LATEST NEWS

SEPTEMBER 2020

ST PAUL'S VET HOSPITALITY GRADUATES OPEN NEW KEMPSEY BUSINESS

Two graduates of St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College’s Certificate II in Hospitality course have opened their own business.

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Zodiac Coffee Co., which opened on 28 August this year, is a coffee cart located on the Macleay Valley Way adjacent to the Kempsey Information Centre and Museum.

While the Zodiac coffee cart may be a small beginning, Laura Raison and Bailey Harris have big dreams for their future in hospitality.

Laura and Bailey both graduated from St Paul’s with a Certificate II in Hospitality in 2015.

 Laura said that her work placement at Tumblegum Bake House and Cafe, which was part of her Hospitality course, and subsequent employment in hospitality on the Gold Coast gave her the experience and passion for the industry.

“I worked as a baker for Coles on the Gold Coast and then with South Coast Coffee Co. which gave me an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of coffee,” said Laura.

 Laura employs her sister Trinity, who is also a graduate of St Paul’s College, and is studying to be an English teacher at Charles Sturt University. 

Zodiac Coffee Co. is open Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 12.30pm.  On weekends you can often find the Zodiac van at local events. 

National recognition for VET program at St Paul’s
St Paul’s College has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2020 Australian

Training Awards School Pathways to VET Award.

The Principal of St Paul’s, Kevin Lewis, said that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) program for Years 11 and 12 students at St Paul’s is unique in the Valley.

“It offers students the opportunity to attain the nationally recognised and accredited qualification, Certificate II in Primary Industries, Hospitality or Construction as part of their regular Higher School Certificate study program”, said Kevin.

“The course provides students with skills, training and qualifications that gives them a head start in their career or further training.”

The winner of the Award will be announced on Friday 20 November. 

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NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR ST PAUL'S COLLEGE VET PROGRAM

St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College, Kempsey has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2020 Australian Training Awards School Pathways to VET Award.

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As a finalist in this prestigious annual Award, St Paul’s has been selected for the quality of its teaching staff and the exceptional standard of its innovative and high quality programs in Primary Industries, Construction and Hospitality.

Principal of St Paul’s College, Kevin Lewis, said that the College’s focus on establishing and maintaining stakeholder partnerships has been critical in not only becoming a finalist but most importantly in giving solid career opportunities for students.

Kevin said that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) program for Years 11 and 12 students at St Paul’s is unique in the Valley.

“It offers students the opportunity to attain the nationally recognised and accredited qualification, Certificate II in Primary Industries, Hospitality or Construction as part of their regular Higher School Certificate study program”, said Kevin.

Head start in their career
“The course provides students with skills, training and qualifications that gives them a head start in their career or further training.”

Graham Bramley, Agriculture Teacher and Leader of Vocational Education and Training, said the College’s 105 hectare College Farm gives Primary Industry students opportunities to learn skills including fencing, how to grow crops, drive tractors and farm management.  The College also operates Tallowood Stud on the Farm where the students breed Devon cattle. 

 Students participating in the Hospitality course have a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen in the McAuley Centre while students undertaking Construction have outstanding facilities in the Ignatius Construction Centre.  

The School Pathways to VET Award recognises eligible organisations including schools, registered training organisations group training organisations, industry bodies and employers that have collaboratively delivered one or more excellent vocational education and training (VET) programs to secondary school students.

 The winner of the Award will be announced on Friday 20 November. 

BUILDING FUTURES FOR LOCAL STUDENTS

A workplace partnership between St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College and Kempsey’s iconic business, Akubra, has resulted in three ex-students of St Paul’s finding work. 

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According to Heath Sharman, Production Manager at Akubra, St Paul’s Colleges provides more than just excellent education for their students.

Mr Sharman congratulated the College for “educating good, decent young men who will be with the organisation for a long time”.

“It is not an exaggeration to say we faced challenges with an ageing workforce and no one to follow through to fill the void”, said Mr Sharman.

“The men working here are 25 to 40 year veterans and until recently we haven’t had anyone coming behind them to replace them as they retire,” said Mr Sharman.

Kevin Lewis, Principal at St Paul’s College, said he is very grateful the students have found meaningful work.

"St Paul’s offers a variety of academic options and caters for different styles of learning. Our focus is ensuring our students have access to facilities and support that enhance their education experience,” said Kevin.

