Dear Parents, Students and Friends
Our preparation towards Easter this year has been overshadowed by the global concerns we all share. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as we discern the best way forward for the care of our family, school community, and our nation more broadly.
Prayer for Justice
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Family Wellbeing Support Resources
To support the wellbeing of our students, staff and school communities see below collated information and resource links. This information has been referenced and adapted from the ACT Education Directorate (ACT ED). To help students cope with the potential impacts of the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have communicated the following information and resources:
- Children may respond to stress in different ways. Common responses include having difficulties sleeping, bedwetting, having pain in the stomach or head, and being anxious, withdrawn, angry, clingy or afraid to be left alone.
- Respond to children’s reactions in a supportive way and explain to them that they are normal reactions to an abnormal situation.
- Listen to their concerns and take time to comfort them and give them affection, reassure them they’re safe and praise them frequently.
- If possible, create opportunities for children to play and relax.
- Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones in a new environment.
- Provide age appropriate facts about what has happened, explain what is going on and give them clear examples on what they can do to help protect themselves and others from infection. Share information about what could happen in a reassuring way.
- This WHO infographic is provides helpful recommendations to help children cope during COVID-19.
Full details are attached to this newsletter with specific links to assist with talking to children about difficult events, understanding and responding to stress, information on social distancing and self-isolating and more.
A number of teachers were scheduled to take Long Service Leave during Term 2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these teachers have requested to postpone their plans in order to support their students. Mr Paul Cullen and Mr Paul Hamer will be teaching in our new context next term.
We will welcome back Mrs Belle Barling next term as she returns full-time from Maternity Leave. I thank Mrs Laura Wales for relieving in Mrs Barling’s position.
Mrs Melanie Price commences Maternity Leave at the end of this term. I extend our warmest wishes to her and husband Luke and their children as they await the arrival of their fourth child.
Congratulations to Mrs Corrinne Dell on her successful appointment to Chisholm Pastoral Coordinator (Acting) from Term 2. Mrs Dell will be replacing Mrs Price. I wish Mrs Dell every success in her new role.
Miss Lauren Herbert has been successful in gaining a full-time temporary position at the College from Term 2. Miss Herbert has been teaching Science, Maths and Religious Education this term. I congratulate Miss Herbert on this appointment.
Special thanks to Miss Rebecca Douglas and Mr Greg Czaban on the work they are currently undertaking at the College. Ms Douglas is relieving for Ms Fran Davis and continues to do so. Mr Czaban is relieving for Mr Gerard Simms.
We are blessed to have highly capable and committed relief staff supporting our students and I thank them for their dedication, loyalty and flexibility. Their work is highly valued at the College.
I will continue to update all families on a regular basis via email as more information is released to schools regarding the COVID-19 response.
Blessings on your family at this time.
The mental health and wellbeing of all our community is something that we can work together on during this unprecedented time. The following are some resources that should provide some support at home for families and students.
Student Wellbeing in the time of COVID-19
Physical distancing does not mean we do not still engage in social connections while learning from home. This resource has been created to ensure you continue to maintain a healthy body and mind during the holiday period or if/when we continuing to learn remotely.
Child Safety while online
The following points are important for all students:
- Everyone has the right to feel and be safe
- We all need to make sure that our school is safe, supportive, inclusive and empowering
- When a student is unsafe (physically or mentally), it is important to seek help from a trusted adult
- All staff and students are responsible for Student Safety and Wellbeing
All students need to help each other and teachers make the College a safe place for all. Students are aware of how and who they can report to, if they feel unsafe.
Reporting and Responding
When a student feels unsafe or is worried about another student, they can make contact with their Pastoral Leader, Mr Mansfield or Mrs Heffernan.
Coronavirus – Healthy Practices
School communities across the state are continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19. The situation is changing rapidly and our immediate focus is to minimise the spread of this, and other viruses, in our school and community by observing standard hygiene practices.
