Principal’s Message | Dr Michael Carroll

The achievements of Terrace students continue to be very impressive.

Dear Members of the Terrace Family,

Last week I spent much of my time in Canberra as part of the EREA Principal’s Conference. A significant aspect of this conference was the EREA Ritual of Apology to the victims of sexual abuse. Whilst this is an extremely sensitive topic, I must say that I was proud to represent Terrace at this significant event. Below I have included a copy of the words Dr Wayne Tinsey, Executive Director of EREA, used as part of this ritual. I encourage you to read and reflect on the words Wayne spoke on behalf of the EREA Family.

THE APOLOGY – Wayne Tinsey

In this time of Pentecost – a time when the spirit provides us with the courage to find new voice – we, the leaders of Edmund Rice Australia, on behalf of our communities offer the following apology. Today we begin a journey of major change by publicly acknowledging the sexual abuse of students in our schools; some dead, some alive, some unknown:
Today we directly acknowledge the scarring harm of sexual abuse as abhorrent, sinful, shameful and disgraceful; and we also acknowledge that whatever was done can never be undone. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the helplessness, powerlessness, fear, guilt and shame that has been, and remains part of a victim’s life when, as a child, they recall feeling no control over their lives and even blamed themselves for what had been done to them. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the fact that young people in our schools were betrayed in their adolescence where they had every expectation of, and needed nurturing and protection. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the anger which our young students have felt, have shown and may still harbour against their abusers and others who they feel failed to protect them. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the sadness, grief and sense of loss felt by victims, especially when the perpetrator was loved and trusted by our young people and their families. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the alarming statistics of serial sexual abuse, assault and molestation of young people in our schools by Christian Brothers, Clergy and lay staff. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge that the pain inflicted and suffered continues to have ongoing devastation on victims in their adulthood as partners, parents, extended family and leaders in their careers and communities – and that there is no hiding from this pain. For this we apologise…..
Today we directly acknowledge the unimaginable pain endured by families, friends and loved ones who have been broken by the ingrained lasting trauma, often hidden, of each and every unspeakable criminal indignity and personal violation. For this we apologise…..
And finally, most significantly, today is the day we directly acknowledge that there has been a history of denial, secrecy, suppression and diminution in relation to sexual abuse crimes. Barriers have been placed which have hindered redress. Victims have not had a real voice. Rightful acknowledgement has not been given to those crying for justice. We have not spoken or acted as Edmund Rice and the Gospels would have demanded. For this we apologise…..
In the knowledge that, to many, the offering of an apology at this time may seem unhelpful, even possibly adding to the pain in some cases, we offer it sincerely in the hope that it is seen as a significant and necessary step towards healing, reconciliation and ongoing redress. In the true spirit of Pentecost, we pray that Edmund Rice Education Australia has found a new voice in laying stronger foundations for support, re-connection, inclusion and ongoing care for all who have suffered in this way.

I am sorry. We are sorry. We commit to a liberated future.

We are now in exam week. Last week I wrote about the importance of getting sufficient rest during exam time. A rested body operates more efficiently and a rested brain will allow the boys to think and process more effectively. I have done some research on the issue of Sleep and Performance and wanted to, in this week’s Terrace News, provide a couple of references and links for parents to further research. They include:

‘Effects of Sleep Quality on Academic Performance of Undergraduate Medical Students’ by S. Rasehki, F. Ashouri and A. Pizouzan, Dec 2015.

‘Sleep and Student Achievement’ by E. Elde and M. Showalter, Bergenham Uni, 2012.

‘Sleep loss, learning capacity and academic performance’ by G. Curcio, M. Ferrara and L. De Gennaro, Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2006.

A common theme amongst these articles and many other similar articles is the strong correlation between adequate rest and sleep and academic performance. Over the next ten days or so, please monitor your son’s sleeping patterns with the view of balancing revision, study and rest. Good luck.

The achievements of Terrace students continue to be very impressive. This week it is my pleasure to announce that Luke Ames has qualified for the State Final of the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition. This is an outstanding achievement and we wish Luke all the best. Similarly, congratulations to Charlie Parer who recently competed in the International Schools Auction Challenge (Australasian) and was placed runner up. This is the second year that Charlie has placed as runner up and is an outstanding performance considering the quality of the competitors. Congratulations Charlie. Last weekend the College Mooting Team, Connor Wright (Senior Counsel), Xavier Clark (Junior Counsel) and Matt Latter (Solicitor), along with their coach Mrs Samantha Knott, were placed second in the Bond University National Mooting Competition. It was also announced that both Connor Wright and Xavier Clark were recipients of the ‘Individual Oralist Awards’ in the Preliminary Rounds of the National High School Mooting Competition. Well done to all involved.

The conclusion of the Term 2 co-curricular program is approaching with games at Toowoomba this weekend and a limited number of games against BBC the following week. Good luck to all teams over the coming weeks.

Have a great week.

God Bless.

Dr Michael Carroll

College Principal