A Word from the Principal – 16 March 2022

Dear Staff, Parents and Friends of the College,

This week our College is participating in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA). The NDA is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative, connecting schools and communities to find workable solutions to prevent bullying. With the Feast of St Joseph coming up this Saturday 19th of March, it is good to recall that St Joseph is our model of paternal protection. For example, as the head of the Holy Family he was not high-minded, nor did he ever aggressively assert himself in a manner that would harm others. He was meek and humble of heart, compassionate and always concerned for the wellbeing of Mary and Jesus. He always sought to unite not divide, to be a peacemaker not a troublemaker, to protect and provide for his family, not attack, bring down, harm or hurt those around him. In short, he was a model of Christian charity and a model of fatherhood. This last point should be emphasised with your sons so they understand that manhood is not defined by aggressive shows of power, but by one’s ability to protect and provide for those under one’s charge. Eliminating bullying requires a whole-school approach. That is why this week our homeroom teachers and House Mentors are dedicating time every morning to help our students become more aware of the nature of bullying, the impact it has on the victim, how to prevent it and how to get help.

Three key characteristics outlined in the national definition of bullying distinguish bullying behaviours from other forms of peer aggression behaviours which do not constitute bullying. The key characteristics of bullying include: 1. power imbalance 2. deliberate intent to cause harm, and 3. ongoing and repeated behaviour. While the following behaviours of peer aggression do not constitute bullying, these behaviours may still be serious and require intervention at home and at school:• arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)• single acts of social rejection or meanness, or• isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence. It is important for our entire school community, including our staff, parents, carers and students to have a clear understanding of the definition of bullying to be able to distinguish these behaviours from peer aggression, and correctly identify and respond to incidents of bullying. The full national definition can be read here. Knowing the types of bullying behaviour can also help you identify if the incident is bullying, or peer aggression. While neither of these behaviours are tolerated at our College, they do require different management strategies, and the first step for responding is to correctly identify the behaviour. If you have concerns that your child is being bullied, please contact the classroom teacher in the first instance. You will be referred to the Principal if a satisfactory outcome is not achieved. If you believe the behaviour constitutes a crime, or is a serious incident of cyberbullying, please refer to the Bullying. No Way! website for information on how to report to other authorities and gaining further help.  Sincerely yours in the Two Hearts,

Father Andrew Cranshaw

Relaxation of mask requirements for students and staff in Schools

The Victorian Government made significant changes to pandemic orders and public health recommendations that came into effect, 25 February. The changes in­clude measures in schools related to the use of masks.

Masks will only be required indoors in the following circumstances, unless an exemption applies:

  • People on public transport
  • Students in year 3 or above at primary school, and workers at early childhood centres and primary schools.

Masks can be removed in secondary schools.