We can all limit the transmission of germs and viruses by doing the following:
- Washing hands immediately after blowing your nose and before eating
- Wash hands thoroughly after going to the toilet (Soap and water is the best method of washing hands)
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose & eyes
- Cough into your elbow, not your hands if tissues are not available (Dispose of the tissues into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards)
- Don’t share drink bottles or food
How to stay safe online
COVID-19 is likely to mean young people spending more time at home, and online. There are a lot of great ways you can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks that you need to make sure you avoid. eSafety has a wide range of advice for parents and carers covering common online safety issues like managing screen time, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, sending nudes and contact from strangers.
Below are some principles for positive Digital Citizenship as well as links to resources for assistance in all areas of adolescence life.
Six Principles of Positive Digital Citizenship
- Respect Yourself
I will take ownership of my actions. I will think deeply about the information and images that I post online. I will consider what personal information about my life, experiences, experimentation or relationships I post. I will not be obscene.
- Protect Yourself
I will think deeply about the information, images and materials I post online that they will not put me at risk. I will not publish my personal details or schedule of my activities. I will be courageous and report any attacks or inappropriate behaviour directed at me. I will protect passwords, accounts and resources.
- Respect others
I will show respect to others. I will not use electronic mediums to bully, harass or stalk other people. I will make connections between the websites I use and the impact they may have on my learning and the learning of other. I will not visit sites that are degrading, pornographic, racist or inappropriate. I will not abuse my rights of access and I will not enter other people’s private spaces or areas.
- Protect Others
I will be courageous and report any abuse, refrain from forwarding inappropriate materials or communications; and not visiting sites that are degrading, pornographic, racist or inappropriate.
- Respect Intellectual Property
I will request permission to use resources. I will think deeply about any use of websites, books, media etc. I will validate information. I will use and abide by the fair use rules.
- Helpful Resources:
- Beyondblue: www.beyondblue.org.au 1300 224 636
- Headspace: www.headspace.org.au
- Kids Help Line: www.kidshelp.com.au 1800 55 1800
- Reach OUT: www.reachout.com.au
- Youth Central: www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au
Raisingchildren.net.au – the Australian parenting website
The Australian parenting website, Raising Children provides many useful resources to help navigate the difficult landscape called adolescence. The Teenagers (video) section has short useful clips on various topics:
- Healthy lifestyle and fitness: teenagers
- Teens talk: relationships with parents
- Teenage independence
- Supporting teenage independence: rules and boundaries
- Nutrition and eating well for teenagers
Want to Learn More about Mental Health Issues?
If you need information relating to general mental health, physical health, work and study and alcohol and other drugs, the Headspace website has an information library where you can find tips and resources on a range of topics and issues.
The Headspace website also has a section for friends and family with information and services to help support a young person going through a tough time.
The Kids Helpline website has a section with information for kids of all ages as well as parents. Here you can find information on issues such as physical health and identity, mental health, friends, family, relationships, school, life issues and safety.
Stress, anxiety and feeling down can affect anyone, and in fact happens to a lot of us at some point in our lives. Youth Beyond Blue has a range of videos and resources to help you understand, do something or help someone you know.
Want to Talk to Someone?
e-headspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people aged 12 - 25 and their families and friends. You can connect 1-on-1 with a counsellor 9am – 1am, 7 days a week. It’s a confidential, free and a safe space to talk about what’s going on.
There are a number of ways you can speak to an eheadspace counsellor:
- Online chat or email - you will need to register for this service at https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/
- Phone - 1800 650 890
- Group chat - group chats allow you to connect with people like you. Led by a Headspace professional, group chats explore a range of helpful topics
If you are experiencing a personal crisis and need to talk to someone urgently, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24 hour crisis support
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free and private 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
There are a number of ways you can speak to a Kids Helpline counsellor:
- You can speak to a counsellor over the phone for free on 1800 55 1800. This is the fastest way to talk to a counsellor.
