- Welcome to Parent Talk Issue 4 2022
- Vapes are not safe - Hints to help young people quit vaping
- Tips to help you discuss career options and subject options with your child
- There is still time to enter the 2022 Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award
- An update from St Mary's Catholic School, Wellington, recipient of the 2021 Roger O'Sullivan Award
- Celebrate NAIDOC week
- Pre-Kindergarten for all children in NSW by 2030
- Parent advocate Madonna King appointed as new Chair Catholic School Parents Australia
- New Federal Minister for Education
- Plenary Council publishes 30 motions for consideration
- Hints to protecting yourself from Ransomware
Welcome to Parent Talk Issue 4 2022
We have continued to ensure a strong Catholic parent voice to our politicians during the recent Federal election. CCSP congratulates Anthony Albanese on becoming the Prime Minister of Australia and on the appointment of Mr Jason Clare, MP, as the new Federal Minister for Education. We look forward to working with Minister Clare and the new Federal Government.
CCSP welcomes the recent announcement from the NSW Government to introduce universal pre-Kindergarten for all children in NSW by 2030. This will help children with their preparation and transition to school. We look forward to seeing this policy implemented and will advocate for Catholic schools to be a part of the policy implementation.
During the holidays, communities across Australia will celebrate NAIDOC week. On behalf of CCSP, we hope the celebrations are joyous and well attended and look forward to hearing about all of the great events across NSW and the ACT.
There are many Catholic parents preparing their children for the next stage of their learning journey. Children will soon be making decisions about subject selection for next year, some children are attending careers expos and, of course, our year 12 children preparing for their HSC exams. To assist parents and carers there is an article, with hints and tips to help you discuss career options and subject options with your child, in this issue of Parent Talk. I hope that this can provide you with some new insight and help during this process.
Ransomware is a significant threat facing Australian families, in this Parent Talk is an article and video explaining more about this online crime. CCSP wants to continue supporting parents by educating them on the online dangers families may face in cyberspace.
Vaping continues to be an issue for our young adolescents. Our children are exposed to all sorts of unknown chemicals that can cause serious health issues. In this Parent Talk we again cover the issue to hopefully assist parents who are dealing with children who are vaping. The article includes important evidence-based information from NSW Health about the dangers of vaping with links to fact sheets for parents and carers, and young adults.
I’d like to encourage all school communities to enter the Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School, and Community Partnerships for Learning. Entries close on the 27 July 2022, for more information about this award read the article later in Parent Talk including an update from 2021 Recipient St Mary's Catholic School, Wellington.
I would like to again thank all teachers and support staff for their continued care and support for our children in our Catholic schools.
Vapes are not safe - Hints to help young people quit vaping
Health professionals are concerned about the popularity of vapes and increase in young people trying vaping.
Young people may think they are simply inhaling flavoured water, this is far from the truth. Vapes can have the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, often called ‘vapes’, are electronic devices designed to deliver vapourised liquids into the lungs. There are many different styles of vapes available and they can be difficult to spot. The main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine or glycerol, and they often also contain nicotine, flavours and other chemicals. Vapes may contain harmful chemicals that aren’t listed on the pack.
The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true. Vapes are not safe. Source NSW Health.
NSW Health is urging parents and carers to find out more about vaping and talk with young people about the risks.
NSW Health have created factsheets for parents and carers. You can access the above fact sheet here or a different Vaping fact sheet for parents and carers here.
There is a separate factsheet for young people.
What you can do as a parent or carer?
There are ways you can help protect your children from vaping:
- Whether you suspect your child is vaping or not, take the time to talk to them about it and help them understand all of the risks. It is never too late to have the conversation.
- Try to start the conversation with your child in a relaxed easy-going way, perhaps taking the cue from around you, such as a note from school, a news story about on it, or seeing people vaping on the street.
- If your child is vaping, encourage them to stop, let them know that help is available and you are there for them.
- Learn about the different types of vapes available and the risks associated with using these products.
- Set a good example by being tobacco or vape free.
Support to help your child quit vaping
- Book an appointment with their general practitioner or other health service for help to quit vaping.
- Quitline counsellors are available to answer any questions about vapes on 13 7848 (13 QUIT). Quitline is a telephone-based service, offering information and advice. Quitline counsellors provide tips and strategies, and help to plan your child's quit attempts, based on their own needs and preferences. They can also help you think of ways to approach a conversation with your child or loved one about vaping.
- The Aboriginal Quitline is also available on 13 7848. Run by Aboriginal counsellors, the Aboriginal Quitline is a telephone-based confidential advice and support service.
- If you require assistance in a language other than English, Quitline has counsellors who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese, you can ask to speak to one of these counsellors. For people who prefer to speak in a different language, Quitline uses the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS).
- The Cancer Institute NSW iCanQuit provides information on quitting methods, links to support groups and top tips to help your child quit.
The Catholic Weekly ran a very informative article about vaping on June 1 2022. You can read the article here. Last year Paul Dillon, Director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA), and Jennifer Cohan, CSNSW, Senior Manager, Wellbeing, recorded a 24 minute podcast about vaping. You can listen the podcast here.
