Support, Teach, Nurture and Stumble
We were blessed to have had a visit at Marist College Ashgrove from one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists, author of 17 books, broadcaster and specialist on parenting, children, adolescents, wellbeing and mental health, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. He spoke first to the Year 11 and 12 boys, followed by staff and then to parents. His talk was centred around parenting, relationships, the issue of consent and adolescence. All three addresses were different, as they were directed at different audiences. Dr Carr-Gregg spoke in a straightforward manner, with great warmth, encouragement, yet offering strong advice and commitment to these areas of expertise. At the conclusion of his addresses, I gave a simple summary of some of the points that resonated with me. At the expense of lessening their value to any degree, I share some of my summary with you, mostly for the benefit of parents who were unable to attend.
A boy’s frontal cortex of the brain develops much slower than a female, over time. For a boy it develops fully only by their late twenties. Adolescence starts earlier today, approximately at the age of ten and finishes later at the age of twenty-four. This means that a boy’s brain is wired for risk, novelty, and peer acceptance for a younger and longer timeframe.
In the area of parenting, Dr Carr-Gregg’s tips included: have strong consequences for your son for his unwanted actions; make sure that you, as parent, is the voice that your son hears in the back of his head each day; give him Vitamin N regularly – say NO; set strong boundaries and limits; be the world expert on your son; have rituals and traditions that you engage in with your son, e.g., weekly dinner or movie nights, spiritual rituals such as church and prayer; connect your son to the transcended world to give him meaning and purpose so that he feels he is a part of something bigger than himself; communicate openly with him – listen to him and reflect back what he said when all parties are calm; keep your son busy so he is engaged and occupied; allow your son to experience adversity (a little stress is ok as a motivator); strongly monitor and supervise his peer group and provide strong role models that he can talk to and imitate.
Dr Carr-Gregg also spoke about the increasing influence of pornography. He cited that 48% of boys have seen porn by the age of 13, i.e. porn is the sexual education class for so many young males and disturbingly, 88% of porn shows physical aggression. He also advises parents to teach that pornography is merely comical i.e., it is not real and only a performance; that it is violent, and that porn sex is unsafe and humiliating. He also spoke about the negative influence of porn bodies that are too unrealistic and only reinforce negative stereotypes around gender and body image.
In the area of consent where sadly 28.4% of young females say they have had an unwanted sexual experience, Dr Carr-Gregg provided these tips for parents in their education: from a young age ask permission to hug your child and teach them to ask permission to hug another; discuss the importance of the word no; trust their intuition if they suspect something is not right; ask and wait for an enthusiastic yes; consent must be mutually agreed to every time; talk about consent with your son regularly and make consent sexy i.e., seeking permission and respecting boundaries is in fact, sexy and finally, that the law is absolute (16 years is the age of consent).
In conclusion, to enable you to amass greater knowledge of these topics, I encourage you all to purchase and read some of his excellent books on sale and to refer to the website Dr Carr-Gregg encouraged parents to view – It’s time we talked (Maree Crabbe and David Corlett) and the Three Good Things App. Finally, in the spirit of one of Dr Carr-Gregg’s tips to parents - the need to have rituals and traditions and to know that he belongs to something bigger than himself which transcends him - I conclude with this prayer as an educator and fellow parent:
Loving God of the journey, bless each of our children with your steadfast and unconditional love and walk closely with us as we support, teach, nurture and stumble in response to their every-day learnings. Amen.
College Communication Update
The College newsletter is the primary source of information for all College news and events. This newsletter is produced each week and delivered directly to all our families via email. The College newsletter can also be found on the College website and through the newsletter tile on the College app.
In anticipation of all families reading the College newsletter on a weekly basis, thank you.
Marist Behaviour Expectations
This week at the College Assembly the boys are being reminded about the values and ethos of the College and related expectations regarding their behaviour while students at Marist College Ashgrove. I include the clear behavioural instructions for you as their parents for your knowledge and support to reinforce with your son. These expectations emulate from the Marist College Ashgrove Enrolment Policy, signed at enrolment.
The following list of behaviours may lead to the cancellation of your son's enrolment. Your son may have undertaken these activities, been associated with these activities or in some manner have bought the College into disrepute in relation to these activities.
