PODCAST: St James College, Brisbane Enrolment Information Session

To find out more about St James College, Brisbane or make an enquiry, visit StJames.jointheadventure.online.

Podcast Transcript

Ann Rebgetz: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming this evening. My name is Ann Rebgetz. I’m the principal of St. James College. I must add, though, I’ve only been the principal since the beginning of January. I’m new to the college as well. I will be relying on my colleagues to give you all the in depth information because I’m still learning as well. However, in terms of myself, I was 10 years principal at St Columban’s College Caboolture. And prior to that three years principal in the northern territory. So, this is my 14th year of principalship. Obviously, I enjoy it and very much. Was very excited and privileged to be able to come to St. James.
St. James is a school in Edmund Rice Education Australia. So it’s in the chain of schools like: Gregory Terrace, Nudgee College, St Pat’s, Shorncliffe, St Edmund’s in Ipswich, St Laurence’s. In that chain of schools that was set up by the Christian Brothers. When the Christian Brothers then set up a separate entity called Edmund Rice Education Australia. Edmund Rice is the person who founded the Christian Brothers in Ireland. And so, that’s how it started. He set up a group of brothers in Ireland, and then they decided to come to Australia.
That’s very significant for St. James because we’re the oldest catholic school in Queensland Secondary College, 151 years old this year. So it’s a school of great tradition. I know coming this evening, there’s some past students here from the college, and it has a very proud tradition. So, tonight, we’re welcoming you. The agenda for tonight is we’ll have a presentation, and then we’re going to take you on tour if you haven’t seen the facilities of the college so that you can have a good look at the facilities.
It maybe that some of you are interested in a position at the college now. If you are, that’s good, and we’ll ask talk to you afterwards about that, and would be keen to follow that up with you. Just on this slide, we talk about a promise of a liberating education. We have four touchstones in the college. In terms of those touchstones, they’re the touch stones of Edmund Rice Education Australia.
Each of the touchstones is reflecting, I guess, the tenants of the Catholic faith in terms of the gospel values, inclusivity, a liberating education, and justice, and solidarity. Liberating education it’s about saying education does liberate people, and provides them with the freedom of choice that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
So, to start off, we want to acknowledge our tradition owners of the land on which we stand, the terrible and jugular people. What’s really special, not many schools all know, we actually have our own indigenous dance troop. All of the people in the dance troop are our students. With our students, we have Aunty Theresa, who is a traditional land owner, who is our indigenous liaison officer. So we’re very proud of having the dance troop, and having such a strong connection with culture.
On Friday, we celebrated International Women’s Day. We did that with a lunch. What was wonderful about that is one of the speakers was Yvonne O’Neill, who was in the first National Rugby League team for women. She’s an aboriginal woman from New South Wales, who is the engagement officer for University of Southern Queensland. But she also is an incredible artist. Her art work is actually hanging in the Vatican. It’s wonderful to have such connections.
So we might start with a little blessing. Oh God, we thank you for the life of blessed Edmund Rice, our founder. Moved by your spirituality, he opened his heart to present in the poor. Inspired by his faith and generosity, may we follow his example in our lives. We pray that we too would hear the call of the poor, and respond in love and service. Renew in us his spirit and vision. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
As a college, we really celebrate the fact that we’re very into faith, that we have a lot of people here from different faith traditions. But I guess after all there’s probably just one God, the God that loves us all. That’s what we work on. That’s actually very positive because people develop an understanding, a real life understanding, of other people’s beliefs. It is probably the number one problem in the world.
I had a parent ring me one day saying, “My son is in year 11. He doesn’t want to do religious studies, or religious education in Catholic school.” I said, “Well, I can understand that you might want him to study religion.” But I said, “What does your son want to do?” He said, “My son wants to join the army.” And I said, “What do you think is the biggest problem in our world in where people are fighting in countries at the moment?”
The biggest problem is where people have differences in their views of religion, and what should happen in terms of taking that religion, and various perspectives of it, and trying to be dominant with others. When I explained that, I said, “Do you know getting into the army if you do comparative studies in religion, that’s probably going to prepare you better than everything else because people in the army are looking for informed young people.” He said, “Yeah, that’s actually right. Yes, he’s going to study religion. That would be fine.” He did, and he stayed on school, and is completing year 12 this year.
As student ambassador, I’m going to ask our students to come forward, please. Because all of you are trying to decide what’s the best pathway for my son and daughter in their education. I think to start off with, the best people we can talk to is to hear the stories of some of our students. We’re going to just line them up in a line. I think Paul you can come to the end. I’ll make you go last.
The students are going to say who they are, which school, primary school, they went to, maybe which country they’ve come from. How many languages they speak. What their career interests are. This is a test, isn’t it? What their career interests are. What they love about St. James, and what they would recommend to you. And then at the end of our little talk, you can … When we finish doing the presentation we’ll let you ask some questions. They may even have more questions in. So, I’m just going to hand the microphone over.
Fony Victorio: My name is Fony Victorio. I’m year 12, Mary Rice captain. I was born in Egypt, but have been living in Australia for 17 years of my life. So I came before I was one. My parents are from South Sudan, though. I only moved to St James last year from Our Lady’s College. I went to primary school at St Mark’s in Inala. I want to be a midwife, or do nursing when I finish school. One thing I love about St. James is it’s a family. We’re different to other schools whether it’s through our basketball programme, or through the different cultures we have in the school. We’re very different, and we embrace it. Thank you.
Igette Kalunga: Hello everyone. My name is Igette Kalunga. I’m from Congo. I’ve been in Australia just for about three years now. My first school was Villa Road, which is in Uganda, just back in Africa as well. The thing I love about St James is it have got everything that every student would love to have, and every student would love to be here. For example, we’ve got all the, as Yvonne said before, we’ve got all the sport programming everyone would love to be.
The thing is what I would want to be once I finish year 12, I want to study nursing so I can help people. Of course, there are some things that I’ve seen in life that other people haven’t experienced. That’s the reason I want to study nursing. The other thing about what I would love if you bring your child here at St. James your child would be … This is the best school to put your child into. They’ve got every opportunities that every child would love to have. Here at St. James, we don’t have students who bullies each other. We’re so treated equally. That’s it. Thank you.
Pirashanth Gopalakrishnan : Hi everyone. I’m Pirashanth Gopalakrishnan . I’m from Sri Lanka. I’m asylum seeker. I came here six years ago. I started St. James in grade eight. Now it’s been five years. St. James is really a … Has a major role in my life. They offered me free school, and they offered me all the clothes, and education. And all the teachers are really nice. They helped me really … They supported me and my sisters. My sisters got a scholarship for medicine. It’s pretty amazing. I’m trying to get a scholarship for international business as well. I think I can really that in school. St. James is really easy of ESO people to get in and achieve their dreams, because all the teachers are really supportive. Yeah, that’s it. Thank you.
