School Council President’s Report – Term 1, 2022

Term 1, 2022

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

Term 1 is always a busy time for teachers, school leadership, parents and students – and also for School Council. Each school year, School Council goes through a renewal process, with previous members retiring and new members coming on board. 

In our March School Council meeting, we declare the new members of the School Council and appoint members to School Council leadership roles. I’d like to thank all those who put up their hand to volunteer for School Council this year and, in particular, welcome our new School Council members for 2022: Trish Cave (parent), Danielle Langston (parent), Jane Scammell (parent), Ben King (parent), Timothy Simpson (teacher), Siem P. (student) and Alicia Flynn (community member). 

I was very pleased to accept the nomination to continue as School Council President. It’s an honour and privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to such a wonderful school and school community and I look forward to working with the School Council and School Leadership to support the ongoing success of the school in 2022. I’d like to congratulate and thank Moira Funacune, who will take on the role of Vice President, and Danielle Langston, who will take on the role of Treasurer. One more important role was decided at the March meeting and that was the nomination of Mim Ingvarson as the parent member of the Wurun Senior Campus Subcommittee – more on that later.

I’d like to give my special thanks to the retiring members of School Council: David Huxtable (parent), Sharon Cleaves (parent), Clare Kermond (parent), Kath Bracket (parent), Anna Pilkington (teacher), Chris Millard (teacher) and Mungo S (student). As I type out that list of names, I think about the great contribution they have made to the school and school community, some over many years, and reflect that this year is something of a ‘changing of the guard’ – an exciting opportunity for new voices, new interests and perspectives and new energies to be added to the efforts of School Council.

A big challenge that we identified at our first meeting of the year, was how School Council can support the school and school leadership in the massive task of establishing and implementing the first year of the Wurun Senior Campus program. One contribution will be participation in a new subcommittee, the Wurun Senior Campus Subcommittee. As described in the MOU signed by both schools last year, the Wurun Senior Campus Subcommittee is a joint subcommittee of the two schools, Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College, and acts as the primary governance structure for the Wurun Senior Campus. The membership of the Subcommittee is made up of the two school principals, the campus principal and one teacher, parent and student from each school. I was very pleased to be able to nominate Mim Ingvarson as the parent member for Fitzroy High School. Mim is an experienced and active member of School Council, who has previously served as Convenor of our Education Subcommittee. Mim also has one student currently studying at the Wurun Senior Campus and another on the way, so a strong connection to the new campus.

For a number of reasons, including the need to establish the new Wurun subcommittee, School Council made the decision to disestablish three of our other standing subcommittees: Buildings and Environments, Education and Community. (If you want to see the reasoning in detail, take a look at the School Council papers for the March meeting in Compass.) Instead, this year we will be establishing a number of working groups and interest groups focused on specific tasks, projects, activities and timelines. We hope that this will reduce the administrative overheads and allow us to engage more actively with volunteers across the school community to address specific needs and goals. Examples of working groups and interest groups in the past include the Languages working group, the technology working group, the school communication working group and the Dylexia Support Group, now evolved into the Learning Diversity Support Group. Some of these groups will continue and we will look for opportunities to create new groups around identified interests and activities. For example, after the success of last year’s fundraiser for The Shed, we will be looking to establish one working group to begin the design and development stage of The Shed and another to create and run our next fundraising event. If you are interested in contributing to either of these groups or have other ideas for working groups, please contact me. And keep an eye out for these and other volunteer opportunities coming up. 

Speaking of The Shed and fundraising, I am very pleased to (belatedly!) announce the final amount raised from last year’s fundraiser. Thanks to the amazing efforts of our volunteers, the support of the local business community and the generosity of the school community, we were able to raise nearly $6000 towards the building costs of The Shed! Donations continue to come in this year via direct donations to the Building Fund and we are well on our way to achieving the vision for a new integrated learning hub on the Falconer St campus. A reminder that all donations to the school Building Fund are tax deductible. Please contact the office for details of how to make a donation.

If you want to know more about School Council, participating in a working group or other volunteering opportunities, or have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.  My school email is ralphs@fitzroyhs.vic.edu.au

Cheers,

Ralph Saubern
President, School Council
Fitzroy High School