Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,
Not a day goes by that I don't hear a conversation or a news item about Sydney house prices. The median house price is now a whopping $1,099,000! It seems that along with houses, everything else is getting expensive, too. There has been a lot of talk in the media about the cost of education and the funding of Catholic schools. Some less responsible media have been suggesting that, with the proposed changes to Commonwealth funding, school fees in Catholic schools may go up dramatically. This is not the case in the Diocese of Parramatta. The Bishop is determined to retain the modest increases in fees that we have had over the past few years and to ensure that Catholic education is both of high quality and affordable. You can safely disregard the scare-mongering you may have seen or heard. It has come about due to the lack of clarity from the Commonwealth government, and from the fact that they have made some fairly poor assessments of a school community's capacity to pay school fees. This has led to a serious decline in funding for Catholic schools across NSW. For your information, Caroline Chisholm sits exactly on the Australian average for Socio-Economic Status (SES). Our score of 100 determines the amount of funding each student receives from the Commonwealth. Catholic education in this Diocese and in our college is something we can be very proud of, and we should be able to resource learning with security into the future.
At our assembly last Friday we welcomed back our ex-student Jessica Tso, who now works as a diplomatic attaché at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. Jessica shared her experience with the students and focused on three important messages. The first was that learning a language is an incredibly powerful skill to have when entering a global workforce. She also stressed that plans for the future take a while to develop: be patient and take hold of opportunities as they arise. Finally, she said that a Caroline Chisholm education prepared her for a career where she works to high expectations with confidence. It is always wonderful to welcome back students and to hear of their adventures. If you know of one of our almuni who has a great story to tell, please ask her to get in touch with me at the college. At the same assembly we invited students to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December. Unfortunately, this invitation is only for students in Years 9, 10 and 11. In December this year, we will be going to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, in Olympic Park. This three day event will bring together 15,000 young people from around Australia to celebrate with outdoor concerts, talks, activities, small group sessions and lessons on how to get the most out of a faith-filled life. The festival is held every second year, somewhere around Australia, and this year it is close to home, so we are going to take 100 students. We don’t want anyone to miss out, but there will only be 100 places on our buses. The cost is $90 for the three days. From this week, Mr Sutton and helpers will be collecting names of people interested in being a part of the 100. Students have been encouraged to get a group of friends and sign up together. More information can be found in this newsletter.
Next Tuesday, June 6 we will be holding our next Parent Forum, focusing on your daughter's future. At this event you will get to meet Mrs Dianne Mills, our new Careers Coach and Partnerships Manager. She, along with college staff, will work with us to help us understand the diverse pathways for our students to prepare themselves for the exciting opportunities beyond school. This is not just an event for parents of senior students. It is never too early to consider the future. To RSVP, please call Robyn Wilson on 0247 37 5500, or click here https://goo.gl/forms/Fwuv9uAJaee0Qje83. This will be an event not to be missed.
Finally, as we once again witness the horror of a senseless attack on innocent young people in Manchester, we are reminded that our mission is to be people of love and of peace. I reminded the students last week that, while there are broken people in the world, the world itself is not broken. The world has responded with an outpouring of love and concern for the victims and a renewed commitment to peace. I am as convinced as ever that God works through people who live in love, and who reach out to others in times of need. As we were reminded in our prayer this week, world peace begins in your heart and in my heart. Please pray for all those affected by violence.
You sent Jesus so that we may learn to love one another.
As the world watches the pain and suffering of the people of Manchester
remind us that our mission is a mission of love.
May we see in the grace and courage of families and helpers the image of your kingdom.
Make us instruments of your peace so that,
through us, people will see and feel your love and mercy.
We ask this through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Mr Greg Elliott