Newsletter

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With more and more people seeing the benefits of online shopping, now is a great time to begin selling online. If you'd like to learn how to sell safely on Gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace, or pick up tips to help your children, join eSafety's upcoming free online presentation. For more information and to register, please click here. There are upcoming sessions in July and October.

The 1-hour webinar will cover the following topics:

  • What to sell online
  • How to get started on the top three online selling platforms
  • How to open a PayPal account and accept payments
  • How to keep yourself safe while selling online
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Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) is looking for members of school communities to participate in an exciting and innovative project promoting the benefits of the home-school partnership in relation to student wellbeing and learning.

CSPA, with support from the Australian Government, is developing a series of videos which will have the potential to be used in all Australian primary and secondary school communities, assisting parents and teachers to co-design parent engagement practices in their school.

The project videos focus on the vital partnership between home and school and discuss common strategies that have been shown to assist in improving student health and wellbeing, and subsequently their learning. As teachers and parents work through the videos together, they will also be encouraged to suggest how practices promoting partnership could be embedded into a school’s strategic plan.

If, at your school, the home-school partnership is prioritized and successful parent engagement practices have been even strengthened by the Covid-19 pandemic, we would love to hear from you. Take a moment and make a difference! If you have a success story to share, please contact [email protected] by the end of June 2022.

 

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Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) will be working with state and territory Catholic parent bodies, school parents and friends groups, diocesan directors and principals on the rollout of a parent survey which will be available on the new ENGAGE website from 25 July.

The survey aims to capture parent perspectives on issues of concern that impact their children’s health, wellbeing and learning, to help inform future federal government policy and the Catholic education community. Feedback through this survey will also add to the bank of evidence on how parent engagement can enhance student learning and wellbeing. CSPA has partnered with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) in relation to this work.

I urge you to take the time to complete the survey when it goes live on July 25, especially if you feel that the past couple of years have been difficult for your family. As I mentioned in my introduction, if we keep silent on these things it is likely the presumption will be that we are all okay. 

CSPA recently launched the ENGAGE social media platform.  This new site is tailored to inform parents and carers about issues affecting Catholic schools across Australia and has a major focus on parent engagement in student learning and wellbeing.

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Siobhan

As we draw toward the halfway point of the year for most of us, it is obvious that for many in our school communities it has been a trying semester. With students, staff and parents falling victim to Covid-19 at different times, trying to keep everything running smoothly has been hard work.

Although the health of everyone takes priority over everything else we must remember the difficulties school communities have been facing, ensuring that children who have been absent have the opportunity to catch up on learning, that teachers and school leaders have the time to recover after they have been struck down and that families who have been dealing with one sick child after another are supported where possible. We don’t always appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everything moving in the right direction and so I would like to offer my sincere thanks to every member of our Catholic school communities for their commitment this semester.

As always, life goes on outside of Covid-19 and we now find ourselves working under a new Labor government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. On behalf of Catholic School Parents WA I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Albanese and his team and look forward to working with them, particularly the Hon Jason Clare MP, the new federal Minister for Education. Through our affiliation with Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) we are looking forward to establishing positive relationships with members of the new government and ensuring that they are aware of the fantastic contribution that Catholic education brings to the Australian landscape because of parents choosing this form of education for their children and young people.

Last Thursday evening saw the Catholic School Parents WA  68th AGM take place in the now familiar hybrid way with parents joining in both via Zoom and in person. I am very happy to report that we had ten nominations to council with most of last year’s councillors renominating. We also welcome Lesley Pascuzzi from Mater Christi Catholic Primary School who joins us this year.  Our constitution allows for three more councillors, so if this is something you might like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to call me for more information. You will also find a link to the AGM booklet further down in the newsletter, which provides lots of information about the work we have been engaged in, in the past year, including through our affiliation with CSPA.

Many of you will have seen or heard in the media the challenge that Vaping is causing in many schools. Many parents and indeed students themselves are unaware of the harm that vaping can do. It is important that as parents we discuss this harmful habit with our young people. It beggars belief that there are those out there who think it is a good idea to create ways of encouraging children and young people to start this damaging habit. Please take the time to read the article about vaping further down and have that conversation with your child.

