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Principal's News

Author: Gary O'Brien
Author Role: Principal

Today saw CHAC conduct its second Open Day for the year. A huge thank you to all the parents who provided home-bake for the event and all the students and staff who contributed to another successful College event. Year 11 student Becky Donnan addressed our visitors, and her speech is attached for those who would like to read it. The enthusiasm and passion the students show for their College is lovely to see and goes a long way to convincing parents that this is indeed the school for their children.

Earlier in the year, Year 11 students Annelies Alcorn and Emma Cooney were selected to attend the Young Women Leaders in AI camp, an opportunity open to 16 to 26 year-olds from across Australia. Subsequent to that event, Emma has received one of five scholarships from Deloitte to ‘further empower others like herself, expand the AI community and aid in her professional development.’ As a result, Emma will be able to develop one or more of her own ideas to contribute to the AI community on a wider scale. As a College, we congratulate Emma and look forward to supporting her further on her AI journey.

Last week was a huge week in the life of the College. The Primary school held their Inter-House Athletics Carnival over two days, Year 7 and 8 were involved in an activities program, Year 9 and 11 went on Camp, Year 10 undertook their enterprise program titled – CHACTank, and Year 12 completed their QCST trial. To the staff who organised and ran those activities, I extend a heartfelt thanks. It is only when staff are willing to go above and beyond that such rewarding opportunities can be offered.

As part of Activities Week, I was lucky enough to visit the Year 11 Camp briefly. What stood out for me was the genuine sense of community and care for one another on display. In the main hall, the students created a Wonderwall of positive messages. This allowed them to recognise each other’s positive contributions to the Camp.

A few examples were:

  • Thank you both for being such a kind and caring people, you are both so generous and selfless, you make others happy.
  • Thank you for always sticking by my side and making everyone you are around smile.
  • Thank you for being the light of every room, making everyone smile just by your presence.

Staff were also recognised for their contributions:

  • Thank you for being such a genuine face around the College. You have our best interests at heart and are always very kind.

Messages like these are indicative of the environment and culture we have and are trying to grow here at CHAC. It is about showing kindness, care and respect for others, it’s about considering the needs of others before your own, and it’s about recognising the contributions of others. At Assembly this week I challenged everyone to think about these principles, about how well they reflect them in their daily actions and how they could reflect them more effectively in daily interactions.

In the Association of Heads of Independent Schools (AHISA) e-bulletin this week there was some useful and interesting information regarding screen time and the safe use of technology. These topics are often at the forefront of parent’s minds and so I have included the links below and encourage CHAC families to take the time to investigate further.

Four questions that focus on healthy screen time

The way children spend screen time is more important than how much they're exposed to, according to an article on The Conversation. Parents can ask themselves if the screen content is:

1.   Optimally challenging - meaning not too difficult or easy?

2.   Engaging - does it have age-appropriate features that maintain attention and invite participation?

3.   Meaningful - can children relate the content to their lives?

4.   Interactive, in the physical or social sense?

From the answers to these questions, parents can guide their children’s screen time.

Learning resources support teen photo scandal TV series

With the premiere of its new drama, The Hunting, SBS has partnered with the eSafety Commissioner to produce educational resources that will help parents and teachers keep young people safe online. The resources are available via SBS Learn. The TV series commenced on SBS and SBS On Demand on 1 August. These include clips and discussions guides that will assist families in addressing these often-challenging topics.

Watch this week's Principal's Voice.

Mr Gary O'Brien