It is interesting to note that the Bible has several sporting references sprinkled throughout. St. Paul, in his writings, would often use a sporting metaphor such as running the race (1 Cor 9:24), fighting the good fight (1 Tim 6:12), and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16) to emphasise his message to the various communities of that time. I am partial to a sporting metaphor myself. Only last week, I challenged our Year 12 students to keep studying until the final whistle of the HSC. With this in mind, I wonder what St. Paul would think of the recent transformational experience that Australia has felt through the shared journey of the Matildas. Like no Australian team I can recall, the Matildas gave us intense moments of excitement, hope, unity and respect. As a parent of daughters, I am so pleased to see women’s sports find their rightful position in our society. However, wearing my other hat, as a principal and an advocate for boys’ education, it is also pleasing to experience such a cultural and positive societal shift first-hand. For me, this experience was reinforced last Wednesday afternoon on the eve of the Matilda’s and Lionesses match. Standing on McCabe Oval at the end of lunch, I witnessed the shared outpouring of parochial support from ERC students as the boys walked past on their way to period 5. This outpouring can only further support the range of respectful pastoral care and personal development programs that take place across the College. I often share with colleagues and friends how much hope and belief I have in the future men and fathers who are ERC’s current and future graduates. To the Matildas, thanks for further strengthening this belief for me.
Last night I proudly attended the Industrial Technology Major HSC Projects Showcase. There are no words I can write here that truly captures the experience. The highest standard and quality of the major projects, the volume of guests who attended the event, let alone the humble pride of parents, students and staff made this such a memorable showcase. While I acknowledge the active support of parents and carers throughout this journey and sincerely congratulate our students for their skilled commitment and hard work – it is vitally important to acknowledge the generosity of each and every staff member of the Technology and VET team. We now look forward to next week’s Visual Arts and Music HSC Exhibition with the Opening Night on Thursday 31st August from 5.30pm.
Last weekend’s ERC Gala Fundraising Dinner, hosted by the P&F, was a wonderful night. Thank you to the many parents and carers who attended. On behalf of the College, I would like to once again sincerely thank the P&F organising committee for their generous leadership of this great event. As I mentioned to the audience who attended the dinner, thank you to all parents and carers for working so closely with the College to educate your sons.
We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to Chris Lyon and his family upon his mother Erna’s recent and sad loss. Chris is a long-standing member and current Chair of the College Advisory Council, and he and his family have long been associated with the College community.
May Erna rest in peace.
It is my pleasure and privilege to announce the ERC Senior Student Leadership Team for 2023/2024. I thank all 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 next week.
Thank you for your continued support,
Deputy Principal's Message
STUDENT LEADERSHIP TEAM
The Year 11 students putting themselves forward for leadership positions are to be commended. These young men submitted quality applications, and earlier this week participated in an interview process answering questions from a panel. Having received the endorsement of both their peers and the staff via the online voting process the team was selected. Not only was it a privilege to be on the panel, being part of the discussion with these young men but their depth of responses and insights into leadership was tremendous.
The interview process is often a very positive experience, hearing from quality young men passionately talk about their own leadership and obvious love of the College. Snippets of the conversation across an entire day of interviewing;
‘wanting to give back to the community that has provided me with so much’
‘ what it means to be an Edmund Rice man ’
‘ being a positive voice for younger students ‘
‘ it’s not always about the big speech, it’s the little things that make a difference ‘
‘ making everyone feel included, invited to be part of ERC, it’s all around welcoming ‘
‘ providing an opportunity for others, collaboratively ‘
After a lengthy process and considerable discernment we were pleased to announce the 2023/2024 student leadership team on Wednesday to the community. Specific domains of leadership were assigned once the team was established and we are confident they will work collaboratively to lead the entire student body in 2023/2024. We look forward to next week when the team will be presented at our College Assembly.
EREA DEPUTY PRINCIPAL MEETING
Last Friday, EREA NSW College Deputy Principals met at St Pius X College, Chatswood to continue our training as Safeguarding Officers. Training was delivered through the Office of the Children’s Guardian, where we went through the ten Child Safe Standards – A guide to the Child Safe Standards (Guide to the Standards). The Standards have been designed to help drive cultural change in organisations, manage and address multiple risks and balance caution and caring. A child safe culture is a set of values and practices that guide attitudes and behaviour of all staff.