We have lots of events and other ways that you can engage with us and have your say coming up in the next couple of months. As mentioned in the last newsletter, the annual ‘Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities’ take place this year on Friday 5th August. If you feel someone in your school community deserves an award, please download a nomination form further down in the newsletter and get creative with your reasons why.

We are also involved with two significant projects through our affiliation with CSPA.

The parent survey project will help to inform the federal government about what the challenges and concerns are for parents and families in the Catholic school sector across Australia. It is important to note that if we keep silent on these things it is likely the presumption will be that we are all okay. However, if you feel that the past couple of years particularly because of Covid-19, but maybe other reasons as well, have been difficult for your family, please take the time to complete the survey when it goes live on July 25.

The second project is about the importance of the home/school partnership and how it contributes to good mental health and wellbeing and subsequently learning. We are looking for parents/schools to get in touch regarding the great initiatives that we know are happening in schools in relation to the home school partnership.

Additional information on both projects is available in the newsletter, however as always if you would like to chat about anything in person, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

In the meantime, enjoy the break that is coming up, hopefully most of you will be able to have a little time away from the business of life and take the opportunity to have some fun family time.

Until next time, God bless.

 Siobhan

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Each year Catholic Schools Guide, in partnership with Integrate AV, run a competition that is open to every Catholic school in Australia and this year schools have an opportunity to win an All New CommBox Interactive Touch Screen valued at $9500. 

The competition asks schools, families and/or students to build a big lego tower, send a photo and submit their entry. It’s a fun and easy task that can be undertaken in a number of different ways. For more information about the competition, and for the terms and conditions, click here.

The winning entry will be the tallest tower, as judged by the Catholic Schools Guide and Integrate AV team. The winner will be notified on Monday 8 August and also announced on the Catholic Schools Guide website.

 

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Catholic School Parents WA welcomes Madonna King as chair of our national body, Catholic School Parents Australia.

Madonna brings a wealth of knowledge and influence to her new role. She is an award-winning journalist, author and media commentator and is well known for such roles as her TV appearances, six years as a presenter on ABC radio in Brisbane, her Fairfax column, and for chairing the Queensland Anti-Cyber Bullying Taskforce in 2018.

Having written in depth about education and politics, Madonna takes on the role with a thorough knowledge of the issues affecting families with children in Catholic schools.  “COVID, for example, and the legacy it continues to provide, presents ongoing and serious challenges, but so do many other issues.”

With a teenage daughter completing Year 12 at a Catholic school in Brisbane, and having written four books on the education and welfare of teen girls, she realises how vital it is for parents to be engaged in their children’s education. “Our children’s education has never been more important, and the home-school partnership plays a vital role in this,” Madonna noted.

Madonna’s professional experience is certain to enrich CSPA’s work as a national parent body and we look forward to working with her through our membership with Catholic School Parents Australia.

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The Awards of Excellence in Building Positive Catholic School Communities is an integral part of work that CSPWA does in acknowledging and celebrating the amazing work that is carried out within our Catholic school communities. This year, we have invited guests from Catholic Education WA and the Catholic Education Commission of WA to attend the awards night and witness for themselves all of the fantastic work that our Parents, Parent Groups, Principals and Parishes are doing within our Catholic school communities.

The awards night will take place on Friday 5th August from 6-9pm at the White Barn, Rose and Crown Hotel (105 Swan Street Guildford). Special guest Laura Allison, CEWA Chief Psychologist, will be speaking, followed by a presentation of the awards. Laura is a wonderful, engaging speaker and the feedback from her presentations is always outstanding. Tickets are on sale now www.trybooking.com/CAHPO and will include drinks and food.

Please consider nominating someone from your school community as CSPWA council and staff really want to acknowledge those out there who are building positive Catholic school communities, especially in times of such uncertainty. There are five award categories: Parent, Parent Group, Parish, Principal and The Agnes Weymouth Award.

