The National Marist Assistant Principals conference, recently held at the Marist Centre in Brisbane, was a great gathering of 44 Marist leaders from every State and Territory. The theme of the Conference was The climate of the Marist classroom and was ably led by Dr Paul Rijken, the Principal of Cardijn College in Adelaide, and a member of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools. Paul is a dynamic and visionary Catholic school leader, with a passion for school improvement, informed by research, to foster outstanding learning outcomes for students. In 2018 Paul was appointed director of Catholic Secondary Principals Australia and a member of the Regional Council (VIC/SA/WA) for Marist Schools Australia. In 2017, he completed a PhD in mathematics and science from Curtin University and was awarded Principals Australia Institute’s John Laing Award for his commitment to facilitating professional learning for all staff in his school and across the SA Catholic sector.
After a tumultuous week in Australian politics, we have a new Prime Minister, and a new Cabinet. Whatever our political beliefs and preferences, it would seem most Australians are pretty fed up with party machinations that led to the removal of a Prime Minister elected by the people. Many political commentators have suggested the succession of different Prime Ministers over the last decade reflects poorly on the way Australian politicians engage in responsible, democratic government.
We all know from our junior Geography lessons that Australia is the driest continent on earth. A brief review of weather records for the past 200 years readily presents the reality of repeated periods of drought in different parts of the country. The current drought effecting Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria is among the most severe on record.