On Sunday 7 May, Open Day was held here at MSJ. Although it was a very wet and cold day, over 770 people visited the College. I am very grateful to the over 200 students who volunteered to assist on the day. Most of the feedback received was about our wonderful students and how positive and enthusiastic they were about MSJ. Thank you to all our students and staff who gave up the best part of their Sunday to ensure that Open Day was such a great success. I would like to remind parents that applications for Year 7 2025 are due by 18 August 2023.

Thank you to the many students and parents who attended the Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences. It is an important part of our teaching and learning program, and I hope that there were engaging and fruitful discussions about how to ensure that there is academic growth for your child. It is important that students now do take on the advice provided and do follow through with the commitments that they have made.

As you may be aware, there is a shortage of teachers, but I am grateful that we are currently fully staffed, which is a great position to be in as there are several schools in the western suburbs who are still looking for teachers. However, as we head into the winter months, there has been an increase of covid cases and other illnesses that have resulted in increased student and staff absences from school. This will mean that, at times, your child may not have their regular teacher for their classes and will be taught by either another MSJ teacher or a casual relief teacher.

Last year, the College established an LGBTQI+ support group, PRISM. The aim of the group is to ensure that MSJ is a welcoming environment for members of our community who identify with or care about the LGBTQI+ community. The group believes that diverse identities should be respected, supported and included at MSJ, which correlates to the College’s Acceptance Statement that all are made in the image and likeness of God and born with equal dignity. On Thursday 18 May, the group celebrated IDAHOBIT Day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia). Students and staff were invited to a shared lunch with live music, and to wear an accessory representing the pride colours.

I have recently become aware of some concerning interactions by parents to staff, that have sometimes been rude and/or aggressive. I have always advocated for parents to contact the College if they have any issues or concerns so that we can, in partnership, address these and find a way to support the students. There are times when students do make inappropriate choices and these need to be addressed by staff and there will be consequences for poor behaviour or for not following College rules. I do ask that you support staff in these situations and that your interactions with staff are respectful and polite. I do also expect staff to behave in the same manner. Clear, honest, and respectful communication is the key to establishing good relationships between students, staff, and parents.

Kate Dishon