Principal’s Message

I write my message from the chilly and dry surrounds of Griffith on the Principal’s Country Road Trip, this year travelling to the central west and southern NSW. It has been great to reconnect with our families and members of our broader Loreto community in Orange, Young and Griffith. Today, we head to Wagga Wagga, then on to Bowral and back to Sydney on Sunday.

I give thanks to our community in country NSW. It has been particularly nice to see some of our younger ex-students who have returned as young professionals to their home towns or to other towns where their skills will be well utilised. It has also been heartening to hear many stories from past families remarking on the success of their daughters today. These families were very clear that they trace their daughter’s success to their time at Loreto. They commented upon their daughter’s resilience, calm, dedication to their profession and the joy they continue to take from being a strong Loreto woman with clear goals, a high level of commitment and a strong sense of values. As Principal it is marvellous to hear this affirmation and to know the work we dedicate ourselves to each day is something that is valued and worthwhile.

Interestingly, we find ourselves currently in a time where single sex education is under scrutiny again with some criticism.  I can only say that our 121-year old tradition of educating strong, natural women of heart, who have an incredible sense of themselves as women, is thriving and must be celebrated. I see each day that our Loreto Normanhurst women are making a great contribution as they take their place in the world and this is brought home by the evidence expressed by our families from both city and country. I also witness that our students’ Loreto education, that focuses on them as women, has shown them the power of women for the good of others and the world around them.

I hope all our families enjoyed a lovely long weekend. Whilst the girls were relaxing with family, staff were involved in a professional learning conference day on Thursday and our annual staff spirituality and service day on Friday. Both days were incredibly successful and necessary. As a school we pride ourselves on being an organisation that encourages holistic growth as part of our Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model. This growth equally applies to all staff. During our conference day the staff were engaged with many learning modules and team building. They explored ways to improve and grow their daily practice. It was a very productive and enjoyable day. On Friday, we turned our focus to those in need, and the 250 strong staff at Loreto Normanhurst went to all areas of Sydney to work with agencies in support. Many worked clearing the gardens for the elderly in the Hornsby Parish and North Ryde Community, cooking and serving for the homeless or infirmed, supporting refugees with maintenance and manual labour preparing apartments for families or assisting with legal matters. Others were knitting for ‘Wrap with Love’ or sewing dressing for Africa. All in all, it was an amazing day of the staff doing just what we ask the students to do in working to demonstrate ‘a faith that does justice’. I congratulate and thank our dedicated and caring staff for their generous service on the day.

Year 11 led us on a beautiful Loreto Day celebration a few weeks ago and now they are fully immersed in the leadership process at school. Last week with Ms Ugonotti, I spoke to Year 11 about servant leadership in the Loreto way and the type of feminine leadership the world needs. I spoke to them also about the small ‘L’ of leadership in the everyday and that all students of the year will be called on to be the Loreto leaders of generosity and love and will be badged accordingly in the coming weeks. I also spoke to the students about taking the risk of applying for positions of leadership and to ‘give it a go’. I hope they do so. Please keep Year 11 in your prayers as they discern their future path of Loreto leadership.

Congratulations to the Loreto Equestrian Team who performed so incredibly well at Coonabarabran. I have never seen so many ribbons! Thank you to the many parents involved at Coona and with our equestrian team. Without their generous support these amazing students could not compete. Well done and thank you to all.

Congratulations to our Year 9 students who performed incredibly well on Thursday evening at this Year’s Regional Shakespeare Carnival.  Two teams competed in the Duologue and Movement categories at the International Grammar School. Our Duologue team received high praise for their performance and our Movement Group won their section to now perform at the state finals. Both groups acquitted themselves beautifully and were wonderful ambassadors for the school. Well done to all.

Commiserations to our CIS Football Team who were  knocked out of the CIS Cup during the week. They put up a mighty fight and we congratulate them for their team work and brilliant play. Well done to the girls and their coach.

Our Future Problem Solving students have had a wonderful two weeks in the US competing at the international competition program at the University of Wisconsin and are on their way home. Congratulations to the girls for participating at international competition  level and we look forward to hearing all about it next week.

Last Monday, Ms Ugonotti left Australian shores to head to the USA on some study leave in preparation for the work of Principal in 2019. Whilst away Ms Ugonotti will study at MIT in Boston, attend a conference on girls’ education in Washington and work with the IBVM at the UN in NYC. After this period of study, she will have a holiday over the student vacation time. Ms Ugonotti will return to her desk ready for Term 3 and to welcome Ms Sophie Kearns as the new Deputy Principal. Together they will work for the last two terms of the year in the Deputy Principal’s Office.

In Ms Ugonotti’s absence Mrs Libby Parker and Mrs Kate Kovacs, Directors of the school, will be Acting Deputy Principal for the last weeks of term. Parents may contact the Deputy’s Office as they would normally in Ms Ugonotti’s absence.

 

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd
is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risk you must,
because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, has nothing,
does nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave.
They have forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks is FREE!

 

With prayers of peace and hope,

Ms Barbara Watkins

Principal