Mariam Ajang: Hello. My name is Mariam Ajang. I’m the Carey captain here. I’ve been here at St. James since grade eight. This is my first high school and my last. Before St. James, I went to a school in Burrowes State School. Main thing that I like the most about the school is the fact that we don’t … No student is different here. There’s things that I don’t like, and there’s things that I obviously like. The school doesn’t force me into doing stuff that I don’t like, or they’re not like, “Oh, you can’t do this because you’re this.”
I’m African, but I still be hanging out with the PI kids, and do their programme. Or I play basketball. I’m basically involved in everything they can think of because I really like the school. I’m from South Sudan. My family came here in 2003. I was two years of age. I was two years old. Yeah, that’s me.
Gabe Stapleton: Hey, guys. I’ve had opportunity to have a chat with a few of you. But for those that don’t know me, my name is Gabe. I sadly only speak one language. Whilst that I say that, I do hope that I be able to say that I know a fair bit about lots about other cultures. That is a such a big thing that I’m able to say moving forward. It’s a big thing that I can put in front of many other things on our regime that may not … That you may not particularly be able to write down, and that’s just through St. James.
My friends’ group is so diverse. I’ve got friends from India, and all these other nations just off the top of my head in my close friends’ group. When you come to St. James, you don’t just sign up for education. You sign up for much more than that. You sign up to be able to know more about different cultures. To be able to experience different cultures. Not only through the way that St. James does it, but through the friendships that you make.
I think it’s a fantastic, not only opportunity that I have been given, but privileged to come to St. James College, and to be able to represent the student basis here tonight. Thank you guys so much.
Ndonde Fikiri: Hello everyone. My name is Ndonde Fikiri. I’m year 12. I am also a Hogan captain for this year. I am from Congo, in the central of Africa. I have come to St. James since year nine, and this is my last year, like Miriam. said. I enjoy being at St. James because I call this school as my second family. Basically, everything that I do outside school is being here. If it’s not being here, then it’s home. If it’s not being home, then it’s here. This is my second family.
I also love studying here because at St. James, we get freedom to learn. You just choose anything that you want to study. So, if your child is … If your child is very smart, or if your child is very good in sports, you can bring them here. There’s good options here as others said. If you’re really good in basketball, this is the best school for you. Basketball here it’s one of the best sports that we have.
Here you can get scholarships through basketball like one of our students did last year. She was a girl. She got a scholarship in Los Angeles. That was amazing. I was really proud of her. Did I say everything? Thank you. Oh, and I also speak more than three languages. Sorry. When I finish year 12, I want to continue studying in a bachelor of business international. Hopefully, I can achieve my dreams of travelling everywhere.
Ajawin Ajawin: Hi. My name is Ajawin, or AJ for short. I’m in year eight. As you can see, I’m a junior. We have a different uniform. What is that? I don’t really have any career goals right now. I’ll just see where school leads me. I play basketball. That’s one of my co-curricular activities. I speak three languages, which are: English, Arabic, and Shilluk. What I love about St. James is that we’re super inclusive, and super emotional. Our culture doesn’t matter who you are. You can still do anything you want to. Yeah, that’s it.
Abby Stott: Hello. My name is … Sorry. My name is Abby. I’m in year eight. I only speak one language, but learning Spanish. The school before I went was Jindalee State School. The school really helped me with my confidence, and it really made me be myself. Everyone is like my family, and really a big community. Thank you.
Hugo Reid: My name is Hugo Reid. I’m in grade 10, and probably I’m the only grade 10 here. When I finish school, I want to do a bachelor in aviation mechanics. What I like about St. James is that it’s very inclusive. Everyone is welcome here. I’ve got friends who are African, other Aborigines, everyone. Yeah.
Chloe Kerridge: Hi. I’m Chloe. I’m in grade eight. I have previously come from Petrie Terrace State School. When I grow up, I really want to be an actress. St James has helped me with my confidence especially with debating, and it’s also helped me get more active with the sport that it provides. I love how everyone is included, and we’re all a family. Everyone loves each other, and you’re free to be yourself. Thank you.
Dominika Wilberforce: Hi everyone. My name is Dominica Wilberforce. I’m one of the Long House captain as well for this year. I’m in grade 12. I came from Uganda, but my background is South Sudanese. I’ve been at St James for four years. I started in grade nine. Before St. James, I went to Milperra State High school, where I had to learn English, because I couldn’t speak English. When I grow up, … I mean, when I graduate, I want … Anyways, yeah. When I graduate, I want to study to become a nurse practitioner. Most people know what that is.
Something I love about St James is, as everyone said, it’s really inclusive, and it’s diverse. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what culture you are, what tradition you have. We’re all one family. We’re all here together as one family. That’s what we are. It’s a place global learning, and that’s what we do at school. Well, that’s what we do at St. James. You bring your kid here, they all feel welcome. We’re all one family. You feel home. You feel welcome.
Everyone talks to you, and everyone is willing to welcome you to the school. You just feel loved. As soon as you come through the gate, kids just welcome you like, “How are you? Come through. What’s your name?” You just feel welcome. A lot of kids move from other school and come to St James because at their old schools, no one talks to them, or they’re inclusive to their schools. When they compare this school to St. James, this is so much differences and they say, “How do we really learn how to be inclusive at St. James College because other schools don’t really do that?” I say to them, “It’s not about your culture, or who you are. Whatever place that you go to, just know yourself that we’re all one, and one family, and we’re together.” Thank you.
Paul Paul: Hello everybody. My name is Paul. My last name is Paul. It’s so good that you have to say it twice. I came to St James last year. I’m one of the college captains with Miriam. as well. I came from schooling in Melbourne before last year. I was born in South Sudan, which was a war-torn country back in the time. Me and my mother and brother we fled the country and moved to Egypt. My mom began to teach there for a while, but it was a still a hard place. They didn’t really like Sudanese people there. They used to call us names and stuff because we had different colour skin.
Luckily, we had the opportunity to come to Australia as refugees. We were invited here and accepted. When I finish school at St James, I hope to do medicine. After I do medicine, I wanted to become a doctor, and to go back to my country, and hopefully start a hospital. As I believe, everybody has a right to be healthy, and they have the freedom to do whatever they want because everybody has a skill, and their skill has to be shed with the world.
