IWD and St Patrick's Day

From the Senior Years

In the last fortnight, the College has recognised two important occasions: International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March and St Patrick’s Day Mass on Friday 15 March, ahead of the official date on Sunday 17 March.

In recognition of the significance of International Women’s Day, a raft of activities were planned to celebrate achievements for women’s equality, while also reflecting on the work still required across a number of spheres to have full parity and equality.

In the wake of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency landmark report on over 5,000 Australian companies, the data suggested a stark reality in the gender pay gap of up to 30-40% for some companies in favour of male employees. While wage equality for the same work has been legalised for 50 years, the data reflects the fact the disparity in higher-paid roles within the companies listed in the report as well as part-time and causal employment disproportionately skewed towards women rather than men. A timely reminder of the relevance of the 2024 theme ‘inspire inclusion’ at all levels in the economy.

In the political arena, former College psychologist and former College psychologist and former Mayor of Dandenong City, and current representative for the seat of Mulgrave, the Hon. Eden Foster spoke to the whole school about her contributions to the current Labor government of Victoria. As the first Anglo-Indian representative elected to State government for the seat of Mulgrave, Hon. Ms Foster spoke about the pride she feels representing her constituency and the significance of the current Labor Party government reaching full gender parity in its elected representatives in both houses of Victorian Parliament – a major achievement worthy of celebration.

That said, in a recent article that appeared in The Age newspaper, Principal Farah rightly observed that gender disparities exist in multifaceted and often persist in subtle ways. Given our co-educational setting, I commend our Senior student leading young women in raising awareness of and offering guidance to younger students in how to navigate various challenges that persist as barriers to full inclusion regardless of gender.

Commendations are extended to all students involved in the Assembly preparation, and the full range of activities such as the lunch time concert celebrating the talents and achievements of female music artists and the lunch time fundraiser barbeque organised and run by the Year 12 Prefect team.

This week’s newsletter also focuses on the benefits for Senior students in Years 11 and 12 to maintaining co-curricular activities as an important part of social connection with peers and in fostering continued interest in personal passions or talents that promote learning beyond the classroom. Moreover, involvement and connection are fun and allow Senior students to enjoy all that the College offers beyond the classroom.

Below are three reflections on the benefits of debating from Olivia (Year 11) and aspects of the sporting program from Imogen and Elise G (Year 12) that enrich College life for senior students. While there is a need to focus on studies as part of the VCE journey, I would praise students in maintaining the activities that enrich College-life and help to focus students with limited study time that can narrow the focus to productive study constrained by the individual’s commitment to others in the academic and sporting teams and collaborative performances that celebrate students’ individual talents and prompt joy and achievement in Senior students.

Tom Crowle
Senior Years Leader

Co-curricular Debating
Joining the debate club was the best idea. Doing it for the past few years has strengthened my public speaking skills greatly, allowing me to grow in both confidence and perseverance. Debating helps me gain knowledge on certain issues that are going on and affecting Australia. I like debating as it allows me to work with peers in both my year level and others, to collaborate and learn. We also can meet new people from other schools in the community. Debating allows me to step out of my comfort zone and provides me with the chance to use my voice and present my ideas.
Olivia M
Co-curricular Sport
As a year 12 student who participates in both co-curricular and extra-curricular sports, I’ve come to realise that it has been extremely beneficial to my overall wellbeing. So far, year 12 has been a big change, calling for greater balance between homework and specific preparation tasks for SACs, as well as working part time and engaging in sports for various teams. While this been an adjustment, I have found that continuing to play basketball has been a fun and exciting way for me to balance out my school work, whilst also staying active and connected with teammates and peers.
It is proven that physical activity can drastically improve your mental wellbeing. Whether it be playing sport every weekend or going for a walk after school, exercise produces endorphins that significantly reduce stress and anxiety.
Exercising with friends has also helped me stay motivated about my study. Friends can help hold you accountable and be there for you when times are tough, which is vital for your wellbeing as you continue through Year 12. It also limits your study time because you have to be there on time for games and it means that I’m more productive and focused to complete tasks with the reward of a game or training to take my mind off of school work and recharge, distracting me from worries and keeping me upbeat, energised and enjoying the endorphins.
Elise G
I believe there are many benefits to having a balance between school and sport. Many people know the saying when someone has a ‘work/life balance’ however sport is my life. I have played sport since I could walk, and I believe it has helped me throughout my schooling. Balancing school and sport have made me become quite good at time management and I have been able to prioritise different activities at once. Achieving this balance has allowed me to foster physical fitness, mental well-being, and academic success. It cultivates valuable skills like teamwork, resilience, and determination which are essential for success in the future outside of school. Playing soccer for eight years has allowed me to take opportunities of leadership (eg. Captain). Being captain of a sporting team has taught me many valuable life lessons and has made me preserve through difficult times of my life. Playing sport whilst being a student at St Aloysius College has allowed me to lay foundations of success in both academic and athletic pursuits.
Imogen L