“Challenges exist to be overcome! Let us be realists, but without losing our joy, our boldness and our hope-filled commitment.
Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary vigour!”
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we commence the season of Advent and the preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas, these words from Pope Francis are a gentle reminder to each of us. Within the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we are each called to be actively present for each other. In the final weeks of the school year, it is easy for some to feel burdened with fatigue. The underlying and immeasurable impact of the pandemic has meant that 2022 has been the first time in recent years that the requirements of daily face-to-face work have unexpectedly taken their toll. Despite this, the simple message from Pope Francis is to be joyful for what and who we have in our lives and to look to the future with a sense of hope. In this way, I acknowledge the members of our College community who regularly give their time and resources to support those struggling during this time of the year. Within this ‘Respect Week,’ I acknowledge staff, students and parents for such active support of the St. Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal. This action of assisting others in need demonstrates the very touchstones that guide our College.
Congratulations to the College Year 7 Debate Team, who progressed to the State final held recently as champions of the regional Catholic Schools’ Debating Association (CSDA) competition. Jonathan Bendeich, Daniel Morozov, Izac Lavis and Isaac Mitrevski defeated St Andrew’s College debating team to become the CSDA State Champions. This is an outstanding achievement, and we are all so very proud. Thank you to Mr Booyar-Rybak and Ms Shumack for their guidance, organisation and encouragement of the boys.
ERC was very well represented at the recent Wollongong Diocese Sports Council annual awards ceremony. Congratulations to all of the ERC sports winners on their exceptional achievements this year. For the second year in a row, an ERC elite athlete was awarded the Bishop Mascord Sportsman of the Year Award; congratulations to Mitchell Blackbourn of Year 11 on such a tremendous achievement. The complete list of ERC award recipients is included further in this newsletter. I also acknowledge our Sports Coordinator, Mr Joshua Timpano, for his leadership in providing such a variety of rich opportunities for our students throughout the year.
Congratulations to our Director of Learning and Teaching, the now Dr Gerry Sozio, who was recently conferred with the wonderful achievement of completing his PhD in Cognitive Load Theory. Well done!
In the previous newsletter, I indicated that the College will continue to receive less government funding under the new CTC funding model for private schools. In addition to this sustained reduction in government funding, the cumulative impact of economic factors such as increases in inflation, wages and interest rates have added to the operational costs for the College. In determining the level of fees for 2023, the College intends to spread the recovery of this loss in government funding across several years to lessen the impact on families. In 2023 school fees will increase by approximately $19 – $23 per week per student, depending on the year group. The 2023 Fee Schedule will be included with the next Newsletter for your reference.
The College Leadership Team will continue providing our students with the best learning environment. In 2023 the College has planned to undertake the following projects:
- Optimise student safety by upgrading all first-floor hand railings in C, D and E blocks.
- Enhance the resilience of the College sports fields to changing weather patterns by installing drainage and planning for irrigation, commencing with Sheppard’s Oval.
- Refurbishing the Br Pelin Hall to enhance its multipurpose use to support drama and music performances.
- Review and progressively enhance the College’s technology and cybersecurity.
- Continue to prioritise a strengths-based approach to our learning culture in building and maintaining student connection and their sense of belonging and self efficacy.
Please keep Mr Glen Stutchbury in your prayers following the sad loss of his beloved son, Samuel, aged 24 years.
Eternal rest grant unto Sam, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.