From the Principal
Unveiling our 2018 Improvement Goals
Dear St Edmund’s College Family and Friends,
Unveiling our 2018 Improvement Goals
I am delighted to unveil our 2018 Annual Improvement Plan Goals, which are included in this week’s newsletter.
These goals were derived from our Strategic Directions and Priorities 2018 – 2020. Since this was launched earlier in the year, the College has set about discerning our goals for the year ahead with an overall focus on growth and development across our three strategic areas of Identity, Improvement and Community.
You will see that some of the goals are quite prescriptive in setting measurable and explicit value-added targets in academic excellence, extra-curricular opportunities and community engagement. These goals will be discussed with your son throughout the year and will form the basis of our end of year evaluation and renewal processes.
I hope that you agree that the goals reflect the aspirations of our wider College community, to ensure we support your son to thrive in his learning, and to experience positive growth opportunities in his secondary education as he journeys from boyhood to manhood.
We continue to strive to partner with you in offering a unique Catholic education in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice in Ipswich.
Final chance to let us know – EREA Parent Choice Survey
Please take the time to complete the EREA Parent Choice Survey by clicking on the link below. The survey takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete and all information shared is unidentifiable, although we are able to see our summary data. Questions in the survey will help the College to know vital information about parent choices and their level of satisfaction including;
Parents’ relationship with the College
The religious background of parents
Reasons why parents’ have chosen St Edmund’s College
A general measure of student wellbeing at the College
Parents’ overall satisfaction with the College
The survey will remain open until Monday 18 June. I am hopeful that we can have a response rate of close to 50%, which will ensure that our summary data accurately reflects the views and beliefs of our families. Thank you to the many families who have already completed the survey.
EREA Principals' Conference – Improving Wellbeing
Over the last three days I have been in Adelaide attending the annual EREA Principals’ Conference. Held at Rostrevor College the focus of the Conference was Principal Wellbeing. While I absolutely love being the Principal of St Edmund’s College it was interesting to learn that statistically I am in a profession that experiences high stress levels and burn out. For this reason our four keynote addresses were based on how to manage stress and improve wellbeing. Our first session was all about how we can feed and nurture the three dimension of our brain – our wild brain, emotional brain and smart brain. Basically it all hinges on our wild brain getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthily. The second session looked more specifically at how we could reduce stress by some simple daily practices such as stretching, breathing slowly and most importantly being in relationships with others. Our third session looked at how meditation and contemplative prayer can drastically reduce stress levels and increase the prevalence of personal and professional fulfilment. Lastly we were given insights into the habits of high achievers and how they maintain effectiveness in their work life while still enjoying personal wellbeing.
These helpful guides and insights will undoubtedly hold me in good stead. Thank you for supporting me in my role as Principal.
We keep in our prayers the Christian Brothers’ Community on the passing of Brother Victor Larkin. A short biography of Br Vic and his very full and faithful life:
Br Leo Victor Larkin (1929 – 2018)
Brother Victor Larkin was born in Brisbane and began his teaching career in 1950 with an international trip – to New Zealand, where he joined the staff at the Christian Brothers’ College in Dunedin. Br Larkin made his final profession at the end of his time in Dunedin on Christmas Day 1955. In 1956, he was transferred to St Patrick’s College Mackay and stayed there until his appointment in 1962 as Principal of St Joseph’s College Toowoomba. There are clear memories from families associated with the school of Br Vic being appreciated for his pastoral sense and for his willingness to be fully involved alongside the parents in all their endeavours to support the growing school. Br Larkin’s next appointment was in 1968 to Warwick.
The regard in which Br Larkin was held was seen in his next transfer in 1970 as Socius to the Novice Master, Br Regis Hickey, at Helidon in Queensland. He was invaluable in that role, not the least for his knowledge of the nearby Toowoomba region and of the Helidon Parish Priest, Fr Underwood. In 1972, Br Vic was appointed Superior of the Brothers’ Community at Helidon, and also was placed in charge of the Juniorate students living there who attended Years 11 and 12 at St Mary’s College Toowoomba, where Brother Larkin also taught. This appointment was followed in 1974 when he was appointed Superior of Xavier Teachers College at Indooroopilly in Brisbane, where he was also Director of the young Brothers in their second and third years of Formation.
After Indooroopilly, Brother Larkin moved to St James College in 1977, and then was appointed to St Laurence’s College in 1978 as Superior. During 1978, Victor returned to the Christian Brothers Xavier Province, Indooroopilly, but this time having been appointed Deputy Provincial of St Francis Xavier Province (Qld and NT). In 1984, after another Chapter, he was re-appointed Deputy Provincial. If one aspect comes through the many stories shared about Brother Vic, it is his pastoral care and concern for the individual.
After his twelve years in Province Leadership, Br Vic Larkin was able to return to normal Community life when he was transferred to Nudgee Junior College in 1990. In 1991 he was appointed Superior of the Community there. In 1993, Br Vic was appointed Principal of St James Christian Brothers School, where he oversaw the Centenary of the Brothers in that school, and the 125 years of Catholic education on that site. He also was part of the transition of the old St James to the new St James Prac in 1994, when he handed over to Br Luke Quinn during 1994. Some years later the name changed further to St James College. In 1995, Br Vic was transferred to St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe, and in 1998 to Charters Towers to the newly amalgamated Columba Catholic College (formed from the Brothers’ boarding college Mount Carmel College, the Diocesan girls’ St Mary’s College, and the St Columba’s parish primary school). Founding Principal there, Mrs Althea Norton, wrote about Victor and his support to the whole College community during the complex first years of amalgamation, “What a wonderful person – always compassionate, humble and forgiving”.
After five years in North Queensland, Br Vic moved to Nudgee College. In 2003 he was part of Treacy Community at Nudgee. In 2009 he relocated to another part of the College campus, to the Mary Ring Drive Community, and then in November 2012, he moved into the newly opened Holy Spirit Viridian Retirement Community, next to Nudgee College.
Br Larkin kept in close contact with the Nudgee College staff, students and families, including serving on the College Board for many years, and assisting students in the Learning Support area. He was also acknowledged when the “Br Vic Larkin Student Centre” was named in his honour, an extension from the Art and Music areas.
Br Ted Magee summed up much of Br Larkin’s life in these latter years...Known and admired by all; never allowing himself to be slowed; always the joyful, gregarious presence in the lives of young men and staff who sometimes struggle with the burdens of their age. They see a man who overcomes difficulties and is heartfelt in caring, generous and gentle....
Br Victor Larkin is remembered as Terrace Old Boy, Christian Brother, Teacher, Mentor, Friend......A giant of a man, but above all a Gentleman, strong, loving, forgiving - when he looked at you, you sensed he looked into your heart and knew you better than many others could or ever will.
What is remembered most of Br Vic is a man of faith. A man convinced of God’s love for him; he committed his life to the service of that God: A life poured out for the God who loved him.
A life lived in the footsteps of Edmund
Presence - Compassion – Liberation
Live, Jesus, in our hearts…FOREVER!
Diarmuid O’Riordan, Principal