Something that I enjoy about St. James is that they produce global learning through multiculture than they have here. In like certain events like culture nights that we have here many students they perform the traditional dances from their countries. I really like that because I get to see the different unique things that come from different people. I really enjoy that. Thank you.
Ann Rebgetz: I don’t think you could hear such an articulate group of young people from any school in Australia, could you? And what a credit to them, and to the teachers here, and the staff here in terms of how your confidence has grown. Thank you so much. We can let you sit down at the moment. Now, I’m just going to ask all the staff to come forward very quickly and say who they are, and what area they work in place. You can see the range of people here tonight, which is just a small range, but gives you a bit of an idea. I said all the staff. We might move you down [inaudible 00:22:21].
Kristina Dolejs: Hello ladies and gentlemen and students. Thank you students for that. That was beautiful to listen to from all of you. You should be very proud of yourself. My name is Kristina Dolejs. I am the assistant principal for learning, and innovation, and pathways looking at our curriculum, and our options in terms of learning for the students, and the college. I just arrived at the college this year. I’ve come from St Columban’s College Caboolture, which is the same place our principal has come from. Yeah, very excited to be here and part of St. James.
Jessica Whelan: Hello all. My name is Jessica Whelan, and in three weeks, I will be Mrs. Tashwell. It’s a very exciting term for me. I don’t need a clap. My role here is director of learning innovation and pathway. So I work with Kris to track student outcomes from students across all years of the school, say 7 to 12. I’ve been here for seven years, and I absolutely love it. Watching students do what they did tonight makes me very proud to work here. It’s wonderful just to see them grow, and develop throughout the years that they’re here. So very proud employee here at St. James.
David Cantwell: Thank you, Mrs Trunchbowl. Oh, sorry. That’s from the movie from Matilda, isn’t it? David Cantwell. I’m one of the business manager here at St. James. This is my seventh year. Never dull moments. If you want to talk about accountants and their personalities, trust me no one with a normal accounting personality could work in a place like this. This is an extraordinary place. My job is really anything that doesn’t involve the educational siren, and really to keep the back end working. So that’s the insurance payroll. It’s the administration. It’s all of the above. So, a very exciting place to be. As I said, I’ve been here for seven years. It’s always just an incredible inspiration to hear our students speak. I feel very blessed being in a place like this.
Isikeli Kubunameca.: Hi, everyone. My name is Isikeli Kubunameca. The kids and the staff know me as Mr. K. I’ve been here about 14 years. I am the director of student wellbeing. So I look over with deputy, and the full house teams at the pastoral care of the kids at the school. It’s a great school to go. You should send your kids here.
Donna Martin: Hey. I’m Donna Martin]. I’m head of inclusive education learning and teaching enrichment. My job is to assist students with learning [inaudible 00:25:06]. Students where we extend as well. It’s the whole garment. Welcome.
Shannon O’Gorman: Hi everyone. My name is Shannon O’Gorman. I’m a personal counsellor here. I think I speak for all the staff here, and most of the details easily accessible on the website and in your packs tonight. So if I can help any families as they think about these decisions make their way forward, please do email me. I really welcome inquiries. That would be great.
Naomi Ritchie: Good evening everyone. My name is Naomi Ritchie. I’m the principal’s assistant. So if you ever would like to come to meet with Ann or talk to the principal about anything, Maria here will direct you through to my office. I’ll warm greet you and help you in any way possible that you might want to speak to Ann, or have an appointment with Ann.
I’ve been in Edmund Education for 23 years, and the last 11 years have been here at St. James. Like everybody else and the students have already said tonight, this is a truly unique and amazing. The school I was prior to was an all-boys school. This school being multicultural, being co-educational, I can’t speak highly enough of it. It’s so warm. It’s so inclusive. It’s so inviting, and it’s so genuinely caring. We have a fabulous cohort of very professional and dedicated educated educators. I don’t think your children could be in better hands. Thank you.
Maria Young: Hello. My name is [Maria Young 00:26:37]. I’m receptionist, and enrolments officer. So you probably … A lot of you will probably know me. I’ve spoken to you. I’ve been here for 14 years this year. If you can just remember that I’m the elder sister. What I mean about that is my younger sister works here, and the kids get a little confused. They think we’re twins but we’re not. But if you just remember, I’m the elder sister. I’m always happy to talk to you with any enrolment inquiries that you have. Thank you.
Martin Wiseman: They are most definitely not twins. I’ve just got the microphone off the nicest person in the world. I’m the deputy principal here. I’m Martin Wiseman. This is my ninth year here. I have a little bit of experience. I can honestly say it’s a place that definitely gets under your skin. It’s a place where teachers teach children first, and content second. The most important thing for a teacher to do here is to be in relationships with the students that they teach. And because of that, we’re able to produce the wonderful young people that you had from this evening. Even though some of them have only been here for a very, very short term. Others have been here for much longer.
The impact of the school on kids is profound. That’s why I guess I’m still here. But at the same time, it’s a place where under our new principal, whom you’ve had a little bit of an idea of the cycling that has arrived at this place is a complete re-imagining of what a school can do, and can aspire to. It’s a very, very exciting thing to be a part of. I thank her very much.
Ann Rebgetz: Thank you. Thank you everyone. Yes, please give them a big round of applause. They deserve that very much. Yes. Just taking that up, Marty, do you think the cycler you need to take shelter? In terms of … Having a blue print for schools, schools are businesses. Schools need to have strong leadership. We need to know where we’re going. These aspects of developing a blueprint for St. James are terribly important, having a vision. We do have a strategic vision in terms of getting those pathways for our students. We have a culture, and I think you’ve got a really good insight into the culture of the school from what you’ve heard. But the culture is very student-centred. That means the students outcomes are number one, and in terms of those outcomes, the staff are very geared to seeing the success of every student in the college.
In terms of our leadership, we have a strong leadership team. The leadership is in senior leadership, and what we call middle leadership. That’s very important because in Catholic education, all of our middle leaders are paid extra to what they have in their teaching role. Although, at the moment you might have heard of Highly Accomplish and Lead Teachers, which is a new structure being introduce so that master teachers can get paid very highly as well.
I say that because in the Catholic system, and I’ve taught a long time and in the state system previously as well. One of the things that Catholic system really puts a lot of dollars into is to paying their middle leaders for pastoral care. In the state system, they have year coordinators, but they don’t get paid extra. But in the Catholic system, they do. That’s really significant because it’s the Catholic system saying we really value that part of the school so much that we’re going to put money behind the pastoral care of our students.
Learning and teaching. Obviously, our co-work. So absolutely crucial. In terms of that, what kind of culture do we have around that? It’s an aspirational culture. It’s a high expectation, high performance culture. But it’s one too, which is an intervention culture. So if students aren’t getting to where they need to be, what can we do to fix that up. As we know, the earlier that we have interventions right from tiny bumps in terms of if something is not quite right, how can we fix that up and address it? How do we get around it?
