Do you hear what I hear?

Can you believe that there are just 71 days until Christmas? The Christmas carol “Do you hear what I hear?” by the great Bing Crosby (1903-1977) is one that is always buzzing in my head around Christmas time. This part of the year is my favourite – it is a joyful time, it is family time, it is a time for giving and it is a time for relaxing and enjoying the summer weather. Christmas has meaning right across the world and my hope is that in 2021 it does bring much hope and joy to our families. For the Rijken family, it is the hope that the borders between South Australia and Victoria are re-opened so that our youngest daughter can travel home to see her family. We last saw her in Melbourne on her birthday in May this year. There are 1000s of families across Australia who are hoping for this. It has been a life struggle especially for the many friends and families in the eastern states and particularly Victoria.

Our granddaughter Hailey who is 2 ½ years old will bring a different perspective to how we celebrate Christmas. The nativity scene will come out soon, as will Christmas carols and decorations. It will be so exciting to share all these traditions and meanings with her.

Next week will be the last week for our Year 12 students, the Class of 2021. They have been amazing, positive and optimistic, full of energy and commitment, sharing hope and purpose. Their leadership of our young people amidst this global pandemic has been exemplary. We wish them every blessing as they prepare to finalise their studies and sit for their exams. Our Year 12 students at Marcellin Campus will officially graduate on Thursday 11 November.

The start of this first week of Term 4 has been very positive, with students returning full of energy. At Galilee, our Year 6 students are proudly wearing their Year 6 senior leaders windcheaters designed by the students, as they advance in their transition to secondary school. Our builders have now finalised all the relevant paperwork and contracts to begin Stage 1. The pandemic has caused havoc in the building industry and this is the main reason why this project is delayed. At the Cardijn campus, Stage 3 has taken more shape and the building is imposing on the current landscape of Goldsmith Drive. Stage 3 is over 5000 sqm over two stories and we are hopeful that part of the building will be finished for the start of the year and the remainder by the end of March 2022. It is worth the wait; it will be an extraordinary building with a provision not seen in other schools in South Australia. At our Marcellin campus, we have met with our architects to scope the 1st stage of our new development incorporating engineering and automotive training workshops.

On Wednesday I was privileged to be a judge, along with other guests from industry, in the Future Anything competition. We had eight entries from student teams in Year 10 science who were involved in a science course dealing with global environmental issues and providing innovative solutions through an entrepreneurial framework. The presentations were outstanding! The students were able to present the issues in a clear and succinct way that focusses on everyone’s responsibility to be stewards of this precious Earth. Their business ideas were creative and unique. Fortunately, we had several guests from industry who saw direct application from their ideas and encouraged our students to follow through on their ideas. I congratulate Ms Alexia Little for her leadership in this part of the curriculum which is directly connected to two of our strategic goals of marketplace learning and developing enterprise educators.

At the beginning of this week I was delighted to announce two significant appointments with Ms Danielle Greig as our new Deputy Principal and Head of the Cardijn campus and Ms Kerri Gould as Assistant Principal and Deputy Head of our Galilee campus. Danielle is a Cardijn old scholar from the Class of 2003, MacKillop House Captain, Cardijn teacher and middle leader who over the last 11 years has contributed much to the life of Cardijn. Danielle is a parishioner of the Noarlunga Seaford parish. Kerri is one of the founding staff at Galilee and has held many different roles in leadership over the last eight years contributing to and shaping what we know to be Galilee today. She is a parishioner of the Willunga/Aldinga parish.

I wish all our students well for this last term and my prayers continue to be for our whole community to remain safe and well during this very difficult time of the pandemic.

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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