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Secondary Campus

PE WEEK

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, key findings show that:

  • In 2011–12, less than one-quarter (23%) of children aged 5 to 14 undertook the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • On average, children aged 5 to 14 spent more than two hours (123 minutes) each day sitting or lying down for screen-based activities. Children aged 2 to 4 spent 83 minutes a day on average in front of screens.
  • Only one in ten (10%) of children met both screen-based activity and physical activity guidelines (ABS, 2013).

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020, Health of Children, viewed 22 September 2021, <https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/health-of-children>)

In addition to developing good dietary and nutritional habits, limiting sedentary behaviour and participating in physical activity is vital to supporting a child’s health, development and psychosocial wellbeing (AIHW, 202). PE Week was an opportunity for students (and staff) to do just that!

The week involved all things PE with staff v students badminton games, a ‘BUMP’ competition, staff v House Captains Dri-Tri (a land-based triathlon), a scavenger hunt, staff v students outdoor volleyball, and the 2021 SMC Ninja Warrior. Thanks to all staff and students who participated in the activities over the week, and congratulations to all the prize winners.

Mrs Sally Nicholson, Head of Department Health & Physical Education – Secondary

AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORUM

On Wednesday 15 September, four Year 10 students, Paul Choimes (10PC-10), Isla Allen (10PC-03), Max McCleave (10PC-10), and Jamie Neville (10PC-10), were lucky enough to be able to attend the 12th Australian Space Forum run by the Andy Thomas Space Foundation. The event was a fantastic opportunity for the four students in attendance to network with professionals in the Space industry. In our time at the forum, we found that there were many different ways people can work in the space industry, including through law, business and engineering pathways.

Students were also fortunate to speak with many different directors of start-up companies in the space field and a few different events and groups, including the ‘National Youth Science Forum’ and Australian Youth Aerospace Association on different progressions in the industry and to connect with like-minded individuals. Students also toured the new space facility being built in Adelaide City, ‘Lot 14’, which was a great chance to see how exciting the future is for Adelaide’s space and cyber-security industries.

Mr Adam Biggs, Teacher – Secondary

YEAR 11 LASALLIAN RETREAT DAY

On Thursday, 16 September, the Year 11 cohort had the privilege of embarking on a retreat held at the Secondary Campus, with the day focusing on the theme of SOS (Service, Opportunity, and Sacrifice). The retreat was highly motivational and allowed us to view life from a different perspective about the sacrifices constantly made for us in the form of our parents, teachers and other people in our community who often go unnoticed. It also showed us how fortunate we all are and that we are privileged enough to be in a position to take opportunities and help others. We also learned of the importance of service and that service is looking at another person and allowing their priorities to take first place. We were also fortunate to hear from some inspirational old scholars, 2020 College Captain Olivia Higgins, 2019 College Vice-Captain Vincenzo Triulcio, Nathan Pellizzari (2019), and Isabella Tocchetti (2017), as they shared their stories and reinforced the themes of the day. The retreat was also an opportunity to unwind and relax during these busy and stressful times as we prepare to embark on the final term of Year 11. I can speak on behalf of the Year 11 cohort and truthfully say that we were all able to take something away from the day.

Written by Year 11 student, Massimo Cavallo (11PC-09)

WOMEN IN STEM BREAKFAST

Inspiring young women to pursue careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics was the fundamental purpose of the STEM breakfast held on Monday, 20 September, Week 10. Students Lilija Zampatti (10PC-07), Teresa Levak (10PC-10), Isla Allen (10PC-03), Holly Dini (11PC-01) and Bridie Dolan (11PC-01), along with around 200 other young women, teachers, and industry professionals, listened to discussions of what it is like as a woman working in the STEM industry.

Sumen Rai (Director- Defence Innovation Partnerships) spoke of the perceived barriers for women moving into this area and the range of skills they could bring. Much traditional design is based around the needs of the average male; for example, air-conditioning systems in large buildings are calculated on the size and metabolic needs of a 40-year-old man, leaving female workers uncomfortable. More women are needed in the areas of Engineering and Technology to address these types of discrepancies. Amy Brooks-Birve, a university student studying Mathematical Computer Sciences, encouraged students to surround themselves with great mentors that inspire them to follow their passions.

Students shared some of their thoughts about the day:

“It was marvellous, simply marvellous. The food was divine, especially the scrambled eggs. Shreya Abhyankar, a panel member, spoke beautifully. It was inspirational”. – Teresa Levak

“Hearing from the panel members gave us an insight into different people of different ages working in varying STEM careers”. – Lilija Zampatti

Ms Tess Morcom, Teacher – Secondary

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY COMPETITION RESULTS 2021

Towards the end of last semester, 16 Year 7 to 10 students participated in the Australian History Competition. This is a nationwide competition where students are provided an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience to test their historical skills by completing multiple choice questions linked to the Australian History curriculum.

