Holy Cross College | Ellenbrook
'I came that they may have life, and have it to the full' John 10:10

Pluck the day, as it is ripe!


Pluck the day, as it is ripe!

Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism, often translated to mean – “seize the day”. A more literal translation of carpe diem would be to “pluck the day, as it is ripe” – that is, enjoy the moment. The idea is that we cannot not leave future happenings to chance, but rather we should do all we can today to make our own future better. We are masters of our own destiny.

In the 1989 American film Dead Poets Society, the English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, famously says: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary”.

I encourage all of our students to “pluck the day” and make the most of all of the amazing opportunities afforded by Holy Cross College.

I was so proud of our Year 7 students this week as they enjoyed their team building days at the Ern Halliday Recreation Centre in Hillarys. One of the first tasks was to pluck up the courage to go right to the top on the Big Swing so that they could make the biggest arc as they dropped like a pendulum swinging from one end of the gymnasium to the other. Initially, some students were a little hesitant to go too high, but given a second chance they seized the moment and conquered their fears. Similarly, students plucked up the nerve to climb the four plus metres to the top of a wobbly tower made from milk crates to tap a coloured marker just shy of the gymnasium roof. It was wonderful to see and hear the support of fellow students as they encouraged each other to conquer their fears and trepidations. The team building activities were complimented with time for reflection and introspection at their retreat, where students were able to draw on their faith and spirit to further strengthen their character. Hopefully, students will take this same determination and courage with them along their journey through the Middle School and into the Senior School.

The personal triumphs experienced by our Year 7 students provide a lesson for us all. That is, to pluck the day, enjoy the moment, engage fully with each opportunity that presents as we may not get a second chance. Plan for tomorrow, but live for today.

Welcome BBQ and Information Evening

The beginning of the school year is always a wonderful time to come together as a whole school community and enjoy the company of other families, staff and students at the Welcome BBQ. After a warm start, the cool westerly breeze made for a relaxing time amid the babble of conversations and children laughing and playing. The teasing aroma of onions cooking on the BBQ’s drew the crowds to settle on the amphitheatre and undercroft and then out onto the soft green lawns. The yackety-yak, chitter-chatter and jibber-jabber reminisced about the enjoyable time had over the Christmas holidays; now a distant memory. Some conversations looked to the year ahead and the opportunities presented by a fresh start in the new school year. I particularly enjoyed catching up with families to hear of their holiday exploits.

I would like to thank the Friends of Holy Cross, who generously gave their time to cook the BBQ to ensure everyone has a good time. Money raised from the gold coin donations will be forwarded to the St Vincent de Paul Society bush fires appeal. I would also like to thank parents and guardians for attending the information sessions, as vital information is provided to ensure a smooth start to the new school year.

National Apology

13 February 2020 marked the twelfth anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. The day commemorates this significant event when, in 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples whose lives had been devastated by government policies of forced child removal and assimilation. This was a momentous occasion on the journey of reconciliation and healing.

To honour and commemorate this occasion, students participated in a ritual of prayer and reflection. It is an important time to reflect on how generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have been affected, and are continuing to be affected, by the past policies of the Australian Government and the ongoing impacts of this on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. To grow as a Nation of united people, it is important that we understand and acknowledge past mistreatment of Indigenous Australians if we are to achieve reconciliation and healing. In his apology, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was hopeful of a bright future for all Australians:

“We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.”

Whole School Opening Mass

Parishioners, parents and family members are invited to the Opening College Mass to be celebrated on Wednesday 19 February 2020 commencing at 9.00am in the College undercroft.

Thank you to our wonderful staff

I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the College staff in preparing the school for the new school year. To the Facilities and Property staff for having the gardens and grounds looking immaculate and for the considerable painting and maintenance that occurred over the school holidays. To the administration and support staff for ensuring all documents and procedures were in place to make way for an orderly and seamless start. Finally, to our Teachers, Education Assistants and Senior Leaders for providing a positive and welcoming atmosphere for our students and the fantastic organisation of the many events and activities.