The recent death of former College Principal (2002-2011), Mr David Lear, has shocked the College and the broader Wollongong community. David leaves an indelible legacy of service as someone who achieved academic excellence as a former student of the College and who went on to dedicate his entire professional career to the ERC learning community. I have come to learn that he was a wonderful example of the charism of Edmund Rice in action and as Principal promoted the cultural identity and the comprehensive nature of the College. A detailed tribute from Mr Russell Bates, who worked with Mr Lear, is included further in this newsletter.
In offering condolences, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with David’s wife Lynne and family during this difficult and sad time.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
The legacy of Mr David Lear continues to live on in various aspects of College Life. He was a strong advocate for opportunities that provided boys with a liberating education, one of our key touchstones. Fittingingly, this week we celebrated ‘Science Week’, providing a variety of ways for boys to participate in and celebrate the contribution of Science beyond the classroom. Today we hosted the annual EcoERC Sustainability Conference with over ten visiting schools participating. This week also saw the completion of HSC Trial examinations and the submission of HSC-TAS major works. Last week we continued our commitment to outdoor education through the Year 7 camps, Year 9 ski trip and activity days. Our Year 10 students participated in a series of ERA for Change and Human Rights Workshops and Year 8 were introduced to Stage 5 electives. Well done to our students from across the College who actively engaged in such wide-ranging activities. I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank our teachers and support staff for their professional commitment, planning, and coordination of these learning experiences, which is often highlighted by a sense of goodwill.
Parent feedback plays an integral role in our community. I was pleased with the large sample of parents and carers who completed the recent ERC General Survey and wish to thank all those who completed the survey for taking the time to do so. In providing feedback on the results of this survey, parents and carers indicated that their top-ranked reasons for choosing ERC for their son include:
Strong discipline and student welfare
College learning facilities
In relation to communication between home and school, more than 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they are kept informed about important College dates and events. Approximately 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they can effectively access the TASS parent portal, know the appropriate person to contact at the College when they have a question/concern, and find the College Newsletter a good source of information. Interestingly, greater than 95% of responses indicated that the potential introduction of a TASS Parent App with automated phone alerts could be helpful to further improve communication processes.
On the core business of student learning and engagement, approximately 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the learning and teaching experiences at the College meet the learning needs of their son and are satisfied with the scheduling of formal assessment tasks for their son. Approximately 80% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that they are satisfied with their son’s academic progress and the amount of homework their son receives. Surprisingly, only 60% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their son fully engages with the optional co-curricular opportunities offered at the College.
There was a strong support of the current College uniform arrangements, with approximately 85% of responses highlighting their satisfaction. Approximately 70% of responses indicated that they would prefer to see increased co-curricular opportunities with St Mary Star of the Sea College. The most popular future potential parent presentations were:
Raising Boys Today
Youth Mental Health
While the data collected from this survey was very positive, overall, there is always scope for further improvement in all aspects of College life. This data will assist in further refining future planning and consultation processes.
Finally this week we had the pleasure and privilege of appointing the Senior Student Leadership team for 2022/2023. I am delighted to announce this team to our community and thank all of those Year 11 students who nominated themselves for these positions
In congratulating these student leaders, I am confident they will be outstanding ambassadors for our College and we look forward to their investiture in the week’s ahead.
Thank you for your continued support,
PARENT HELPERS NEEDED – (Many hands make light work!) – If you can help on Friday 2 September from 5:00am, please contact Francis Fenech (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kindest regards, Francis & P&F Organising Committee
In this issue: UOW News, Job Talks, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Navy Careers News, The Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS), Future Careers
Please also access our careers site: https://www.erccareers.com which provides the latest information to help students make decisions about their future careers and life beyond school.
Tribute to David Lear
Sadly, David Lear passed away suddenly on Thursday 11 August while travelling around Scandinavia with his wife Lynne.
David retired in 2011 after 42 years teaching and becoming the first Lay Principal at Edmund Rice College. In the past eleven years, despite some recent health issues, David still managed to remain strong and continue his appetite to travel the world with Lynne, enjoying the many unique cultures and cuisines together. Since retiring, David kept up with the many changes happening at the College and always attended functions and retirements of his colleagues.
On behalf of the College staff, community, old boys’ association and extended family, we extend our sincere condolences to Lynne and the family who are now struggling with the sudden loss of a husband, father, brother and brother-in-law. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May he receive eternal light and happiness.
David commenced his schooling at Edmund Rice College in 1961 at Crown Lane, Wollongong. He was College Dux in 1965. Commenced his teaching at Edmund Rice College in 1971 after graduating from UOW. David was a leading Referee in the Illawarra Soccer Association and Illawarra Cricket Umpire. He was the Head of Science from 1974-1983.
In 1984-2001 he was the Deputy Headmaster. In 2002-211 David was appointed as the first Lay Principal, becoming the 18th Principal of the College after 76 years of Christian Brothers’ leadership.
I would like to refer to Mr Sam Tadros’ recollections in the 2011 Yearly magazine that sum up the life and contribution David Lear gave to the College over forty-two years of educational service.
