of four students per house competing in championship events. If there are more than four students wishing to compete in championship events, then a ‘race-off’ will be held prior to athletics day to determine the fastest four.
• Field Events: No nominations are required for these events. Students wishing to compete need to report to the event marshal prior to the event.

Under 13 Rugby League

The under 13 boys Rugby League team have progressed through another level of the Broncos’ Challenge with a win over the Sunshine Coast winners, Unity College 28-22 in Gympie last week. They faced off against St Mary’s Toowoomba in Brisbane yesterday and were beaten 22-12 in a tough match. This brings their run to an end, however a tremendous effort to finish in the top 8 school teams in Queensland.  

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Touch Football and Oztag
Good luck to all our touch and Oztag teams competing at major competitions on the Sunny Coast this weekend.

Hervey Bay District Athletics Carnival
Forty-five Xavier students from years three to seven will participate at the Hervey Bay District Sports 9 – 12yrs Carnival on Thursday 26th July, Friday 27th July and Thursday 2nd August. We wish these athletes well as they participate against students from other local Hervey Bay schools. The 800m events will take place on Thursday afternoon from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. The 1500m events will be held the following Thursday, 2nd August after school from 4pm to 5.30pm. All other track and field events will be run this Friday starting at 9.15am and concluding at 2.30pm. All the action will take place at the Hervey Bay Little Athletics Grounds on Lower Mountain Rd, Dundowran. The students nominated to attend have all been provided with an information letter that contains a program of events. Go Xavier!

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