Loving God, we thank you for the gift of being present with each other during Term 1. May we continue to value that gift so that we can live life to the full. We make that prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Dear Parents and Carers,
At Ave Maria College we are committed to the care, safety and wellbeing of our students and see this as a central and fundamental responsibility of our College. Our commitment is drawn from the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospels. Our College Motto, Striving for Truth through Love, guides our collective efforts in enabling our students to thrive in recognising the truth of God’s love and their own call to seek truth and love, in themselves and in their relationships with others.
The following principles underpin our commitment to child safety at Ave Maria College
All students deserve, as a fundamental right, safety and protection from all forms of abuse, violence and neglect.
Our College works in partnership with families, carers and the community to ensure that they are engaged in decision-making processes, particularly those that have an impact on child safety and protection.
All students have the right to a thorough and systematic education in all aspects of personal safety, in partnership with their parents, guardians and caregivers.
All adults in our College, including teaching and non-teaching staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors, have a responsibility to care for children and young people, to positively promote their wellbeing and to protect them from any kind of harm or abuse.
The policies, guidelines and codes of conduct for the care, wellbeing and protection of students are based on honest, respectful and trusting relationships between adults, children and young people.
Policies and practices demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements and cooperation with the Church, governments, the police and human services agencies.
All persons involved in situations where harm is suspected or disclosed must be treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect.
Staff, clergy, volunteers, contractors, parents, guardians, caregivers and students should feel free to raise concerns about child safety, knowing these will be taken seriously by College leadership.
Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained, with information being provided to those who have a right or a need to be informed, either legally or pastorally.
As part of our policies and procedures the College has a Child Safety Reference Group which includes both student and staff representation. This group meets regularly throughout the year. The College also has two nominated Child Safety Officers who are:
- Ms Leonie Rushbrook, Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)
- Mrs Natalie Meddis, Director of Student Wellbeing
A key element of the important work of the Reference Group and Child Safety Officers is to conduct an annual audit, which is currently underway, of our child safe practices to ensure best practice.
Parents and carers who wish to access more information regarding child safety at Ave Maria College are welcome to visit the Child Safety section on our College website in the ‘About’ tab.
As many parents and carers will be aware, I recently wrote to all families regarding the College Respectful Relationships Program. Please see the newsletter article from Mrs Natalie Meddis which outlines the areas of focus for Term 2.
Before concluding I would like to congratulate all students for their participation, resilience and adaptability throughout Term 1 as they have transitioned to the new COVID-19 normal. Their ability to remain committed to their goals and studies so they can continue learn and grow is to be commended. They have a lot to celebrate.
As a community who is inspired by our Franciscan Tradition, we continue to want them to develop as young people who are hope filled, resilient and compassionate. We want them to have a strong sense of connectedness and belonging to the Ave community. We want them to grow and develop so they can be their best and give their best. We want them to make the most of the opportunities availed to them by both their family and the College. Therefore, as your daughter continues to learn, develop and grow as a young person, we look forward to our continued partnership with you.
Finally, as Easter approaches, I would like to wish all families a safe and restful break.
Let us accept the grace of Christ’s resurrection!
Let us be renewed by God’s Mercy.
Let us be loved by Jesus.
Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too.
And let us become agents of this mercy,
Channels through which God can water the earth,
Protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
Pope Francis – Lenten message of peace
God bless and may we follow the way of our College patrons as we continue to strive for truth through love.