Newsletter - Term 4, Week 2, 2023


​Dear Parents and Carers

The final Term is well and truly under way and the enthusiasm of our student body has been impressive in these first two weeks. While it is only a nine-week Term, there is so much ahead of us before we break for the Christmas holidays.

Being Present to our Children: The Concept of Soothed1

Last Term I introduced some ideas from Dr Chris Moore, a psychologist who specialises in working with young people. Chris talks about the four ‘s’s: Safe, Seen, Soothed and Secure. This week I wish to pick up on the third ‘S’: Soothed.

This aspect of the formula is about responding to distress by showing the child that someone is going to be there for them and help them to calm down. There are two features to this concept: inter-soothing and inner soothing. The former is based in the adult-child interaction; it develops the child’s “upstairs brain” so that the capacity for self-soothing is gradually developed. Co-regulating with an adult enables the child to feel accepted for who they are and what they’re thinking and feeling in the moment, even if they need to be redirected from a particular behaviour. 

Every child will favour different strategies for soothing. Some may respond well to “brain breaks” where they can play with toys, read, colour in or make things with Lego. Others may like opportunities to listen to music or engage in physical movement. In the book “The Power of Showing Up” the acronym of P.E.A.C.E. is used to introduce five elements to think about when offering a soothing interaction. 
Presence: This creates the conditions which invite the child to connect with us. We withhold judgement and help them to understand that they are not alone. They will feel kept in mind when they know that we’ll be there for them and when we recognise that they need space. 
Engagement: We truly engage through active listening and reflecting back what the child says to us. But the non-verbal elements can be even more important. How we nod our head intermittently. The way we make meaningful eye contact, if even for a moment. How we keep our face animated and our shoulders relaxed. 

Affection: This is about communicating, with both words and actions, our compassion for the child. Being playful, humorous and affectionate enables us to show our unconditional positive regard. 

Calm: We won’t be able to facilitate soothing if we don’t appear calm ourselves. We can only teach emotional expression and regulation when we keep our own feelings in check and look beyond the impulse to correct, challenge or confront. The same elements from SAFE - about making sure we don’t appear as a threat - apply here. 

Empathy: Even when we haven’t personally experienced what the young person is coping with, we can help them to “feel felt”. Empathy is about truly understanding their perspective and showing that we are willing to walk in their shoes when other adults in the past haven’t been able to for one reason or another. 


(IMAGE: Siegel & Bryson's 4 Ss, n.d.)

The Referendum

This Saturday, 14th October, will be an important day in Australian history as the ‘Voice’ Referendum is finalised. The question that all voters will have to respond to is: 

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

If successful, the following words would be inserted into the Constitution:

“Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
i. there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
ii. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
iii. the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”

Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference2 

Catholic Bishops have urged Australians to see the truth of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have suffered and the disadvantage many experience to this day, as the country heads towards a Referendum on the Voice.

“Justice demands that we seek to rectify this disadvantage,” the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) statement said.
“Australians are now being asked to consider a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice as one way to address this disadvantage.”

The statement noted the Voice was asked for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with hope that it would not only offer constitutional recognition, but also assist progress towards a more just and equitable Australia, helping to tackle not just the symptoms but the causes of chronic disadvantage.

“We urge all Australians to listen to the hopes and fears of each other,” the ACBC statement read.

“We urge people to act in a way that commits to redressing the disadvantage suffered by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will allow them to reach their potential, thus promoting reconciliation for the good not just of some but of the whole nation. May the Holy Spirit who opens locked doors give us light and strength to keep working for a better and more equitable Australia. Let us walk together.”

Archbishop Christopher Prowse said the main point of the Bishops’ statement was for all Catholics to prayerfully consider the ethical and moral issues surrounding the vote, and not simply the political considerations.

“The call is for us to use these weeks to educate and form our consciences on this matter and vote accordingly,” he said.
“Perhaps we could start by applying afresh Pope St John Paul II’s famous speech to Aboriginal Australia at Alice Springs (1986) to this referendum. A most memorable statement this was: ‘What has been done cannot be undone but what can be done to remedy the deeds of yesterday must not be put off till tomorrow.’”