** Nominations close on Thursday 30th June 2022 **

Please visit our website for the awards criteria and nomination forms: CSPWA Awards of Excellence - Catholic School Parents Western Australia

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The WA Government has unveiled the first phase of the State Government's action plan to tackle vaping among teenagers and school-aged students.

It is very concerning that many vapes contain nicotine - nicotine can cause long-lasting negative effects on development, including impaired attention, learning, memory ability and altered mood. Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes.

Vapes can also contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray, which can lead to serious lung diseases.

The WA Government has put together some valuable resources for parents and young people to help prevent the dangers of vaping. For more information visit -

https://www.education.wa.edu.au/drug-education

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Last Thursday 16th June saw the 68th Annual General Meeting of CSPWA take place both in person and via Zoom. Thank you to all those who took the time to attend.

In a similar format to last year, the meeting papers were all forwarded to those who registered in the days before, and the reports therefore taken as read. Thank you to CSPWA Treasurer Richard Bone who chaired the meeting in the absence of the President and Vice President due to work commitments.

The 2022 AGM papers included reports from the President, Treasurer and the Executive Director. CSPWA also provides for the AGM an Office Report which covers off a lot of the work the office engages in throughout the year. This year we also attached a copy of our new Strategic Plan. To review the AGM booklet, please click here: 2022 CSPWA AGM Booklet

The AGM also includes the opportunity for parents from affiliated schools to nominate to CSPWA Council and nominations for the year ahead include:

Catherine Howarth                 Frances Jordan Catholic Primary School

Anna Wood                            St Kieran Catholic Primary School

Richard Bone                          Mercy College

Marina Hayward                     Mercedes College 

Kate Price                                St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School

Belinda Stewart                       St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School

Michelle Francis                      Holy Cross College

Alan Buckley                            Bunbury Catholic College

Michelle McIntosh                   St Luke’s College, Karratha

Lesley Pascuzzi                        Mater Christi Catholic Primary School

We welcome our new members and look forward to working together in the best interests of our children and young people.

Finally, according to the CSPWA constitution, we still have the capacity to co-opt another two councillors. If any parent whose school parent group is affiliated with CSPWA is interested in finding out more about what the role of councillor entails, please do not hesitate to contact Siobhan at [email protected]

CSPWA council and staff look forward to working hard on behalf of all parents who choose a Catholic education for their children in Western Australia.  

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Catholic education election report card on major parties

Catholic education has released a federal election report card assessing the responses from the major political parties on education priorities.

The report card assess the Coalition, Labor and Green’s responses to the priorities of:

  • Genuine school choice through fair funding and ensuring affordable contributions from families
  • Enabling faith-based education through religious protections
  • Improving capital funding
  • Support for delivering national priorities such as quality teaching, early childhood education, mental health and wellbeing programs and Closing the gap initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Islander students

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the report card shows the Liberal National Coalition and Labor are on par in addressing Catholic education’s priorities, particularly on school choice.

“We are fortunate that both major parties continue to support genuine school choice in Australian education and are committed to families who choose a Catholic education for their children,” Ms Collins said.

Responses sought from key independent candidates are also being evaluated.

The full report card and major party responses is available via https://www.ncec.catholic.edu.au/federal-election-2022 or can be viewed below:

Authorised by J Collins, National Catholic Education Commission, Level 3, 156 Gloucester Street, Sydney.

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Greetings once again,

With the Federal Election now less than two weeks away we are forwarding to you the most recent responses from the major parties to policy questions put to them in regard to Catholic education. You will also find a ‘Report Card’ which compares responses from the three major parties to a series of questions. Please, with your Principals permission forward them to the parents in your school community for their reference. These resources have been developed to ensure that you as voters can make an informed decision as you go to the polls on May 21st particularly with regard to support for Catholic education.

As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to the office on 9338 9985 or Siobhan on 0409 025 683.

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Parent/carer support

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The National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) commences for students this year on Monday 10 May.

As children progress through their school years, it is very important that checks are made along the way to see how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and mathematics – skills that will set them upon the path to success as adults.

NAPLAN is a point-in-time assessment that allows parents and carers to see how their child is progressing in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. At the classroom level, NAPLAN provides additional information to support teachers’ professional judgement about student progress.

