St James College, Brisbane Christmas message video transcript:
Hello, my name is Ann Rebgetz, and I’m very fortunate to be principal of St James College at Spring Hill, Inner City, Brisbane. I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Christmas, a peaceful Christmas, and one to really celebrate, as we have done throughout this year. We’re very excited in our community as we look forward to 2023 with great anticipation. Why? Because we’re expanding our college. We’re a college on the move, and we’re expanding our college to start Year 5 and 6, so we’ve got a big middle school then, and our senior school.
This is an option for people in the city, a Catholic college, a coeducational college that has a huge heart, and one that absolutely welcomes diverse cultures. This is an amazing college where in terms of achieving aspirations and really living the culture of global learning, our students on a daily basis experience that many other students have to go on an immersion to experience. What they learn in terms of their interactions, their understanding, their sense of community, their sense of advocacy is really at the forefront. We’re an innovative college that has a wide breadth of offerings.
The period of Christmas for us is the period of new birth and the birth of Christianity. And in that sense, it absolutely sums up our four touchstones, liberating education, gospel spirituality, justice and solidarity, and inclusivity. And we really try to live that in what we do, and we live and breathe it. And that’s why we have such a wonderful community. Our education aspirations and our performance are at the highest level. We had three students and staff members involved in the Queensland Training Awards this year, where they got to be state finalists. No other school has done that.
In addition, our sporting excellence programme has yielded tremendous results with our boys’ netball team being the champions at the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball. And also, our boys’ basketball team actually excelling to be in the top four in Queensland and becoming fifth in Australia in the national championships. Our girls also excel in the sporting arena. Our Indigenous students, one of them is going to Canberra to represent Queensland in the National Constitutional Schools Convention. We have many other achievements in terms of our debating teams, our choir performing at QPAC, our art therapy and advocacy, which you see every time we look at what we are wanting to accentuate in terms of our message to community and our message to the external community.
Our wellbeing structure is unique. Not only do we have our wellbeing team directors, house deans, but we have a counsellor, an arts therapist, and a school youth health nurse, a careers counsellor. So, the list is endless in terms of our strategic vision of partnerships with community, partnerships in all areas. We’re a gateway school in engineering and manufacturing, in health, in tourism and hospitality. We have a health hub at the school, so one of our classrooms looks like a hospital ward. So, we look at where the opportunities are for the future and make our school emulate, what is the future world of our students, not the present world, because the future world is their world of work, is their world of living. And it’s so important that we actually embrace that for them because that’s why we’re here, for the benefit and the wellbeing and the achievement of potential of all of our students.
Our Year 5 and 6 students, we will be welcoming onto the campus because they too will be able to be part of our STEM program, our creative arts program, our sporting program. And they will link into these opportunities. So right from Year 5, they will see the health hub, they will see the science laboratories, they will see the trade training centre, and be very focused then on their career aspirations. It is well documented that the sooner students develop some goals about where they’re heading, it improves their focus, because they have direction. It’s students who have no direction that we have to work hard to create that direction, which we do by having work placements, by trying to link them into areas that they have a passion for, or they haven’t discovered that potential and passion yet. But by exposing them to it at an earlier age, it actually enhances the possibilities for them.
So as principal of St James community at Spring Hill in the city, very easy to get to, I would like to wish you a very happy, peaceful and birthful Christmas, in the sense that people come together, that they find that new life and they enjoy being together. And have a very prosperous and happy New Year.