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Pelican : June 2009
Giving credit where it’s due A great endeavour “Salut de France” was the first line I wrote on greeting cards to my family and friends, while I sat quietly in my hotel room on New Year’s Eve in the town of Tours. Meanwhile, the local people were busy dashing about the town doing last-minute shopping to celebrate the arrival of New Year 2009. The local markets were bursting with fresh food and flowers. It was my first night in France. Bishop Pat Power and Deputy Principal, Peter Milligan proudly display the certificate presented to the College at the Chief Minister’s Award ceremony. On 12 March 2009, St Edmund’s College was presented with the Chief Minister’s Award recognising the outstanding contribution it has made to the Australian Capital Territory for more than 50 years. The primary focus of a school is its students. Its contribution to society can best be measured by examining the contribution its students and ex-students have made. This award belongs to them. Today I attended a function to congratulate a first-day Old Boy who this morning was inducted with the Order of Australia Medal to recognise a life-time of dedicated service to the community. And he is not the only one. There are now many thousands of ex-students, mostly unheralded, who are contributing in their own way to making this world a better place. I seem to come across them everywhere I go. They serve the community as priests, brothers, firemen, policemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, politicians and soldiers. They are taxi drivers, public servants, mechanics, carpenters, accountants, chefs, pilots, journalists, engineers and computer programmers. They run rural properties, small businesses and some very large businesses. They are artists, musicians, playwrights, singers, actors and dancers. 8 They are sportsmen who achieve in nearly every sport imaginable. They are everywhere. Among them are those whose achievements are outstanding and widely recognised. These include: • our current Canberra ‘Citizen of the Year’, Bishop Pat Power • Rhodes Scholar and aerospace engineer, Dr Andrew Robertson • the Federal Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon • Chief Justice Terry Higgins • award winning playwright, Tommy Murphy • world-renowned conductor, Paul Kildea • World Junior Cycling Champion, Tom Palmer • the most capped rugby player of all time, George Gregan • AFL great Alex Jesaulenko, and • rugby league great, Ricky Stuart. Yes, they are everywhere – and this award is theirs. Michael Moloney I was among 20 French language teachers selected from all over Australia to participate in the Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships this year. The program provided the opportunity to improve my oral skills, broaden my knowledge of French culture (including history, geography, politics and current affairs), and experience the everyday life of a French family. It also enabled me to collect authentic teaching resources, enhance teaching methodologies, and form new networks nationally and locally with other teachers. The three-week course was intensive, and included a language training program at Cavilam in Vichy and two-week home stay. The field trips of the Champignionniere des Roches, Tufa Quarry and the underground town were fantastic and the lunch cruise, Montlouis sur Loire, was unforgettable. The placement tests at Cavilam were excellent. I was surprised at my French level - C1 level of the European Language Proficiency, which is very high! The classes covered news, literature, grammar, music and teaching techniques. I enjoyed this program immensely. It was also very exciting that I was able to establish the penfriend program between our students and Saint Pierre Lycee and Saint Joseph College in Vichy. The highlight of the trip was the home-stay in Vichy with Dominique, Herve and Lea. As well as gaining a wonderful insight into the life of an average French family, I was able to develop warm new friendships. Thuy Coombs Japanese and French Teacher