The other main area for discussion was the variety of Immersion opportunities offered both nationally and internationally (now that we are permitted to travel overseas again), by each of the NSW EREA Colleges. Sharing ERC’s previous experiences to India along with the visit to Rawa Community School in WA and currently the video conferencing with students from an Edmund Rice school in Zimbabwe (online) discussing Earth Care. This sharing allowed insight and discussion around the willingness to broaden opportunities for our young people to experience something new, something challenging and definitely a platform to share their learning with others upon return. The discussion led to a myriad of possibilities and extremely positive ideas, including the possibility of joining with other College communities in their experiences, so more to come on these exciting ventures throughout 2024.
Since our last newsletter we have celebrated the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross Mackillop on August 8 and The Assumption of Our Lady on August 15. We have had many opportunities to grow in faith during this fortnight from liturgy to Year 12 Reflection Day, CSL opportunities and advocacy! As a Catholic community, we are inspired by the example of faith, humility and generosity that enable so many people to give so much to build the community. Indeed, Mary Mackillop demonstrated a practical faith that was even willing to go against authority when it was necessary to achieve better outcomes for the common good, having even been excommunicated from the Church! Today we are called to realise that a Gospel Spirituality is based on a deep faith in God and the example of Jesus who was willing to do God’s will, even if it meant dying on a cross. Discerning what is meant for us is always complex and it is heartening to see so many students and staff participate in our Friday prayer since we started the Daily Ignatian Examen. Another app I use is Click to Pray and it is a way to add your prayer to the Pope’s intention. If you are looking for a way to make a few minutes to pray, I encourage you to check it out.
A reminder that the Preliminary Examinations are scheduled for Weeks 8 and 9 of this term.
Year 11 Students, Parents and Carers were emailed the Preliminary Examinations Timetable last Friday. A reminder that during these examinations, students will be on flexible attendance and as such will only be required to be at the College for their examinations. Students’ transport to and from school will be parent/carers’ responsibility. Students may sign into and complete private study in the College Library should they wish to do so.
We wish Year 11 students all the very best as they complete their preparation for these examinations.
With a range of CSL opportunities on offer for students in the coming fortnight, it is important to draw the College Community’s attention to the upcoming Junior Winter Sleep Out. On Thursday the 7th of September, students will have the opportunity to do something very similar to what our seniors did last week, only this time it will be in support of MCCI (formally SCARF).
SCARF Refugee Support and MCCI joined forces in October 2021 to provide even greater support for culturally diverse communities in the Illawarra. Founded by Sharyn and Kel McKenzie in 2005, SCARF helps humanitarian refugee entrants in the Illawarra to build a sense of belonging and navigate the challenges of starting a new life in Australia. For more information about the work MCCI is doing for refugees in our community, please visit https://www.mcci.org.au/refugee-support/scarf/.
Year 7, 8 and 9 students are encouraged to raise money ($50) and sleep out in solidarity with humanitarian refugees in our local community and to support the work that MCCI/SCARF are doing. Students will receive 8 CSL hours for raising their money and 5 CSL hours for sleeping out. Please look over the promotional poster provided for more information on how to get involved.
Director of Identity
Dialogue on The Voice
During the week and with the visit of Pat Farmer to Wollongong, we have been encouraging our students to talk to their parents about the upcoming Voice referendum, especially as some of them will be able to vote. As a school that promotes Catholic Social Teaching and the common good, we know how valuable it is that people have their questions answered and engage in dialogue about the future of their country.
Wollongong City Council is promoting an opportunity for people to learn more about the Voice Referendum. Students age 17 – 18 can sign up for free but any others must also have a parent sign up. I would encourage anyone who can to go along, listen and participate to do so. This is how we build a robust democracy.
Director of Identity
In this issue: UOW College information, 2024 UOW Summer Masterclass, AchieveWorks Seminar, Year 12 summary, Destination survey, Past posts reposted, UOW News link, Explore your career, ‘The Good University Guide’ scholarship search, USI (Unique Student Identifier) information, Student accommodation in Sydney, NSW University Open days, UAC information link, Year 12 UAC checklist, UOW year 12 HSC subject revision support sessions, UAC alternate applications
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.
Parents and Friends Committee
FATHER’S DAY BREAKFAST
Dear Parents & Friends
The Edmund Rice College P&F warmly invites Fathers’, Grandfathers’ and Carers to a BBQ Breakfast on Thursday, 31st August 2023 from 6.45am to 8.00am.
Donations upon entry (Cash or Efptos will be accepted) all proceeds go to The Barstool Brothers.
In celebration of Fathers’ Day, come and join us for an informal BBQ breakfast in the Year 12 Cola area (adjacent to the senior classrooms).
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.