I am very proud to announce that Year 10 student Tom Laforgia (10PC-02) has been awarded the prize as top Year 10 student in South Australia. This is an impressive accolade. The following students should also be commended for achieving some excellent results:

High Distinction – Thomas Webb (9BPC-03)

Distinction – Gianluca Belperio (10PC-03), and Molly Short (9GPC-04)

Credit – Oliver Dichiera (7BPC-06)

Merit – Poppy Benson (10PC-01), Alexander Dessaur (9BPC-01), Liam Saulters (9BPC-06), and Anthony Zerella (7BPC-06)

Ms Stacey Moros, Head of History – Secondary

YEAR 10 HISTORY – WW2 HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR GUEST SPEAKER

On Tuesday, 14 September, Year 10 students studying History were privileged to listen to guest speaker Andrew Steiner, OAM, a Holocaust survivor who spoke to the students about his experiences living in Nazi-Occupied Hungary during WW2. At the end of last year, the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Andrew Steiner Education Centre were officially opened. Andrew generously gives up his time every semester to share his story of survival with St Michael’s students and his important message about people not being a bystander to injustices around them. Year 10 students Jackson and Tom shared their reflections on Andrew’s moving presentation:

“It is important for students to learn about this tragic event in human history, to understand the sort of things humans can do to each other, and to learn from these mistakes, so they don’t happen again. From hearing stories like Andrew’s, we can learn that there is always hope. Always a chance for things to change and become better. This lesson can be applied to anything, some small, some big”. – Jackson Fennell (10PC-03)

“By Andrew giving his insight into the events, it improved my understanding of the event and the different phases. It is very important that we learn about this event. You have provided an amazing chance to increase my knowledge on the topic. Along with the information, the talk and your experiences throughout the was were very moving. Overall, it was an incredible experience, one that shall be remembered”. Tom Laforgia (10PC-02)

Ms Stacey Moros, Head of History – Secondary

YEAR 7 HISTORY – SA MUSEUM AND CENTRE OF DEMOCRACY

Over the last two weeks, on Friday 10 and Friday 17 September, Year 7 History students had the chance to visit the Museum and the Centre of Democracy. As part of their studies in Term 3, students learned about Ancient Civilisations, including Ancient Australia and Ancient Egypt. Throughout the day, students had the chance to immerse themselves in looking at important artefacts to learn about everyday life, rituals and beliefs.

Students also visited the Centre of Democracy on the corner of Kintore Avenue. They learned about Australia’s political history and some of the trailblazing men and women who have helped create our nation. Students had the chance to visit the war memorial and enjoy lunch in the Myer Centre. Some great educational experiences were shared across the respective days.

“I learnt something from every part of the excursion, but the two things that stood out to me the most was the painting in the Centre of Democracy and the medicines used by Indigenous Australians. I learnt that the painting was of a feast set up by the South Australian Governor to reduce the separation of Indigenous Australians and English settlers. I also learnt that the medicine used in these times was constructed from native plants and trees. Each plant was used as a remedy for a different illness or injury, and some Indigenous Australians still use these medicines passed down to them from their elders. I enjoyed learning about the famous people and events which have helped to shape South Australia”. – Jessica Burton (7GPC-05)

Ms Stacey Moros, Head of History – Secondary

YEARS 7-9 LEARNING AND WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS

Week 10: Fairness

“Fair go, mate. Fair shake of the sauce bottle. Fair crack of the whip!”

Some of these sayings might be familiar. They’re often associated with the stereotypical Australian- you know, the tall, tanned, blonde surfer, the lovable larrikin type that looks a lot like me!

The Department for Home Affairs affirms, “Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good.” Our national anthem implores us to Advance Australia Fair!

Fairness, as a character strength, is valued by our culture. It is also a strength we aspire to, both singularly and in our community, where we wish to be known, valued and cared for, explore our curiosities and become the leaders and learners of the world!

My earliest memories of thinking about fairness in a public place were associated with going to the footy at Norwood Oval with my dad and older sister, which we regularly did. It was the only place I really heard people publicly screaming their thoughts about fairness (not always in the politest of terms!).  While I can’t say that I go to many games anymore, I suspect that in this regard, perhaps not a lot has changed.

Fast forward about 35 years from Norwood Oval, and something similar unfolded in a completely different context. I had taken my Year 11 Italian class to a Languages Forum at Adelaide University, and during the then Premier’s address, a group of protesters stood up in Bonython Hall and began to sing loudly at the top of their lungs for most of his address, to drown him out. From memory, when he paused, so did they. He resumed, and so did they. My students looked at me wide-eyed, in astonishment, wondering what was going on around them in ‘sleepy’ Adelaide.

