Once again, we find ourselves all too quickly at the end of another year, always busy but full of energy and celebration. Fr John Healy recently celebrated a lovely Mass for our Year 10 students, an opportunity to give thanks with gratitude for what has been and look to the future with fresh eyes, a sense of newness and discovery as each commenced their Head Start program: essential for establishing solid foundations for success in 2024. At the conclusion of Mass, Ms Liz Gellel, CatholicCare Victoria’s Manager in External Marketing and Communications Engagement expressed her sincere thanks and awarded the College a Certificate of Appreciation for all our donations to CatholicCare Victoria’s Carry A Can Christmas Food Drive.

We had the privilege of hosting the annual AJASS (The Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools) Leadership Conference. We were blessed to have eight Josephite schools, some flying in from Canberra and Tasmania with their Principals, faith leaders and student leadership teams. The day set out to deepen our relationship within the network but most importantly look for new ways to enrich and bring alive the Josephite charism in our school communities.

Our new Year 12 cohort attended a meaningful Retreat down at Rawson Village in West Gippsland. The program allowed students to experience time in nature, build relationships, reflect on spirituality, personal growth and build a sense of community that goes beyond the classroom. Students were involved in both large and small group discussions, creative workshops, outdoor activities, and fun House and social events. To conclude, our students wrote letters of gratitude, celebrated a Mass with Fr Aju Varghese, Parish Priest of St Michael’s Parish in Traralgon and received their Year 12 Badge and a copy of the College year book.

To mark the first week of the Advent Season and the end of our academic year, our junior students celebrated a very special Advent Mass with Fr John Healy. As part of this celebration, we lit the first candle of our Advent Wreath, symbolising hope and the longing for the coming of Jesus Christ. Our choir and orchestra sang carols rejoicing in anticipation for Christmas. We concluded in true Christian spirit, by presenting our generous hampers filled with food and other goodies to our special guests from the local St Vincent de Paul Society Conference. A huge thank you to all our College community for your support with our Advent in Action Appeals. This will ensure that we can help as many families in our local community as possible.

To conclude, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all members of our College community a very joyous Christmas season filled with lots of love and happiness. I look forward to welcoming everyone back for another wonderful year in 2024. May we continue to be courageous, give good service to others, and remember that God is always with us. God Bless.

“Wherever this may find you, I wish with all my heart, wish you a very happy Christmas and a bright and happy New Year…Though many of us will be far apart, we can be united in spirit, and pray for each other at the Crib, and at the Altar. Rest assured I shall not forget any of you - and you will not forget me either, will you?”

Your everlasting Mother, Sr Mary of the Cross Mackillop. (7 December 1899)