CCSP suggests if you have concerns about your child vaping speak with your child and teacher.
Tips to help you discuss career options and subject options with your child
The earliest, most powerful, learning about careers is shaped by the adults in a child’s life. In daily life, there are many opportunities for you to help your child prepare for the future.
Speaking with your children about events and experiences that have influenced your current and past jobs is an opportunity for both of you to talk about and reflect on the path you have chosen.
The my future website to can assist your family with these important discussions. The government-funded resource contains excellent, unbiased information curated by career experts and professionals. The website has an area for parents and carers and for students to help understand career options and pathways.
On the site you’ll find…
- 358 occupation descriptions
- 15,000 vocational and higher education course descriptions
- 370+ occupation videos
- 33 careerbulls-eyes
- 19 industry descriptions
- 9 My career profile
You could have a family discussion about;
- Interests – What your child likes doing in their free time
- Work conditions – The type of work conditions they may enjoy, indoors or outdoors, with many people or a few people.
- Education and Training
- Study – Subjects they enjoy
- Values – what is important to them
The https:/myfutureeeduu.au/my-career-profile/activities can assist you and child further explore this area.
The assist your child section includes information about;
- Vocational education and training (VET)
- The future of work
- Over 300 videos that describe the real-life stories of people working in specific occupations
- Templates to create a resume
Thankfully there are many helpful tools available to assist to guide your children with subject selection and career choices. The CCSP website has a page about Vocational Education Training and Post School Pathways. On the page there are links to additional sources of information.
Positive parent influence can boost your child’s confidence when making career choices, there are many pathways your child can follow.
There is still time to enter the 2022 Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award
Would $4000 grant assist your school community further a community collaboration project?
If the initiative focuses on family, school and community collaboration to enhance the learning outcomes of students you can enter the Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning. A grant of $4000 is awarded to one school community, including parents and carers, that can demonstrate exemplary practice in building partnerships between home and school to enhance the learning outcomes of students. These projects may focus on faith formation, the school curriculum, student wellbeing, or any combination of the three.
At the heart of this award are family, school and community partnerships in which the family and community are authentically engaged.
Parent bodies and leaders from eligible Catholic school communities are invited to apply for the 2022 Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award. More information and an application form is available here.
An update from St Mary's Catholic School, Wellington, recipient of the 2021 Roger O'Sullivan Award
The school community of St Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington have used the $4000 prize awarded for First Place in the 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Award to further develop their Outback Immersion Program.
During week 3, term 2, a number of St Mary’s students, staff and parents from Year 5 - Year 10 travelled to Outback NSW visiting Coonamble, Lightning Ridge, Wee Waa, Coonabarabran and Narrabri.
In a wonderful example of building community across the state the group was welcomed by the community of St. Brigid’s School, Coonamble, for Morning Tea enroute to Lightning Ridge.
During the visit to the opal mining village of Lightening Ridge the group learnt about opal mining, had an opportunity to fossick for opals, and explored an underground museum sculpted using a butter knife.
While in Coonabarabran the group learnt from a local Aboriginal Elder how paint is made from rocks and other material found on country. He showed the group how they could use the materials to tell a story through art.
A group of students came together to create an artwork that represents the trip and the connections made.
Each evening the group gathered by the campfire, playing cards, telling stories or playing games together.
“We were fortunate to have had many amazing experiences and adventures on our trip, with many memories and connections to take with us. "
commented a teacher who joined the trip.
Entries are open for the 2022 Roger O'Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning. For more information and an entry form click here. You have until July 27 2022 to make a submission for your school community.
Communities across Australia are preparing to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples during NAIDOC Week, July 3 to 10.
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. The prestigious poster competition was won by Ryhia Dank, a young Gudanji/Wakaja artist from the Northern Territory with her entry, Stronger , The 2022 National NAIDOC Poster incorporating the Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag (licensed by the Torres Strait Island Council).
Parents and carers involve help their children get involved with NAIDOC Week by downloading downloading a colouring in page of the poster.
CCSP wishes all communities well for their local community celebrations.
Let us know how you celebrate NAIDOC Week by emailing CCSP with some photos.
Pre-Kindergarten for all children in NSW by 2030
The 2022/23 NSW Budget will set aside more than $5.8 billion over 10 years to introduce universal pre-Kindergarten for all children in NSW by 2030.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said
“We’re ensuring our youngest learners thrive by introducing a full year of preschool education before Kindergarten, as we know how important it is to have a strong educational foundation.”
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the evidence is clear that providing the best education starts in the early years.
“Universal pre-Kindergarten will give every child in NSW access to a specialised year of play-based learning, smoothing their transition to school and solidifying their path to a brighter future,” Ms Mitchell said.
You can read the budget announcement here.
The NSW Education Department have created a brochure Early Learning Commitment explaining the reforms in more detail.
This transformational new year of preschool education will not just build on the other commitments of this budget but will also change and improve, with the help of parents, educators, services and stakeholders, how children enter and prepare for school.
