Friday 28 August 2015

Breadth And Depth – The Week That Was

Over the course of a busy week the boys in the SEIP Program headed off to Teen Camp at Cobbitty for their annual residential camp with the girls from Danebank and PLC Croydon, and what a wonderful time was had by all.  Students from each school encountered a range of activities that saw them rise to the occasion, particularly some of the more challenging tasks such as rock climbing, bush walking, horse riding, archery and canoeing. Each day was bookended with exercises and physical fitness to begin and ended with ‘crazy games’ in the evening, with fun being the key quotient of each activity. The boys also undertook classes in meditation and relaxation, aimed to capitalise on the sunshine the gracious surrounds of the rural setting. Special thanks are extended to the staff of Teen Camp and the wonderful teachers in the SEIP unit who provided unstinting support across three days and two nights, enabling the boys to have such a memorable time.

One of the more extraordinary assemblies was held in the Ramsay Hall on Monday as Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, addressed the boys about the scourge of domestic violence in Australia. Rosie lost her son, Luke, to domestic violence in February 2014 but she has since used tragedy to draw attention to the need for awareness and education about an affliction that can affect anyone at any time. What was ostensibly a household of harmony became a cauldron of violence, one that at the time could not have been fully countenanced. Showing extraordinary courage and strength, Rosie told her story to the boys, not only about the difficulties that she has encountered, but also about her work to promote the prevention of domestic violence across the nation. Luke’s memory and spirit live on in the Luke Batty Foundation, which was formed only one month after his death. And, Rosie soldiers on, addressing audiences in schools, town halls and gatherings in order to highlight the damage done to families through inadequate knowledge or tolerance of violence of any form.

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The theatrics of the National Drumline Competition were on display Friday afternoon on First Field as the best schools from across the nation gathered for the final with a three-part repertoire from each school. St Ignatius’ College has featured prominently over recent years under the direction of Mr Peter Neville and did so again with a stunning performance of percussion, showmanship and rhythm. As one would expect the competition was of the highest order, despite the fact that a number of students in the Riverview ensemble are still in their junior secondary years. The community can be very proud of the boys who took Second Prize from among the top schools in the nation. Among many outstanding performances in extended competition over the weekend at The Kings School, special commendations are extended to Jim Osborne who took First Prize in the Intermediate 2 Mallet Keyboard Solo and Second Prize in the Intermediate Drum Solo. Congratulations are extended to all who contributed to the calibre of performance over the weekend.

Exquisite works of the Year 12 TAS class were profiled in the Exhibition that was held in Memorial Hall on Friday evening. Superb design elements augmented by superior craftsmanship gave witness to work of exceptional quality that drew praise from parents and teachers alike. One can see from the attached photos that these works are hardly attributable to students in school; they are more reflective of commercial pieces that have been constructed by tradesmen both in terms of the design and the features.

In a high point of the Open debating season Riverview faced Sydney Boys’ High in the Theatrette on Friday evening, wrestling with the topic That the Government should strip citizenship from Australian nationals who engage in terrorist activities overseas. Arguing the affirmative, Liam Donohoe, Ben O’Dea and Xavier Eales pitted their sophisticated oratory against a very accomplished team from High, only to be narrowly defeated in the end. The adjudicator praised the calibre of argument from both schools; the consummation of years of prowess in the public domain. Like the sporting program, the debating season will come to a conclusion at the end of next week so the senior team will take with them many fond memories of their years of involvement in this activity that brings so much by way of confidence, analytical thinking, communication skills and team work.

Best wishes for the week ahead.

Dr Paul Hine