Home' Capricornus Quarterly : July 2014 Contents 666
Cameron Venables is thankful for his time at The
Rockhampton Grammar School as the School Chaplain
A Pastoral Staff crafted by RGS Teacher Robert Matukin
on behalf of the School was presented to Cameron on
Assembly. (It can be seen in the picture below.) The
following are Cameron’s remarks made to the School.
...Some of you may look at this and think it is a
stick, or a shepherd’s crook, but it is in reality a
Bishop’s pastoral staff. When Dr Moulds asked if the
school could buy something as a farewell gift I asked
if the school could instead design and construct
a travelling pastoral staff that unscrews into three
pieces. I would particularly like to thank Mr Rober t
Matukin for the exceptional work and creativity
that has gone into this staff. From the traditional
crozier head into the open onion cage of wrought
iron, to the oak shaft with its brass collars... it is a
beautiful piece. The School motto, Macte Virtute et
Litteris is engraved onto the brass collars, and the
names of significant religious leaders, philosophers
and scientists have been burnt into the wood. As
I travel from place to place in my new role and
assemble this travelling staff each week I [will
remember] The Rockhampton Grammar School...
Because it is my last day as Chaplain – there
is a great sadness within me, because this
is a wonderful community to be part of; but
there is a much greater sense of thankfulness
for the last four years. Thankful to God for life
shared through that time, thankful to the staff,
students, and parents I have come to know, and
thankful for the many things I have learnt...
As I go I know I will miss many things:
I will miss being part of a school community,
both Primary and Secondary, where the staff are
so willing to go the extra mile for their students;
I will miss being part of a School community where
the students are so well mannered and motivated;
I will miss the privilege of supporting staff and
students who are working through tough times, and
the inspiration that repeatedly comes from their
resilience and determination to make things work;
I will miss the willingness of both students and
staff to give up their time to offer friendship
and support to people who have come to
Rockhampton as refugees and asylum seekers;
I will miss the creativity of writing essays
and making music with students and staff;
I will miss being part of the learning community
that is shaping [my children] Emily and Jack
– and giving them wings for the future.
As I go I would like to leave a thought for the
boys – this doesn’t apply to all the boys, but
to many of you... I was going to talk about hair
products, but that really isn’t important! This is.
In our technologically complex society there is
an increasing trend for boys and young men to
spend many hours each week on computer games
– games like Call of Duty – which involve killing
lots of people in a really short period of time.
Boys, our world needs your energy, your strength,
your intelligence, and your creativity; so please
do not squander these gifts in a virtual world.
Please don’t allow your main source of pleasure
to be killing and destroying in a virtual world, but
rather creating and building in the real one.
Most girls here don’t play computer games, but
before you feel too comfortable I would also like
to leave a thought for you. This doesn’t apply to
all the girls, but to many of you. I was going to talk
about hair product, but that really isn’t important!
This is. At some stage when you get home this
afternoon I would like each of you to look in the
mirror and say to yourself out loud (when no one
else is around), I am beautiful! This may sound
strange but there seems to be so many things
in our society that crush this truth. Instead of
thinking I am beautiful we think I’m too fat, I ’m
too thin, I ’m too short, I ’m too tall, I don’t like my
face.... For goodness sake, hear this. Each of you
are beautiful and the world needs your energy,
your compassion, your intelligence, and your
creativity to work with more important things than
your appearance or the appearance of others!!
Girls you may not play Call Of Duty but I think
sometimes girls have used Facebook and other
social media to spread unkindness and untruth.
Actually I know some boys who have done this as
well! So all of you, think twice about what you write
and what you post, particularly if it is unkind.
Before I go I also have a thought for all staff
and students, and it is simply this: make the
most of now. Make the most of what remains of
this year, of this term, of this week, of this day
and care for the people you share life with.
It has been a pleasure to share the journey.
Thank you. God’s blessing to each of you. Amen.
I am thankful for the many
things I have learnt at RGS.
Former School Chaplain Cameron Venables receives congratulations from Rockhampton
Catholic Bishop Michael McCarthy following his Consecration on 24 June as Anglican Bishop.
Cameron will serve the Western Region of Brisbane and will be based in Toowoomba.
a Centre of
The Rockhampton Grammar School is
one of only five schools in the state to be
designated a STEM X Centre for Excellence
by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ).
The School, which has received at
$10000 grant, has been recognised as a
Centre for Excellence in teaching, learning
and research in the domain of Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
(STEM) especially in the delivery of its Marine
and Environmental Science courses.
RGS will use the funding to purchase
specialist scientific equipment and to
work across departments to enhance
STEM links throughout its Marine,
Biology and Chemistry offerings.
ISQ made the announcement in June.
For the past year students have been
involved in an ongoing project and
participatory research into the health
of local waterways. Teachers volunteer
to work in this program and students
participate outside of school time.
Together they have been investigating
the health of local coral reefs and marine
environments and conducting surveys on
coral health, marine debris and biodiversity.
Impacts such as flooding, over fishing, climate
change and coastal development on coral
reefs have been monitored, too. Students
have also been able to take an active role
in the regeneration of local ecosystems.
They have worked with local and international
agencies, such as CoralWatch (University of
Queensland), Reefcheck and Eye on the Reef
(Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority).
Participation in the programme has grown
from ten students in 2013 to over fifty this
year. Students in Year 9 Marine Science,
Year 10 Marine Operations, Year 11 and 12
Marine and Aquatic Practices, Year 11 and 12
Biology and Chemistry will benefit from the
enhanced curriculum and related activities.
The new funding will help provide
greater opportunity for students to
participate in activities by reducing the
cost to students, increasing the number of
excursions for the reef, providing students
access to expert speakers and more.
RGS hopes to model best practice for
other schools wishing to conduct similar
programs and be a training centre for
other interested schools and teachers.
“Our Science staff and the
student s of RGS do a fant astic job
w ith coral reef ecology and their
involvement in the community
in this area is second to none.”
Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds
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