I always feel very proud to be Principal of Kolbe Catholic College and this was certainly reinforced yesterday.
Dear Members of the Kolbe Catholic College Community
We celebrated the Feast of St Maximilian Kolbe yesterday. The spirit of faith, courage and compassion shone brightly. It was a special day as we blessed the statue of St Maximilian and buried a time capsule to be opened in 50 years. I wrote a letter to the Principal of 2073 and I include it below. One of the highlights of the day for me was when a student approached me and stated “I am going to work hard so I am the one to read the letter to everyone in 2073”.
Dear Principal of Kolbe Catholic College in 2073
It is the 14th August 2023 and I am standing near the newly installed and blessed statue of St Maximilian with many esteemed guests, including the founding principal of the College, Mr Anthony Kirley. This letter and the other contents of the time capsule are a snapshot of Kolbe and the world today - a world that existed 50 years ago, from your perspective.
Our 1160 students have just celebrated Mass in the College Stadium with nearly 200 staff and many parents and other guests. We are a community of faith, courage and compassion and I am regularly inspired and awed by our beautiful liturgies, such as our celebration of the Feast of St Maximillian Kolbe this morning. I gazed out at all our girls and boys with great pride. Our young people don’t always get everything right but they are working hard to prepare themselves to make a good living and to live a good life.
Ultimately, it is all about the boys and girls. Kolbe is and will always be about our young people, past and present. My job – our job - as Principal is to create an environment of certainty and safety in an uncertain world. In 2023, there is much unrest in the world and many other concerns that have the potential to make the future feel less certain. There is a war in Ukraine and significant instability in the Pacific region. Our climate is changing and our reaction to it feels glacial. However, while it appears there is much to despair, I have great hope. Pope Francis is an extraordinary leader at a difficult time in the Catholic church and many more than Catholics are listening to him. And I see a fundamental goodness in the 1160 students currently at Kolbe. These young women and men are our future and I am optimistic that they will be agents of positive change in the world.
Locally, we have recently emerged from the COVID pandemic that had devastating effects on many of our families. Over a two year period, Melbourne was locked down for 273 days and the human toll of the pandemic was significant. As a community we continue to manage the longer term impacts of the pandemic on our economy, on students’ learning and their social-emotional development and wellbeing. But, despite these challenges, I believe we are still a lucky country.
This weekend, over 7 million Australians gathered around TV screens and in public spaces like Fed Square and Rod Laver Arena to watch the Matildas make it through to their first ever Semi-Final in the World Cup, making this game the highest rated event in the past 20 years and signifying an important change in public attitudes to women’s sport. In many ways, the world today is a more equitable place than it was 50 years ago; and I am hopeful for what will have been achieved 50 years from now.
A little less lucky is the fact that some Collingwood players have been injured. Even though we are on the top of the AFL ladder we have lost a couple of games in the lead up to the finals.
My colleague, I hope you are enjoying the role of Principal of Kolbe Catholic College as much as I am. In my current role the leadership from the Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools is strong and competent, the School Advisory Council is highly effective, the staff are dedicated and our families are very loyal. I am blessed!
We can only dream of your world. I pray you have learned from our many mistakes. In 2023, tomorrow we will arise to a new day, to new challenges. As much as we try to plan our diaries, what occurs during the day will be mostly unexpected. Amongst this uncertainty, I am sure of one fact. A girl or boy will smile at me and say “hello Mr Scully” and I will have a good day.
Happy St Maximilian Feast Day
The attendance and involvement in the activities on our Feast Day by our young women and men was outstanding. I always feel very proud to be Principal of Kolbe Catholic College and this was certainly reinforced yesterday.