Principal's Update - 8th June 2022
Letter to Families
We write to you today in light of a recent article published in the weekend edition of the Ballarat Courier, which contains statements of alleged historical harm of two students dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.
We recognise that the experience of these former students has negatively affected them and drastically impacted their lives. We are deeply saddened to read of these recounts and would welcome the opportunity to offer support to the people affected.
We are fortunate that times have significantly changed and that much has been learned from listening to the experiences of these former students and as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse which concluded in 2017.
Much has evolved in education since these dark days and we are fully committed to supporting children to reach their full potential through positive education strategies rather than a punitive approach.
Here at St Columba’s, we want our students to be Safe, Happy & Learning. We know that when children feel safe and supported, they are naturally ready to learn. We strongly believe that developing positive relationships with and among students promotes this.
The implementation of our School-Wide Positive Behaviours Program, creates an environment where students are encouraged to thrive through positive interactions and ensure that all students are aware of the expected behaviours required to be a safe, happy and successful learner.
Child safe standards are legislated and have underpinned education in Catholic schools since 2016. These standards are fundamental to the care extended to students and families every day at St Columba’s Primary school.
The recent revision of the legislated Child Safety Standards ensures our ongoing commitment to child safety. Our staff and community are currently working through a Diocesan School Action Plan to implement these new standards by the 1st July in order to meet the requirements of the updated Child Safe legislation and ensure our school continues to make the safety of our young people our top priority.
We appreciate that any conversation relating to the perpetrating of harm to children or young people may cause distress and we encourage families to reach out for support by contacting us here at school or an appropriate professional service if this is the case. Such services include Lifeline 13 11 14; Beyond Blue 1300 224 636; Relationships Australia 1300 364 227 or Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380.
Bambi Afford & Shaun Mohr