Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

Making the right decision really matters

The decisions that young people make are important because they can have long lasting impacts for themselves and others. This is important especially as many of our older students are learning to drive. Driving a car is a huge responsibility and comes with making many decisions quickly when they are on the road. This week, Year 11 met with Melissa McGuinness, a Gold Coast resident and mother of three children, who is continuing to live with the loss of her 18-year-old son, Jordan, in a road accident in 2012.  Not only did Jordan die, but he was responsible for four other deaths. 

Melissa was introduced by Georgie Gardner from the Today Show and she has spoken about this important issue on the program in the past. Melissa has been to a number of schools sharing her very personal story with students and parents in the hope that it might serve as a lesson and warning to others about the dangers of careless and irresponsible behaviour when driving. When Melissa approached us to say that she would like to share her story with our students, we immediately realised the potential benefit of this presentation for the students. If you would like to gain an insight into what Melissa’s presentation is about, please click on this link which is an interview with the Today Show in June of this year. Her Facebook page is here also for you to peruse.

Melissa referred to the ‘grief elephant’ that she lives with every day because of her son’s decision to drive his car when he shouldn’t have. The presentation was powerful, emotional and Melissa asked the girls to carefully think about the decisions that they make when either driving a car or when they are a passenger, particularly when in the car with a young driver.  Her son made the wrong decision and the impacts of this have been devastating and far reaching. The students demonstrated incredible empathy and care for Melissa during her presentation and some of their reflections are here for you to read.

 “Melissa’s story was very eye-opening and moving for me as it personally related to an accident involving one of my family members. It has made me think that the decisions that we make will impact on the lives of others”.     

Sarah Scott

“This was one of the most moving and insightful 50 minutes of my life. I left with much so much more than just a presentation. Not only did I witness firsthand the layers of grief that a single bad choice can make but the presentation also prompted thought into just how significant choices are, and their consequences on others. It really put into perspective the responsibly and power that we are given when we are behind the wheel. Not matter what age or experience we may have. A quick peek to check a text message or driving intoxicated has real consequences, and it was when Melissa, a mother who shared the story of her child’s fateful choice, that it really put things into perspective for me. It was heartbreaking and confronting how such a tragedy happened to someone just like us and left me with a message that I will never forget”.   

Maanya Maini

“This provided Year 11 with the powerful insights into ensuring that we are constantly aware of our actions which not only affects us but also other road users and our loved ones. This presentation was a strong reminder in the importance of road safety for young people which we endeavour to carry forward”.

Lily Martin

“As a ‘P plater’, Melissa’s presentation really resonated with me as she highlighted the trauma experienced by not only the individual, but the family and the community. It reinforced the need to be proactive about our own driving, but also those who drive us, ensuring that they make the best possible decisions to keep us safe on the road. I would highly recommend Melissa’s presentation and am sure it will have a lasting impact on myself and my peers”.

Madeline Playford


School TV

SchoolTV is a digital resource for parents to assist in navigating your way through the challenges of modern-day parenting. Every month, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg introduces a new topic and interviews specialists  to offer their advice. Information is presented in bite-size pieces that you can watch and read anywhere at any time on any device.  Click the SchoolTV image to access the website. Please bookmark for easy access in the future. 

Years 7 and 8 Holistic Plenary Reminder to Parents

 The PTO for the Years 7 and 8 Holistic Plenaries closes on Sunday 18 August 2019 at 5pm. A reminder that a holistic plenary is compulsory for students in Years 7 and 8 with their Advisor.

To make your bookings:

  1. Go to the PTO Login page
  2. The PTO booking site will be launched. Tick OBTAIN PIN/PASSWORD and enter the email address that you have provided to the school as your contact email. Your individual PIN will be emailed to you.
  3. Full instructions for making your bookings will appear on your screen.


Conversations this week

Year 11 Leadership Pledge Conversation with Ms McCullough
Year 10 Pastoral Conversation with Heads of House and Kuring-gai Tutors
Year 8 Digital Health Conversation with Advisors
Year 7 Circle of Influence Conversation with Advisors


Upcoming School Events

Years 7 and 8 Holistic Plenary Meetings – Commence from Monday 19 August

Year 11 Leadership Ritual – Friday 30 August  at 1.30pm in the Gym


Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions.


Mr Justin Madigan

Dean of Pastoral Care