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From the Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have just experienced one of the busiest fortnights on this year’s school calendar. The busy-ness is a terrific reflection of the range of activities, experiences and opportunities both offered and willingly taken up by Galen students.

In that time, we have had:
• students and staff returning from the East Timor immersion experience
• Yr 10 Outdoor Education bushwalk in the high country
• Two overnight Year 9 adventure camps on Mount Buffalo
• The annual Italian students excursion to the opera in Melbourne
• ANZAC Day assemblies at school
• Galen staff and students marching in the Wangaratta ANZAC Day ceremony
• Yr 8 visiting author program
• The annual school musical production of “High School Musical”
• The first of our two Year 11 Presentation Balls for 2013
• Parents Association meeting
• AGM of the Galen Catholic College school board

Whilst it was impossible for me to get to all of these events, there was a very clear and positive spirit amongst the students of those events I did attend. In particular, the two ANZAC Day assemblies that we held this year were reflective, deeply respectful and engaging. Our College Leaders led the ceremonies, the VCE Music class and the Galen Band provided vocal and instrumental support including the performance of the last post, reveille, the national anthem, “I was only 19” and “Heroes of War”.

I was very proud of the way in which our students responded to each of these events. There will be more detailed reports further on from the East Timor experience and the adventure camps. Both outdoor events coped with some rain and near-freezing conditions overnight but the reports I have heard back have been full of praise for the
commitment and spirit of the students involved.

Similarly, I have heard nothing but praise for the organization and experience of the opera trip. This annual event provides a rich opportunity for our LOTE students to experience the culture, language and theatre associated with Italian opera.

The musical production again this year highlights the extraordinary talent of our young people. The quality of singing, acting, lighting, stage management, set construction, sound and music was exceptional. Once again, the magical work of Ms Julie Nolan and Mr David Ashfield, supported by a huge number of other staff and students, has done us proud.

On your behalf, I offer thanks to the staff who organized and participated in each of these events, most of them involving extensive hours outside of normal working time including, for quite a few of the staff involved, time away from home and family overnight. In the same way that there is a terrific spirit amongst our students, I am sure you will agree that the same thing applies to our staff who offer their time, expertise and energy so that these opportunities can occur for our children.

Board AGM:  The AGM of the Galen Board is in a different category, of course, but this year’s marked the adoption of a new Board constitution, replacing the original constitution of many years. Many thanks to Chair, Tony Lane for leading this process. Tony has been re-elected as Chair for the next year, supported by Deputy Chair, Mr Mark Williams. We formally thanked those Board members who have retired from Board membership and made a small presentation to commemorate their time with the Board. Departing members are Mr Mick Grogan (staff rep), Mr John Pasztor (staff rep), Mr Cameron Butler (community rep), Monsignr John White (Canonical Administrator), and Mr Max Fletcher (CEO rep). We welcomed Ms Angela Killingsworth (CEO rep), and acknowledged the appointment of Mr Darren Hovey as Deputy Principal appointee.

Year 7 (2014) Information Night and school tours:  The Information Night for prospective 2014 Year 7 will be held on Tuesday May 8 at Galen in the Max Fletcher auditorium starting at 7:00pm. This Information Night is for parents and guardians only.

Organised tours of the school will take place on May 9, 10, 13 and 14. Parents and students are very welcome to attend, but need to call the college to make an appointment as spaces on each tour are limited.

Best wishes,  Bernard Neal – Principal