Principal’s Message – Newsletter 18 June

Welcome to the penultimate week of Term 2 and our last newsletter for the term. It is our fond hope that the long weekend provided our students the opportunity to take some time to rest in anticipation for the last two weeks. This remaining fortnight is important to all of us; however they are of particular importance to students in the senior years as they start Semester Two units. Students could be forgiven for thinking they have finished the term, as they are all probably feeling a little tired having just completed their exams. I would like to remind students that the first two weeks of a new semester are very important as they provide us all with the opportunity to make a fresh start and to get ahead, before our mid-year break. I encourage all students to focus on the remaining days and apply themselves to the best of their ability.
Students and parents can feel comfort in the knowledge that reports are well on the way to completion and progression to date will be reported through the PAM channel.

I am sure all in the community will agree when I say it is nice to reach the end of what has been a fruitful and very busy term. The past ten weeks have lived up to all of our expectations with regards to the trials and tribulations one comes to expect in a vibrant and dynamic secondary college. We have had a number of wonderful activities and events that have ensured a very busy and eventful term. We have gathered in prayer for the College Mass celebrating Mary Help of Christians, competed on the football and soccer sports fields, and endeavoured to make a difference through social justice and our Tinnies for Vinnie’s project, just to name a few. In amongst all of these activities and events we have also been able to accomplish exciting teaching and learning. It has been a very productive and rewarding term and all involved should be congratulated for the part they played.

Below are several ancient history quotes that I would like to share with you:

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.” -Socrates, 5th century BC

“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?” -Plato, 5th century BC

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” -Hesiod, 8th century BC

“The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.” -Peter the Hermit, 13th Century AD

The above extracts illustrate clearly, the opinions and mindset of generations that have come before us. A common theme that echoes throughout these quotes is that of a younger generation’s thinking equalling a foolish mindset. Attitudes such as this, communicate that that no matter how positive or negative the succeeding generation is, the preceding will always view them in a less favourable light.

I dispute this opinion strongly and challenge why this ignorance exists. Rather, my belief is that this opinion lacks understanding of how young people think and why their approach is different to that of the preceding generation.

With this in mind I would like to use the snap shot of last Thursday’s Year 12 formal as a perfect example of how wonderful today’s kids are and what a bright future we have to look forward to if they are an example of who will lead this society into the future.

We had approximately 250 beautifully attired young men and women who joined us at Merrimu Receptions to celebrate a wonderful year in these students’ lives – their final year of secondary education. The maturity and class these young people displayed was a credit to themselves first and foremost, to their parents secondly and finally to Salesian College and all the schools represented by the girls.

Arriving in a very positive, happy frame of mind, students interacted and mingled maturely with one another. They danced from the minute the music came on right up until the music stopped at the end of the night. They shared good humor in the way they danced and chatted about the awards that were presented on the night. They interacted with their teachers showing the care and respect they had for them and their willingness to include them in their celebrations. It is a night that I hope they reflect on fondly in years to come as I know I will. It is my belief that the 2013 Year 12 Formal is the best I have attended over my career. I would like to congratulate all in attendance and mention a very special thanks to Mrs Rhea Beurs for her work with the boys in organizing the evening and bringing such a great night to fruition.

At this point I hope everybody enjoys the last two weeks of term and enjoys a well-earned break over the term.

God Bless and keep safe.

Robert Brennan