If there’s a disability, how do we make that an ability by actually getting around the disability? Always say, “I’ve got glasses on. Without the glasses, I won’t be able to read. That’s my disability. What do I do? I wear glasses.” That’s how I get around that disability. There’s always a way around things. In terms of students, our students owning their pathways. That’s one of the things about tonight. You see the confidence they have to know where they’re going, and how they’re going to get there. They too have a responsibility.
In terms of the college, in terms of its facilities, and what we can offer, we have very good range of facilities here. You’ll get to see that in a little too soon. Our industry links, we have industry partners in a range of areas. We offer a very string vocational programme, and each of those areas has a link to industry, and we’re developing those partnerships, which you’ll hear a little bit more about.
So who are we? I’ve mentioned 151 years. The touchstones. The strong focus on global learning, academic and vocational training outcomes. Multicultural, multilingual. Student-centred pastoral care pathways, and a big strong career focus. Our interventional culture, which I just spoke about, and the importance of connections with business, parents, community, and industry.
A friend commented to me the other day. He said, “You know, if you come to this school, you make friends with the world.” We have a board. The college has a board. One of the members of the board is a recruiting officer for Rio Tinto. When I did a presentation to the board just recently meeting them for the first time, I spoke about this and the importance of being global learners. And she said, “Exactly right.” She said, “That’s my job in Rio Tinto. I hire people. We are looking for people who understand the world. Our company is a multinational company, and if we don’t have people who can understand the world,” she said, “anyone can get a degree.”
We know these hips of people now getting degrees. We know by 2030, the two countries that will have 60% of all the degrees in the world will be China and India. We live in an incredibly competitive world that is just growing in that aspect. I think something like 80% of PhDs in the world are coming from India. In terms of the world, the experience that you get here is the global experience since the students are so clearly articulated. That was one of the things that attracted me to apply for a position at this college.
I’ll put this slide up about affordable excellence because we are a fee-paying college. You might think, “Well, my choice is to send the students to a state school, a government school, or a non-government school.” And we’re, as I said, a Catholic school. What is the difference? Well, it is a global learning environment with multiple pathways. We have an all-inclusive fee. Our fees at the moment are around about $7000. I think it’s 6900. You’ll see it in the pack.
That’s all-inclusive. That includes your one-to-one laptop. If you do a comparison to the state schools, I worked at, it probably costs about $2000 a year of that amount that you would pay in a state school anyway. It’s just that you don’t pay it upfront because our fee includes the camps, the excursions. The travel costs to go to different sporting venues. And in the state school, you have to pay for that separately.
So, in terms of what you’re actually getting, that’s why I call it affordable excellence because you’re getting all those extra things as well. The reflection days. The retreat programmes in addition to the government schools. We also have that personal approach. You heard a little bit about the basketball programme. Today, our students in the South East Queensland Futsal competition our seniors got first place of all the schools, and our juniors got second place. They lost by two goals, apparently. They won’t be very happy. But they’re very good. Soccer is also very big in the school.
The wellbeing focus, you can see there we have a vertical house system. You’ll hear a bit more about that. Again, that’s all included in those fees. The camps, the excursions, emerging programmes, we have a breaking van for the homeless. Again, that’s all included. We do that through our college and commute those dollars. We want to teach our students about the importance of reaching out to others.
Indigenous scholarship through QATSIF. Indigenous students are very welcome in to the school. We have a college bursary fund, which we’re trying to build up, so we can provide more bursaries to people. We also have those facilities. Particularly our science technology, engineering, mathematics facilities are very, very strong. In all of the trade school centre, again, we have top quality areas in terms of getting the best outcomes.
So, this particular slide was put out by the government last week. Very important because it’s talking about the importance of educating schools for a world yet to be imagined. As parents, that’s how we have to think. The world yet to be imagined. So, what they talk about there is the importance of, number one, transferable skills. Number two, meeting the needs of students in terms of partnerships. All of these areas are crucial. I guess in terms of the Gonski report, and those outcome, and what’s happening in education, it’s the partnership.
For example, I met with a person from the Metro North Hospital in health, because that’s such a big growth industry, recently. They’re looking at 300 school-based traineeship in the health. They’ve actually worked out through those traineeships, how you could get to be if you do the traineeship in a certain area that from achieving that traineeship then you could do a study course, which they would support in other [inaudible 00:38:58] University that will get you to be a physiotherapist, or whatever part of medicine that you’re interested in. So, incredible opportunities in health. Just this one example.
All of these booklets are around the importance of preparing for that yet imagined world. Everyone’s familiar with Airbnb, Uber Eats, et cetera. The whole Uber world. It’s that freelancing enterprise culture. People won’t work the way they have worked in the past. We have to prepare our students with the enterprise skills to be able to do that. Some of the reports, submit your report up the top crunching the numbers. Only 25% of all students in universities in Australia have gained an ATAR, or an OP. 75% of people at universities have come through other pathways.
So what we try and do here is educate strategically so that whatever the student wants to do, they will be well prepared. For example, a student might go through and do a traineeship in health, and it might be as elite health. And then they might decide, “Well, I’d like to be a doctor.” So the student who’s got the traineeship, then goes to university and studies to be a doctor, when they go to do the interviews to get into medicine, because to get into medicine is probably the hardest thing, they’ve got the experience of having worked in the industry, and having the client exposure.
That’s the edge that students here will have because they will able to have those opportunities. That might be the same in any area. We heard one of the students talking about wanting to be an aviation mechanic. He may choose to be an aviation mechanic, that was good. But maybe when he gets there, he might think, “I want to be a pilot now.” So, he can then step into being a pilot. Who’s going to get into being a pilot? The person who just comes straight from school and has no industry experience, or the one who’s been an aviation mechanic? Which one are you going to employ?
Speaking of Rio Tinto, one of my past students, he’s now the CEO of Rio Tinto in an area in Australia. He’s mid 30s. But again, he did a mechanic traineeship. When he graduated from uni, Rio Tinto had to decide who they were going to take. The person who got the absolute top scores, or the person who got pretty good scores, but also was a mechanic, and had done a school-based traineeship. Which one did they take? The one who was a mechanic because he actually had hands on skills as well.
In terms of the integration of the college, we have many vocational certificates. We have 10 industry areas at the moment, school-based apprenticeships, lots of senior subjects, and middle school subjects, but again coming back to being innovative and enterprising in our approach. What all of the people across Australia are saying the importance of foundation skills, and employability skills. You can have many people who study, get good scores, graduate from university, can’t get a job. Why? Because they do not have good employability skills. They don’t show initiative. They’re not good in teams. They’re not good at planning and organising. They don’t self manage well.
