From the Principal-Issue 4

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we close in on the end of the first term and rapidly approach Easter, the most important Christian season of each year, there is much to occupy our times of reflection.

In the space of the last few months, we have had the announcement of the Royal Commission into sexual abuse in institutions, we have had the once-in-six-hundred years experience of a Pope resigning, we have a new Pope in Francis I, we have the impending retirement of Wangaratta parish’s Monsignor John White, our Canonical Administrator, we have the announcement of our new Canonical Administrator-elect, Fr Michael Pullar, and last weekend we had the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Wangaratta’s parish.

At the same time at Galen, we have a new Board constitution awaiting ratification at the AGM in May, we have seen the opening of the new Hospitality centre, the construction of the new Engineering facility, our move to the new digital portal, SIMON, complete with the Parent Access module (PAM) about which all parents should have received information last week via a special flyer sent home with your children, and we have successfully completed a self-review and external validation of our Learning & Teaching  practices as part of our ongoing requirements for renewal of our registration as a secondary school.

To complete the picture of “Galen on the Move” within the larger picture of the “Church on the Move”, at the college we are in the process of evaluating presentations from two architectural firms who are in contention to lead us through the development of our next Master Plan for our resources moving ahead for the next five, ten and fifteen years. An important part of this process will be to engage input from the parent community.

Similarly, we will be inviting you all as parents and guardians to contribute your ideas to the next School Improvement Plan (strategic plan). Much work has been done already but input from parents will form an important part of the final plan.

Staffing news
The following staff are either on long service leave already or will start periods of LSL in the near future:
• Mrs Deb Doyle – 12 March – 22 April
• Mrs Tracey Walsh – 12 March – 28 March
• Mr John McKenzie – 15 April – 28 June
• Mr Terry Magree – 15 April – 20 September
• Mr Peter Watson – 6 May – 28 June

We welcome Mr Renea Duursma to our staff as a replacement teacher for Mrs Doyle. We will welcome other new members of staff in the first newsletter next term. Mrs Walsh’s classes are being covered by existing Galen staff.

Our condolences go to staff member, Mr Paul Benedetti, on the recent death of his father, Julio. Our thoughts and prayers are with Paul and his family.

Happy Easter, happy holidays
I hope all families are able to enjoy a happy and holy Easter. As Catholics within the Christian tradition, we are a resurrection people. We believe in hope, renewal, new life, and the possibility of rising above our basic human condition. We believe in the possibilities of forgiveness for the wrongs we have done, and in a loving God whose Son shared the human condition with us to enlighten us in how to be fully human.

As you gather with your family, loved ones and friends this Easter, please pause to think on the significance of the death and the resurrection of Jesus and why, after more than two thousand years, we continue to commemorate in our own modern way, tempered by tradition, the life, impact and message of Jesus of Nazareth.

Best wishes,
Bernard Neal – Principal

Next week there will  be a mini edition of Reflections which will include a call for expressions of interest from the Galen Board.