On Thursday night we held a wonderful end of year celebration with our Carols by Candlelight. Thank you to Friends of Holy Cross and all of those involved in organizing this great community event. The festive spirit was a reminder that now we are in Advent, this is the time of preparation for Christmas, which is just over two weeks away. As we prepare for Christmas let us remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and make this part of our celebrations. We celebrated our Gratitude Mass on Wednesday and Christmas should be about gratitude too – remembering all the good that has come into our world as a result of the first Christmas in the stable in Bethlehem.
Thank you to all of you for your generous donations to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. These gifts will help someone who may have little to know that someone cares enough to help them celebrate the Christmas season. As the year ends let us not forget to give thanks for all that has been good about this year.
One of the hard things at the end of each year is saying goodbye to people who are part of our College community and who will be moving on to new opportunities. I wish students and families who will be leaving Holy Cross us all the best for the future.
Some of our staff will also be leaving Holy Cross to move on to the next stage of their journey :
Ms Jayne Hill has been with us for just a term. I thank her contribution, particularly to the Technologies Learning area.
Mrs Serena Georgiades came into the College in Term Two to assist while Signora Amatulli was on leave. She has been flexible and generous in supporting the College and we will miss her wonderfully positive presence.
Mrs Marnie Barrett has taken on a short term contract this year while Mr Elliott was on leave. I thank Mrs Barrett for her generous commitment to Health and Physical Education and Science, as well as to inter-school sport. Mrs Barrett also took on the role of Health and Physical Education Learning Area Coordinator for a short time while Mr Parsons was Acting Assistant Deputy.
Mrs Pieta Bloxsom will relocate to Karratha with her family next year. I thank Mrs Bloxsom for her work as a Year 4 teacher and with the Sacramental programme. Mrs Bloxsom has also been involved in a number of extra curricular activities including the College Sleep Out. I wish her well in her move north.
Mr Liam Benton joined the staff of Holy Cross in the Spring Term of 2014. Mr Benton has taught Chemistry, Science, Big Ideas and Maths. He has been a great contributor in many areas of College life, including working with the band. Last night Mr Benton shared his own musical talents as part of Christmas Carols. I thank Mr Benton for his generous contribution to HCC and wish him well as he returns to his family in Melbourne.
Mrs Debbie Boylen joined the College in 2012. She has taught predominantly in the middle years in Religious Education, English and Humanities and has played a key role in literacy support. Mrs Boylen has also been involved in many extra curricular activities, these include coaching the swimming team and being a hairdresser for College productions. When Mrs Boylen joined Holy Cross, this was a much smaller school and I thank her for her contribution to the growing College. Mrs Boyen will take her experience form HCC to Mother Teresa College as they take on their first Year 7 students.
Mrs Jacqui Sanders, our College Business Manager, is returning to live in London next week. Words cannot express my gratitude for all she has done for this College. Her commitment to Holy Cross has been tireless and her management of the last three stages of the building programme has resulted in amazing facilities that all of us enjoy every day. We will miss her ‘can do’ attitude, her dedication to HCC and her positive spirtit. I wish Mrs Sanders all the best as she returns to be closer to family in the UK.
Mr Harry Muller was the third staff member and the first teacher to join the staff of Holy Cross. He commenced in 2009 before students started in 2010. At that time we had an office at St Helena’s CPS as we worked to establish the College. Mr Muller established the Da Vinci programme, the academic extension programme, for students in Catholic primary schools. At that stage having our own Junior School section of the College was just a dream – which has now come true. Mr Muller has taught Religious Education, Science and Human Biology at Holy Cross. He has also been our first Ministry Coordinator and has established ‘Giving Life’, the College Christian Service Learning programme. He will leave a legacy at Holy Cross through the role he played in establishing our faith story. Mr Muller has played a key role in developing the culture of pilgrimage at Holy Cross and was part of the first group of staff and students who walked a section of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Ms Anita O’Donohue will be on Long Service Leave in Term One. Ms O’Donohue has made a huge commitment to Holy Cross since our opening in 2010 and I wish her a well deserved break.
I would like to say a huge thank you to our awesome staff who do so much to make this a great community.
Finally, thanks to our student leaders who have made a great start in their leadership roles, and to all of the students and parents in the College for your contribution to HCC this year. Have a happy Christmas, a great holiday and I look forward to seeing you in the new year.