This week the College held our annual Award evening. It was a night of great celebration for the College. The teaching and non-teaching staff came together with our students to showcase the very best of life at St Joseph’s.
Thank you to our:
- Arts Department for curating a tremendous display of student work and revealing both instrumental and vocal talent,
- Hospitality Department for the tasty delights and service to all our visitors
- I.T team of Mr Martin and Mr Lyon for the lighting sound and audiovisual expertise
- Teaching and non-teaching staff
- Executive Leadership Team
The following is an excerpt from my principal’s address:
I would like to begin by acknowledging our former College Principal Mr Nicholas Lynch. Unfortunately, Nick is unable to be with us tonight, but it would have been remiss of me, not to recognise his contribution to the College. Nick was Principal for almost three years coming to the College from Roma where he was principal for 7 years. During his principalship Nick was instrumental in the rebranding of the College and working to ensure that positive education became part of the professional and everyday teaching practice of the College. I particularly am grateful for the opportunity that I was given by Nick to join the College Leadership Team. In his absence we wish him well for the next phase of his education career.
I would like to extend on the welcome by Anish Kumar by acknowledging the presence of a number of key people here tonight who in their own way play an instrumental role in the life of this vibrant school community:
The Executive Director of the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office, and more importantly mentor and friend to the teaching community; Dr Pat Coughlan, Director of Formation and Identity, wise mentor and member of the Executive Leadership Team of Toowoomba Catholic Schools, Dr Ken Avenell, Senior Education Leader from the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office and past pupil of St Joseph’s College Mr John Coman, Much loved and respected past pupil and Chaplain to this community Fr Ray Crowley, Parent of one of our present College Captains Patrick and 2017 College Captain Jackson, Mr John O’Brien, Generous and hardworking parent of Sonia Erbacher from yr11 and President of the P&F Mrs Veronica Erbacher, Members of the College Board and P&F, Teaching and Non-Teaching staff of the College, Members of the College Leadership Team, Parents and family members of our St Joseph’s community and the reason that we are all present tonight the students of St Joseph’s College.
Awards Night is an opportunity to recognise the essential ingredients to learning success:
- Persistence, dedication, practice, positive life-giving relationships, optimism and a Can Do attitude!
The atmosphere of learning at St Joseph’s is one that our teachers are deeply committed to influencing. Our learning culture is not accidental. Often you will hear touted in the media that yr 12 students have survived the HSC or OP experience. We here at St Joseph’s are committed to challenging this narrative to ensure our students don’t survive schooling but rather thrive and flourish. We are not about filling empty vessels but rather igniting in our students a passion for learning. Pressure to challenge the thinking of neglecting “soft skills” can also be found in the Forbes Business Review for 2019. The business report stated that the most sought after skills by employers are:
- And creativity
Our emerging learning culture at St Joseph’s College is one where the joy of learning is at the fore. Where the fundamentals and important foundations of subject understanding is interwoven with thinking approaches that encourage our students to be independent, life-long curious thinkers. Parents and care-givers you are critical to our partnership in this approach to learning. Your presence here tonight is a clear indication of your commitment and pride in your son or daughter. To me, and our teaching community it is also a sign of your faith and trust in us, their teachers. Our teachers are firm in their commitment in the Joey’s tradition to, ‘Serve Him In Others’.
To conclude tonight I wish to leave you with this story of the importance of thinking and relationships to learning success, Isidor I. Rabi, the Jewish Nobel laureate in physics who died Jan 1988 was once asked, ”Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighbourhood?”
”My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: ‘So? Did you learn anything today?’ But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. ‘Izzy,’ she would say, ‘did you ask a good question today?’ That difference – asking good questions -made me become a scientist!”