Principal’s Desk – 13 September 2017

Looking back on Term 3 2017

Welcome to students, parents, visitors, staff, to everyone here today for our Term 3 College Assembly.

I like you, am very aware, there is only one more week of term to go, and what a busy time we have had.

While today, we are here to celebrate the particular and outstanding achievements of some, in terms of school leadership and learning excellence, I would like to offer a great vote of thanks to every student who has ‘participated actively and creatively in the affairs of this community’ over this third term.

In checking over its calendar of events, I can truly see an active learning community, one that has been as per our College theme ‘listening with the ear of its heart’ – especially in fundraising and awareness-raising activities and through reflection days.

Let me begin with the plethora of sporting and PE opportunities – I counted well over a dozen activities, including sports aerobics for a first time and even including a staff walking competition, to raise funds for the Good Samaritan Foundation.  Perhaps this might explain those extra steps back and forth in classrooms, as teachers have been working to get their step count up, and support their team, more about winning than participating, I suspect.

Over these weeks, so much has been on offer to challenge, stimulate, inspire and then prepare each of you for future learning.   Events such as the Art Show, Mary Poppins, Tertiary Expo and Subject Selections, Spaghetti Machine competition, Interfaith activities, Science week, Outdoor Hikes, camps, Snow trip, Zenith, Preparations for holiday travel to France, Borneo & the Philippines, Adventure camp, Hospitality meals and lastly but by no means, least our recent Mater Day.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved pastoral teams, student leaders and staff who assisted in making this such a wonderful celebration of our school community, beginning with a prayer-filled Mass – I do hope that you all remember Fr Vu’s message of how both ears otherwise form a loving heart, then we enjoyed a diverse range of fundraisers and food stalls, followed finally with the entertainment of HPAC.  It was thrilling to see so many students involved, performing and supporting the four houses to provide fantastic, crazy and slightly disturbing representations of a future Mater Christi and its leader.

Let me further say what a ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ event was our first shared production with St Joseph’s College.  Well done to all who prepared, rehearsed and supported the production of Mary Poppins.  Showcasing student Art works at the same time at Burrinja provided a unique opportunity for others in our local community to appreciate and celebrate the exciting talents of young people in this region.

So, during this term, we have all enjoyed and continue to enjoy many levels of support as a community.  I am confident that many of you realise that our Benedictine values are the heart of not only how we live and work together, but are the foundation values which prepare you to live as  women of faith who will participate actively and creatively in the affairs of society.

Jesus has assured us that where two or more are gathered in His name, there He is.  The God of love and hope, lives with us as we learn to know and love together.  Whenever we seek to do good, to live with kindness and take care of others, we are the face of Christ in this world.  It is a truly powerful charge as Christians, as humans.  Be the best person that we can be and we truly reflect the face of God to others, the power of love.  As Fr Vu reminded us, listening ears create loving hearts.

We are all aware from discussions across various media that the world is in great need of a good dose of love and human kindness.  It needs new mindsets, different constructs, innovative problem solvers to pave a new way, to foster decisions made for the common good for all who live in our world.  In MPY speak, we call this having a global context, - a key starting point for those about to undertake their Personal Project.  Thinking beyond our own small community, taking a global perspective is an essential ingredient of active citizenship.  As teachers, we aim to provide the skills for developing shared futures, a world where creative expression is fostered, where new ways of doing things are encouraged, where basic human needs are assured for everyone, where all voices are respected and where there is evidence of a shared humanity, regardless of race, gender or religion.

Our Benedictine values were articulated from a period of extreme social turbulence, unrest and conflict in Europe – somewhat similar some say to our current disruptive times, where issues around nuclear arms testing, resource sharing, migration and climate change remain key topics of concern for all world citizens and their leaders.

When I hear and read the aspirations of some among you, whether in seeking a leadership role, or presenting your portfolio of work for consideration of academic awards, or presenting personal projects, or leading tours of the College when you identify the importance of your Good Samaritan education to others, I am so proud and delighted.

I am proud because I share a great sense of achievement with staff and your parents in having set in place those structures, programs and experiences that are essential catalysts for fostering good learning outcomes.

I am delighted because I see so much talent, so many skills, such great potential in the leadership emerging within our midst from you the next generation of Australian women and global citizens.

However, most of all, I am filled with great hope. I see confident, competent and compassionate young women emerging, no, bursting forth from within this student body.  The events, the activities, the opportunities and experiences lived out this term alone, are testimony to a highly engaged community of learners.

Finally, while we formally acknowledge some students today, let me assure each one of you, your voices count, at school, at home, in future communities, and they need to be informed, compassionate and creative voices.  How does this happen… through being active and involved learners.  It has been a great term for many. And let’s make next term even greater.