From the Principal – Issue #13, 2023

Acknowledgement of Country

From the Principal

Ms Paddy McEvoy

Dear Parents/Guardians, Friends & Students of SAC,

The Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools’ Association (AMSSA) Conference is being held at All Hallows’ School in Brisbane this week. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather with our Mercy colleagues from schools in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – our last AMSSA Staff Conference was held in 2019 and since then, COVID-19 interrupted plans! The Conference theme, “Mercy in Liminal Times”, calls us to reflect on the changes we have experienced over the last few years through the lens of our Mercy charism. 

24 students from Years 4 and 5 received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion on Wednesday evening at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. Archbishop Patrick O’Regan presided over this ceremony, marking a significant step in the faith journey of these primary students and their families. In preparing to take this step, students reflect on God’s presence in their everyday lives, on the meaning of the Eucharist and on the Sacrament of Confirmation. It was a joyous occasion, despite the obvious preoccupation with the Matilda’s game being played at the same time! I am grateful for the work of Ms Isabella Deluca, Primary Religious Education Coordinator, in preparing the students so beautifully for this sacred moment. 

Inspiring the next generation of writers and poets is a responsibility that the English teachers at St Aloysius College take very seriously. At our Assembly last week, we presented the winners of the Neville Stapleton Poetry Prize in the Middle and Senior School. This prize was named in honour of a dearly loved, long-serving SAC English teacher and Archivist who died in 2022. Neville’s wife, Phil, attended the assembly to present the prizes. Neville’s family shares a love of poetry and selected the winners from a shortlist compiled by the English faculty. They were blown away by the high quality of the entries! Congratulations to Eleanor Buckham and Isabella Ilicic, who won the Senior and Middle Years prizes respectively. This is the second year we have awarded these prizes and we are seeing a rapid increase in submissions. As our primary parents are busy planning costumes for the Book Week Parade, it is good to know that students’ passion for literature will continue to be nurtured creatively in the secondary years.

On Wednesday, we presented badges to the primary students who have been selected as members of the Student Representative Council for Semester 2. It is never too soon to start to learn about leadership, and our students have a safe and supportive environment in which to develop their skills. Learning to listen, to be a voice to others and to serve with a spirit of generosity are valuable lessons they can take from these early experiences. We have had some wonderful examples recently of leaders in the primary school, with Mariana in Year 5 making such an impact with her walk for the Hutt St Centre. You can read more about Mariana’s achievements and the JAM group’s participation in National Homelessness Week events in this newsletter. Our students are blessed with inspiring role models around them of all ages and we are proud to be educating the Mercy leaders of tomorrow.

Ms Paddy McEvoy