Around the College

We are just approaching the end of the second week of term and already so much has happened in the life of the school. Last weekend, senior students in leadership positions gathered at Nunyara for a two-day leadership camp. I had the opportunity to spend time with students and shared a number of insights. My first focus was on what makes us “Thrive” in a school or community. Many thoughts came forward readily including belonging, friendship, trust, doing well in learning, fun, support, opportunity, care, hope, hospitality, being inclusive, looking out for one another and doing things together to name a few. My second focus was on learning, what makes us capable learners? Student leaders responded by naming opportunities to be creative, future-focused, being life-long learners, experiential learning and connecting with people and pathways, being entrepreneurial and high standards and expectations. The third and last focus was on being a leader, a call to leadership for everyone. I used a video of Admiral William McRaven (US Navy Rtd) who addressed a graduating class about their accomplishment and responsibility into the future. He used the analogy of “Making your bed as the first task of the day”. It is a famous speech on using the experiences of our lives to be leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who instil hope, outreach to community, to make a difference in the world through respect, valuing diversity and being selfless. These simple messages are what we hope for in all our students when they graduate from Cardijn.

I was fortunate to attend the Merit Ceremony at Government House where just over 900 South Australian students were presented with merits for their high level of achievement in 2018. Cardijn students were present and we congratulate Isaac Turner, Katie Meyer, Corey O’Dwyer, Matthew Milovanovic and Mitchell Taylor on their outstanding achievements. Isaac was among one of 25 students who received the highest award namely “The Governor of South Australia Commendation”.

This Friday is the DUX Assembly where we acknowledge and recognise the Year 12 students of 2018 who achieved at the highest level in their SACE. This year we present 28 students for their excellence which represents just over 22% of the 2018 Year 12 cohort. 22 of these students or 79% of students presented began their schooling in one of our local Catholic primary schools. This is a great celebration of success in Catholic Education from Reception to Year 12 in our greater Southern Vales region. We congratulate Matthew Milovanovic as the DUX for 2018. Matthew was a former student of Emmaus Catholic Primary School, Woodcroft.

On Tuesday evening just over 600 people gathered at Cardijn for the Year 7 and 8 Parent Information evening. We were delighted with the large attendance of families who met with homeroom teachers and House Leaders. They also met our senior student leaders who talked about life at the College and the importance of House. We deeply value our partnership and relationship with families. We know from experience the students thrive when families are deeply involved with the school in support of their child.

On the horizon we have the start of our co-curricular program – after school and Saturday morning sport this weekend. We know that students look forward to these opportunities. I extend my gratitude to staff, students and families for the way we have commenced our academic year, it has been a terrific start.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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