Just this last weekend, I was caught in the traffic of protesters in the city. Whilst this was inconvenient at that moment, I again felt grateful for the shawl of freedom that surrounds the country in which we live. It reminded me of a scene in one of my favourite films to teach, Looking for Alibrandi – you might know the scene. Jacob Coote, a young man who is a little rough around the edges, speaks about his pride in living in a country where we can peacefully make our feelings about public policy known without fearing the consequence of death. His speech sees the whole arena applaud thunderously because they know it’s true. We are very lucky in so many ways.

Fairness is very much a part of the Australian culture, but this doesn’t mean that everything is fair. It does, however, mean that we can find our voice and express an opinion when we feel it is not. We can, aspire to, and work towards making life fairer for everyone.

In my email to students in Year 7-9 this week, I invited them to think about these ideas:

We can develop and keep our fairness in check by:  

  • Making sure we are open-minded and looking at things through the eyes of those around us without judgement.
  • Looking out for people or things we can help in some way and offering to help. In COVID times, our wearing of masks is an important action here as something we can do to contribute to the health of everyone around us and our families.
  • Checking our own thinking to see if we view other people or cultures stereotypically or based on gossip. Are we focusing on divisive differences rather than what we have in common?
  • Avoiding gossip and thinking many times before posting or uploading anything.
  • Thinking about the mistakes we make and checking to see if we are taking responsibility. What can we learn from them?
  • Thinking about other people’s feelings when we are speaking or acting, rather than just our own thoughts and needs.
  • Taking up an active role in the College or another social justice group.
  • Reading about an event in the world where human rights are threatened and looking for the best ways to promote social justice on the issue.
  • Reading a biography or watching a clip about someone who is a strong example of social justice such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa…and thinking about how these people can inspire us to lead with fairness.
  • Making sure that in all that we do, we are lifting people up around us, not pushing them down by our actions or our words.

This week we also celebrate De La Salle Day, a day that honours our founder in his quest for fairness in education, bringing us to where we are today!

Wishing you all a fair go this week!

Enjoy the sunshine in all its forms during the break ahead!

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Learning and Wellbeing Initiatives Leader

WRITE A BOOK IN A DAY EVENT

St Michael’s College “Write a Book in a Day” event took place in the Library on Thursday 16 September. The aim of the day is to raise money for the Kid’s Cancer Project and write and illustrate a book in twelve hours. This year, students raised $1,103.37, a great effort for an important cause. The book is judged at the State level, and if successful, at the National level. Winners will have their books published and shared with hospitals around Australia for children from ages 10 to 16.

Eighteen students (two teams) arrived at 7:45 am, ready to begin their collaborative task of developing a story based on the parameters revealed at 8:00 am. The excitement as they shared their ideas and planned their stories, filled with larger-than-life characters and interesting plots, was constant throughout the day and evening. Their goal was always in sight and delivered with a click of an “upload” at 8:25 pm.

Comments below from some participants show how worthwhile an event it is. Congratulations to everyone involved, and good luck with your book entries.

“What I learnt from ‘Write a Book in a Day’ it is that I was right – it was chaotic in the last ten minutes!” – Tahlia Ward (9GPC-01)

“I enjoyed taking part in ‘Write a Book in a Day’ because it was fun to try a new experience and work with the different people in our group. I enjoyed collaborating with the illustrators and seeing the images connect with the chapters. I would definitely like to do it again next year”.Ashton Jackson (7GPC-05)

‘Write a Book in a Day’ was a really fun experience. It was my first time doing it, and I thought it would be a lot more intense and that we would be working down to the final minutes, but it was actually really relaxed and one of my best days at SMC”. – Massimo Marrone (7BPC-02)

“The challenge was a really fun experience; I enjoyed the teamwork that our group participated in, and I also liked the cause the challenge supported”. – Charlie Randall (7BPC-02)

“‘Write a Book in a Day’ was a fantastic experience, and I will surely do it again. I enjoyed getting to work with other authors and amazing illustrators to create an amusing (and crazy) book”. – Lily Colville (7GPC-05)

“This year was my first time participating in the ‘Write a Book in a Day’ activity. I found it incredibly enjoyable and a good way to let my imagination and creativity run wild, as well as my writing skills. I am glad that the money raised goes towards a good cause, as this fueled my motivation even more to work as hard as I could. I hope to take part in this activity in the years to come”. – Joshua Francis (7BPC-02)

“The best part of ‘Write a Book in a Day’ was the amazing people in my team. Everyone in the team had an important role and did it well”. – Kiara Didyk (8GPC-02)

‘Write a Book in a Day’ was a very eventful and fun day, and the group had a great time. Students got to write or illustrate and get to know new people. It was an enjoyable day, and I would love to do it again next year”. Kristian De Candia (9BPC-06)  

Mrs Maria Pepe-Micholos, Head of Library – Secondary