With a clear sky, the sun shone brightly as staff and students came together in unity for Galen’s annual Founders’ Day last Tuesday, giving the school community an opportunity to celebrate their Brigidine and Marist heritage.
In contrast to previous years, Founders’ Day 2015 was a full day event where students were called upon to reflect on Galen’s Catholic history and look to the future through shared liturgies, be inspired by past student Bart Walsh’s personal story of hope, determination, courage and survival, and celebrate through fundraising activities for the school, and those in need within our community.
In the Junior and Middle/Senior liturgies, Principal Bernard Neal reminded parents, students and staff of the culmination of events that led to the existence of Galen, as we know it today. He also spoke with excitement and vision as the college looks forward to the immediate future, with Stage 1 of the Master Plan scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2016. Stage 1 will see changes to the arrangement of Galen’s Junior School and the construction of new Senior School facilities.
Special Guest speaker on the day, and past student Bart Walsh provided a motivational talk that was inspiring to say the least. His story of diagnosis with cancer, treatment and recovery from this illness caused students and staff alike to pause and reflect on how lucky we are for our own good health. He also called upon students to consider what matters to them in life, the qualities that make a good leader and that ultimately we need make the most of the abundant opportunities we have in life.
A highlight of the afternoon was a competitive Netball match between staff and the Year 12 students. Despite the age difference (and fitness levels), Galen staff proudly claimed victory over the Year 12s with a 1-point lead!
Many other activities were carried out by dedicated homerooms across the school on the day. From tree planting to fundraising food stalls and putting together birthing kits for women in third world countries, just to name a few.
In his closing address, Deputy Principal (Catholic Identity) Gerard Sullivan thanked a core group of staff and student leaders for their support and assistance in making a new vision for Founders’ Day come to fruition. “Today staff and students came together and celebrated what it means to be part of the Galen Catholic community. We are so very grateful for the trust that parents place in the college to allow us to spend time with such wonderful students. The future is bright indeed,” said Mr Sullivan.
Founders’ Day 2015 was a celebration of Galen’s Catholic community. A day that was a great success, and the beginning of a new college tradition that will continue to grow, evolve and flourish in years to come.