We are well and truly into the work of Term Two, which is already shaping up to be a busy and productive time with significant learning underway, school camps being held, NAPLAN testing coming up as well as first semester exams for senior students, National Reconciliation Week and nominations open for Catholic Arts and the LEAD Awards for Excellence.
We are also in the midst of the Federal Election period which has recently seen a number of political candidates visit a number of our schools and colleges. The CEWA Executive Team and I are working hard to ensure all political parties are aware of our system’s future priorities ahead of the election on 18 May. These priorities include ensuring our Catholic schools keep pace with the learning needs of our diverse population now and in the future; parental choice to accessible and affordable education; and the right of Catholic schools to continue to be free to operate in accordance with our Catholic faith tradition.
These recent visits to our schools provided a great opportunity to showcase Catholic education and brought focus to the importance of education and its role in shaping our children’s future.
We have created a community engagement website which provides information on CEWA’s priorities, government funding of Catholic education, and relevant election-related education news and information for staff and parents.
Part of CEWA’s mission to provide the very best education is ensuring continuous professional learning support and formational experiences for all our staff. We are now providing virtual learning sessions for staff on a variety of topics during Webinar Week. From 13-16 May teachers, leaders, administration and technical staff can participate in webinars covering a range of topics and projects including Strategic Directions, Child Safe Framework, digital learning, inclusive practices and Teaching and Learning. Webinars will be held every afternoon from 3:30pm – 4:15pm. This is a great example of our striving for innovation and inclusion, and I encourage all staff to participate where they can.
Later this month CEWA schools and offices will have opportunities to participate in National Reconciliation Week activities and events. From 27 May – 3 June we will hold this year’s theme, Grounded in Truth – Walk Together with Courage, close to our hearts. A great example of this message, and one I was fortunate to share in, was the Whadjuk Gift event at Mater Dei College in Term One, which showed us how we all can learn to bring awareness to the histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal people in Australia.
I am also pleased to announce that Catholic Performing Arts will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. To mark Catholic Arts success and longevity, it now has a new logo and website with the 2019 program. Entries close this Sunday 12 May for the Performing Arts Festival, which runs from 19 July – 31 August.
Our annual LEAD Awards for Excellence has also opened for nominations. I encourage all schools to nominate, as all of you have innovative and meaningful programs which should be recognised and applauded.
Finally, if you have not already done so, it is time to start thinking about the Australian Catholic Youth Festival which is coming to Perth in December. The theme Listen to what the spirit is saying is in keeping with Plenary 2020, as it is vital that our Catholic youth explore and share their vision of what they see for the future of the Catholic Church.
I wish everyone in our Catholic education community a happy and productive term and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Dr Debra Sayce
Catholic Education Western Australia