The following activities have laws relating to young people and/or all citizens and are therefore prohibited -
- Vaping, Alcohol, Smoking, Illicit Drugs
- In the possession of a dangerous weapon
- Bullying, Assault
- Racist/Misogynistic/Discriminatory language or behaviour
The following list of behaviours have consequences which may vary from an in-school detention to external suspension and/or confiscation -
- Uniform and Hair Infringements - Please refer to the College Diary
- Mobile Phones (in lockers between 8:30am and 3:10pm)
- Incomplete Academic Work
- Swearing in Public
- Rudeness or Backchat to Teachers
Continued infractions may lead to the cancellation of your son's enrolment.
I thank all parents and boys for the continued manner in which you ensure the values and ethos that is Marist is maintained and grown, in a safe environment.
Free Tutoring (Maths and General)
Marist College Ashgrove paid tutors are ready and waiting for you! Every morning at 7:30am the College offers free maths (Room 402) and general tutoring (Room 405) for all students. Please also note that the library is open from 7:30am for private study and/or assistance from the professional library staff. We encourage all boys to attend the tutoring sessions or visit the library to assist further with your important studies. Help is available, I encourage you to take advantage of this generous opportunity. No bookings are required, just turn up.
Year 10 Dance Finale
Best wishes to the Year 10 boys who conclude their dancing program this week in a series of lessons designed to teach the boys how to dance the old steps.
The boys have been accompanied each week by the girls from Loreto College Coorparoo and Mt St Michael’s College. The finale of this program is a formal dance to be held at the Brisbane City Hall, tonight Tuesday 25 May at 7:00pm. This evening will see the boys and their partners dressing up, displaying their dancing talents taught and enjoying some company and light refreshments together at a most beautiful venue. I take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff who have led and instructed the boys, namely: Majella Stevens, Tiffany Boyd, Judy Jones, Christine Larsen, Mena McLean, Antoinette Restell, Clara Sandona, Julia Wilken, and Jasmine Wilton. Many thanks also to the dance instructor, Ms Rea Boydell from Dance Buzz Studios, Enoggera.
My gratitude is also extended to the girls and their staff from Loreto College and Mt St Michael’s College. Do have an enjoyable evening.
Year 5 Camp
This week our Year 5 boys are attending their annual camp at Tallebudgera. The camp will run for three days and two nights and provides a means of enhancing relationships amongst the boys who are nearing the end of their first semester at the College. The camp also affords many opportunities for the boys to learn more about themselves, their personal capacity and their response to challenges as they journey through the activities provided across the three days of camp. My thanks are extended to our many generous staff in attendance, including: Michael Connolly, Matthew Jones, Peta Earley, Cath Geraghty, Rachelle Garton, Bas Pelly, Kylie Tippins, Lisa Babon, Erin Pownell and John Lambourne. Enjoy, gentlemen.
Year 8 Parent Function
This Friday 28 May, all Year 8 parents are most welcome to the P&F Parent Function for 2021, from 6:30pm - 9:00pm. These are really enjoyable nights with much networking, conversation and a few drinks together. At Marist College Ashgrove, we consider all families and parents to be an integral part of our fabric and Marist College family. In this spirit, I hope as many parents as possible can join us for this enjoyable time together. May I take this opportunity to thank our many generous P&F members who have organised and will facilitate this evening, namely Jim Gordon, Michelle Lawson, Suhanya Pedroni, Lee Whitlam, Nicole Peacock, Roberta Bannah, Jane Wilcocks, Angela Cervetto and Kath Brassington.
The Marist College Ashgrove music concerts continue this week with the much-anticipated Winter Concert. The Winter Concert will take place this Thursday 27 May at 6:30pm in the Draney Theatre. This concert will feature our intermediate ensembles, including: Wind Orchestra 2, Percussion Ensemble 2, Guitar Orchestra 2A, Performance Choir and Senior Strings.
My thanks are extended to the generous teachers and supporters, namely: Andrew Butt, Janelle Lee Long, Caleb Colledge, Joseph Rabjohns, Darian Johns, Melanie Stewart, Rhiannon Fenn, Megan Harmston, Catherine Wasserman, Enrico Le Mura and Kerri Engstrom.
Do join us for this special musical evening together. Tickets can be purchased via this Trybooking link https://www.trybooking.com/BPGCL
Please note that this concert is almost sold out.
