Dear Parents and Carers,
In this, our second last newsletter for the year, I reflect on how sometimes, within our day’s busyness, we can get distracted from the upcoming period of Advent in genuinely preparing for the celebration of Christmas. With this in mind, I share with you the following reflection that I used to commence our Parents and Friends gathering last week:
My lack of time
The morning began too soon, Lord.
I became aware of time and I began to think of all that the day required of me.
Lord, You know how much is packed into such a short day. I need to:
Collect my thoughts
Prioritise my ‘must do’ items
Think about my clothes
Prepare and eat my breakfast
Organise household members
Jot down ‘don’t forget’ tasks on scraps of paper
Pray that I don’t lose this list
Remind myself to speak to so-and-so in the course of the day
Feed the pets
Answer the phone (does it have to ring just as I’m about to leave?)
Sign some paperwork
Think about after school pick-ups and drop-offs
Hope that there’s enough petrol in the car
Pray that I have enough money to pay for it
Wonder when I’ll get to the petrol station
Think ahead about what’s missing from the pantry
Rattle my brain about tonight’s meeting (tonight or is it next week?)
Keep calm when I remember I should have paid a bill last week
Resolve my family spats using the wisdom of Solomon
Investigate the case of the missing shoes (and why we no longer have any tea spoons)
My pin number
My mobile number
My home phone number
My voicemail code
My email address
My home address
And my 14th different computer login password!
Somehow Lord, I will try to find You in all of this.
I will try to remember how You told us not to worry and become
anxious about the future but to be a people of hope.
I will try to live in the here and now, Lord – here in Your presence, now and forever.
Last week our students participated in an engaging ‘She’s Someone’ pastoral care lesson in the lead-up to yesterday’s United Nations: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I want to commend our students for the respectful manner in which they took such a stance against any form of gender-based violence in society. I wish to acknowledge Mrs Hurley and Mrs Knowles for their leadership in supporting our students to continue raising awareness of this significant issue. I also commend our senior student leaders who collaborated with students from St. Mary Star of the Sea College in preparing such high-quality content for our student cohort. St Mary’s Principal, Mr Tony Fitzgerald, and I look forward to strengthening our educational and community partnership for the benefit of our young people and society more broadly.
In consultation with the College Advisory Council and EREA, the College Leadership Team has been busy reviewing our strategic direction as we prepare for 2022 and beyond. Two key considerations have been feedback from the recent School Renewal and the change in government funding for non-government schools, which will see a reduction in recurrent funding for the College over the medium term. We are confident that our all-inclusive fee structure will continue to be highly competitive relative to other independent schools in the region despite the government changes being made.
In recent years the College has invested heavily into the school’s facilities, with $28m having been committed over the past 11 years. This year the College took the opportunity to fast track air conditioning of all classrooms while students and staff were off-campus. Please see attached link to an article by Edmiston Jones on research that underpinned this project.
In 2022, in addition to the ongoing general maintenance of the campus, the main capital projects prioritised in our Masterplan include upgrading all first-floor handrails to improve student safety, refurbishing the Administration building, and improving the drainage on Sheppard’s oval.
I once again thank parents and carers for your active support, and I ask that you keep our Year 12 students in your thoughts and prayers as they conclude their final HSC exams mid-next week, and we then gather to celebrate their graduation.