“Surely there have been some wonderful advances to diminish such disadvantage, especially in education, however on so many other basic social indicators the statistics still indicate an appalling human situation persists,” he said.

“Here our communal responsibility to respond to this social and structural diseased intergenerational situation requires careful consideration before voting in the referendum. This requires the deep, prayerful informing of our individual and communal conscience.”

A Prayerful and Informed Choice

While I may have my personal views on the referendum, I respect the sincerity of all who cast a ballot and the integrity of their motivations for doing so. All I can do is encourage people to ensure that their choice is fully informed. In schools, if you don’t know something you are challenged to research, to ask questions and to seek out the answers. I think the same applies to questions that have emerged in the lead up to the referendum.

Whatever the outcome, the path to full reconciliation will still lay ahead of us.

Pastor Ray Minniecon, an Anglican Minister, explained this beautifully in an address earlier this year to the Salvos as part of Reconciliation Week. While Pastor Ray does not specifically address the Referendum, he does explain the deep need for Reconciliation: 

I conclude by sharing the prayer written by Aboriginal artist, Glenn Loughrey3. May it inspire us to keep walking the journey, as brothers and sisters, towards a better future for all.

God who listens, 
open our hearts to hear the gentle invitation of those without a voice,
those placeless and dispossessed of all that was theirs.
Instead of anger, revenge or blame, 
they offer in their open hand absurd generosity, 
an act of transformational forgiveness¬ 
from the centre of their being to ours.
May we sense the integrity of country speaking to country, body to body,
and find within ourselves the humility to accept and journey together, 
to become our nation’s better future, 
resolving our colonial memory, Australia’s original sin.
As Jesus gave his body for ours, 
help us to receive and pass on this gift of new life.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Blessings and Peace
Simon Dash


Acting Head of Primary Address – Mrs Sarah Love
I would like to welcome back all families the final term of the 2023 school year and I look forward to the many events ahead. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome those families who are new to Xavier.  We have seen consistent growth across the school in 2023 and this has continued as we enter 2024. It has been very pleasing to see current students continuing the Xavier tradition of ensuring all new students feel welcomed and valued.  As we begin the new term, I would like to highlight some key reminders/message for all parents.

Before School Duty – GOA
We have seen in recent times a gradual increase in the number of students being dropped to GOA before 8:00am.  Parents are reminded that no supervision is provided on site prior to 8:00am and that no student should be onsite before this time unless they are being dropped by one of regularly scheduled busses.  This will avoid any unnecessary accidents or situations where students are unsupervised.  

As it is warming up many students are choosing to get short hair cuts.  Can I please remind parents and students that we do have some guidelines regarding haircuts which are highlighted on page 22 of the student planner.  Some styles that are unacceptable include: mullets, skullets, buzzcuts and mohawaks, plus patterns, lines and patches cut into the hair and ‘undercuts’ and any cuts that make the scalp visible with minimum No 3. gauge.  

Key Events
There are several key events in Term 4 including Grandparent’s Day, Swimming Carnivals and Christmas Carols night and it is often difficult to stay up-to-date with all that is occurring.  I would remind parents that on most occasions we will advertise major events via the parent portal (accessible via BCE connect app on your mobile), Facebook, School Calendar, the College Newsletter, and the display board at the front of the school.  As always please do not hesitate to contact the school should you require any clarification regarding an upcoming event.

Grandparents Day Invitation 2023.jpg

(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

9-12 Years Swimming Carnival
The first of our two swimming carnivals will be held next Friday, 20 October.  My thanks to Mrs Hatchett for her organisation of swimming in Term 4.  We look forward to seeing our students in action in the pool! All parents are welcome to support their child, the pool have requested that parents stay in their designated area.