So, you can have the academic skills. But unless you have the other foundation skills, and employability skills, that’s going to make it very difficult because it’s so competitive. Remember that competition that I spoke about. We know in terms of the labour market, we’ve seen the transformation in the industry around just going shopping. We all now do our own shopping where we have to put it through the scanner, pack our own bags, et cetera.
Think you for all the people that were in those jobs. They’ve gone. Those people if they’re going to get a job have to actually up skill themselves to do things at higher levels. The complexity of jobs has increased, so we have to be aware of preparing ourselves for that. In terms of the labour market, you can see from there that health is very big professional jobs in terms of construction is still big, engineering, science related jobs. But there’s a lot of jobs that have just disappeared. We know how many factories have closed down because it’s all automated.
I can remember going into this big beer factory in Belgium when I went to do a course in Belgium, and it was one of the Belgium beers. I looked around. It was absolutely massive, probably covering this whole campus. I could not see one person. Everything was done on conveyor belts all done by machines. And so, when you can do that, where are the people? Where is the job? The job is running this places. So you have to have the skills of organisation, technology, management to be able to do it.
Our links to social, local, and global communities, we’re very strong on that because in terms of thinking of other, it fits our ethos, our inclusivity, our cultural awareness. In terms of that, it’s the biggest problem in Australia. If you’re going to go into health, or go into law, engineering, mining, guess what the biggest challenges are? The biggest challenges are in terms of our indigenous people, and the fact there are so many indigenous people with high rates of sickness, low ages in terms of their mortality, high incarceration rates in prisons.
We’ve got this huge challenge in our society. The first question you’re going to get asked if you go into medicine is, what do you know about indigenous health? What exposure of you had different cultures? You go to St. James you can talk about, “Well, I know cultures. I went to a school that was multilingual, multicultural, had an indigeneous dance troop,” et cetera. We try to get involved in all the events that we can in terms of that. Now I’m going to ask Ms. Dolejs to come and do the next stage in terms of explaining the curriculum, which you’re probably very interested in. What happens in year seven?
Ms Dolejs: Okay. I don’t actually have my glasses on. So please bear with me. But essentially, the curriculum across … Well, across the whole school, the idea is that students are able. Once they’ve had a taste, I guess, of subjects in year seven and eight that they’re choosing subjects that they have more interest in, and building up into the subject that they really are thinking potentially might be a pathway for them in senior.
As Ms. Rebgetz has already days, certainly by the time students are in year 12, it’s not too late. It doesn’t matter if what they have chosen is not the pathway that they want, or sets out. Our idea is to make sure we’re giving them all those opportunities. The main focus that we have on curriculum is making sure that we’ve got subjects that are on offer that students will have the best outcomes possible for them to open as many doors for them at the end of that as they can. So once they start to move out of the doors at the end of year 12, the world is open to them whether it’s dive straight into the workforce, travelling overseas, taking on internships, traineeships, or going onto university, there’s a whole lot of ways that they can get there to that.
In year seven and eight, you can see there it’s designed in terms of meeting this day and curriculum requirements. That goes through for all of our year levels. I’ll just quickly go through this so you can have a look there. So the core subjects that all year sevens and eights will study are: Religious education, history, English, music, geography, math, science, French, and PE.
They all will do all of those subjects over the years in year seven and eight. But then they will also get a chance to experience design and living technologies. So visual art, some hospitality, and some information technologies, and making sure that they’ve had an experience in each of those areas that they may choose as they head into their older grades as well.
Once they head into year 9 and 10, the core subjects will remain the same. Every student will always do religious education, English, math, and science. And then they also will have health and PE, and a semester of history in there as well. And then they also choose an elective, which they will study for the whole of this semester, and then swipe over in the second semester to get more of a taste of it. In that, they can choose from industrial technology, junior hospitality, adult education, art accounting and law, and digital technologies as well.
The other thing that we have reintroduced is to give the intense niche an opportunity to undertake work placement once they’re in year 10. That is a fairly common practise in a lot of schools, but not all of them. It’s really important we feel in terms of making sure students are getting those life skills, and understanding what it means to be able to step out of your comfort zone a little bit, and try something. It doesn’t mean that they have set themselves up for, “this is what I have to do when I finish school,” as we all know. And certainly, the research shows that the amount of careers that young people are going to have will far exceed anything of my generation, the generation before me, and perhaps the generation between me and school leavers at the moment. Maybe there’s two generations between me and school leavers.
But the career path that we once would have chosen is just a stepping stone to the next career path and so on. Making sure that our students have all of those 21st century skills is really important to us. We try and make sure that that’s embedded through all of our curriculum, but also that it’s part of the opportunities in student learning. So having that work experience in year 10 gives them a chance to go out, and see what it’s like to be part of a workforce.
In year 11 and 12, we’ve got … Sorry, did I … Okay. In year 11 and 12, there’s three types of subjects, I suppose. There’s general subjects. There’s applaud subjects, and there’s VET subjects. Our applaud subjects there are essential English and math, religion and ethic, visual arts and practise, hospitality, and ICT, so information communication technology.
Each of those subjects if you’ve had other students go through a school of you yourself, they would have been called SES subjects, or no-OP subjects. That’s the new word is now applaud subjects for those ones. They still count towards an ATAR if that’s the pathway that the student is taking. Or one of those, sorry, can still count towards that, but I’ll explain that a little bit more.
As far as general subjects go, there’s quite a list there. You can see we’ve got all the mathematics. All of the English that I considered … These are the ATAR subjects. So the general ones, or what would have once been called OP subjects. The science is the chemistry, physics, biology. Math C is now called specialist mathematics. Mathematical methods is what was once called maths B. And then through into the history study of religion, visual art, Lego studies.
Again, students have an opportunity within St. James, within Catholic schools, religion is a compulsory subject. But whether it’s a study of religion, or religion and ethic subject that they’re taking. The other option, which will become clear in a moment, is a Cert III, a Certificate III, which will also give them that experience to religion and world regions as part of that.
As Ms. Rebgetz has pointed out, the idea of making sure that we’ve got global learners, and we’ve got students who are very ready for what it looks like to go onto further study into the workforce, and have some real life experiences, means that we’re very serious about making sure we’ve got [inaudible 00:51:44] offering for students, certificate courses that they can undertake. Some of those certificate courses are the Certificate Is, and some of the Certificate IIIs. Obviously, varying degrees of difficulty within them. The Certificate IIIs that we have on offer at the moment are the Certificate III in fitness, which is becoming credibly popular for year 11 students.
