"It's over, a small mistake, a great speech, move on."

DEBRAH Novak's extravagant opening to her letter, "I am calling for the sacking of the principal of McAuley Catholic College", smacks of a greater authority than a newly elected councillor of the CVC - more like Queen Victoria. I suggest she be a little more moderate in her claims, especially when she was not present at the Year 12 graduation address.

Had she had the opportunity to hear the principal's speech, she might have a different outlook.

As the principal explained the following day to the students and staff, "in hindsight it was a poor choice of slide and not my intention to offend anyone. The image was meant to convey the chaos of families and growing up. I apologise if I have offended any parent or student".

The controversial photograph showing a family with all the females with their mouths taped shut and the father holding a sign reading
The controversial photograph showing a family with all the females with their mouths taped shut and the father holding a sign reading "peace on earth" shown during the principal's address at the McAuley Catholic College Year 12 Graduation Ceremony last month. contributed

What was/is important is the guts of his speech - I quote - "we want you to be an example for others in speech, conduct, love and faith". And on awards - "all are ultimately about service". He stressed that each student has the capacity to make a huge difference to their world. He commended the students for living the value of service to each other each day. When reflecting on the strengths of this year's students he thanked the parents for the vital role they played. He highlighted the fact that nothing in life beyond McAuley would be more important than to grow in relationships and nurture love.

Like Debrah, I was not present at the graduation day, but I have spoken with some of the female students, parents and teachers. I have obtained a copy of the principal's address and read it. And I have read Barry Whalley's letter 12/10 and spoken with him. He was there. He takes a very different point of view than Debrah Novak. As one teacher and a senior female student commented to me: "It's over, a small mistake, a great speech, move on".

Get on with council business, Debrah.

W.M.Dougherty, Grafton.



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