Principal Team Report
It has been a busy and exciting fortnight at Koonung Secondary College, particularly in relation to the Visual and Performing Arts.
Last week was the successful season of the annual dramatic play “Something Wicked”. All shows were sold out. As always it was the result of a dedicated collaboration by many people which produced the polished and entertaining product the audiences enjoyed. Koonung staff, students, parents, past students and community members. I wish to acknowledge the wonderful work of each of the participants in the successful presentation of “Something Wicked.” The students were well supported by Peter Hodkinson, Emily Biernacki, Peter Martin, Helen Briffa, Sandy Angliss and Kirby Sens. Well done and thank you.
On Friday 24 May, a group consisting of David Kennedy, David Foote, Blair Tink, Daniel Caine, Imogen Adams, Ava Booth, Sarah Croyden and Mary Elyas represented Koonung at the Whitehorse Council Flag Raising Ceremony. The ceremony was in recognition of Sorry Day and to lead into Reconciliation Week which spans May 27 to June 3. Our group met Uncle Dave, a respected local elder, who conducted a smoking ceremony and spoke to the attendees about the Aboriginal culture and their strong understanding of the environment. During this week a panel consisting of those who attended the ceremony, led by Marilyn Faithfull, has spoken to each of the Year level assemblies. David Kennedy and Blair Tink shared their experiences as Aboriginal men learning about their families and their culture and the other students also outlined their perspective of the event they attended. The assemblies have been an opportunity to learn about the importance of Reconciliation Week which has a focus on building relationships for all Australians which are built on truth and respect. The AFL also recognises this significant time with The Sir Doug Nicholls Round which celebrates the contribution of Indigenous players to the game. At Koonung there has been a lot of work done by the Reconciliation Action Group which meets fortnightly to increase understanding and inclusion for all members of our community.
Arts and Technology Week – Celebrating Cultural Diversity
This week at Koonung has also been Art and Technology Week. A fantastic array of student work has been on display in the lower gym. The work encompassed many mediums and styles and demonstrates the talent of our students and the great skill of the teaching staff. We are lucky to have the expertise and passion of Helen Briffa, Amy McLellan, David Foote, Kirby Sens, Georgina Russell, Richard Leask, Allison Hart and Kelly Szlachetko. They have been well supported by Sandy Angliss and Debra Amon Cotter (Artist in School). All members of the domain have contributed by displaying the work produced in classes and in Art Space. The beautiful Koonung mural is nearing completion and will be a fantastic addition to our school environment. Each day of the week has provided a different activity for students and staff to try. Special highlights were the cupcake decorating competition, the diary cover competition, the Media Quiz and the fantastic wood designs for the phone amplifiers. The Arts Captains, Erin Smillie and Marina Plithakis, have done a very good job building the profile of Art and Technology in the school. Congratulations to all involved in this great week which celebrated Cultural Diversity through Art and Technology.
Autumn Music Concert
On Wednesday evening, we enjoyed the Autumn Music Concert. I would like to congratulate the Music faculty, Sue Cook, Adrian De Luca, Olivia Foy, Cathy Narayan, Marina Novelli, Kathryn Rogers, Josh Verco, John Wanner, Ning Zhang and David Forward for their work to produce such an array of fantastic and varied performances last night. The diversity of instruments and styles was highly entertaining. The ensembles were well drilled and many students displayed their skills in both group and individual performances. The preview from the musical, Legally Blonde, also created great anticipation for the show later this year. It was especially pleasing to see the number of middle school students who confidently performed in small groups. All performers and the support crew did a great job as did the Music Captains, Henry Andrew and Jessica Jana, who hosted the evening. The concert was supported by a large number of staff members who attended and contributed in practical ways, some such as Ning Zhang also played with the ensembles. Many parents also provided lots of food to sell. This was another successful community event.
Great News in the Budget
Another highlight of the week was the exciting news that we are to receive 6.05 million dollars, which has been allocated in the State Budget to improve our facilities at the College. The process to start planning should begin as soon as possible, there are very exciting times ahead. Paul Hamer, our local MP, attended with Clayton Sturzaker (Senior Education and Improvement Leader, Inner East) and Geoff Spicer (College Council President) to make the official announcement to the staff and student leaders. This fantastic opportunity is the result of strong and vocal advocacy over a long period by past and present school staff, Principals, parents and supportive members of the community. Paul Hamer told us that the message that Koonung deserved funding to upgrade our facilities was very strong during the recent State and Federal elections.
On Tuesday the SRC and many members of the student body conducted a forum to discuss ways to improve our school environment and facilities, they provided a number of good suggestions which will be discussed and considered.