Federal, state and territory education ministers agreed to gradually transition NAPLAN online by 2022. NAPLAN online is a tailored test that adapts to student responses, providing better assessment and more precise results.

To access the parent information brochure, please follow the link below -

https://nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/naplan-information-brochure-for-parents-and-carers.pdf 


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Being able to read is a vital life skill. From filling out forms, to opening bank accounts to reading the newspaper or being able to enjoy the recent 'bestseller,' being able to read is essential. Teaching children to read is a joint responsibility between parents and their children's teachers. Teachers bring the expertise in developing the skills that children need to learn how to read and parents provide the opportunity at home to practice those skills. Even in the ever busy world that we live in, we as parents should prioritise time every day to read with our children and to encourage them to enjoy the world that reading opens up to them. Reading with our children does not have to stop once they are competent readers. Hopping into bed with your teenager and reading a chapter of their book with them is a great way to keep connected with them.

The Premier's Reading Challenge is a great incentive for children to put the gaming device down and picking up a book. Please take the time to check the information below and help your child to get organised for the Challenge.

Be their reading legend. Reading just 10 minutes each day makes a difference.

Reading takes you anywhere, and by making time each day to either read with your child or children, or by encouraging them to read, you are making a huge difference to their literacy.

We are excited for you to join the Premier's Reading Challenge and be your child’s reading legend.

Get started
  1. Sign up and create an account using your email address and details.
  2. Complete your child or children's details to register them for the challenge.
  3. Let your child select an avatar.

You can register more than one child at a time.

The challenge

In your account you will have access to your 2022 Premier's Reading Challenge where you can:

  • access your child or children's reading challenge account.
  • find more than 7,000 book titles from our booklist.
  • log your child’s books - these can be books from our booklist or new titles (these include recording foreign language material and books read in a different format).
  • encourage your child to add a review or 'like' the book.
  • view your child's bookshelf, to see the books you have logged during the challenge.
  • track your child's progress in the challenge.

You will need to log at least 12 books your child has read over this challenge, but feel free to keep adding more titles as they read.

By logging your child's books, they will be in the running to win some fantastic prizes, including family holidays and experiences across Western Australia.

A reading record is available if you cannot access an online account.

We want everyone to have access to books, in any format this is needed. We have partnered with the State Library of Western Australia to try and have as many of the challenge books available, and in as many formats possible. Your school library may also have these books.

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The federal election will be held on Saturday 21 May. The Catholic education sector, in collaboration with Catholic School Parents Australia, has already commenced discussions with the major political parties and candidates in some electorates, to highlight the key priorities for our school communities. To find out more about the key priorities please follow the link below -

https://www.ncec.catholic.edu.au/federal-election-2022 

Additional information can be found here -

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As alluded to by Siobhan in her welcome, we are always extremely grateful to both Federal and State government for their ongoing financial support in addition to their support of school choice and the ability for parents to choose the education which best suits their chldrens' needs. However parents should also be aware of the significant contribution that Catholic education makes to both National and State economies. To see how that looks here in Western Australia, please follow the links below,

https://www.cewa.edu.au/publication/building-a-brighter-wa/

https://www.everychildcounts.net.au/  

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Has someone shared a nude image of your child or young person without their consent?

This is called image-based abuse and it’s never OK.

This is a confronting conversation for both young people and their parents, however, sadly one that needs to be had.

Watching the harrowing story of 15yo Tilly Rosewarne on 60 Minutes recently has prompted us to remind all young people and their parents of the existence of the eSafety Commissioner and the recently legislated Online Safety Act.

Even if you or your young person feels sure that no nudes have been shared unfortunately ‘fakes’ that have been made to look like someone else can be the cause of massive anxiety and distress.

If this has happened to you or one of your children, you are not alone and there is a lot of practical support out there including help to have these images removed.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has welcomed the commencement of the Online Safety Act, which provides additional protections for Australians in the fight against online harms.

