Dear College Community 

Last week, I had the opportunity to head to Georgetown for a conference with Principals from Catholic schools around Tasmania. A key speaker from Springfox – Paul Salmon from The Resilience Institute, spoke to us all on the topic of resilience; teaching like many other professions, requires huge reserves of resilience as does leading a school of staff, students and parents. So, what is resilience, and how do we build resilience? 

The links between chronic stress and the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, lung disease, liver disease, accidents and suicide) have been well established and documented. 

Recent research results from a pool of 21,237 people from 2011 – 2018, shows the percentage of people experiencing challenges with the following: Excessive worry 35%, self-critical 53%, overload 37%, and lack of relaxation 57%. Often, the cultural undertone of organisations is that employees must sprint a marathon and never fail in pursuit of the company goal. The impacts on staff can be work overload, excessive stress, performance decreased, and counterproductive, increased anxiety. 

However, staff in any workplace can always have a choice. Resilient people know there is always a choice. “Choice behaviour is considered the fundamental means by which individuals exert control over their environment”. Clearly, we want our staff and students to thrive in an environment conducive to a happy and healthy life. 

Most people’s definition of resilience is to be stoic and bounce back. This is part of the story. Unfortunately, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, greater than 1 in 3 people aged between 16 – 85 years will suffer a mental disorder in their lifetime, with 1 in 5 experiencing this in the last 12 months. Providing support for mental health must be a priority. However, we need to do more than survive, we need to be resilient. 

Beyond bounce back, resilience is about bouncing forward with courage, turning adversity into opportunity, using our talents creatively and most importantly, strong connections with others. When these dimensions are mastered, individuals can fully thrive and be fully engaged in life and their sprint in action. Springfox defines resilience as a learning ability to have: 

  • Courage – Be enthused by challenge and change 
  • Creativity – Develop talents and opportunity 
  • Connection – Respect and care for others and nature 
  • Bounce – Toughness and recovery skills in adversity 


Through our GEM and Resilience Project at Marist, we explicitly teach students the skills to help build resilience. Our role is to certainly help students wade their way through adolescence and out into the world of adulthood, developing the coping skills along the way. 

By the time our students leave Year 12 we want them to: 

  • Be fulfilled and focused;  
  • Spend more time in flow; 
  • Experience less negative stress; 
  • Know when to rest, re-charge and re-engage; 
  • Have increased energy; 
  • Spend more time in positive emotion; 
  • Be emotionally intelligent and learn emotional literacies; 
  • Understand their passions and values; 
  • Re-invent themselves – take on new challenges and opportunities; and  
  • Live a life of Christ’s love, kindness and compassion for all. 

The week of 20 – 24 June, the SRC have designated to “Mental Health Awareness Week”. Led by the senior SRC students, various initiatives for families and students to involved with during the week – some activities include:   

  • A guest speaker 
  • Raising awareness of the Speak Up Stay Chatty initiative by holding a casual clothes day with students encouraged to wear shorts 
  • Raising awareness of Brave the cold and brave the conversation encouraging people to talk about mental health 
  • In Pastoral Care Groups, students will write positive affirmations about their peers 
  • Mindfulness sessions run in Pastoral Care Groups 

Remembering that the student motto for 2022 is: Be the difference that makes the world different. 

The culminating activity of this week is the “Vinnie’s Community Sleepout”, Friday 24 June at the College, as outlined in Mr Sam Johnstone’s section. This is most definitely an activity for the brave and resilient. 

An open invitation will shortly be forwarded to all families inviting you to the Parent Information Evening of “The GEM Program”, in the final week of Term 2, on Thursday evening, 7 July. Full details to come. I hope many of you will be able to attend this enjoyable evening. 

50th Anniversary

Anyone who would like to assist with the 50th Anniversary with regards to sponsorship, in whatever form this may take, please get in touch with myself, or phone 6432 7612.  

Sponsorship can take many forms; time, donation of snags and burgers, cash, decorations, music, etc. Any assistance will go a long way in making this weekend a resounding success. 

Acknowledgement of your sponsorship would be made in the appropriate way. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Face masks

As you are aware, wearing a face mask in schools continues to be mandatory for all people aged 12 years and older (unless exempt). A reminder to students to please provide their own mask each day. 

Kindest regards 

Mr Noel Nethery 

Acting Principal 


MRC Board Membership 

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the College Board, please express your interest to: 

Jennine Williams 

PA to the Principal 

Tel: (03) 6432 7612