Old Boys’ Sports Day Lunch
The traditional Old Boys' Sports Day will be held this Saturday 29 May in the Cyprian Pavilion overlooking McMahon Oval. This day welcomes back to the College members of the 1st XV from 1980/1981, 1970/71 and 1960/61 and well as the corresponding years from Marist College Rosalie. The day will include a luncheon for Old Boys, speeches, a presentation of medallions to the players and a function after the game. Marist College Ashgrove is proud of its wonderful Old Boys and we wish to thank the Old Boys Committee (President Steve McAuliffe) with the assistance of Ms Bethany Halpin and Ms Erin Menyweather for organising and facilitating this event.
National Sorry Day
This Wednesday 26 May at the College Assembly we celebrate National Sorry Day. On this day we respect, apologise and commemorate the Stolen Generations and their families. We join together as a Marist Family to mark this day out of respect for our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Australia and our own students from Indigenous descent.
The Marist Chamber Choir will be performing on Wednesday at the National Sorry Day Ceremony at Teralba Park, Everton Park commencing at 7:00am. Members of the College community are encouraged to attend this important event.
Goondiwindi Country Visit
This week, our Head of Boarding, Ty Casey and Anthony Mathison are on a road trip to Goondiwindi. They would like to invite any past, present and prospective families to join them on Thursday 27 May at Queensland Hotel from 6:00pm for nibbles and drinks. Following this on Friday 28 May, they are also attending the Goondiwindi Junior Rugby Golf Day and look forward to catching up with our current and prospective families during their visit. For all our Goondiwindi past, present and future associates of Marist College Ashgrove, we hope to see you on Thursday and Friday.
ASHCAM Photography Competition
My thanks are extended to our Visual Art Department, led by Ms Christine Larsen (Curriculum Leader Visual Art), who have organised the 2021 ASHCAM photography competition.
Entries for the ASHCAM competition close on Monday 31 May. This year we have opened the competition to the whole College family so that parents and relatives of students at the College are also able to enter the Open section.
Judging will take place on Wednesday 2 June, with winners announced Friday 4 June. Age categories are Years 5-6, 7-10 and 11-12. Our guest judge is world-renowned photographer, Joachim Froese (website - http://www.joachimfroese.com/)
Categories and how to enter are on the poster below.
Cross Country Presentation
Please join us on Thursday 27 May in the Cyprian Pavilion at 4:00pm for the announcement of the AIC Cross Country team. The afternoon will also feature a visit by our special guest, Benita Willis. Boys are to wear their full winter uniform. If you wish to attend, we ask that you please RSVP by Tuesday 25 May to firstname.lastname@example.org, for catering purposes.
Creative Industries Week
Next Wednesday 2 June, as part of Creative Industries Week, we invite all students to gather for a painting demonstration in front of the podium during Break 1. This year, we have renowned Australian graffiti, street and urban artist Sofles joining us to perform and entertain the boys. We hope to see many students there to enjoy this opportunity! See more about Sofles on his website: https://www.sofles.com/about. This is an exciting week and opportunity to learn more about the arts.
Tuesday 25 May
- Reconciliation - Chapel - 8:00am
- Met North Cross Country
- Year 10 Dancing - Brisbane City Hall
Wednesday 26 May
- National Sorry Day
- Mass in Chapel
- Chamber Choir - National Sorry Day Ceremony – Teralba Park, Everton Park - 6:50am
- Year 5 Camp - starts
- College Assembly
- AIC Cross Country Meet #2
Thursday 27 May
- Country Boarding visit to Goondiwindi - starts
- Cross Country Runners Presentation - Cyprian Pavilion - 4:00pm
- Winter Concert - Draney Theatre - 6:00pm
Friday 28 May
- Walkathon Progress Chart Update – Main Yard
- Round 5 Chess v Iona (H)
- Year 8 Parent Function – The Tower Function Room - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Saturday 29 May
- Round 5 AIC Rugby/Football v Iona (H)
- Old Boys’ Sports Day Lunch
- Photo Day Co-curricular
- Middle School State Honours Program Camp and Concerts
Sunday 30 May
- Year 8, 10 and 11 Boarders’ Mass - 5:30pm (Chapel)
- Year 7, 9 and 12 Boarders’ Mass - 6:30pm (Chapel)
Monday 31 May
- Creative Industries Week - starts
- ASHCAM Photography Competition - starts
- Country Boarding Visit - ICAP QLD Conference, Cunnamulla
Wednesday 2 June
- Creative Industries Week - Painting Demonstration - Break 1
Sunday 6 June
- Champagnat Day
Friday 11 June
- Champagnat Trust Sports Lunch