“The Online Safety Act has now come into force and makes Australia’s existing laws for online safety more expansive and much stronger,” said eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

“These new laws cement eSafety’s role as a world leader in online safety. They place Australia at the international forefront in the fight against online abuse and harm – providing additional protections for Australians in the fight against online harms through our approach of prevention, protection, and proactive change in the online space.”

For the past year, eSafety has been planning for the commencement of the Online Safety Act, issuing a series of regulatory guidance pieces to prepare industry and other stakeholders for how eSafety will be implementing the new legislation. 

Now the Online Safety Act has commenced, eSafety can receive reports which fall under the new legislation through their website.

Every situation is unique and every matter reported to eSafety will be considered on a case-by-case basis. eSafety will be able to offer support, information and advice, even in situations where they are unable to take regulatory action under the new laws.

To access some tips on how to take action and get help.

https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/my-nudes-have-been-shared

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National Volunteer Week will be held between 16 – 22 May 2022, with this years theme being Better Together. Volunteering brings people together; it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. 

You may like to visit the Volunteering Australia website for ideas on how to get involved and how to thank the volunteers in your community: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/get-involved/nvw/

CSPWA has several resources available on our website with tips on how to engage volunteers, and the benefits of volunteering. Please see: https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/resources.

We will also be posting resources and stories on our Facebook page so please make sure you are following us: https://www.facebook.com/cspwesternaustralia

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The 68th CSPWA Annual General meeting will take place on Thursday 16th June 2022 from 7-8pm. Parents from all Catholic Schools across WA are invited to attend. If you have any items you would like to place on the agenda, please forward them to [email protected] by Friday 3 June.

Each financially affiliated school parent body is entitled to two votes. These votes will be held by delegates. Where there are more than two delegates from an eligible school, the additional participants are observers and have no voting or speaking rights.

Members from schools who are financially affiliated with CSPWA are also invited to consider nomination to Council at the AGM.

Registration information will be provided in the coming weeks, and the agenda and nomination for council forms will be forwarded after registration.

Nominations to CSPWA Council:

The Council of Catholic School Parents WA Inc (the Council) is responsible for the governance of the organisation and ensuring that its objectives are met. Elected members of the Council represent all parents of children in Western Australian Catholic Schools.

Council members also have the opportunity to represent CSPWA on national, state and Catholic education sector committees and working parties as it fits with their personal circumstances and availability, area of expertise, interest and knowledge. 

If joining our council is something you might be interested in or if you would like to find out more, please contact Siobhan Allen, Executive Director CSPWA on 0409 025 683.

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The Council of CSPWA, with the support of the office staff, have been working to update the CSPWA Strategic Plan for 2022 - 2025.

We are now happy to announce that this work has been completed and we attach here a copy for your interest. Although our key role is still to provide advocacy, service and represention for parents who choose a Catholic education for their children, we have also chosen to highlight the work we do in building partnerships with others in Catholic education, such as school advisory councils, school leadership teams, CEWA and those schools who now sit outside the CEWA goverance structure. We work on these partnerships to ensure that the parent perspective can be heard in all of the conversations that matter.

Whilst all school parent groups will receive a hard copy in the coming weeks, you can have a first look here: https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/about-cspwa/strategic-plan-2022-2025

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Pilgrimage along the Camino Salvado

SAVE THE DATE!

The members of CSPWA Council and Staff would be delighted to have you join us for our first ever Parent Pilgrimage.

The Camino Salvado is a pilgrimage from Subiaco to New Norcia WA in the spirit of Dom Salvado, a pioneering monk from Santiago in Spain. The pilgrimage generally traces Dom Salvado's footsteps in 1846 when he founded Australia's unique monastery town of New Norcia. 

The CSPWA pilgrimage will follow the first section of this pilgrimage route. It will commence at St Joseph's Church in Subiaco, go through the city to St Mary's Cathedral and along the river to Bardon Park in Maylands (a distance of approximately 8kms).

On Pilgrimage, we encounter God, ourselves, others and nature. The CSPWA pilgrimage will be an opportunity for participants to learn more about, and to experience the ancient faith tradition of pilgrimage, while spending time with others from our Catholic Community.

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