A Week for Celebrating the Past and Challenging Ourselves for the Future


With profound appreciation for their talent , gratitude for the benefit such success brings the college and a sense of deep pride in the success of our HSC students of 2017. Their successes are considerable:

150th placed in NSW (improved over 100 places from 2016)
51 Band 6 Distinguished Achievers
181 Band 5 and Band 6 Results
100% increase in Band 6 on 2016
1 Top Achiever (16th place in Maths General 2)
1 All Rounder Achievers (Band 6 achieved in all subjects)
Top ATAR 97.95.

2nd place College in the Diocese of Broken Bay.

3rd placed in comprehensive Catholic boys schools in English
49th placed in state for English
100% Band 5 and Band 6 in English Ext 1, English Ext, 2, History Ext
15% students achieved an ATAR above 90
75% Visual Art students selected for Express Yourself at the Manly Art Gallery

The following awards were given by the Diocese of Broken Bay on Tuesday afternoon this week:

Award Name Surname Course Name Place or Mark
All Round Achievers Gus Reid
Academic Excellence Gus Reid 97.95
Academic Excellence Giacomo Nassif 97.65
Academic Excellence Isaiah Vumbaca 96.75
Top Achiever Matthew O’Brien Mathematics General 2 BDC 16th
First Place in Course in DBB Jarrod Adair Software Design & Development
First Place in Course in DBB Dante Cox Design and Technology
First Place in Course in DBB Marcus Crisp English (Standard) Equal 1st
First Place in Course in DBB Matthew Millett Construction Exam Equal 1st
First Place in Course in DBB Samuel Munday Info Process & Technology
First Place in Course in DBB Giacomo Nassif Mathematics Extension 1
First Place in Course. Giacomo Nassif Mathematics Extension 2
First Place in Course in DBB Matthew O’Brien Mathematics General 2 BDC
First Place in Course in DBB Gus Reid English Extension 1
First Place in Course in DBB Gus Reid Modern History Equal 1st
First Place in Course in DBB Gus Reid History Extension Equal 1st
First Place in Course in DBB Isaiah Vumbaca English (Advanced)
First Place in Course in DBB Isaiah Vumbaca History Extension Equal 1st

St. Pauls certainly was a prominent force in the Diocesan Awards.

At our High Achievers Assembly on Monday this week,  I made the following points   to Year 12 2017,their families and our staff and current students:

  • benchmarks have been set for years to come
  • they reflect on the great contribution of teachers and families
  • there is an opportunity for the young men at school now to learn much for themselves
    • they can achieve their educational goals here at St. Paul’;s –  the college delivers for its students in an environment that is best for young men to learn in. Our results prove this
    • Given that, what does my own personal excellence look like? What do I need to do to achieve it? Each one of these young men has a different HSC story. What is the story they  are going to write about their personal excellence.
    • What goals are they setting yourself to achieve?

“As we know it’s in the little daily things that we build our own excellence. As former four star General of the US army Colin Powell wrote; “ if you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters first.” Its not a new idea as we know, Aristotle the Ancient Greek philosopher who was born in 384 BC talked of excellence not as an act but a habit that we do repeatedly.”

  • How will they collaborate as a year group to achieve their goals at St. Paul’s? We don’t walk alone with our learning. They  have to walk together and support each other not just academically but through  looking after the well being of each other as well.  They walk together.

The Present

With our Opening Mass on Tuesday , Ash Wednesday service and Year 9 Grandparents Morning Tea it was an opportunity to clearly stamp our ground in the Year of Respect for 2018. At the same time in the Year of Youth in the Catholic Church as decreed by Pope Francis it is a time to reflect on our core mission as a Catholic educating community with a long tradition in the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice.

On Tuesday at mass I talked about our theme of Respect for 2018, with appreciation to our 2018 Prefects who chose this theme:

Today I’ll focus on the third , ‘your life is not about you.’ This is at the heart of the Christian message; it is at the heart of Blessed Edmund’s call that we place others at our centre, not ourselves and it is central to our theme of Respect for 2018.

Yesterday I talked about your personal excellence and asked you a final question; how am I going to work with others to achieve that excellence. A key point is that when I focus on others, I benefit. If I’m driven to stand with the needs of others, as Jesus did , before himself then we all gain.

Respecting others is an easy thing to say and it’s an easy thing to believe that we do, but we can’t treat it like a smorgasbord. We have to value everyone above ourselves and place their needs before my own if I can truly have respect for them.

