Pastoral Care

International Women’s Day 8 March

International Women’s Day on the 8 March is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This week at Loreto we celebrated International Women’s Day with a series of Super Girl events and some of our students and staff attended various events to celebrate the power of a woman but also to reflect on the issues around what needs to change to reach gender equality in the society.

 

Super Girl week: 7-11 March 2016

 Throughout this week the SRC aimed to raise awareness and bring to the attention the strength of a girl and the power from within. The ‘Super Girl’ activities within each house this week:

Masked Monday

Individual decorated masks stuck on lockers for the week.

Teamwork Tuesday

Team work games in Tutor Groups

Wonderful Wednesday

Dancing in the Quad, Super Girl speech at Assembly.

Thoughtful Thursday

What is inspirational about a girl? Share your thoughts about ‘Super girls’ within your Tutor Group

Fantabulous Friday

‘S’ shape on Oval, nail and face painting

 

‘All About Women’ Festival at the Sydney Opera House

Last Sunday 6 of March, five Year 12 students together with our mums, Mrs Vink and Ms McCullough had the opportunity to attend the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House. We were invited to a light lunch at the Bennelong Restaurant (which was very fancy!) before attending one of the many events that were a part of the festival: a panel discussion on “What needs to change” as we strive for gender equality in our society. Invited by the National Marketing Manager of Maserati, Bilgen Tug, as they were the major partners for the event, we were able to see her success as a woman working and succeeding in what is an overwhelmingly male dominated industry and this was something that inspired us and gave us hope that we are making progress in the fight for gender equality.

The panel discussion after lunch was made up of prominent females from around the world, including Masha Gessen, author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a world renowned lawyer and a part of Hilary Clinton’s advisory staff during her time as Secretary of State Mallory Ortberg, the founder of online feminist magazine The Toast, Ann Sherry, a leading Australian businesswoman, and Crystal Lameman, a prominent environmental activist throughout the world. The panel was chaired by Loreto Normanhurst ex-student Jenny Brockie, the well-known host of Insight. A wealth of experience was before us on the panel, and through the hour long discussion each of the speakers articulated what they felt needed to change in order to allow for parity between genders. From structural and cultural changes, to a focus on the perceptions of our men, rather than our women, the five of us, together with a full audience of the Joan Sutherland Theatre found our own convictions and beliefs regarding gender inequality and the power of the woman to be challenged, tested and empowered as these successful women implored each of us to ‘be brave,’ and stand up to be counted.

Walking away from the panel discussion afterwards, the five of us were buzzing at what we had just heard – with so many new ideas, and so inspired to work hard and continue to strive for gender equality with, as Ms Watkins often reminds us, a gentle, kind feminism. We were called to lead the fight against gender inequality, and in this week, where our female football team, the Matilda’s qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years, and a day before International Women’s Day. The celebration of the power of the woman has especially been prominent to us at Loreto Normanhurst as this week we celebrate the power of the girl during Super Girl Week. After listening to the inspirational words of the panel at the All About Women Festival, and on Tuesday night seeing the screening of “He Named Me Malala” at the school’s International Women’s Day celebration, where an ordinary girl faced with extraordinary circumstances stood up and let her voice be heard, it has become obvious that the fight for gender equality is not one that has to wait until we are older, until we are ‘women’. As  girls we have the power to enact change right here, right now – it all starts with us. It is not only, however, the decision to enact change, but the way in which we do so that is so important, and here again comes the notion of a gentle feminism – one instilled in us by our Loreto education. One of the panellist’s, Crystal Lameman, said that, “God gave us two ears and one mouth – to lead and lead well is to listen first, so that when we speak our words have more meaning and strength.” For the entire Loreto Normanhurst community, this model of leadership, this gentle feminism must dictate our words and actions so that we may continue to have the courage to fight for the rights, hopes and dreams of women all over the world.

Maddison Zahra

Aston House Captain

 

Empower Conference for International Women’s Day at St Leonards

“Women in time will come to do much” – Mary Ward 1609. What a profound quote and still so relevant over 400 years later. Mary Ward had a vision that focused on empowering women though education. 

