News & Events

From the Principal – 9 February 2023


Tragedy in Turkey and Syria

Over the past few days there have been countless tragic stories and images of hardship and suffering, detailing the enormous damage and loss across Turkey and Syria after the recent earthquakes.

Pope Francis and local Church leaders reacted with dismay and calls for prayer following the devastating earthquake. A deeply saddened Pope Francis sent “heartfelt condolences to those who mourn their loss.” He prayed “that the emergency personnel would be sustained in their care of the injured and in the ongoing relief efforts by the divine gifts of fortitude and perseverance.” The pope also affirmed “his spiritual solidarity” with the “long-suffering Syrian people.”

In the midst of the death and trauma caused by this terrible tragedy, we, too, join in prayer and solidarity.
Let us pray: 
Almighty God, we pray for the people of Turkey and Syria, for the victims, the injured, and all those affected by the devastating earthquake. 
We pray for first responders, and all those working tirelessly to rescue survivors from beneath the rubble. May God’s peace sustain their efforts. 
We pray that the God of Life will comfort the grieving families and friends, and give them the strength and courage they need during this very difficult time. 
May God’s love and compassion comfort them.
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, let us pray together: 
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. 
Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. 
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 
Eternal rest grant unto the dead, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. 

Hats are compulsory

One of the greatest challenges we face as a College post-COVID is generating consistency and a common understanding or expectation on various issues. This is even more difficult for CMC as we operate over two campuses with well in excess of 2,000 people, including students, staff and parents in our CMC community.

For instance, hats and the National SunSmart policy are classic examples. Anyone my age is well aware of the consequences of sun exposure in our pre-Slip Slop Slap generations. Convincing and helping teenagers to realise the danger is not as simple. Recent research from Queensland over this summer identified skin cancer as the greatest threat for young people. Yet we still have trouble getting support for students to wear sunscreen and a hat at school.

Enforcing the SunSmart policy is not an option, it is a health mandate. Therefore, we would appreciate support from home in ensuring students have a hat and understand that it must be worn. If a student does not have a hat, we will provide a new one from the office and the cost of $16 will be charged to the student’s account. If your child is not wearing a hat you will be contacted.

Year 12 Retreat

Congratulations to everyone involved in organising and attending the Year 12 Retreat this week. The students’ attendance was outstanding as was the participation and energy of all involved. These events are always a highlight of the year. Federation University in Ballarat is a great location for the Retreat. Well done to the Year 12 team for their preparation.

Ovals Update

We now have two ovals and the first stage of the Mercy Junortoun Sporting Precinct is nearing completion. At the moment, handover is scheduled for the first week of Term 2. For those who have not seen it, Finn Oval at Coolock looks wonderful and the kangaroos and students love it. We have gone from zero to spoilt in a short time.

Berry Street Program

On Monday 13 February, which is a pupil-free day, all staff are involved in the first day of the Berry Street Program. The Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) course educates staff in how to help students meet their own learning needs by:

  • understanding the impacts of trauma on child development and ability to learn
  • creating a supportive and trauma-informed positive education classroom
  • bolstering student-teacher relationships
  • instilling strengths-based practices across the school.

Staff will learn how to help students be more willing and have improved capacity for school achievement. Staff will be provided with a toolkit of 100+ student-centred strategies that:

  • can be implemented with students, and
  • ensure a consistent approach to implementation across the school.

This program will complement the existing pastoral care that is a strong part of our CMC culture.

Enterprise Agreement

Some parents have been asking about how the new Enterprise Agreement will impact our program and offerings this year. Please understand there are no changes to our camps, retreats, sports, production or other co-curricular offerings in 2023. We don’t want to compromise on the opportunities for our students.

Key Events

Whilst on the topic of events, in the next fortnight we have several key events and activities for the community to attend and participate in. On Wednesday 15 February our VCE Study Skills Evening is essential to helping parents and carers support their child through the senior years of school. On Tuesday 21 February we have the Opening Mass followed by the Laureate Presentation Celebration for the whole school. On Thursday 23 February we welcome back our CMC Swimming Carnival and the following Monday 27 February the Year 7 Welcome Evening. The swimming sports are always fun and houses are preparing their chants and costumes etc as we speak.

Have a great week.

Kind regards,
Brian Turner