Welcome to the 2021 academic school year from Headmaster Matthew Hutchison

We offer a particular warm welcome to our 291 new students and their families who are joining Marist College Canberra for the first time. We hope their Marist experience will add to the sense of community we value so much. We want Marist to be a place where boys and their families feel they belong and where we share a faith that encourages our commitment to care for others. We look forward to sharing the journey, in partnership with parents, to create fine young men: men who will contribute to the fullness of humanity with a deep commitment to serve others, have a healthy spirituality, and who make Jesus known and loved. That is our core business.

As with any new beginning, there is a real sense of excitement and purpose about the year ahead, especially with blue skies free from smoke, and a country relatively free from the deadly grip of the virus rampaging throughout much of our world. The pandemic has certainly stressed that each one of us has a stake in the health and wellbeing of everyone else. There is much to be grateful for as we begin a year of opportunity while we hold in our prayers the many who have lost loved ones, those in isolation and front line workers.

A new cohort of students heralds new beginnings, however, a good deal of College life is predicated upon adaption and renewal. This year will see the renewal of our strategic plan and we look forward to obtaining insights from within our community on future opportunities. We will take an honest look at areas of school life that need further attention. The development of the College Master Plan is another opportunity for collaboration with plans to commence building in 2022. The formation of our middle leaders within a Marist context is of great importance, as is our work in the spiritual formation of our parent community.

Curriculum design and delivery occupies much of our strategic thinking and will remain a priority. We will be working alongside the Australian College of Educational Research (ACER) investigating “a year’s growth” and how this can be measured and reported. Our Year 9 Footsteps program has been remodelled with increased academic rigour and cross curricular outcomes. We will further develop our acceleration and enrichment programs and work will continue in the development and implementation of our ‘knowledge rich’ curriculum in Years 4 to 10. 

A particular interest will see a continued focus placed on healthy rites of passage into male adulthood. We want to authentically address contemporary challenges to adolescent male wellbeing, relationships, identity and sexuality with a priority to ensure our boys uphold deep and respectful relationships with girls and women. This is an important initiative and we have commissioned Dr Sheridan Kerr, from the ACU and a current parent, to assist us in the collection of data and the development of a respectful relationship curriculum framework across all years.

These are just some of the projects to look forward to in 2021. I offer a sincere expression of gratitude to all who contribute to making the fabric of life at the College so rich and stimulating.

Each school year is a new beginning, the planting of a seed that will grow during the year, and whose fruit will blossom in times to come. I wish everyone every blessings for the way ahead.