“David Lear’s contributions have been substantial, permeating many different areas. Initially as a classroom teacher, using his expertise in Science and Mathematics, David was known to challenge his students to develop their critical thinking skills and to work at a sophisticated level. Boys from David’s classes always emerged with a sense of intellectual rigour and perspective inquiry.
As an educational leader David was primarily driven by his recognising and giving highest priority to an education for boys which was challenging and meaningful.
Guided by a strong belief in the ethos of the Christian Brothers and in more recent years by the Charter of a school belonging to Edmund Rice Education Australia, David had led his staff towards establishing a relevant and differentiating curriculum for boys from diverse backgrounds and differing ability level, interests, social and behavioural skills. This drive for connectedness, through a resourceful and productive curriculum, has provided realistic opportunities for young men to succeed.”
Within David’s ten years as Headmaster the curriculum became clearly distinguishable and quickly permeated the fabric of the enterprise of Edmund Rice College within the Wollongong community. David’s vision was clearly articulated through his constant and resounding voice on:
The distinct advantages of an all-boys comprehensive and Catholic high school.
Pedagogy that demonstrates best practice for the teaching of boys.
An inclusive education built on gospel values of equity and justice.
Focus on the marginalised providing pathways and hope for all.
A holistic and comprehensive education to move ERC away from focusing on the traditionally accepted boys’ subjects and sport towards a school where boys can succeed in all academic subjects, Sport, Music, Drama, Art, Debating, Public Speaking, and the increasingly important Christian Service Learning Programme.
A male teenage spirituality built on lived experiences and practical opportunities.
The duality of faith and culture and how it can best intersect in an all-boys school in the Illawarra.
A parallel curriculum filled with opportunities to develop confident and creative young men, with personal values and a strong sense of self-worth, ready to accept the challenges beyond high school as productive citizens.
As Headmaster, David always required the staff to survey students for feedback on our work as teachers. Here is what some students had to say about his work as Headmaster:
Mr Lear has a genuine interest in the education of boys; knows and understands us and always factors in what he knows about how boys grow up and what boys go through, before making big decisions.
When addressing us at assemblies he always has a story to tell – a story of purpose which connects with us growing up and about us in regards to others. The messages in these stories show he understands boys and it is his way of connecting Catholic values with what he wants us to focus on.
Mr Lear always treated you with fairness and listened to your side BUT his decision was FINAL and you knew it.
He is on about an education that covers more than just subjects but includes opportunities for all, where all boys can achieve something.
Mr Lear values the individual and puts a lot of trust in you as a person.
David has demonstrated an exceptional duty of pastoral care factoring in the wellbeing and unique circumstances of the individual in order to strike a workable outcome. His genuine care and compassion ensured that staff commitments outside of work are important and he always supported staff requests in the best way possible, balancing school and personal needs.
An era has seen the passing of another integral member of the College community. David joins Kath McGuinness who passed away peaceful last year. The two contributed over a hundred years of loyal and dedicated service to the College during challenging and difficult times. Withstanding the decrease in enrolments, resources and ageing buildings the College has grown and found itself with new gusto and positivity that attracts increasing enrolments and success in the innovative, creative, wide variety of academic courses, extracurricular opportunities and academic success that fosters and nurtures boys to succeed in education as we strive towards our centenary in 2026.
May David receive eternal rest.
Blessed Edmund Rice, Pray for him
Mary Mother of the Cross, Pray for him
Mary Help of Christians, Pray for him
Live Jesus in your heart. Forever
Written by Russell Bates, 14 August 2022
Reference to College Magazine 2011 Mr Sam Tadros
Taekwondo Kickstarters Program
Congratulations to the students who participated in the opening Taekwondo Kickstarter program: Benjamin Ayoub, Jensen Curbison, Ethan Mulazimoski, Austin Smith, Joel Sojan and Kai Wallace. Ms Ndaira and Mr Sozio commenced the session with students stretching. Students were reminded of the importance of breathing. Following this, students took on the challenge of a circuit. The students showed a lot of skill in running through the cones, jumping hurdles and running through the ladders. Students then learnt some basic stances and blocking and kicking techniques. The session concluded with students learning the first few movements of a pattern. By the end of the term, students will be able to perform the complete pattern. In preparation for next week, students have been asked to think about how they overcome strategies. We are very proud in the way the students participated during the session and look forward to seeing the students continue to grow over the coming weeks.
Change in Student/Family Circumstances/Contact Information/Medical Conditions
If any change has occurred/occurs in your family – separation, divorce, serious illness, the College should be notified as soon as possible. The College seeks to be supportive of families in such circumstances and such events always have a bearing on a child’s education. Likewise, a change of address, email or phone number (work, home or mobile) or emergency contact should be advised immediately.
If your son suffers from a medical condition it is vital that you inform the office of his condition and what treatment is required in an emergency. An emergency management plan must be developed for any students with serious conditions.
Please verify all information via the TASS Parent Lounge.