Marco Di Cesare | Principal

Principal's Blog 15 OCT 2021


Dear members of the Marcellin College community,  

My thanks for the overwhelming support we received from members of our community. Given the experiences that our current Year 12 students have endured over the last two years, we were all saddened at the need to cancel the Year 12 last day activities. As a leader who joined this community in 2021, I have not had the privilege of journeying with these young men as they came to their last year of their formal secondary education. We were not able to experience the annual rituals that occur and shape who we are as a community. 

That said, it is important to reflect on the wider situation. Each time I hear of the numbers who have died due to COVID-19 in our local and wider community, my perspective changes. When I listen to those who work in our hospitals; those on the ‘front-lines’, I begin to more fully appreciate the bigger picture. We are stronger, together. With our Marist Characteristics to guide us, let us always remember to look beyond our own personal needs and remember ‘the other’. 

As a College, we pride ourselves on our Family Spirit and Presence. As a Marcellin family, our relationships are central to who we are as a community; how we are present to one another. Of utmost importance, is the safety of all members of our community. This next section outlines how the Government’s mandate will impact our College community, particularly staff and parents. 

COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 6) 

As you may be aware, the Victorian Government has announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory in schools and early childhood centres. 

The Health Directions 

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 6) (Health Directions) set out the steps that the College must take in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in school settings. 

These steps include:   

  • collecting, recording and holding vaccination information regarding staff who may work on school premises; 
  • preventing unvaccinated staff from working on school premises, except in limited circumstances; and 
  • ensuring that personal protective equipment is worn by staff in specific situations. 

In practice, the Health Directions will have the following impact: 

  • Staff who are unvaccinated will not be able to attend work from 18 October 2021, unless they have a medical contraindication or have made a booking to receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by 25 October 2021 (in which case they must wear PPE at all times, which at a minimum includes a surgical mask and a face shield). 
  • Staff must be fully vaccinated by 29 November 2021, unless they have a medical contraindication. 
  • Where the College does not hold vaccination information about a member of staff, the College must treat the staff member as unvaccinated.  

What do the Health Directions mean for you? 

The Health Directions apply not only to employees and contractors, but also volunteers who attend the College and work in close proximity to students or staff. This includes parent volunteers. 

The Health Directions indicate that it is desirable that those in close proximity to children, students or staff on school sites are vaccinated against COVID-19. Accordingly, to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the school community the College has decided that it is appropriate to restrict entry to the school grounds to: 

  • Employees and contractors (provided they comply with the Health Directions or are exempt). 
  • Students. 

This means that whilst the Health Directions remain in force, Marcellin College will not be requiring volunteers on site at this time, and parents and other members of the school community should refrain from entering the College grounds. 

Drop off and pick up may still occur. 

I appreciate that the above measures, which Marcellin College is taking to comply with the Health Directions and otherwise minimise the transmission of COVID-19 in the school community, will have on the way the College and staff interact with you. I also acknowledge that members of our school community will understandably have different views regarding the Health Directions. 

We are working together to minimise disruption and ensure that the education and safety of our students remains our priority during this challenging time. 

If you have any questions, please continue to contact the College through our normal processes.  Thank you for your continued support. 


Yours Sincerely 

 

Marco Di Cesare 

Principal