Ian Regatta 2

2019 was another solid year of learning and development by the students of the Westport Campus.

Staff have again gone ‘above and beyond’ to support learning, social development and wellbeing for every student in our care.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fantastic teaching and support staff for their efforts throughout the year. The job they do in preparing our students for successful post school destinations is amazing.

We have a number of staff who are moving to the next chapter in their educational careers in 2020

Mr Christian Vidrih will be returning to Canada after a year in Port Macquarie, on a teaching exchange. Incidentally it is -2 in Toronto, Ontario today so he had better enjoy some surfing over the next few days before his departure.

Ms Heidi Speers has accepted a position at Taree High School in the TAS area, Mrs Jackie Climpson has accepted a transfer to Camden Haven High School, Mr Jake Orman will be taking up a position as relieving HT English at Marsden High School in Sydney and Ms Gillian Shute will be taking up a position at Melville High School for 2020.

We wish these staff success in their future endeavours.

Also a big thank you to the teachers who have filled temporary positions at the Westport Campus during 2019. Their support of our campus is greatly appreciated.

I would also like to pass on my appreciation to Lisa Simpson and her team for their continued commitment to the administration side of the campus. Again fantastic effort.

Our P & C, whilst small in number, is active and they continue to give quality community advice and support with the great things that occur here at the Westport Campus. Thank you to President Amanda Vagg and her team. There is plenty of opportunity for people to join the P & C in 2020.

As well as great things happening in the classroom a lot of exciting things have happened as extra curricular activities to support student learning. Examples being:

  • Showing of cattle and chickens at numerous show events
  • Representation in various combined high school sports
  • Participation and representation in swimming and athletics. We have had students at local, zone, regional, state and Australian level. All striving for personal best.
  • Performances in dance and drama at Schools Spectacular. You may have seen it on the television last Saturday night. What an amazing public education showpiece.
  • Our Lego League team, and in particular our ‘Pocket Rockets’ were the Hastings overall champions at a recent competition and went on to compete in Sydney last weekend, where they finished second in Australia in their category.
  • Our Robotics program has been going from strength to strength. Team 6508 performed extremely well in the Australasian tournament this year. They are currently waiting for the details of next year’s challenge.
  • Other activities include debating, public speaking, chess competitions, youth leadership summits, performances at Christmas events – we were the champion float at the Countdown to Christmas event two weeks ago.

Students at the Westport Campus display great community awareness skills in the way they have supported fundraising events such as the Cancer Council, the The Salvation Army, Legacy and the Port Macquarie Iron Man. WASCALS continues to be a major contributor to cancer fundraising in Port Macquarie. Jenny Cooper, Year 12 was named Hastings Council Young Person of the Year.

In the NSW Parliament recently six college students were formally recognised by Lesley Williams NSW State Member for Port Macquarie, for their efforts in winning the Underwater Robotics Competition in New Zealand during the last holiday break. Congratulations Kayley Edwards, Samantha Aguilar, Zac Morgan, Lachlan Marotte, Luke Aguilar and Madisan Rogers.

Last week I was notified of an award that is associated with the NSW Premiers Reading Challenge. This challenge involves students from Year 3 to Year 9. The highest award, the ‘Premiers Reading Challenge Medal’ has been awarded to 705 students across the state. I am proud to announce that Iesha Apthorpe is one of these medal winners.

Mr Willem Holvast, Hastings Secondary College Executive Principal moved from New Zealand to Sydney with his family in 1975, where he attended North Sydney Boys High School. He later attend the University of Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music, English Literature and German.

Willem’s teaching career commenced in Plumpton High School and Mt Druitt High School (both in Sydney) as a music teacher, a violinist and a singer. He spent many years teaching music in the classroom including classical violin, bluegrass, jazz and other genres.

After marrying, Willem and his wife Frances moved to Port Macquarie in 2000, where he took up a position as a school attendance officer. His own children attended Port Macquarie High School. He went on to become Deputy Principal at Camden Haven High School in 2004 and a Principal at Chatham High School in Taree by 2010.

In 2016 he commenced as the Executive Principal here in Port Macquarie at Hastings Secondary College where he has worked to increase the presence of the College in the local community. Increased student numbers on both campuses and the availability of opportunities for students over the past few years indicates that his efforts have produced positive results.

Willem will be taking leave next year pending retirement. In the future he would like to work with trainee teachers whilst they are on their professional placement. He has had a long and distinguished career in public education in NSW and we wish him all the best for his future. Congratulations Willem.

Families in our local area have been sending their children to our school since its opening in 1981. I imagine, like me as a parent, families send children to school trusting that they will be known, valued and cared for. At Hastings Secondary College this philosophy of being known, valued and cared for is one of the foundation stones in the way we interact with students, parents and the community.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their ongoing support and assistance in the educational, social and cultural development of our students.

Finally, on behalf of our fantastic school I wish you a safe and happy holiday. I am looking forward to working with you in 2020.

Thank you.

Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus