Penrhos Community News

24 August 2018

From the Principal

Mrs Meg Melville

Updates from the Uniting Church

I would like to share with our community two important updates from the Uniting Church.

The first of these relates to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The final report of this Royal Commission was delivered to the Governor General on 15 December 2017. As of 1 July 2018, the Western Australian Government signed up to the National Redress Scheme. The WA Synod of the Uniting Church has endorsed and implemented the Uniting Church in Australia’s National Framework for Interim Redress Measures which are consistent with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. There are two websites that have been recommended for access should anyone wish to follow up on this further:

unitingchurchwa.org.au/uniting-church-centre/safe-church/interim-redress/

www.nationalredress.gov.au

I have also included a link to the letter which has been sent to all Penrhos College Alumni, should any member wish to come forward if she feels that she was inappropriately treated during her time at the College, in the context of the Royal Commission. This letter serves as an invitation to past members of the community to come forward in the spirit of acknowledgement and healing.

Read the letter here →

The second update relates to a communication from Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia on Same Gender Marriage, as determined in July 2018 at the National Council of the Uniting Church, 15th Assembly:

To honour the diversity of Christian belief among our members, we will hold two equal and distinct statements of belief on marriage. This decision will allow ministers and celebrants in the Uniting Church the freedom to conduct or to refuse to conduct same-gender marriages. The existing statement of belief that ‘marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life’ has been retained. A new additional statement of belief has also been adopted. That statement reads ‘marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of two people to live together for life’.

What this means is that ministers who, in good conscience, are willing to conduct same-gender marriages are able to do so. This does not compromise the rights of those ministers who, in good conscience, cannot conduct same-gender marriages. They will continue to be able to teach their belief that marriage may only be between a man and a woman and can continue to use a marriage liturgy that reflects that conviction.

Currently, the Assembly Standing Committee are preparing an additional authorised marriage liturgy, for use according to the rites of the Uniting Church in Australia. This will be available by Friday, 21 September 2018, with marriages of same-gender couples being able to be conducted from Saturday, 29 September 2018.

Student Celebrations

Caitlin Cooper (Year 12) has been selected to represent Australia in hockey in the upcoming Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2 to 21 October. This is a thrilling opportunity for Caitlin! It does however mean that Caitlin, a 14 year veteran of Penrhos College, having joined us in Kindergarten, will miss her Year 12 farewell celebrations. We will be saying a special farewell to Caitlin on Friday, 21 September at the Principal’s Assembly to wish Caitlin much success with representing Australia and in her final WACE Examinations.

Kate Munns (Year 10) became a published journalist when her carefully crafted and thoughtful article on the impact on rural communities of the ban on livestock trade, appeared in the West Australian newspaper. Congratulations Kate!

Year 10 students: Nikki Bakhtazad, Megan Barry, Grace Fowler, Isabelle Reitze, Lauren Rothnie, Bhamini Shrivastava and Georgia Stuart. These students have made the national finals of the Just Start It iAwards in Melbourne on 29-30 August. Best wishes, girls!

Science World Championships
Congratulations to all Years 7 to 9 students who joined in last week with the online quiz/competition designed to engage students in learning Science. This was a fun exercise, conducted in a relaxed setting and believe it or not, Penrhos College was ranked 1st in WA in the category of similar sized schools and 2nd overall across all schools in WA!

Penrhos Collaboration with the Perth USAsia Centre, University of Western Australia
Penrhos students who attended the Space Camp Tour to the US earlier this year were privileged to work with the Perth USAsia Centre at UWA to produce a promotional video for the upcoming conference, In the Zone: The Indo-Pacific Era in Space, to be held in Perth in October. You can view the video in the following link: youtu.be/YJdTsGy0H7E

Cyber Safety Concerns

We have recently been advised of two computer games that pose significant cyber safety concerns: a game released several weeks ago called Hello Neighbour, and a profile under the name Momo, created on the messaging app WhatsApp.

Hello Neighbour appears to be a harmless game of playing tricks on your neighbour, however it turns into something quite different when you get further into the game. Pitched as a downloadable survival horror game ‘suitable for 12 years old and above’, children are locked up in the basement needing to be rescued.

Momo challenges users to complete a disturbing task each day for 50 days, becoming increasingly dangerous and introducing elements of self-harm. The final ‘challenge’ requires the participant to commit suicide. Further reading on Momo can be located on the following web address: tendaily.com.au/news/a180812smv/the-terrifying-new-cyber-trend-that-targets-kids-20180819

Technical Support at the College is seeking to block any ports that the game Hello Neighbour uses, so students will be unable to access the game while on campus. The College is informed that Momo has not yet become popular in Australian or New Zealand schools. We will continue to monitor the game.

We encourage you to reinforce the safe use of social media at home with your daughter.

Image gallery

Please enjoy photos of recent events:

Book Week dress up day

Book Week dress up day

Book Week dress up day

Meg Melville
Principal

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