Metropolitan Fire Service RAP

This week, the Year 11 students were involved in a 100 minute presentation on road safety by a fire officer from the Metropolitan Fire Service. The Road Awareness Program (RAP) has been going to schools for roughly 14 years, and Westminster was one of the first schools involved in the program. The number of road deaths in the 16 – 21 year age group has declined significantly in South Australia since the RAP Program began, and I am sure that it has been a major contributing factor in this trend.

A powerful part of the presentation is a talk by a survivor of a road crash. This year, Lachlan described his life before the crash, and how his life has changed since the crash. Lachlan was a young man who had successfully completed his diesel mechanic apprenticeship and had been working for a business that was providing opportunities for advancement within the industry. Outside of work, he was actively involved in a variety of sports and was a member of the Northern Territory Rugby League side. Due to the crash, which left him with a brain injury, he is no longer able to work or play the sports he loved. I am sure that his talk had an impact on the Year 11 students.

Each student received a ‘RAP’ pack, including the two documents below.

One is an agreement for a group of students to agree to follow a series of safe road user behaviours. The other is an agreement between parents and a child to encourage each other to practice safe driving behaviours. I would encourage all families to take the time to discuss the information in each booklet and role model safe driving to each other. I have spare copies of each booklet should your son or daughter did not get one or has misplaced it! This year, for the first time, students were encouraged to download the Road Awareness Program app on their smart phones, which will also provide them with a wealth of information and advice.

Online Safety Parent Seminar

Monday 18 June – Sonya Ryan from the Carly Ryan Foundation: Online Safety Session

The Carly Ryan Foundation is a non-profit harm prevention charity established after the murder of 15-year-old South Australian, Carly Ryan, by an online predator, to promote internet safety and help prevent crimes against children and young people. Sonya will deliver a session for parents on online safety. To book tickets for this free session, please visit https://www.trybooking.com/VDLA. For more information on the Carly Ryan Foundation, please visit http://www.carlyryanfoundation.com/

I would encourage all parents to attend this presentation to be better informed around the safe use of Information Communication Technologies.

Sonya will be presenting to students as part of our Wellbeing@West  program, to provide support and strategies for students to make safe choices and manage their wellbeing and safety.

Year 9 Camp

Our Year 9 students recently returned from their annual camp, which included a two-day bushwalk along the scenic South Coast section of the Heysen Trail, and a two-day residential experience at the Baptist Church SA Adventure Camp at Mylor.

The entire camp is designed to build on the Year 8 Camp, introduce expedition skills, consolidate camping skills, build stronger, healthier relationships with students/staff, and serve as a foundation for students’ involvement at Westventure, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program, and Round Square activities. 

Students took part in a range of activities while on camp, including a high/low ropes course, Frisbee golf, bridge/raft building, navigation activities, and an investigation into revegetation sites. Thank you to all staff who made this experience possible.

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Special Moments

This week has seen two special moments, further examples of why I love coming to work each day. This year Zac and Harry Miller (Year 12), who lost their mother to brain cancer 12 months ago, have been very active in encouraging the School to be involved in raising money for Brain Cancer Research. Zac gave a heartfelt talk to the Senior School students and organised a video from Carrie Bickmore from the TV program, The Project, which you can view below. On Wednesday, the Year 12 students held a morning tea as part of ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea’ in support of Cancer Research. The Year 12 students were asked to bring a plate of food to share and donations were taken before eating. The amount of food filled all the tables of the Fricker Centre and by the end of recess there was still food left - this is after 146 Year 12s and staff did their best!

This Friday, all students in the Preparatory and Senior schools will be having a Casuals Day, with all funds raised being donated to Carrie's Beanies for Brain Cancer, to support brain cancer research.

This week also saw the Indigenous students prepare and present their Reconciliation Week Assembly. This involved a guest speaker, student talks, dances and singing, which all helped explain the importance of celebrating diversity and the need to understand the Indigenous culture. Over the years, this assembly has been an important part of the school calendar and it is great to witness students who would hardly say a word when they first entered Westminster, now standing on stage and confidently addressing the school.  I congratulate all the students for their efforts, and our Indigenous Student Coordinator, Ms Nahla Baroudi, who has invested a great deal of her time and energy to support and challenge the Indigenous students.

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David Wallage
Head of Senior School