Over the last two weeks, we have encountered sad and distressing news and seen no improvement in the deeply worrying COVID-19 situation in the eastern states. Some of us are old enough to remember the scenes of terror and chaos at the US Embassy when Saigon, South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese on 30 April 1975. Others will remember the horrific scenes from New York on 11 September 2001, now well-known as 9/11...
I am writing to provide you with an update on our school restrictions this week.
I distinctly remember the great commentator Norman May, who was a legend in calling the many swimming races at the Olympic Games, with his energetic and passionate call of Australia winning a gold medal in the Men’s 4x100m Medley in 1980.
Further to my letter to you this morning, I can now confirm that schools will be fully open for normal classes commencing tomorrow (Wednesday 28 July).
Can you remember back to last weekend? On Saturday my wife Debbie and I were preparing for our Christmas in July dinner party with our closest friends.
Last week I saw a YouTube video of Pope Francis talking with an audience about his name. He shared his recollection of being in the Sistine Chapel and as the votes were coming in, his close friends spoke softly in his ear and said: “Don’t forget the poor, don’t forget the poor.” It dawned on the Pope that he was going to be elected and that he needed to choose a name for his papacy. In his head, he was thinking of Francis Xavier, Frances de Sales and Francis of Assisi. Our Pope was born with the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio and selected Francis after St Francis of Assisi. Our Pope continues to champion the plight of the poor in our world. Our Catholic church mission is always the preferential option for the poor and to support the sharing of our greater wealth for the greater good.
This week we recognise National Refugee Week with the theme “Unity – The way forward”. Over the years as principal I have come to know the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and his wife Lan. Our Governor has, on many occasions, told the story of how he and his wife were raised in Vietnam and fled the communist regime. They arrived on a boat in Darwin in the 1970s together with 40 other people. After arriving in Australia he attended the University of Adelaide and began a career as an accountant and businessperson. He served in the role of Lieutenant Governor before being appointed to the highest office of Governor of SA in 2014. Our Governor also talks proudly of his sons who were born and educated in Adelaide and have forged great careers. For our Governor and his wife Lan, they sought a better life in Australia and the community welcomed them as refugees.
Today I celebrate 16 years as principal of Cardijn College. Some may say that is a very long time when the next longest principalship at Cardijn was six years. In fact, many of my colleagues who began in a principalship about the same time have already moved to different schools or retired from the principalship. 16 years coupled with 13 years as a teacher brings the total to 29 years of service to the Cardijn College community. My blog post this week however is a reflection on the changes that I have seen in these last 16 years and the impact these changes have made. When I began as principal in 2005, the school had an enrolment of just over 600 students. In 2021, we have a school enrolment of over 1750 students and two new campuses. The staff numbers have grown to over 240 and our prediction for next year is that our school numbers will eclipse 1830 students and 255 staff. We have seen capital developments across all three campuses totalling $35M with another immediate commitment of $15M to planned projects in the next 24 months...