Mr Burgio speaking at the College Ball on last Friday evening.

Week 6, Term 3

Reflecting on the journey

The past two weeks have seen many, many events and celebrations. The College has been buzzing with excitement.

Snakes, lizards, explosions, dragster races, technologies' quizzes, dancing lessons, the College Ball, sporting carnivals and fixtures on top of the 'normal' busyness of our usual activities. Schools provide so many opportunities in this day and age and for that young people should be grateful. At this time each year, I conduct exit interviews with our Year 12 boys. In my time here, I have held exit interviews in 2014, 2018, 2019 and now 2020. I wrote about the change I had noticed since 2014 in the yearbook last year. I wrote the article at a time when I was hospitalised, in severe pain and thinking that perhaps my days on this earth were numbered. Fiona Stanley staff were absolutely amazing, as was the infrastructure. The porridge was not so great. And yet as amazing as I found FSH to be, it rates 3.1/5 on Facebook. This mediocre rating, and the gradual migration of expectation default to be perfection, is a concern for me, because if we all define ourselves by what we haven't got, we will be poorer in spirit, joy and love.

It is with uplifted spirits that I report to you that this year's interviews have thus far been incredibly insightful, complimentary and gracious. One after another, the boys have expressed their love for the school, their appreciation of their parent's sacrifice, the care of the staff and the brotherhood they have developed. "I have really enjoyed developing my personality." "Bumpy, but a great experience. I will take my CBC lessons beyond school." "At any other school, I wouldn't have become the person I am." "Started rough. The College has taken me on a long journey and helped shape me into a better person." "Staff are so caring and go the extra mile." "I've loved it and thank my parents every day for making the choice to send me here."

The consistency and positivity of feedback from the Class of 2020 bodes well for their futures. A positive school experience is, in my opinion, a great fillip for future personal growth and success. The one bit of feedback that has almost been universal is the effect of TRJ. The Rite Journey has provided a context for our academics, arts, sport and faith journeys. The focus on transitioning each boy from a child psychology to an adult psychology has been acknowledged by almost every boy. I want to use this opportunity to thank the prescience of former Vice Principal Darren O'Neill in establishing TRJ and the leadership of Shaun Kenny in providing the kind of support to the programme that it needs to actually make a difference. It is Shaun's leadership that has made every subject taught, be it Maths, English, Science, HASS, RE etc. a TRJ lesson. It has made every staff member, be they a teacher, grounds person, canteen worker, receptionist or education assistant a TRJ lighthouse. It has made every parent a partner in the formation of the CBC gentleman.

For the rest of the year, while we are attempting as much as possible to retain the essence of our important ceremonies as we enjoy them just as much as you, I hope you understand that some key College milestones and events will need to be tailored to the times. We have made every effort to try and ensure the Year 12 students aren't denied their key rites of passage moments, and I know the general consensus was that the Ball last weekend was beautiful and worth the wait.

  • The Fathers' Day Breakfast this year will be for the Year 12 young men and their dads only -- siblings are welcome to join their Year 12 brother and dad too to make drop-off easier.
  • We will also be holding a Year 12 Mother and Son event to provide our leavers' mums with an opportunity to reflect on their son's journey to becoming tomorrow's gentleman.
  • The Year 7 Grandparents' Day has been cancelled for this year.
  • Edmund Rice Day will take place in the coming weeks, albeit in a shortened school day format. Details will come out soon.
  • Our Year 12 final assembly will have to be scaled back to control the number of people in the gym. As such, all Years 7 and 12 plus siblings of Year 12 graduands will join parents, family and staff in the gym, and the rest of the community can follow the ceremony via livestream.
  • The Graduation Evening is planned to proceed as usual with some modifications to the serving of our supper, but the Awards Night will need numbers to be pared back. We will organise other smaller but significant events to make sure every boy worthy of recognition is not denied his moment in the sun in what has been a difficult year.

Your support and understanding are greatly valued. Details of all these events will be communicated in a timely fashion, and Year 12 parents can expect a detailed information package in the post a little later this term. The saying goes that the finest steel is forged in the hottest fire. Let's hope the resilience our boys have needed to overcome this COVID year holds them in good stead on their journey to becoming a CBC gentleman.

God bless,

Mr Domenic Burgio