“High school leaving age is now 17 years, so students have to stay in school until that time. Often this is not the best fit for them, so providing opportunities for them in both their course selection and work placement that gives meaning and purpose is so important,” said Mr Lewis.

The St Paul’s ex students who have found work with Akubra are (pictured from left) Jacob Kennedy, Matthew McLean and Joseph Jenkins.

AUGUST 2020

ADVICE TO PARENTS
Schools are operating full time while actively following health advice.  To ensure schools continue to be safe please read the following information: Advice to Families

TRAINEE’S AT ST PAUL’S COLLEGE ENJOY UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH STUDENTS

Each year, students from St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College graduating class are invited to apply for traineeships at the College. Four students took up the positions this year, two as Youth Ministry Officers, one as an Aboriginal Liaison Trainee and the fourth as a Sports Trainee.

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Principal of St Paul’s College, Kevin Lewis, said the Traineeships offer the students a unique opportunity to experience work life before making decisions about their careers or study options.  Kevin said the trainees, who undertake a course to prepare them for the roles, are paid employees of the College.

“We advertise the positions in Term 3 and the applicants undergo a normal job interview,” said Kevin.

Sports popular at College
Damien Owens, who is the Sports Assistant Trainee, said it took a while for him to feel comfortable calling his former teachers by their first name.

“Some kids can’t wait to leave school, but here I am back at the College straight after graduating and I love helping with the sports program which is very popular with our students,” said Damien.

Damien, who plays rugby union and is a lifeguard at local beaches said he is planning to enrol in university next year.

Young Indigenous community leader
For the first time in 2020, the position of Aboriginal Education Officer Trainee was established. Young Indigenous community leader, Monique Brown, approached Kevin Lewis about establishing the position when she was still in Year 12.

Monique said she felt that the position would be of great value to the young Indigenous students at the College.

“A lot of the Indigenous students talk to me about the normal issues facing young people,” said Monique.

Monique, who studied Aboriginal Studies at St Paul’s in Years 11 and 12, works with the College’s Aboriginal Dance group and has established a fortnightly get together offering a safe space for girls to discuss issues of concern.

Youth Ministry offers unique opportunity
For Darcy O’Loughlin, who is planning to study for a degree in forensic science, the traineeship as a Youth Ministry Officer has given her the opportunity to learn about the work environment and to further explore her spirituality.  Calissa Denaro, also a Youth Ministry Officer, said that she and Darcy are in a unique position to relate to students.

“The students all know us, we’re young, they’re not scared to talk with us, and we know where they are coming from”, said Calissa.

Calissa plans commence her studies for a teaching degree next year.

(Pictured above from left are:  Damien Owens, Calissa Denaro, Monique Brown and Darcy O'Loughlin)

JULY 2020

ST PAUL'S STUDENTS PUT IN THE HARD YARDS ON THE FARM

At 4.00pm every Thursday afternoon a group of students from St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College, Kempsey head towards the College’s Francis Farm to hone their skills in working with cattle.  The students, from Years 7 to 12, work as a team to learn more about the cattle and running the farm.

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Graham Bramley, Agriculture Teacher and Leader of Vocational Education and Training at the College, said the students, who volunteer their time out of school hours, love working with the Farm’s herd of mainly Devon cattle.

“They learn how to get the cattle ready for competition including washing and brushing and then practice leading the cattle for the show ring,” said Graham.

Graham said the mix of ages and backgrounds means the students learn a lot from each other and develop a great team spirit.

The 105 hectare College Farm on North Street gives the students opportunities to learn other skills including fencing, how to grow crops, drive tractors and farm management.  The College also operates Tallowood Stud on the Farm where they breed Devon cattle. 

Unique in the Valley is the College’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) program for Years 11 and 12 students.   It offers the student’s the opportunity to attain the nationally recognised and accredited qualification, Certificate II in Agriculture, as part of their regular Higher School Certificate study program.

The course provides students with skills, training and qualifications that gives them a head start in their career or further training.

Pictured above is Year 11 student, Emma Pelling.

JUNE 2020

WORLD CLASS FACILITIES FOR ST PAUL'S

On 28 June 2020 the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP announced a State Government grant of $2.76 million to St Paul’s Catholic Secondary College, for the refurbishment of the current College Hall into a Performing Arts Centre and the construction of a Sports and Fitness Centre.

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The new Performing Arts Centre will have facilities for drama, music and dance.

Kevin Lewis, Principal of St Paul’s College, has expressed his desire for students in regional areas to have the same opportunities as students in the cities.

