School Council President’s Report – Term 4 2021

Term 4, 2021

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

Work on the new senior school campus is nearing completion. And doesn’t it look incredible? I had the chance to take a brief tour of the building with teachers and leaders from both schools last week and I can report that the building is as amazing inside as it is outside. While the physical work of building the new campus has somewhat stolen the show in recent months, the campus that our Year 11 and 12 students will attend next year is much more than just a building. Work to design, develop and implement the Senior Program has been underway for many years and, with the appointment of Chris Millard, as Campus Principal, and his leadership team, the program is ready to roll out for the students next year. The establishment of the Wurun Senior Campus is a major milestone in the history of the school and a realisation of a shared vision for the school community. It is a milestone that will shape the future of the school and our students for many years to come. We are looking forward to the opportunity to open the school to the community in the new year so that you can all have a chance to see what has been achieved.

We continue to invest in our Y7-10 Falconer St campus. A major focus at present is our plan to develop The Shed. The Shed is a secure, covered shed and workshop which provides a custom facility to promote and empower students and the wider school community to develop important sustainable life skills. Initially focused on the maintenance and secure storage of bikes and other sustainable transportation, The Shed will become part of a wider precinct, including the existing tram and kitchen garden area, which emphasises practical, sustainable and outdoor skills development for students. Each year the school participates in the Great Victorian Bike Ride, a tradition with a growing number of students, parents and school community members. Leading up to the event, The Shed will host workshops where students learn bike maintenance, safety and teamwork. Applied learning students will also use The Shed, taking their projects further to develop enterprise skills, such as fixing others’ bikes and even developing new products. Two great ways that you can contribute to our fundraising efforts to build The Shed and make our great school even better:

  • the Great Fitzroy High School Raffle tickets are still available! Win an amazing prize and support the school to raise money to build the Shed: https://rafflelink.com.au/fhs2021 Raffle closes midnight Wednesday 8 December.
  • Make a donation directly to our Fitzroy High School Building Fund. Donations to the Fund are fully tax deductible. Contact the school office for more details.

It was a joy to attend this year’s Year 12 Valedictory Dinner. I was so pleased that our amazing year 12 students had a chance to meet together as a group one last time to celebrate their achievements and their journey together. A theme of the night was the broad range of skills and attributes that our students have developed during their time at Fitzroy High School, no matter which program or course they had embarked on. The kinds of skills that the unique Fitzroy High School program emphasises – communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, information literacy, empathy, persistence and a growth mindset – are precisely the skills that this Year 12 cohort has needed to get through the last two difficult years, and that they will continue to use to succeed in their future study, work and life. Awards recognising achievements and contributions were given to students who had completed VCAL, VET, and two year, three year and unscored VCE. We wish our Year 12 students all the best for the next part of their journey.

As the year draws to a close,  I’d like to thank our wonderful teachers, staff, students and parents for everything they have contributed to the school and the community in 2021.

Principal Linda Mitchell: how lucky we are to have your calm, positive, creative and inspiring leadership! You continue to lead our school through the daily challenges without ever taking your eyes off your ambitious vision for the future. And how amazing after so many years of hard work to see one part of that vision rise up out of the Gasworks site, ready to welcome the eager students of 2022!

A few weeks ago, the School Council set up a shout out board for the school community to have the opportunity to thank our teachers, leaders and school staff for all their hard work and incredible commitment to the education and wellbeing of our children. The response was overwhelming. Parents and students posted words, photos, drawings and more, in thanks and gratitude to our wonderful teachers.Like the many parents and students who posted on the shout out board, I am regularly amazed and inspired by the commitment, dedication, creativity, professionalism, perseverance, empathy and care of our teachers and school staff. We are all very grateful for your incredible work.

My thanks also goes to the wonderful people who volunteer their time to be a part of our School Council and subcommittees and all our other fantastic volunteers. I’d like to make special mention of three “retiring” members of School Council: David Huxtable, Sharon Cleaves and Mungo S. David has been on School Council for seven years and has been Vice President for three years. David’s most important contribution was establishing the Dyslexia Support Group, which has now developed into the Learning Diversity Support Group. Sharon has been on School Council for five years and has been Treasurer for the last two years. Sharon was also the convenor of the Education Subcommittee, where she played a key role in the school Languages review. Mungo has been a student member of the School Council for the last two years, during which he has made a significant contribution, including to our work to develop student voice, agency and leadership and the establishment of a student representative council for Fitzroy High School. We thank David, Sharon and Mungo for their contribution and wish them all the best.

Finally, I want to thank and congratulate our wonderful Fitzroy High School students! For a second year in a row, you have worked to make the best of a difficult situation. You have shown and developed your resilience and flexibility. You have learned new skills and new ways of working that will benefit you in future years. It hasn’t been easy, there have been many challenges and obstacles to overcome, but we have reached the end of the year wiser and stronger and have much to look forward to in 2022.

I wish everyone in our Fitzroy High School community all the best for a happy, healthy and refreshing summer break.  I look forward to catching up again in the new year.

Cheers,

Ralph Saubern
President, School Council
Fitzroy High School