Sia Mastro Editorial 9 June 2023

Our reputation as a College endorses the strong sense of connection, care and compassion within the Pastoral program, that emulates our motto of ‘strength and gentleness’. This term, we have engaged in range of preventative educational opportunities to encourage further growth and development in the following areas that are deeply embedded in the daily life of our young people. The organisation ySafe facilitated a presentation to our Year 7 and 8 cohorts in cyber safety education and addressed the complexities of behaviours experienced by teens within the online environment, peer group issues including social exclusion and bystander behaviour, as well as current legislation to support safety and digital wellbeing. 

Following on with the theme of digital wellbeing, Year 9 participated in the presentation “The Tech Diet for Students” by Brad Marshall (The Unplugged Psychologist) who is an internationally published author, researcher, clinician and speaker. Through his clinical experience he prepared a workshop that engaged young people to consider healthy tech use and ways of finding a balance between healthy screen time and problematic overuse. This was very insightful for many students as they contemplated their screen time use and gaming prowess, whilst questioning their device use habits. 

We have been engaging with Paul Dillon for a number of years in his area of specialization of Drug & Alcohol education, this week he facilitated three separate presentations to Years 10-12 students. Each of these workshops focused on information that included harm minimisation, safe practices and factual data on drug types and their use in Australia by young people. The College has always viewed these presentations as essential for student wellbeing, enabling our students to be safe and sensible both in their time at Brigidine and beyond the College as they move into the early years of adulthood. In addition, we also welcomed a parent information evening on Thursday 8 June where the focus area addressed ‘Risk taking’ – why do teens do the things they do? What can parents do to keep them as safe as possible?’. As with each of our parent information evenings, our aim at Brigidine College is to continue to provide opportunities that help equip parents with the knowledge of current data and a variety of evidenced based, practical skills to support their daughter and family to flourish during the challenging adolescent period and learn to navigate through the complexities of our modern society.  

Aside from our deeply comprehensive and interactive Pastoral program, the College community has strongly advocated and embraced the ‘Push-up Challenge” initiative. Our hope throughout the month of June is for the whole school (all year and mentor groups) to collaborate to reach the target of 3144 Push Ups in support of raising awareness by pushing for better mental health within our wonderful community. It has been encouraging to see how students and staff have challenged as well as encouraged one another to push through to achieving the set goals in a fun and interactive way.  At Brigidine College, our hope is to encourage open conversations with appropriate supports and raise the awareness of how best to care for our mental health as well as look out for our friends, peers and colleagues. This is a common reflection of our strong culture in how we generate connection and belonging within our school community. Undoubtedly, an environment that is spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally safe for students is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning together.  

Sia Mastro
Director Student Wellbeing

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