He said that the announcement marked the first stage of a four stage masterplan for St Pauls which is designed to bring the College community world-class teaching and learning facilities.

Kevin said that the buildings are designed also to be of benefit to the entire community.  

"Community is vitally important in small regional towns and we see ourselves as key contributors to that," said Kevin.  

Pictured left at the announcement of the grant are from left: Father James Foster (Macleay Valley Parish Priest) Corey Crotty (College Captain) Kevin Lewis (College Principal), Abbey Livermore (College Captain), Ron Mavin (College Captain) and the Hon. Melinda Pavey.

Learn more

JUNE 2020

ST PAUL'S COLLEGE SUCCESS AT WINGHAM BEEF WEEK
The St Paul’s College Agriculture Team was successful in winning Class 1 Lightweight Carcase 150 – 199.5 kg class at the recent Wingham Beef Week Carcase Competition.

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The winning steer, Topdeck, was an Angus, Charolais Cross steer bred at Valla by Noel, Kaye, Matthew and Rachel Rudder. Topdeck was prepared for competition by Matthia Rudder Year 7 and Cate Reardon Year 10.

The steer was nicknamed Topdeck due to his resemblance to the Cadbury chocolate. It achieved a carcase Index Score of 86.081 points, six points ahead of 2nd place Wallawong Murray Grey stud entry from Gunnedah.

St Paul’s Agriculture and Primary Industries teacher, Graham Bramley, was very happy with the winning steer’s results.

Graham said that all the College’s cattle performed well.

“The team will now focus on The Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza to be held in October, pending the Covid 19 restrictions being lifted.”

Graham says he is very proud of the Ag Team.

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“Our students are very committed to their training, all of which occurs in their own time on Tuesday mornings from 7.00am till 8.45am and Thursday afternoon from 3.30pm until 5.30pm.”

Graham said the College also have a great deal of support from our families and the local farming and business community.

“We put together this team of 14 steers back in November - December, during one of our countries worst droughts and amid the devastating bushfires.”

“I have to say that I am very humbled by the support and I am proud to live, work and be a part of such a generous and supportive community.”

The steer had an eye muscle area of 79 square cm, Rib and P8 Fat depth of 5mm and a meat colour of 3. Topdeck was 1.5 kg inside the 199.5kg weight limit for the category. The steer was grown on grain and grass for 137 days in total and had a growth rate of 1.32kg per day.

Pictured top left is the winning steer, Topdeck.

Pictured above are Year 10 student, Cate Reardon and Year 7 student Matthia Rudder

MAY 2020

EMILY'S SUCCESS AT INTERSCHOOL HORSE EXTRAVAGANZAS
Emily Shannon and her horse, Casino Crown Prince, took out some of the top prizes at the last two Interschool Horse Extravaganzas.

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In both 2018 and 2019 they won Champion Overall Senior Dressage. They also came second overall in the Senior Show Riding competition.

Emily, who is in Year 12 at St Paul’s, said that she has been training with Casino Crown Prince for the past five years. She plans to continue to ride Dressage throughout her years at University.

With six horses at home, Emily has to work to find a balance between her studies and her love of horses and competition.

Training means she is riding her top three horses for at least ten hours a week.

“I am a very competitive person, who loves to continually improve and I strive to be the best I can be”, said Emily.

Keeping the horses in top show condition means a lot of hard work. Emily feeds her horses twice a day and rugs them on a tight schedule.

APRIL 2020

ST PAUL'S STUDENTS EXCEL IN DRAMA
Critical thinking and learning to express and communicate ideas are just some of the skills that St Paul’s students learn in Drama.

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At St Paul’s College our students have excelled in drama competitions including Sport for Jove’s “Shakespeare Carnival” and the local Eisteddfods. For the last three years, our students have competed fiercely in The Shakespeare Carnival. This is a state wide competition involving all registered schools focusing on the works of William Shakespeare. The hard work and dedication of our students was rewarded with our students performing on the Seymour Centre stage in Sydney earning the title of State Champions in 2017 and Runner up State Champions in 2018.

The local Eisteddfod has always been competitive, allowing our students further opportunities to display their skills and engage with fellow like-minded students within the other local high schools. Returning to school with acclaimed trophies is certainly a bonus.

Year 10 student, Maxwell Winn said he loves his drama classes.  

"I love drama at St Paul’s because when we’re all together in that room we’re like a family and if one succeeds, all succeed.