As of next year, there will be a Certificate III in business, and a Certificate III co-campus, which is a version our a religious studies subject that has a more dynamic too in terms of, I suppose, offering students an opportunity to really put into practise the theory that they’re learning in that subject. Certificate II include our outdoors re creative industries, engineering.
Students actually this year are very excited. We’ve signed up with a new provider for the engineering certificate, and it’s a company called Formula Students. Formula Students over the two years the students actually build a race car that then get taken on a race tour race track, and they get to race against other schools. That’s really exciting, and all the different dimensions in terms of the engineering of that from the fabrication through to the mechanic side of it, and the design as well.
And then we have our Certificate I and II in digital design and business, kitchen operations, furnishing, and construction. A lot of offer, a lot of variety, and making sure that we’re giving kids a chance to really be able to get into that workforce with skills that are useful for them.
Ann Rebgetz: [inaudible 00:53:17] you’ll be charged extra for your certificates. But the way we do our fees we include that. That’s its extremely significant. If that was in the state school, you would be paying for each certificate in addition, and probably some of you have got children that may have done that. It’s also very good option because the minute you leave school you will pay a lot more for those certificates than doing them whilst at school.
There’s a lot of research around students in Australia that if you graduate with a certificate, the more qualifications that you have. It’s actually a protective factor because obviously you feel good about yourself. You’ve got skills and confidence. That’s why we try to get our students as qualified as possible when they’re finishing school.
Ms Dolejs: Thanks. Finally, I’ll just talk to very briefly about the ATAR because it is a little bit of a mystery out there for some people, and some schools are struggling with their audiences understanding it. It’s really simple in terms of … ATAR is a pathway into university. It is not the pathway into university. Not all universities require a student to have an ATAR, or what was, up into the end of this year, an OP. As this is the case, and as Ms Rebgetz has pointed out, three-quarters of people going to university aren’t going there on the back of an OP. They’re going there with other pathway entry requirements, and a certificate three, in fact, is what’s required for a lot of them.
Many Queensland Universities have confirmed that the Cert IIIs are the primer Cert IV level qualification would be considered requirement enough. There’s obviously going to be different courses have different levels of entry requirement, and there are some areas that are going to require different subjects, but as a general rule, you don’t have to do an ATAR to go to university. And an ATAR, sorry, is Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank.
Not all students will or should be aiming for an ATAR. It’s not just our philosophy. But in fact, it’s the QCAA philosophy that the best pathway for a student is to do the courses or the subjects that they like the most, and that they will have the most access in. Because if they’re going with something that they enjoy, and that they want to do, then ultimately that’s going to lead to high results for them at the end of the day rather than struggling through something that they have no interest in.
That show you should calculate an ATAR without going into the details of that. You need five general subjects. They’re the ones that I was saying before of what we once would have called OP subjects. However, you can have four of those subjects, and either a Certificate III, or one of those applied subjects. So visual writing practise, for example, and your four general subjects. Usually, that will require them being general maths and general English, and two other subjects. And then a Cert III in fitness or the Cert III in business. That would generate the number required to get an ATAR as well. Okay. I think Mr. Wiseman. I think he literally just stepped outside for a second.
Isikeli Kubunameca: I can start it off while we’re waiting for him. Actually, well, he’s coming through. So, there are four houses that Mr. Wiseman will come and talk to you about. There’s Carey House, Hogan, Long, and Mary Rice. Approximately, in each house there’s about 100 students, and four deans, five homeroom teachers. I’ll head it over now to Mr. Wiseman.
Martin Wiseman: Sorry. I was just taking someone to the toilet. It’s just around the corner. We operate a house system as Mr. K said. The wellbeing section of the school is … Well, often what we call the mad, bad, sad, and glad part of the school because that’s probably, on any given day, the spectrum of emotion that we’re probably going to encounter in this aspect of the place.
We’re very, very proud of the people that we have working for us. They’re very experienced, as you heard Ms. [Casbin 00:57:45] here for over 14 years. Myself nine years. Ellen Johnson has been here for longer than me. We have a huge amount of experience, and a huge amount of experience in dealing with kids from the variety of backgrounds that you see. You can guarantee that any child that comes here is going to get the absolute best of where the kid is going around. I’ll hang my head on that on any day of the week.
We have a vertical wellbeing system. What that basically means is a bit like hog warts. We have houses. As Carey, Hogan, Mary Rice, and Long are named after significant people of St. James, and the wider EREA community. We genuinely believe that our communities can be born, and can be created making the big school small. Not that we’re a huge school. But the houses certainly make the intimacy of the relationships with people that much more genuine, and that much more strong because the way that we structure our pastoral care systems is designed to ensure that you have one person to go to for all of your needs.
The homeland teacher, which sees the student every morning of every school day should be, and theoretically is the same person that that will have from the day that they start in grade seven, to the day that they leave in grade 12. Because of the longevity of many of the staff in each of the houses we have had people who’ve been in that homeland teacher role for over 20 years. We certainly hangout hats on the fact that our staff know your kids. That’s probably as rock solid guarantees I can give you that we will be making sure that your child is looked after in this place.
Not only that, but as you can see, we have house leaders, and year 12s adopt a leadership role in that homeroom. So you can imagine that they have been in there. Large numbers of them have been in the homeroom since grade seven. And so after six years or after five years they, and you heard the students say they feel like they’re home. Their homeroom is almost like that old TV Show called Cheers, where everyone knows your name. It’s a place where everyone knows your name.
We’d like to foster that particular relationship for our year 12’s. The ownership that our year 12s have over the homeroom is certainly one of the most profound things that we have. Our team looks like this. Myself get to lead this group of people, which is a great privilege. Next to me, and next to my office, which you’ll see on the tour, is Yolanda, who’s the other sister to Maria. She looks after that particular part.
Any issue that kids have throughout the school day whether they’re coming, or they’re going, whether they need a bed, or whether they need to go to hospital, or whether they’re hungry, or whether they’re thirsty, or whether they need to find a room, or for whatever reason that a child is not out of cater for any reason at all, Yolanda is the protocol there, and helps out as much as she can.
We created a new position this year. Mr. K is in that as director of student wellbeing. And certainly not a person who has more expertise in St. James, and in the wellbeing area than Mr. K in order to do that job. Together we look after the house things, and the college counsellors, who I’ll talk in a minute and what she does, and the profound effect she has on kids and families. As I said, the homeroom teachers feed into that structure there to make sure it’s a rock solid web of care for your kids.