- You can connect one-on-one with a Kids Helpline counsellor through WebChat.
- You can email a counsellor. They will try and get back to you as soon as they can, but this can take longer than contacting a counsellor by phone or WebChat
They also have a parents section on their website with lots of information and there is also a parentline to help parents navigate difficult parenting dilemmas. Call 13 22 89 between 8am to midnight 7 days a week.
Youth Beyond Blue
No matter who you are, or how you are feeling, you can talk it through with a trained mental health professional at Youth Beyond Blue. All calls and chats are one-on-one and completely confidential.
There are a number of ways you can speak to a Youth Beyond Blue counsellor:
- You can speak to a counsellor over the phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4436.
- You can connect one-on-one with a counsellor between 3pm and 12am 7 days a week by clicking on this button on their website
- You can email a counsellor and get a response within 24 hours by clicking on this button on their website
What if it’s Something Happening Online?
Most social media services have rules prohibiting cyberbullying and have a complaints/reporting tool where you can ask for cyberbullying material to be removed. If they do not remove the content within 48 hours you can make a cyberbullying complaint to eSafety at
The eSafety Commissioner website has a lot of other information, tips and tricks to help Australians have safer, more positive experiences online.
What if it’s an emergency?
If you’re in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, call emergency services on 000.
Assistant Principal – Pastoral Care
During this time of Lent, as we prepare ourselves for Easter, we are reminded, “to serve the other”. This is apt at this strange and somewhat surreal time in our world, our nation and our community. At this time, serving ‘the other’ can be as simple as being serious about personal hygiene and keeping an eye on each other. St Teresa of Calcutta said, “We cannot all do great things. But we can do small things with great love”. Her words teach us; it is unlikely you or I will develop the breakthrough to halt the spread of COVID-19 or create a vaccine, but we absolutely can be the person who makes a difference to somebody – anybody – in these uncertain times. We can take action that makes a difference to the vulnerable people in our community.
As seen in Vatican News, after an interview with Italy’s daily newspaper “La Stampa”, Pope Francis describes the sorrow and pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and emphasizes the importance of prayer. The only way to survive this situation, he says, is by sticking together. The Pope invites us to live this moment "with penance, compassion and hope”. We need “humility”, he adds, “because too often we forget” there are dark times in life as well. "We think they can only happen to someone else. But these times are dark for everyone", he says. Pope Francis explains that the season of Lent “trains us to show solidarity with others, especially those who suffer”.
Pope Francis also addresses the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic for our future. The current crisis will help to remind us “once and for all, that humanity is a single community”, he says. It will teach us that “universal kinship” is important and critical. We should think about it like a “post-war” phenomenon, he says; “It will no longer be ‘them’. It will be ‘us’. Because we can only come out of this situation together”.
Continued partnership, calm, sensibility and reasonableness is required as we traverse these extraordinary days. Now more than ever we have the chance to demonstrate an attitude of Christian charity and goodness. Let us continue to treat and ‘serve’ one another with patience and afford each other mutual respect and dignity.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse has passed on the following links to sites that may assist in keeping people connected in these challenging times
- Mass Online provides us with the opportunity to pray the Mass on a daily basis.
- Living Word provides a reflection on the readings of the day.
- Daily Voice provides a daily snapshot of what is happening locally, in the Archdiocese and across the world.
Fr. Francis Carroll … Pray for Us
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever
Mrs. Charlotte Nicoletti
Coordinator of Religious Education and Faith Formation
Children and the Art of Happiness
I am responding to a few suggestions from parents/carers about topics for articles about adolescent health given recent events. I am happy to do so. Here is an article I wrote some time ago about this most important of human conditions- happiness in challenging times.
