Friday 20 February 2015

Creating Relationships

One of the premier events of the year, the Laureate Assembly, was celebrated with the College community last Friday in honour of the 2014 students graduating class who secured Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores into the 90s. The sheer breadth and depth of achievement was something to behold, with 83 boys being acknowledged for their outstanding results. Staff in academic gowns complemented an inspirational address from the Dux, Gianni Taranto, along with the profile of undergraduate courses that the boys have been offered in universities around the nation, as well as prestigious colleges in the United States.

That the year is moving ahead with astonishing speed was apparent during the week with the arrival of Ash Wednesday. With Easter just 38 days away, Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Season of Lent: a time of penance, reflection, and fasting in preparation for the death and Resurrection of Jesus; in effect, the biblical forerunner to those events that culminate in the Passion. The school gathered in the Ramsay Hall to commemorate this central event in the Christian calendar, and did so with an air of reverence that was palpable. Ultimately, Lent is a time that speaks of redemption and salvation, and is part of the divine plan that draws faith communities together in solidarity and common purpose.

Also indicative of how quickly time moves ahead is the enrolment cycle for 2017, which has already begun in earnest. The College community would be aware that there is immense pressure for enrolment, particularly in the intake years of Year 5 and Year 7. Final decisions about interviews are being made over the coming week and a team of senior staff will be involved in the process over the next couple of months. Riverview is indeed fortunate to have such a large number in the community who seek a Jesuit education and who present such impressive credentials, all part of a process that will lead to excitement and exhilaration for the successful, and on the other hand, deep disappointment for those who cannot be accommodated. Final decisions related to the enrolment cycle are expected to be conveyed to the applicants by May.

One of the multi-layered events that occur out of the immediate sightline is part of the infrastructure and activities that support Indigenous education at the College. Last Friday evening, Riverview hosted 12 senior boys from Joeys for a twilight barbeque, along with some games that produced a healthy mixture of fun and competition. Some of the boys have already built relationships through university summer schools and previous sporting associations, however this was the first time that an inter-school event of this kind was undertaken. Among other things, the boys shared their aspirations and hopes beyond school and organised weekend outings to strengthen their networks over the course of the coming year. Many thanks are extended to the staff and mentors from both schools for providing the boys with such an enjoyable and rewarding evening, one that lays the groundwork for other such gatherings into the future.

Many in the community would be aware that the school musical, Grease, is in the final stages of rehearsal after months of preparation for the many different disciplines of performance that come together before the premier performance on Wednesday 25 February. A fusion of dance, music, choreography, set design, stagecraft, lighting and direction have been carefully orchestrated since September last year, a fusion of which will present another extravaganza that excites the emotions and the senses over the coming fortnight. Parents and friends who wish to attend are advised to book online via Trybooking.

While on the theme of upcoming events, Cova Cottage and the Boathouse will be inundated with students, staff, parents and visitors on Saturday with the Gold Cup Regatta. First conducted in 1885, the regatta celebrates its 130th anniversary and promises to showcase some of the most competitive rowing that is witnessed in New South Wales. All visitors to the property over the weekend are asked to exercise extra caution and restraint with speed as there will be many more bodies, young and not so young, spread across the senior campus.

Best wishes for the week ahead.

Dr Paul Hine