“Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire.” Catherine of Sienna
Welcome to the 2023 school year,
This year Galen Catholic College commences its school year with over 200 new students, fortunately for all our students we started this year with no restrictions on how we operate our college, which is a major change considering the past three years. This large number of new students come to us from 26 feeder schools located not just around Wangaratta, but regionally and interstate. Some students come from large feeder primary schools, whilst others are the only student transferring to Galen Catholic College from their previous school. Added to this we also welcome 17 new staff who have joined our teaching and support teams to provide the best possible learning opportunities for our students.
Our theme for 2023 is, “Created and Called, Living with Grace and Respect.” The first part of the theme “Created and Called,” comes from Marist Education Australia who are one of Galen Catholic College’s two original founding orders, the other order being the Brigidine Sisters now known as Kildare Ministries. When the theme was presented to our senior school leaders late in 2022, our leaders chose to add, “Living with Grace and Respect.”
Importantly, when presented with a theme for the year our students must have the opportunity to explore the theme and add to it so that they are able to bring the theme to life through their words and actions. This ownership of the theme will assist our leaders to develop a school culture which reflects our theme.
Recently at our Year 12 Jumper Presentation I spoke to our senior students about their year ahead and focussed on the short time they have left in secondary school which is now under 240 days. I spoke to each of our Year 12 students about achieving the results that they are truly capable of based on their gifts and talents, by giving this year their best possible effort. I also explored the how their gifts and talents are a reflection of who they are, what they are capable of and ultimately the pathway they can take for their success.
In the week following the Year 12 Jumper Presentation I accompanied our Year 12 students on their three-day retreat at Falls Creek. This gave us the opportunity to further explore our 2023 theme with our students. Over the 3 days I was amazed at the way in which our students not just embraced the theme, but also considered how they can work together as a cohort to achieve their best throughout 2023. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have experienced such an uplifting retreat with a wonderful group a senior students.
Over the remainder of 2023, I will further extend the conversation I started at the Year 12 Jumper Presentation by exploring what it means to be “Created and Called.” There are clear links between our 2023 theme and each student being created and called to develop a pathway for their learning which aligns to their gifts, talents and passion. Due to the significant pathway and subject offerings we have at Galen Catholic College, our students are able to explore their passions and interests across our VCE, Vocational Major and VET streams.
As an educator, it is my firm belief that student engagement in learning is critical to a student utilising their gifts and talents to achieve success in their chosen pathway. If you like, it is what each of our students were created and called to do in an educational sense. At the same time, each of us as educators are also called and created to provide each student with the best possible learning opportunities, which allow our students to excel in their chosen pathway.
My hope for all our students and staff at Galen Catholic College in 2023 is that each of us are able to engage in learning opportunities which will continue to progress us on a pathway to success. A pathway which reflects our gifts and talents, whilst also being deeply invested in who we are called to be.