We do have sport. The kids talked a lot about sport. On Wednesdays, we do run an inter-school sporting competition with a number of schools in the South District’s area, which includes schools like Balmoral and other Christian schools, and a wide variety of different competitions. That was loosely divided into the two seasons that you see this. So at the moment, we’re in the summer season. You heard Ms. Rebgetz talk about Futsal Carnival, which was on today, which we did pretty well in with the three teams that we sent.
But including Futsal, we have volleyball, basketball, and touch football. And then moving into our winter season, we have netball, football, which is soccer and rugby league, and also which is not on the Aus tag, which is version of touch football, which we include there, and which we play other schools.
In addition to that, we have a vast ally of co-curricular teams and shoots, which can be … Which occur outside the Wednesday sport system. Basketball, which you heard we’re two times national … Oh, sorry. State champions off to the national championships for the last four years in a low. Our confraternity rugby league, which you see right there who were awarded last year at core fraternity, which is the spirit of the confraternity award, which is an award given for sportsmanship conduct, and the spirit with which the game is to be played. We won that award out of 48 different schools and different teams last year. So we were very proud about that.
Football we are incorporated into various tournaments. At least we’ll playing in the EREA Tournament, which is an Australian wide football tournament, which will occur at [Argy 01:04:10] College this year. Futsal we talked about. Girls field side plays every Wednesday during summer. Netball will play in the Castle Cup, which occurs on Wednesday afternoons as well as in the QISSN confraternity netball competition, which runs alongside the Rugby League tournament in June/July holidays.
We’re looking at sevens rugby starting this year, and also volleyball, as I said. But in addition to that, we have a [inaudible 01:04:44] of cultural, and other activities including debating, singing choirs, singing ensembles, musical ensembles, cultural dance groups, and cultural night, which occurs in May is something you should all put down in your calendars to come along. It is an absolutely spectacular evening.
As I said before, you met Shannon. She works with us as our personal counsellor. The ally of work that she does with students and families is incomparable. Not only does she work in the personal counselling area where she talks to kids about things that are going wrong in their lives, and things that … Giving them strategies on how to deal with all sorts of things. She liaises with a wide variety of health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers et cetera.
She is a family therapist by trade. She offers a family therapy support, which operates outside of school hours, so in the mornings and in the afternoons on your choice if things are not going right in your family at home. We have a group therapy approach to anger management. A lot of our students who have difficult like a lot of teenage boys in particular, but certainly some girls who have some issues in dealing with processing anger issues. We have a research-based and evidence-driven programme there that works very well.
Group therapy approaches to other things. Our restored justice prices, which is the cornerstone of their behaviour management system runs when things go wrong between students, and Shannon runs RJ meetings within. Her practise is deeply set in trauma informed evidence, and practise. So a lot of our students come from situations, which aren’t ideal, which we certainly wouldn’t wish on anybody.
In order to be able to help kids deal with the trauma that they’ve experienced in the past requires us to teach, and requires us to counsel in a certain way that’s going to be constructive not destructive. Without going into so many details, it’s stuff that’s a new wave of dealing with things, and prism through which we look and look after our kids. So, we’re certainly at the cutting edge of that.
Finally, one of the phenomenon that’s becoming more and more prevalence in society, and certainly the growth in home schooling is an example of this where students are finally getting more and more difficult to come to school, and to participate in the schooling, mainstream schooling system. Shannon has adopted her own research, and her own practises, and working with the pastoral team.
We’ve developed a process by which students may wear themselves back into coming into our mainstream school setting. It’s a pretty comprehensive service, and certainly something that we’re very lucky to have her there, and certainly very lucky to have the wellbeing team that she works with in order to make all of this stuff come to fruition. But I will actually hand back to Mr. K, or are you going to take this one? Thank you.
Ann Rebgetz: Thank, Marty. Just a test of days, Mr. K is running this. We’re starting up some taste today just to foster that partnership between primary schools, and secondary schools, so with a middle school philosophy where students can come and experience three sessions at the secondary school in the morning classes, three different set classes. We’re going to start that on March the 29th. We’ll be negotiating that with different schools.
But those students who actually do enrol at the college will invite you to come to a taste today as well. We’ll have a day which is there for all of the student from different schools to come. We’ll be doing that. We also have transition. If you do apply to come to the school, for those who are coming into year seven next year, we’ll have a full orientation day on November the 29th. But in term three and four depending on the needs of the students, we have gradual transition.
So there will be communication with the schools, and the teachers from which your son and daughter are coming from, so that we can make it a very smooth transition. I was actually part of a study I did with a partner primary school when I was in Caboolture. We did a really intensive study. We employed a consultant, and we talked to people in the primary, and in the secondary, parents, students, teachers, and we found that the most … The anxiety came more from the parents than it did from the students.
So, it’s very interesting because people perceive that the kids were really worried, but actually the parents were more worried than the kids were. So, it was just interesting. Another thing that came out of our study was the gap from, say, year six to seven, or year seven to eight, those gaps were fine. The harder gap went from year eight to year nine. That’s where students started to notice a difference in terms of conceptualization, and the complexity of what they were doing.
Open day on May the 17th we’re going to combine that with the culture night. That’s the day from 10:00 AM onwards that you can come to the college, but you might want to stay come later in the afternoon, have a look at the cultural night. As Mr. Wiseman said, it’s really worth seeing. I haven’t seen it yet, but I haven’t stopped hearing about it, so I’m really looking forward.
We have a lot of sporting carnivals as well. We may even have some which are for primary students. Particularly, because our students do the VET certificates, and Certificate II in coaching, and Certificate III in fitness, and part of their competency requirements is actually to work with younger students, which is really great. Now, I just want open it up for a couple of quick questions. If any of the young people, we have a lot of lollipops here, which we’re not supposed to eat, I know. But we are giving these away if you do have a question. Would you like a lollipop.
Female: I’ll pass on the lollipop. Thank you for the offer. However, I’ll pass on the lollipop. My question is this referencing to small class sizes. Can you talk a little bit about that, please, particularly in the younger grades for the year seven kids onwards.
Ann Rebgetz: At the moment, we pretty small class sizes because of trying to give lots of support to our students. So, in the younger grades, at the moment, in year seven, there’s only about 17 to 20 in the class. So, we will be trying to keep that in those earlier grades. And so in terms of that context that’s where they are now. They’re about 20, I think, in year eight. In the class, there’s about 20 in year nine. So maybe a bit more 24 as you get in … It depends on the subjects because once we get into senior school, there’s some really small really class. Where’s Ms Dolejs? How many in your Lego studies?
Ms Dolejs: 12.
