Principal’s News

New Dreaming
In the silent beauty of the velvet night,
Amidst the glittering Southern Cross,
You Dreamt a new dream.
The promised gift of eternal love for us in the mystery of your son –
A special Spirit Child, lying in a coolamon,
Born of a spirit woman,
Bringing Light and Hope into our world. Amen

Always Was, Always Will Be

Always Was, Always Will Be identifies that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. This country was crisscrossed by generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

Australia has the world’s oldest oral stories. The First Peoples engraved the world’s first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies. We built and engineered structures – structures on Earth – predating well-known sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge.

Our adaptation and intimate knowledge of Country enabled us to endure climate change, catastrophic droughts and rising sea levels.

Always Was, Always Will Be. acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land – the biggest estate on earth – to sustainably provide for their future.

Through indigenous land management systems, like fire stick farming, we transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty.

NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates the very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples. NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations. It is about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country – which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.

Brigidine College celebrates its ongoing connections with our Indigenous sisters and brothers as an inclusive community were all are ‘celebrates with joy and gratitude.’ Our College Mass was celebrated yesterday on the Holy Lawn by Fr Pan, students and staff. (below)

Year 12 Graduation

The College is very pleased to celebrate the Year 12 students’ graduation on Thursday 19 November. As the students and families have risen to the challenges of 2020, we acknowledge and join to praise and rejoice in their outstanding achievements.

The Graduation Mass and Ceremony will be held at Riverlife at 5.30pm and the College Community may wish to follow the event which will be live streamed. The Farewell Assembly will be held in the Kildare Hall. This event will also be live streamed for families.

Armistice Day – 11 November 2020

Acknowledging the sacrifice, women and men have given to their country. Lest We Forget.

Brendan Cahill
College Principal

Deputy Principal Mission

Week 7,  33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A  2020

Monday 16: International Day for Tolerance

Tuesday 17: International Day of the Poor

Thursday 19: World Toilet Day

Gospel Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out. Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir”, he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

Cultural Diversity Day

Brigidine College recently celebrated Cultural Diversity Day.  The day began with the Eucharist in the chapel where many students and staff participated. Fr Pan reminded us that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and each one has a unique human dignity which should not be violated for any reason. This day celebrated our thirty-six different cultures as well as many different religions.  Homerooms identified a particular country that they wished to celebrate on the day.  Students, staff and guests wore their traditional dress to participate in the day.  Seeing the different dresses encouraged us to feel that through all of our differences we are united as one people.  It was a wonderful day of fun, joy, learning and entertainment!

Reflection for Young People

by Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart

In the parable that Jesus tells in today’s Gospel, the master praises the efforts of the first two servants, who used the talents they were given and improved upon them. The master criticises the action of the third servant, who hid the talent, did nothing, and was paralyzed with fear.

When have you been like the first and second servants, using your talents in a way that benefits yourself and others?

When have you been like the third servant, not using your talents and not bringing benefit to yourself or others?

The last few lines of this Gospel passage might seem to contradict Jesus’ usual message about the last being first. This passage appears to be saying that the first will be even further ahead, and the last will be left behind.

Is this contradiction troubling to you? Why or why not? How do you see it?

When Jesus speaks of the first becoming last and the last becoming first, he is usually speaking of humility and boastfulness. Those who pump themselves up are usually just full of hot air. Why would Jesus say that the humble ones are really the great ones?

When Jesus speaks of the rich ones getting more, and the poor ones losing what they have, he is speaking in terms of laziness and activity. Those who act in a lazy way usually become more lazy, and they lose any initiative they once had. What kind of activity is Jesus encouraging us to do? © St Mary’s Press

Andrew Beiers
Deputy Principal Mission

Mathematics Learning @ Brigidine

Our goals this year have been for students to acquire and apply mathematical concepts and skills, to develop thinking skills through a mathematical approach to problem-solving and to develop positive attitudes towards mathematics.

Students are encouraged to develop mastery learning. Researchers into learning, including Hattie (2009), are great supporters of mastering material before moving onto new learning. We have a strong emphasis on and orientation of the mastery of critical facts and processes here at Brigidine.

Mathematics learning has changed a lot in recent years. There is a greater emphasis on collaboration, independence, and the use of technology to enhance learning. Students are given the knowledge and skills to work out the answers, rather than being told, being genuinely engaged and to develop an understanding of mathematics in the context of the 21st Centenary. Students are encouraged to analyse real-world problems and discover patterns which assist in solving the problems. They work collaboratively, communicating their thinking through diagrams, equations, and words.

We cannot predict the jobs of the future but according to Australia’s Chief Scientist the important skills for success are creative and critical thinking. In work, and in life, problem-solving and critical thinking are vital skills. These skills helps us explain things clearly, and back up our ideas.

In mathematics, this starts by teaching problem solving and reasoning.

Suzanne Garvey
Curriculum Leader Mathematics

English Update

Year 11 Literature students are currently studying the Nigerian novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe as part of their Unit 2 study ‘Culture and Identity’. With Mr Andrew Beiers assistance, Ms Jody Spear was able to arrange for Fr Odinaka Nwadike to have a Q&A forum with the students to assist in their understanding of a context that is quite unfamiliar to them. Fr Odinaka is an Associate pastor in Leadership at St Stephen’s Cathedral and a warm and gracious speaker.  Students enjoyed and gained much from the session. Below are a few personal responses.

Ella J

I learnt about the importance of community in the lives of the Igbo people and how events like a funeral are decided by the community, not just the immediate family. With this aspect in mind, I learnt that it was unheard of to deny your culture and traditional way of life. This is a prominent focus in the novel, as the main character’s son decides to leave the Igbo way of life and goes to join the Christian missionary.

Ashleigh G

Within the Igbo culture, he explained, community and culture are paramount; and hence, Fr Odinaka was able to assist our Year 11 Literature class in comprehending the significance of Achebe’s text as a catalyst for voicing the experience of Igbo people in post-colonial Nigeria. While Fr Odinaka informed us that the novel sought to bring about justice for his people, he equally challenged our class to question whether justice could be engendered without the intercultural expectation of equality.

Amity S

As a Catholic priest with Nigerian roots, Father Odinaka’s knowledge and personal experience regarding the inculturation of local African tradition with Christian missionaries is extensive and relevant. With his guidance, the class was able to unpack not only the text itself, but its metaphorical messages regarding the strength of community and tradition in Igbo society– as well as the purpose and receival of the text.

Ashlee W

Fr Odinaka shared the importance of community in the Igbo culture and how it underpins many aspects of the Igbo people’s lives. With the knowledge of this, it became increasingly clear that community was a prominent theme in the novel. It allowed us to better understand the struggles of the protagonist when the community bond is put under strain.

Amity S

An enlightening aspect of the visit was when Fr Okinaka acknowledged that Achebe was not writing for Justice as he knew reconciliation was not yet possible. Rather, he sought to expose society to the sufferings and inculturation of the Igbo clans. Through this, Achebe succeeded in challenging representations of Africa in Western literature that falsely showcase Igbo culture as primitive and insignificant.

Ashley J

Fr Odinaka shared his own personal experiences as well as showing us the importance of the beliefs in the Igbo culture. His visit has greatly assisted me personally in my Literature Studies as he was able to give me a much deeper insight to aspects of the novel and culture that I felt needed more clarification.

Romany Smith
Curriculum Leader English

Categories: The Brigidine Blog