Principal Team Report
At Koonung we are committed to open and supportive communication with our young people. It is fitting that we continue our dialogue around our school values of respect, resilience, collaboration, creativity, excellence and endeavour. These discussions look at ways that we can work together to achieve great things whilst respecting differences in ideas, beliefs and customs.
Like many, we have been shocked and saddened by the horrific acts of violence committed in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday. We continue to take a strong stand against all forms of violence in our school and wider community.
As this tragedy has had widespread media coverage, we are sure many of our students have heard about it and possibly even saw disturbing footage online. The Department of Education and Training has put together some helpful guidelines for families who may want to speak to their young people more about this, particularly if they are distressed. Please follow this link for these guidelines: https://bit.ly/2CrRWly
We also have a great and supportive wellbeing team here at Koonung available to discuss this with students if they need some further support. If you notice your child is struggling or distressed and would benefit from further support, please let us know. We will continue to model our College values of respect and resilience in relation to any upsetting events that may arise.
On a more positive note, this week I had the privilege of attending meetings of two significant bodies who work tirelessly to support our College community. On Monday evening I participated in the PFA meeting. This was a vibrant meeting with parents of students from Years 7 to 12 in attendance. They were planning for the upcoming Mother’s Day breakfast which is a calendar highlight and it is clear it will be another great success. Their strong financial position was tabled and they have raised substantial funds for allocation to events and programs which supports our students. These funds have been collected as a result of a series of events and a great deal of hard work. A number of learning projects and student clubs will benefit from an injection of funds which will provide equipment and materials. Allocations of funds have also been provided to improve the physical environment of the school for our staff and students. The domain areas and teachers who run the activities are extremely pleased and grateful for the support of this group. They do a wonderful job and we are very lucky to have such a dynamic and welcoming team. If you would like to be involved in the school, please do not hesitate to make contact.
On Tuesday evening the Annual Reporting Meeting of the College Council was conducted followed by the first meeting of the incoming council. This meeting was both a celebration of achievements, with the tabling of the 2018 Annual Report and an opportunity to formally thank the members who are leaving at the end of their tenure. Geoff Lamb, Cath Bennie and Kyle Joustra provided great expertise, passion, advocacy and commitment to the College Council. Thank you for your support and dedication, a great deal has been achieved under your direction and involvement. I would also like to acknowledge our 2018 School Captains, Jasmine Wolridge and Tom Shelley, as well as Chris Thompson, who have moved into their next educational settings. The students represented their peers with great maturity and it is so important to have the student perspective presented. I would like to warmly welcome our new parent members, Dr Lou Will and Dr James Chan. I am sure our student representatives Annaliese Hawkins, Seb Jose, Blair Tink and Eric Zou, will add great value to the committee. Again, thank you to all members of our Council who have volunteered to contribute to this important body.
Year 8 Team Building Day
On Friday 15 March a series of buses headed off to a great event with all Year 8 students aboard. They were going to the Melbourne Convention Centre to participate in Australia’s largest multi-sport festival, the Arnold Sports Festival. The students experienced an action packed day of sports and team building challenges, which were designed to build relationships and increase confidence. We were very fortunate that a parent member of our College community facilitated our involvement and the only costs associated with this event was the coach transport. Teachers and students alike thoroughly enjoyed the experience and took part in a day of high energy. There was a rumour that Arnold Schwarzenegger would make an appearance, unfortunately he was busy at the Grand Prix and was not sighted.
Student Events and Activities
House Cross Country was conducted on Wednesday 13 March. The Cross Country was compulsory for all students in Years 7-10 and timetabled classes were run for VCE classes. Some students in Year 11 and 12 elected to participate in the event. The Year 12 PE class were involved as officials and competed in the event also. Again it was pleasing to have support from some of our past students who volunteered as officials. The House Athletics Carnival will be held on May 7. I would like to thank Samantha Prosenak who has taken on the role of running each of our whole school carnivals. As you can imagine it is a logistical challenge to coordinate events of this scale and Sam has demonstrated that she is very organised and is doing a very good job.
Many students are currently participating in a range of sporting teams and representing the College with great enthusiasm and spirit. A number of teams have been successful at the District Level and will continue to participate in the next tier of competition.
Many students are actively involved in a great range of clubs and lunchtime activities. The wide variety of clubs provide supervised access to a large number of interest areas ranging from sport, fitness, visual and performing arts, discussion and issue based groups, subject based clubs, leadership committees and others. I would like to encourage students to continue to be involved in as many opportunities as possible. The chance to work with others, develop teamwork and learn new skills is beneficial. The other great benefit of such activities is the opportunity to meet and interact with students across year levels with similar passions.
The rehearsals for the play “Something Wicked” are in full swing as are the rehearsals for the musical “Legally Blonde”. Our instrumental music ensembles are also rehearsing together and sounding fantastic. The performances of these groups are always highlights of the calendar and another great way for staff, students and ex-students to work together to produce something special. If you have an interest in the Performing Arts, jump aboard.
We have welcomed visitors from Matsudo, Japan to our College. A group consisting of ten students and two staff members have visited Melbourne and participated in a range of activities with our students. These included a welcome afternoon tea, meeting assigned buddies from Koonung and experiencing a range of school and local activities. Students visited Healesville Sanctuary and enjoyed sightseeing around Melbourne. They also joined a range of classes at the College. Thank you to the student buddies and the Japanese Language teachers, Paul Dailey, Mia Poulton and Stephanie Van Ekeris, for their commitment to the program.