Year 10 for time immemorial studied a novel called To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The theme of respect is deeply embedded in that story. A scene that has always stayed with me is when the lawyer father Atticus Finch encourages his daughter Scout to walk in the shoes of other people to truly understand them. To truly respect someone we have to be prepared to do that no matter who they are, their colour, race, gender, appearance, level of ability, whatever. It costs you nothing but buys the earth,

You will often hear others talk about the notion that they demand Respect. Jesus and Blessed Edmund teach us that we have to show respect first for it is founded on the commandment of love another and in our dealings with other people always come with an attitude that assumes the good intent of my fellow man or woman.  It isn’t conditional. There are no exceptions.

So in 2018, our Year of Respect, let’s be role models of that. Your life is not about you, it is about others. Place others at my centre, show respect first in all instances. Let’s start as we want to continue from today onwards.’

Today we heard our values in action through our Ash Wednesday service and the launch of Project Compassion 2018. We look forward to our boys, as Blessed Edmund implored, “Give to the Poor in Handfuls.”


Let us remember our College Motto at this time also, Prima Primum- First Things First.

God Bless,

Chris Browne

College Principal

2018 Begins- Welcome, Respect, Challenge and Persistence, Pride and Placing others at our Centre.

Welcome to our new year at St. Paul’s.

This week we welcomed our new Year 7 class and a number of new students to Years 8, 9,10 and 11. Year 7 in particular have had a wonderful and exciting week of learning.

This week we also welcomed a number of new and returning staff:

  • Miss Madeleine Hogarth- English
  • Ms.Amanda Lazar- English
  • Mr Suren Krishnan- Science
  • Ms. Kate Harrison- Job Share Mathematics
  • Ms. Nicole Kanis- Job Share Mathematics – returning from leave
  • Ms. Beulah Prasad- Job Share Science – returning from leave
  • Ms. Kate Stephens- Job Share Science – returning from leave
  • Mr. Frank van Bokhoven- Business Manager and SLT

Our theme for the boys for 2018 is the Year of Respect which is drawn from our College values, ‘The Four R’s’ of:

      • Respect
        • students at St Paul’s strive in their everyday lives to enhance their ability to accept differences in each other and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      • Responsibility
        • as Disciples of Christ we have a responsibility to promote justice and develop skills of leadership and teamwork in our students making them accountable for one’s actions.
      • Results
        • we are committed to challenging students to achieve their potential and  maximise their well being throughout all areas of the school.
      • Reverence
        • we at St Paul’s are humble in the acknowledgement and respect of God whilst being actively engaged in our responsibility of being disciples of  Jesus.

In speaking with the boys at our first assembly I highlighted the primacy of the Gospel message to Love One Another. In simple terms they can all follow we have talked about the importance of ‘Looking After Each Other’ and all that means; that they be accepting of each other’s difference, staff and students yet always treat each other with respect. Everyone is entitled to be safe in the college, staff and students. We all have a responsibility to support that.

This ties very closely with our tradition of being a College with an Edmund Rice history. This charism implores us to stand with the needy in our world, as Jesus did. He walked with the sinner, fed the hungry, clothed the poor, healed the sick. As Edmund used to say, “Give to the Poor in Handfuls”. To do that we need to place the needs of other people at our centre, not ourselves. Our selfishness can blind us to the needs of others.

I asked the boys to consider what is their own Personal Excellence, not someone else’s but their’s. In doing this I posed questions to them that they needed to set goals, what did they need to be able to achieve such goals, consider how they were going to sustain the effort to achieve them and how they could persist. I encouraged to challenge themselves. In the light of increasing improvement in school results we are challenging all boys to step up and improve their own personal excellence.

In doing that we are developing programs to challenge the more able students as well as students across the board. e.g. Year 10 students will be invited to participated in a challenge program under development to lift the bar in preparation for the HSC. Further the college is expanding it’s well being programs to support the boys in their learning as well as programs such as Duke of Edinburgh which is about individual challenge, variety of activity, duration, support and team work and recognition, taking the boys out of their comfort zone and developing them in ways a classroom experience is unable to.

We discussed the need to develop the skills of persistence / grit, skills our young men often lack; to persist through challenge to success and improved learning. In 2017 we talked much about a ‘Growth Mindset‘ which at it’s heart is about how we talk to ourselves, about self belief.

Grit 2

Our pride as young men of St. Paul’s is something we are making a priority of . We need ongoing parental support as we are also stepping up on how we make the boys accountable for their appearance. At all times our young men should be presenting themselves well in therms of dress but also as young people by their behaviour, that others recognise in them a sense of pride in their college.

In closing welcome to all, in particular our new students to 2018. I can be contacted quite easily if you need to via email christopher.browne@dbb.catholic.edu.au

We look forward to a wonderful year of learning at St. Paul’s in 2018.

God Bless,

Chris Browne

College Principal.