On Tuesday, two Year 10 students (Charlotte Denny and Charlotte Smith) attended the Northern Sydney TAFE Women Empower Conference. A number of guest speakers gave very interesting and powerful speeches on the importance of gender equality in today’s society and what can be done in order to rid the world of gender stereotypes.  A student speaker, Rachael Buzio, who was the 2015 Student of the Year, talked about her ongoing journey to empowerment and the obstacles that women in Australia still face today.

The guest speakers also discussed Domestic Violence in Australia. We learned about some horrifying statistics on violence against women including :

  • On average one women a week dies at the hands of their partner. 
  • From the age of 15 girls have experienced some form of violence

Gender inequality has a severe impact on education and employment for women. In today’s society, women find it difficult to get high paying jobs and they struggle as often men are chosen to be first priority for promotion purely based on their gender. 78% of women in the education and health care industries have the lowest paying jobs. We also very intrigued that more than half of young Australian students are enrolled in occupations that are dying which made us aware of the importance of the future new career that we should pursue.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the conference as it highlighted that in order to change the role of women in society, we need to be opinionated, fearless, brave and empowered women. 

 Charlotte Smith and Charlotte Denny

Year 10

 

Young Women’s Seminar at Parliament House, Sydney

 On Thursday we had the privilege of going to Sydney Parliament House to listen to influential women speak about their impact and how they contributed to changing the world. In her address, Pia Waugh, who is placed in Australia’s top 100 most influential women, spoke about leadership qualities in women and how she has navigated challenges to find ways to combine a successful career and making a change to society. She spoke about four main tips to being an effective leader: control, toolkit, network and inspiration. She said it is important to have a balance between building your skills to achieve success and using your passion to motivate you in achieving your goals. Having a network of people who you respect and trust that can challenge your decisions and support you through difficult times is essential. Three Members of Parliament also shared their stories to success and how we can challenge women’s inequality. We were both so grateful and privileged to be able to have the opportunity to attend such a motivational day and have gained much value and meaning from the leadership seminar at Sydney Parliament House.

Elizabeth Anderson and Abigail Jones

Year 11

 

Ignatian Interschool Student Forum

On Monday afternoon, ten Year 11 students and Mrs Stooke travelled to St Aloysius to join Year 11 students from Riverview, St Aloysius, Loreto Kirribilli, Kincoppal and St Vincent’s

This Forum convenes each term to discuss issues of interest and concern to our students. The students are asked to stretch their thinking to consider a wider perspective and always through the lens of their Catholic and Ignatian education.

This term, the conversation centred on the Cardoner Project, the Year of Mercy and our obligation to contribute.

 

Open Day

Open Day is fast approaching. On Saturday 19 March our school will welcome many visitors and our students will showcase all we do at Loreto that makes it the wonderful and exciting place that it is. The expectation is that all students are to attend the Open Day on Saturday for at least 1 hour to assist with the many activities on offer. If a student is not available on Saturday, she needs to make herself available until 3.15pm on Friday afternoon to assist with setting up for Open Day.

On that Friday, private buses will make two runs – the first at 12:35pm and the second at the usual afternoon time.

The cake plates for Open Day will be distributed to the students on Monday.

 

Conversations this Week

Year 12

Were in conversation with Ms Watkins

·         Q&A with Principal regarding any issues concerning Year 12 at the moment

·         Encouragement for Year 12 to focus on doing their own personal best and their support of the school to achieve their personal

Year 11

Were in conversation with their Tutors around all FACE elements of their holistic education.

Year 10

Were in conversation with Mrs Pursche on BOSTES

Year 9

Were in conversation with Mrs Stooke about being authentic, natural women and the year 9 SRC dance.

Year 8

Were in conversation with Mrs Vink about dress and behavior expectations for the year 8/9 Dance, their Advisors on Tom Nehmy’s Healthy Minds Program – they discussed Gratitude and its importance in fostering healthy mental well-being. Girls were challenged with writing a letter of gratitude to a special person in their life and then reading that letter to them face to face.

Year 7

Were in conversation with their advisors on the Safe Schools Policy and Care Teams

 

Mrs Elsa Vink

Acting Dean of Pastoral Care