Principal's update Term 1 Week 3

Thursday, 16 Feb 2023
Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
— Romans 13:10

It is the end of Week 3 already, and the busyness of the school year is in full swing. I wish to thank the students who have already extended the hand of friendship to our 195 new students across the campus. The new students are learning the BDC Way and taking several opportunities to extend themselves. Our Year 7 students have returned from their outdoor education experience at the Great Aussie Bush Camp. Thank you to the staff who put their hand up to support this opportunity. As you would know, I am a strong advocate for outdoor education as it helps build confidence, stimulates a sense of adventure, encourages social interaction, creates opportunities for team-building, and promotes independence and resilience. 


It was fantastic to see so many families enjoy the Sundowner gathering last Wednesday. While we didn’t headcount, we estimated about 400 parents enjoyed the evening and mingled, caught up with old friends, and met new ones. Thank you to our new Parent Ambassadors who took the opportunity to meet new families and introduce them to others in that cohort. In the coming weeks, all of our 2023 Parent Ambassadors' names will be shared with the community. Thank you to our stars from the performing arts who played for us on the night. We truly do have some fantastic student talent. Thank you also to the staff who supported the event by serving food and drinks and organising the AV and talent.

Scholarships for 2024

Applications for academic scholarships for 2024 closed on 6 February, and the examinations will be held at the college on Saturday, 25 February. 

Applications for scholarships with a special focus for 2024 are now open for online application and will close on 31 March 2023:

Congratulations to our 2022 student award recipients

30th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Commemorative limited-edition Book

I am excited to announce that our 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner will be held on 19 May. Invitations will be shared in the coming weeks but please note this date in your diaries. It will be a fantastic evening that will celebrate our 30 years. A commemorative limited-edition book is also being published for this event. We are starting to put together a series of features on BDC Alumni and if you know someone that would be interested in being featured please contact Holly Heather at Mr Scott Rodham, our Alumni Officer and Archivist and Mrs Holly Heather, in Marketing and Events, are interviewing and collating some exciting images and stories for this fantastic retrospective.

New House Shirts in 2023 and 2024

The college is in the process of designing a new addition to our college uniform - a house shirt. These shirts will be optional in 2023 when they arrive (hopefully in the second half of the year) and will then be part of the compulsory school uniform from the start of 2024. Each week we have house activities across a variety of year levels and it will be exciting to build house identity, recognition, and pride with these new uniforms.

The following pictures are the first round of samples - colour matches are being refined at the moment. 

Swimming Carnival 

Thank you in advance to all of our swimmers who are today and tomorrow participating in the Interhouse Carnivals. I am looking forward to seeing our house spirit in action. The top swimmers will compete at the North Coast Independent Schools’ swimming championships to be held at Alstonville Aquatic Centre. The college has an amazing record at these championships and I’m looking forward to seeing our 2023 BDC Swim Team in action. Thank you to all parents for supporting these co-curricular events. They build school pride and energy and students often build new and different friendships during these types of events.

Traffic Flow and Student Safety

We have started well this year with our traffic flow in the afternoons. This is just a quick reminder for parents that are driving to collect students to arrive after 2.50pm if possible. This allows our buses easier access. If these buses are caught in traffic on North Boambee Road, then they won’t meet their respective drop-offs and pick-ups at their other schools and sites. Please also note that by 3.25pm the Kiss and Ride is empty, and there are also numerous car parks in the Branson Centre car park, so I encourage parents of older children to pick their children up a little later in the afternoon if possible. I know that traffic can be frustrating, but we have 380 cars and 34 buses flowing through the college between 2.50pm and 3.25pm every school day, so keeping the traffic moving safely is always the goal. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Child Safety

Please have a look at our college website for our Child Safety Officers

Please view the NSW Police Legacy letter and Child Safety Handbook.

Wes Tolhurst Professional School Photography 

Next Monday and Tuesday, we will have our regular school photographer, Wes Tolhurst, on campus to photograph staff and students carrying out their normal teaching and learning activities. I ask that you speak with your children about their uniforms over the weekend to ensure that uniforms are of the highest presentation. We will be utilising these photographs on our website, our internal Schoolbox posts, social media posts, and promotions for future school events. 


We are in the final testing phase of the BDC App. We expect this to be launched later in the term. All details relating to the BDC App will be shared on our socials, via schoolbox posts, and in the newsletter. We believe this will have a positive impact on communication between the college and each family with direct Schoolbox access, Parent Lounge access, and a host of handy links and contacts built into the app.

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

Tuesday we will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday which means every student will be offered a pancake. This will be followed by Ash Wednesday the following day. Anglicans celebrate both Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday as part of the liturgical calendar of the church.

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is traditionally a day of feasting and indulgence before the start of the Lenten fast. The word "shrove" comes from the old English word "shrive", which means to confess one's sins and receive absolution. In the past, people would use up rich foods such as eggs and butter on Shrove Tuesday, which were traditionally forbidden during Lent.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a period of penitence and preparation leading up to Easter. It gets its name from the practice of marking the forehead with ashes in the sign of the cross as a symbol of repentance and mortality. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are typically made by burning the palm fronds from the previous year's Palm Sunday.

Anglicans observe Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting and repentance, often attending services where they receive the imposition of ashes. It is a solemn day of reflection on one's own mortality and the need for forgiveness and renewal.

Overall, both Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday are important observances in the Anglican Church, marking the transition from a time of indulgence to a period of self-reflection and preparation for the celebration of Easter.

Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Home Presentation Invitation 

Between 1924 and 1970, Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home, located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, was run by the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board and its successor, the Aborigines Welfare Board. During this period, approximately 400 to 600 young boys, and a small number of girls in the first year, were incarcerated at the Kinchela Boys Home. These children were part of the Stolen Generations, a group of thousands of Indigenous children who were systematically taken from their families and communities under government and church policies.

The purpose of the Kinchela Boys Home, like other institutions associated with the Stolen Generations, was to force Indigenous children to abandon their culture and become "white", which was tantamount to cultural genocide. The conditions at the institution were harsh, with physical hardship, punishment, cruelty, alienation, and various forms of abuse, including cultural, physical, psychological, and sexual, being documented as part of the daily life endured by the boys who were kept and made to work there.

Despite leaving the Kinchela Boys Home, the boys' troubles did not end there. Institutionalisation and the lasting effects of their treatment have resulted in ongoing pain and trauma for survivors, their families, and communities. The descendants and families of the men struggle with intergenerational trauma, and the devastating effects continue to be felt to this day.

Today, the former Kinchela Boys Home site holds significant value to survivors, their families, the communities they were taken from, the communities in the Macleay Valley, and the broader community. As part of a long and complex healing process, the site and its deeply personal values must be shared with the wider Australian community.

Bishop Druitt College wishes to recognise the pain of this Stolen Generation with a presentation conducted by the Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation. The program that is open to our staff, parents, and senior students to participate in will be offered in the Branson Centre on Wednesday 1 March from 3.25pm.  The program will run for approximately an hour where you will hear directly from Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Home survivors in person. Both Sue O’Connor, Director of Student Wellbeing, and I have participated in one of these sessions in Kempsey previously and believe that it can lead to a greater understanding of what Reconciliation means for Australia in the context of healing through truth-telling. I hope that you are able to join us for this special event.

Coffs Harbour Bypass

Shane Oxley, our Business Manager and I are meeting regularly with the Coffs Harbour Bypass team and will share any updates with you as they occur. 

Here is the Detailed Design Project Update and some factsheets:

Nick Johnstone