From the Principal
Dear Members of St Edmund’s College Community,
A Privileged Space
Although it doesn’t always happen, each day I try to get out of my office and go for a walk around the College. Sometimes it might be during first or second break and other times it is during class time. The other day it was at the top of the Lynch Building stairs as the boys were heading off for Homeroom. Occasionally I’ll get down to the buses on Arthur Street or Elizabeth Street in the afternoon and farewell the boys as they head home. During these times I get to have fleeting conversations with them. I have to say they are always impeccably polite and friendly and, when prompted, willing to share some of their story. Some boys like to talk as part of a group while others are eager to have a one-on-one chat about all sorts of topics. Some boys will elaborate while others are content to keep their responses short and to the point. In these chance encounters they often reveal something of themselves such as an interest or a passion, occasionally a wish to do better in a particular subject area or sporting endeavour or an eagerness to achieve something greater than themselves or realise a deeper calling. They each express it differently and at times it is not in their words alone but in their eyes and in their manner. To witness it is to enter into a privileged space. I reckon our teachers experience this on a daily basis. It is a space where teacher and student come together and a sacred, though unwritten, pact is made between the two, that together they will work to fulfil these emerging dreams and hopes. I like to think that Blessed Edmund Rice must have had similar experiences.
Recognising Honour, Merit and Improvement
At today’s Academic Assembly for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 we introduced three new awards to replace the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. The new awards reflect a shift in emphasis in how we acknowledge academic achievement. We have two awards that recognise academic excellence in the ‘Academic Honours’ and ‘Academic Merit’ categories. We have also introduced a completely new award that recognizes substantial ‘Academic Improvement’ across subject grades from Term 1 through to Term 2. It was humbling to see the mezzanine level of the College Hall full to the brim with parents, grandparents and family members in attendance to celebrate their boys’ achievements.
During the assembly, a former Eddies’ student from the graduating class of 2012, Matthew Semple, gave an inspired speech about his time as a student at Eddies and how it helped him to realise his goals. Since graduating from St Edmund’s College in 2012, Matthew has established himself as one of Brisbane’s leading cabaret performers. After high school, he studied a Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of internationally-acclaimed performers and educators. There he was granted experience in musical theatre, cabaret, studio recordings and corporate functions. After graduating in 2015 he made his professional performance debut and is currently touring his critically-acclaimed one-man show, The Gospel According to Matthew. With experience in musical theatre, stand-up comedy, directing, script-writing, composition and conducting, his voluminous and varied work has been showcased throughout Australia. Matthew said that his achievements are due to passion, being busy and being prepared to listen to the wisdom of others. He pointed out the Eddies’ teachers, particularly, as being influential in guiding and shaping his career aspirations.
Mr Keith Halpin – Appointment to new teaching role at Ambrose Treacy College
This morning, I announced with a heavy heart to staff, that Mr Keith Halpin, Assistant Principal Community and Mission, had accepted a position as teacher and College counsellor at Ambrose Treacy College, which he will commence from the beginning of 2018. Keith then gave a very honest and moving address to the staff citing personal and professional reasons for a change in career direction. At the end of the year we will farewell and acknowledge Keith’s inimitable contribution to Eddies during his time here. As a former Eddies’ student and a long-serving educator in Edmund Rice Education Australia, Keith has made a huge mark on the College.
Over the coming weeks the College will be advertising the vacant position of Assistant Principal Mission and Community to commence in 2018.
St Edmund’s and St Mary’s Explore New Bus Service
Following the success of the Boonah Bus Service that commenced operating in Term 2 this year, St Edmund’s College is partnering again with St Mary’s College to explore the viability of operating a new school bus service to cover areas near Plainland, Laidley, Rosewood and Walloon direct to and from both Colleges, to commence at the start of the school year in 2018. To this end we are grateful to the Principal of St Mary’s Laidley, Craig Cronan, for hosting us on 8 August at 5.30pm to address interested families who wish to find out more about the proposed service. There will be other parent information sessions held at St Brigid’s Rosewood and the Walloon and Plainland Hotels on August 29. Please see brochure on Page 6 of this newsletter.
This week we welcomed Mr Simon Smith to the St Edmund’s College staff. Simon takes up the role of Head Swim Coach. He is a very experienced Silver Licence Coach, who has recently worked at Wilston State School and the Aquatic Achievers Swim School at Chandler. With over fifteen years’ experience as a Head Coach, Simon has helped produce many national ranked swimmers in Australia and New Zealand.
Today we farewelled Mr Damian Bromley, our Assistant Swim Coach at the College. Damian has been a staff member for over nine months and leaves to take up a position at Marist College as an Assistant Swim Coach. Thank you, Damian, for your support of the students of St Edmund’s College and all swimmers at our swim centre.
Please keep in your prayers the St Peter Claver College community on the passing of a much loved staff member, Trish Fields. Trish has been battling illness for a short period of time and sadly departed this world earlier this week to be with God. May Trish rest in eternal peace in God’s loving embrace.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever
Diarmuid O’Riordan, Principal