Ann Rebgetz: 12? We run that range of subjects. We run more subjects here. Peter Chapman, who is the regional director of Edmund Rice Education Australia he was the principal at Gregory Terrace. Some of you might know Peter. He said to me and he said, “You know, St. James offers many more subjects than Gregory Terrace.” So, we are offering … We’re really are offering an incredible range of subjects for the size of the school. But, we do have more students in year 11 and 12, and they’re able to do that.
We have 15 international students at the college from China, and a lot of career … And that actually adds to what we can offer, and also they’re pretty aspirational as well in terms of if you’ve got to come out from China, and study in Australia you want to be here, and then you often are wanting to going into particularly in science and mathematics. Other questions?
Male: Two questions. How many students go to the school?
Ann Rebgetz: At the moment, there’s about 420 students.
Male: Do you have a good debate team?
Ann Rebgetz: We sure do. We have a top debate team. They’ve beat All Hallows last week. I think you deserve at least two lollipops.
Male: Thank you.
Ann Rebgetz: Debating is a bit of a passion of mine. I think I’ve been a debating coach and adjudicator for something like 25 years. So I strongly believe in debating. Very important skill.
Male: When do you do science competitions?
Ann Rebgetz: When do we do science competitions? I think we do science competitions all through, because science itself you can sit for those, the testing competitions, but there’s also competitions that are fun competitions that you can enter as well. We’re always on the look out for whatever is going on. The World Science Festival is coming up too. We’ve been encouraging students to take part, plus science is so integrated.
We talked about the engineering, the car that the students will make the engine, and then raise that car out in a ring bar. That’s science, isn’t it? To be able to build a car, the engine of a car.
Male: Heads on science.
Ann Rebgetz: Yes. Heads on science. That’s physics.
Male: Yeah.
Ann Rebgetz: Any other questions?
Female: Yes. Is there enough places given the popularity of the school? How many kids turned away, or unable to be offered a spot in the school?
Ann Rebgetz: Every person is considered in terms of the application. I can speak, honestly, that I haven’t turned anyone away. It’s about the suitability of the school for the child. Sometimes when you sit down and discuss it, you might think, “Yes, it is the best place for my child.” Or you might think, “No, they may be better in a different setting.” So, it’s about … You’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re offering. And I think really the big thing that I’ve noticed in being here is that what you’ve heard from the students the difference is the norm, and inclusivity.
We didn’t brief the kids to say talk inclusivity. I thought that was quite amazing to hear six of them mention that word. Now in other schools, you won’t hear them mention that word, inclusivity. It’s a pretty hard word to say, anyway. Just to hear that, and because people are all different, it is the norm. It suites people, and then it is very aspirational because you’ve got students who, as they said, come from more torn countries. They want that liberation. They want that education.
They’ve had to come start their lives here living in poverty, really, because they didn’t have any money coming to Australia. They’re living on Centerlink. It’s hard to get jobs when English is your second language. Even if you had a job in your country before, it’s much more difficult. They’ve experienced that. You’ve got students here who are hungry for education. That rubs off. All the research around students who may be take a bit longer to get to the ethos in terms of finding learning challenging. The big thing is about being able to bubble. If you’ve got no one to bubble up to, how can you bubble up?
That’s why the basketball team who 10 out of the 12 students in the basketball team are from African backgrounds. They compete against schools that invest hundreds of thousands in their basketball programme. All of the top three paying schools in Brisbane who do that, and yet they beat them. Why? Because they are nurtured to develop self belief, and they practise a lot, and they’re hungry for it.
That culture of high performance, I believe, goes across every aspect of learning in a school. When I went to Caboolture, it was a low performance, low expectation in terms of the mindset of our students, and we were able to change that to the high performance culture. When I left that school, the outcomes in terms of what students were achieving, they had actually … A third of the students only did an OP. But two-thirds of the students were going to university straight out of school because they were doing Certificate III, other pathways that got them into university, but at the same time, they had more qualifications than their neighbours in any other schools. That’s the kind of thinking that is a much more strategic thinking around educational pathways.
Female: I have two questions, if that’s okay. Quick one first. Are girls allowed to wear shorts?
Ann Rebgetz: No, they can wear long pants. That’s part of their … Oh, sorry. Are they allowed to wear shorts?
Female: Are girls allowed to wear shorts as part of uniform?
Ann Rebgetz: They wear shorts in the sports uniform. In terms of their day uniform, I’d have to check that being new. But obviously, they can wear long pants. That’s not a problem.
Female: Okay. Another question. What do you have for the way of music education?
Ann Rebgetz: Well, we have music, and we’re growing that programme. I’m very keen to grow that programme. When I started at Columban’s, there were three ensembles. When I left, they were 17. It’s about how you grow the programme, and that’s what we will be looking to do. Already, we’ve got incredible musicians in the college. Whereas Shannon at our international Women’s Day choir it was incredible to hear the way this group of year seven, eight, nine students saying. Shannon, amongst other talents is a music therapist. So we have music in year seven, and we have music teacher, and we’ve got other people in this college who are very much developing our music programme.
Martin Wiseman: And Brunswick Train Station is literally 10 minutes that way. Then we have King George Square the major bus hub. We’re very well serviced by public transport, so there’s no real need for us to put on buses in that regard.
Ann Rebgetz: Actually, that’s a really healthy thing. The basketball coach, Kirron, who’s just standing. He’s also a psychologist. He said to me what he sees developing students is because they catch the trains and use public transport. They’re much more independent. They’re doing this of their own accords. They don’t need to be dropped off, and they learn to do all that, and can manage that because of our central location. We do have some school buses, though, that when we have excursions and things, and take them to sport we have how many? Two buses? Three buses?
Male: Yeah, 22 seats. [inaudible 01:21:54].
Ann Rebgetz: And when we did the swimming canal, we can walk to the pool here. We’re very lucky with the facilities around us. David, there is transport subsidy depending on …
David Cantwell: The state government provides subsidised travel cards depending on whether you use basal train. There are some criteria for that, and it would be … It’s main tested. But quite a number of our students utilise that, and we assist the children with filling in the application, which is pretty straightforward.
Ann Rebgetz: I think now we are going to breakup into groups, and Marty is going to organise that. He’s much more familiar with everything than I am. Thank you very much. Thank you so much for coming. It is a great college. We’d love to see you there. We’ll be following up with interviews. We do have concessions available for those people who would qualify for that. David can talk to you more about that too if you wanted to ask him. Yes, we’d love to see you. The open day should be terrific, so if you want to come back. If you’re thinking of applying, get your applications in as soon as possible, because we don’t know how many we’ll get. And obviously, we do have pretty good capacity, but we wouldn’t like to see miss out.