Parent advocate Madonna King appointed as new Chair Catholic School Parents Australia
Award-winning journalist, author and media commentator was appointed as the new Chair of the national council of Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) during the AGM held in May.
Ms King is well known for such roles as her TV appearances, six years as a presenter on ABC radio in Brisbane, her Fairfax column, and for chairing the Queensland Anti-Cyber Bullying Taskforce in 2018.
Having written in depth about education and politics, Ms King takes on the role with a thorough knowledge of the issues affecting families with children in Catholic schools.
“COVID, for example, and the legacy it continues to provide, presents ongoing and serious challenges, but so do many other issues.”
With a teenage daughter completing Year 12 at a Catholic school in Brisbane, and having written four books on the education and welfare of teen girls, she realises how vital it is for parents to be engaged in their children’s education.
“Our children’s education has never been more important, and the home-school partnership plays a vital role in this,” Madonna noted.
Ms King's professional experience, including her media skills, engagement with parents and work with people across a broad range of contexts, is certain to enrich CSPA’s work as a national parent body.
CCSP thanks outgoing CSPA, Chair, Karl Rodrigues, for his contribution to CSPA and welcomes Ms King to her new role.
Image Madonna King website
New Federal Minister for Education
CCSP congratulates Jason Clare MP, for his appointment as Federal Minister for Education.
Minister Clare was born and raised in western Sydney, he represents the seat of Blaxland and is the first member of his family to finish high school.
Jason Clare says becoming Education Minister is a 'dream come true'
“We come to this building wanting to change people’s lives for the better, that’s what education does.” commented Minister Clare in an interview with Sky News.
“What we do in our primary schools and our high schools if we get it right really sets the Australian economy up for the next decade and the decade beyond making sure that our kids have the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”
Source: Sky News Tyrone Clarke June 1 2022
We trust Minister Clare and the new Labour government will continue to support parents and carers who choose a Catholic education for their children.
Plenary Council publishes 30 motions for consideration
The 30 motions that will be considered during the second assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia in July, rising from four years of national conversation, have been published.
The Framework for Motions “will form the backbone of our reflection, discussion and decision when we gather”, Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB wrote in a message to fellow Members.
“Our time together in Sydney … will be enormously significant for the whole Catholic community, and for our wider society,” Archbishop Costelloe wrote.
“As we strive to discern, and then to embrace, all that God is asking of us now and as we move into the future, we will be challenged to recognise both the strengths and weaknesses of ‘who we are’ and the hope which lies in ‘who God is calling us to become’.”
Bishop Shane Mackinlay, the vice president of the Plenary Council, said the road to the Framework for Motions goes back to 2018 – starting with the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Council, which drew more than 17,000 submissions on behalf of 222,000 people.
“Carried forward through prayer, reflection and discernment, and drawing on Scripture, Church tradition, papal teaching and our current context, these 30 motions have emerged,” he said.
The motions are contained within eight sections of the document:
- Reconciliation: Healing Wounds, Receiving Gifts;
- Choosing Repentance - Seeking Healing;
- Called by Christ -Sent Forth as Missionary Disciples;
- Witnessing to the Equal Dignity of Women and Men;
- Communion in Grace: Sacrament to the World;
- Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry;
- At the Service of Communion, Participation and Mission: Governance;
- Integral Ecology and Conversion for the Sake of Our Common Home.
You can access the Framework for Motions document here
Bishop Mackinlay said that the commitment to “co-responsibility” that guided the document’s preparation will also be evident during the second assembly, when 277 Members from across the country will pray with, reflect upon and vote on the motions. “As we prepare to conclude this plenary council, our first in 85 years and the first with the voice of women and lay people present, we invite the People of God in Australia to pray for all Members in these final weeks of preparation,” he said.
The second – and final – assembly of the Plenary Council will be held in Sydney from July 3-9.
The Mass to formally close the Council will be celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral at 10.30am on Saturday, July 9. The community is invited to attend this celebration.
Our prayers are with those who will attend the second assembly as they discuss the important matters that will shape the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Hints to protecting yourself from Ransomware
Ransomware is malicious software that makes data or computer systems unusable until the victim makes a payment, often in the form of hard to trace cryptocurrencies.
Be wary that if you do pay a ransom, this will not guarantee access to your data again.
This video from the ACSC explains more about ransomware
Take the Australian Cyber Security 3 minute quiz to see how prepared you are for a ransomware attack.
Cybercriminals will send ransom demands to restore files after gaining illicit access to servers and encrypting data. There have also been reports of ransomware locking file or system access after users download pirated software. Individuals and organisations affected by ransomware can experience severe disruption and downtime. They can also incur significant financial and reputational costs.
Investing in preventative cyber security measures is a more cost effective and reliable way to prevent ransomware attacks, such as keeping regular offline backups of critical data and turning on automatic updates.
Take the ACSC
3 minute quiz to see how prepared you, or your organisation is for a ransomware attack.
The ACSC regularly publishes alerts, advisories and threat reports, including on ransomware attacks, to help individuals and organisations uplift their cyber hygiene and cyber security. Visit www.cyber.gov.au to learn more.