Thursday 28 June 2018

The Riverview Family

Staff Services has completed another busy term and work continues through the break. The Staff Services team is responsible for the human resources across the College including recruitment, induction, staff professional learning and formation, leadership development, staff review and development, work health and safety, child protection, talent management and succession. As Deputy Principal Staff, I have the privilege of working with all staff in the College.

Over the last number of decades, the College has witnessed a major change to staffing. Teaching staff were once predominantly Jesuit Fathers and Brothers (Mr Anthony Gallagher and Fr Gerald Jones, SJ), but now lay staff (men and women) represent 99% of the staff. As recently noted by Fr Ross Jones, lay staff are recognised as ‘partners in mission’. This partnership also extends to the non-teaching members of staff including administration, maintenance, grounds and facilities staff and infirmary professionals. Each in their own way shares, and appropriates, the Jesuit spirituality and culture. They know the mission in “the doing of it” for example, as boys’ mentors, joining service programs and Immersions locally and overseas, assisting at the annual Ignatian Children’s Holiday Camp for severely disabled children, and at the annual camping holiday here for the homeless and marginalised of the inner city. They offer pastoral care, respond to the causes of social justice and engage in personal formation. This broad College community is so often referred to as ‘the Riverview family’.

Currently many staff are supporting Year 10 students who are taking part in Service Week both in Sydney, rural NSW and interstate. During the upcoming holidays we will have the five Immersions taking place with the Year 11 students to Timor L’Este, Cambodia, Philippines and Borroloola. Timor L’Este will be led by Josh Allen and will be departing next week in a joint Immersion program with Jesuit and Companion schools.

Riverview employs over 700 staff to grow and develop the students as part of a holistic education. Recruitment is ongoing and this semester the College has recruited 22 new temporary and ongoing staff including (pictured left) Chloe Stevenson (ICT Fleet Services Coordinator), Kim Romeo (History Teacher), Ben Carolan (PDHPE Teacher), Sophie Callaghan (Marketing and Campaign Manager) and Duncan Ruddock (ICT Client Services Officer).

Through the concept of cura personalis, staff as partners in mission have access to excellent learning and development opportunities with 85 teachers undertaking individual professional learning opportunities in Term 2. As well, a group of staff are undertaking a year-long Aspiring Leaders Program which includes a major project related to their role which supports ongoing innovation in teaching and learning. Rosie McKay, a participant in the program said, “I have chosen… [to study] the current feedback process for student writing at the college; highlighting the key concerns that drafting presents for staff and students school wide. The key areas of focus will be: equitable feedback for students, teacher wellbeing and time, and developing independent learners… [with the aim] to offer positive solutions.”

Staff health and wellbeing is highly valued through a program that supports them as individuals in the workplace. This term, staff members were able to access a Healthy Heart Check facilitated by Full Spectrum Health which included a check of blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat. This individual 30-minute appointment was conducted by a health professional and provided guidance targeted to each staff member’s goals in context with their current health and results. Skin cancer checks were also conducted this term. As well, the focus of the staff day at the end of Term 2 has as its focus Pastoral Care & Wellbeing – caring for students, yourself and each other.

We continue to celebrate the excellent work done by all staff at the College and their absolute commitment to the students.

Dr Paul Hine