(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

Prep, Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 students will attend lessons at Kick Swim Centre on Thursdays (Weeks 1-7). The P-3 Swimming Carnival will be held in Week 8 (Thursday, 23 November).

Year 5 and 6 students will attend lessons at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on Fridays (Weeks 1-8). 

The Primary School Swimming Carnival (Years 4, 5 and 6 as well as nominated Year 3 and 7 students) will be held in Week 3 (Friday, 20 October).

School Shoes P-6
With the end of the year approaching, we have seen an increase in the number of shoes appearing with alternative colours displayed. I would remind all parents that students are required to wear plain black joggers not skate shoes. This can be difficult to achieve at times depending in what is available locally, however I would ask that parents ensure that shoes are predominantly black.  This avoids any unnecessary issues or the need to purchase a replacement pair of shoes.

World Teachers Day – Friday 29th October
Friday 27th October is World Teachers Day. I would like to thank all our current staff for their contribution to our Xavier community and I look forward to recognising this day with my colleagues.  We also have many parents in our community who are teachers, and I would like to take the opportunity to wish them a very Happy World Teacher's Day.  

Iggy’s Breakfast Program
During this term we are trialling the introduction of a before school breakfast program, Iggy’s Breakfast Program, for students who are unable to access a nutritious start to their day on a Monday and Friday morning.  We will be providing a simple toast and spread, along with fruit from 7:45am until 8:15am from the GOA kitchen. Iggy’s Breakfast Program is about more than just providing free breakfasts to students. By providing students with a nutritious breakfast on a regular basis, students form the habit of eating healthy which prepares them to embark on a journey to a healthy future, experiencing the importance of good nutrition and diet. Our student leaders will also be providing our younger students with an opportunity to develop strong connections to others throughout our college student body through conversation and friendship.

Electric Motorised Scooters
Last term we have had some complaints from our Xavier families, local residents and also from our local shopping centres about the way some of our students are riding their e-scooters to and from school. I would like to remind parents and students about some of the rules that are found on the Queensland Government website:

Some of the rules that we need to outline are:
- Where you can ride: Travel at a safe distance from a pedestrian so you can avoid a collision
- Helmets: When you ride a personal mobility device, you must wear an Australian Standard (AS) approved bicycle helmet or an approved motorbike helmet. You must securely fit and fasten it.
- Riding with mobile phone: Holding a mobile phone in your hand or resting it on any part of your body when riding is illegal. This includes tucking a phone into your clothing. 
Age restrictions: at least 16 years or at least 12 years and supervised by an adult while riding the device.
- Carrying people: You must not carry another person when riding a personal mobility device. 

Please take care, we want all our students to arrive safely to and from school.

Art Exhibition
Thank you to the Xavier community who came out to support ‘Divergent Views’ this week. The annual Visual Art and Moving Image Exhibition was held in the Language Centre on Tuesday evening. The event showcased the very best work from out Senior art students. Congratulations to all the prize winners on the night!


(PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

Buthu Mission Week: 23-27 October 2023

Primary School Activities
Design a sock competition (Entries due Wednesday, 18 October – Week 3)
Thursday, 26 October - Week 4:
Facepainting (FREE)
Bake sale (gold coin donation to purchase) 
Golf skills competition: Hit a golf ball into a bucket to win the prize inside

Secondary School Activities
All week: Lolly jar guessing competition.
Friday, 27 October – Week 4:
Pie Face: Pay to throw a pie in a teacher’s face!
Crazy Hair: Make a donation to have your hair sprayed
TBA – Bingo!

All money raised goes to the Buthu charities – Catholic Mission and Jesuit Mission.

Buthu Mission Week 2023.png 

(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)


1. Siegel, D., & Bryson's 4 Ss, T. (n.d.). Ideas for Showing Up and being Present using. Retrieved October 11, 2023, from

2. Catholic Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2023, from

3. A new prayer from NATSIAC for The Voice. (n.d.). ABM Anglican Board of Mission. Retrieved October 11, 2023, from

(Thumbnail image: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023​)