Dear Member of the College Community,
This is my first letter to the Riverview Community as Chair of the College Board. I started out with the intention of expressing my gratitude to the many people who contribute to us over the course of a year. As you will see, I have strayed into providing some of our preparations for 2020 and beyond.
The release of the HSC results marks the ultimate end point for the 2019 School Year. It also provides us with objective data about our capacities to deliver the NEW Education Standards Authority (“NESA”) syllabus to our students. This year presented a much larger challenge in this regard due to the significant changes in course material and assessment criteria in many key subjects. Our teaching staff in these faculties have had to retool in terms of content and develop new assessment options. It is evident from the results that the commitment, resourcefulness and skill of all teachers has provided our students with the opportunity to present their best work. The Board appreciates and values the contribution of all staff to the academic achievement and pastoral support of the boys. This is not to say there is no opportunity for further improvement. That is always the case and the senior Teaching and Learning staff at the College will review this year’s outcomes and explore the learning opportunities for next year.
I would also like to thank the staff in other roles around the College. The Ignatian Centre staff work to ensure the Ignatian ethos is embedded in all we do. As you would be aware, Riverview is like a small city in term time and there are many people working hard to ensure our boarding, building, co-curricula, pastoral care and administrative operations run smoothly.
During the course of 2019, the Board received presentations from Kaleb Taylor and Kate Hilyard from the First Nations Program and Toby Martin from the Special Education and Inclusion Program (SEIP). These programs are at the heart of our mission at the College. It is apparent from our discussions that there are extraordinary complexities in managing these activities. We are fortunate to have such dedicated and capable staff working in these areas.
This year, the Board also took the opportunity to meet with the Student Leaders from both 2019 and 2020. It was a great opportunity to hear from them about what they had achieved (2019 leaders) and the hopes and plans for next year (2020 leaders). We intend to make this meeting a regular part of the Board calendar going forward.
The Senior Leadership Team and the Board have commenced a new strategy process to guide the College through the next five years. This process will incorporate the recently released Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society and the Province Priorities. There will also be a period of consultation with Riverview Community stakeholders and it is expected that the new strategy will be formally released in the middle of 2020.
There is also a great deal of work going into the plans for the next stage of the Ignis Project. The Board will consider a proposal early next year to replace the current Wallace Building. There will be further approvals required from relevant statutory authorities, the Province and Rome. We are also expecting to consider plans for upgrading the Regis Campus. It was excluded from the original Master Planning conducted for the site in 2014/15, but will now be incorporated into our building program. With this in mind, we are focussed on finding a new Head of Advancement and rebuilding the Advancement Office early in 2020.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank John Wilcox for his leadership of the College Council/Board over the past six years. His commitment to the College over 50 years is extraordinary and duly recognised with the College Insignis Award at the recent Speech Day Assembly. The Board will miss his pastoral influence.
Chair, Saint Ignatius’ College Board