In 2001, The Sydney Morning Herald presented a series of written reflections on social issues. One article by Dorothy Rowe was particularly interesting. She made these observations:
*the idea that children have a right to be happy is a notion that has only been accepted relatively recently. It was Charles Dickens, in fact, who challenged the prevailing view that childhood (for the poor at least) had to be endured. She argued in her book that:
* Happiness is not something that can be acquired like a new car or clothes. Hence, when people are described as “sad” it is to suggest that they always have a choice. They do not always!
* Happiness is too easily equated with owning things. As we too often see, millionaires may be miserable also. The most desired relationship between a child and parent is not concerned with buying things but with shared, quality time.
* As Peter Allen wrote in his song:
“Don’t wish too hard for what you want ‘cause you might get it, then when you get it, you might find you never want it at all”. Nevertheless, this is nothing new. Two thousand years ago, Jesus told his small band of followers to store up treasures that are not perishable.
* Happiness exists only in the present, of putting aside worries about the past or future and concentrating on what is happening now:
“then we are able to savour…thrill to the feeling of wind in the face or salt water around our body, be intrigued or amazed by events in the world, be enraptured or comforted by the closeness of another or burst into laughter with the joy of companionship or living. Being able to do this, people can indeed be happy.”(Rowe)
There may be a few lessons to be drawn from her work. We must instil or at least foster a sense of wonder in our children.
The “Gee whizz”of my own childhood may be in danger of being replaced by the “So what?” in this generation. Furthermore, we as adults must encourage optimism. A sense of optimism is an awareness “that despite nastiness, tragedy and stupidity in the world, there is something else” Pessimism is a resignation to a notion that things cannot change. This is to deny the rich and subtle variety of our day-to -day lives. Bouncing back after disappointment like fire, flood and pandemics is something that is taught and caught! We need to model resilience and confidence to children in this difficult time.
Adolescence can be turbulent and fraught and sometimes we have a tendency to accentuate the terrible things happening in the world. Much modern literature, film and music gravitates towards gloomy and sullen ideology. That is not to say we should shy away from sadness but to develop armour in the home and classroom to enable children to deal with life’s problems.
Children need to see that there is good in the world and that family, loyal friendship, laughter and community are the real currency of life. The C-19 virus will pass, nature is already coming back strongly in the Eurobodalla and our community is strong.
Reference: ”Wanting Everything: The Art of Happiness” by Dorothy Rowe (2001)
Mr. Paul Cullen
Assistance for Families impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis
Catholic Education is offering the following assistance:
- Credits (for amounts paid) will be placed on fee accounts for cancelled excursions, sporting events or activities unless otherwise communicated to the College (excluding non-recoverable deposits), as a result of COVID-19
- Fee concessions will be available on outstanding fees at the end of Term 1 for those families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
- Fee concession will be available for Term 2 fees for families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments
- All debt collection activities will be suspended until further notice.
General fee concession arrangements are being considered and will be communicated once finalised. This means current concession applications are currently on hold. We anticipate a delay with Term 2 Fee Statements until there is greater clarity about the duration of the pandemic.
If you have been impacted by COVID-19, please contact Jacqui Heffernan by email Jacqui.email@example.com.
Please follow the link to find out more information about Government COVID-19 support.
For more information on how to survive financially through COVID-19 please see the following:
COVID-19 Financial Survival Guide
Financial Institution Support during COVID-19
Financial Institutions are also offering a range of assistance to account holders, homeowners and businesses. Please enquire with your financial institution to access financial support such as:
- Suspending payments on credit cards and personal loans
- Reduce interest rates on home loans/suspending or deferring home loan repayments/loan variations/reducing loan interest rates
- Loans and support for small business
- Loan extensions etc
Teachers Mutual Bank
Scams during Coronavirus
Please be aware that there are some financial scams relating to Coronavirus. These may be in the form of text messages, emails or phone calls. The best approach is to not provide any of your financial information. If you suspect you have been contacted as part of a scam, you can report it to scamwatch – scamwatch.com.au/report-a-scam and the police.
For additional support, other services available include: