Acting Principal’s Message
My six year old nephew asked of his mother last week – “mummy, what will happen if the world ends?…I’ve been thinking about all these things in my head.” he continued. Then he ended with a follow up thought “I was born Samuel and I can’t see the world the way everyone else sees the world.”
How do our children and young people see and make sense of our world and our times? Indeed, how do we? When presented with daily stories of darkness, hatred, violence conflict, fear and isolation, how do we find the way to see the light brought forth by the beauty of creation, the wonder of human ingenuity, the hope of youth?
I reflected on this with the girls at the secondary school assembly this week. It seems that each morning we awake wondering what news we are going to face – what image of violence, what story of despair, what act of inhumanity. And, tragically, the news broadcasts seem to deliver with growing predictability. What we once thought impossible or unacceptable creeps in to the routine of the every day. How do we not allow ourselves to just switch it off so as not to be confronted? How do we remain switched on and not become desensitised?
I mused on this point with the girls and proposed to them what our outlook may well be like if instead the newsfeeds and broadcasts of our print, television and social media launched with a good news story, or two. With a story of hope to vindicate what we do know to be true – that human beings are at their core good; that our world is a place of marvel and beauty; that our young people are the response that will shine light over the darkness. We must present our children with stories of hope and promise. Our Christian story is a Resurrection story; a story that brings us from suffering into life, from darkness into light. As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that this lens of light and hope is the lens that liberates.
This week it wasn’t just our world giving us examples of cruelty and denial of human rights. As a nation we have been rattled by the exposure of the treatment of children in detention in the Northern Territory and by the haunting images of the abuse and torture of children. How have we reached a point of calling on the ‘last resort’ option of detention for a child who is 10 years old? How has this happened unchecked? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves as a nation. Let our society be mature enough to be judged by how we treat our most vulnerable – our children and our elderly. Before we rise in protest as to how others yield violence and fear beyond our shores, we must stand up against the abuse of human rights occurring within our nation and we must demand that the dignity of every human being be upheld. And when it comes to our most vulnerable, the moral imperative is even greater. The public outcry to what was aired on Monday night’s Four Corners program needs to extend to the detention of children in offshore centres. We cannot pick and choose which children deserve our sanctuary and protection, we cannot deny some their human rights while fighting for those of others. If you wish to join our staff in signing a petition calling for the safety of all children in detention, please click here .
It may appear to some simplistic, to others naïve, perhaps even overwhelming to young people themselves, but it is our young people who present hope for the future, who provide the antidote to a world seemingly caught in cycles of hatred and violence. The beauty and power of youth is in the promise it provides for a different way of seeing things, an openness to what is possible, hope of a better world. Place alongside this a Loreto education grounded firmly in an unwavering commitment to seeking the truth and to doing justice and I know that we are in good hands being in the compassionate and thoughtful hands of our girls. They accept the responsibility they have to be informed, to question bias, to challenge the status quo. They are compassionate women of integrity and in their little and in their big ways will continue to shine light for us all so that we may be guided by hope and not by fear.
The Primary School Athletics Carnival was a brilliant event. The athletes competed with strength and determination, and all students showed outstanding sportsmanship. House Spirit was joyfully celebrated through loud cheering and chanting. Congratulations to Dorothea House for winning the most points overall, and to Clare House who were awarded the Spirit Cup for 2016.
I had the privilege of attending the Primary School Leadership Liturgy this afternoon. The sense of pride and resolve amongst our young leaders as they were blessed and appointed into their new leadership roles was inspiring to behold. We look to them with much hope as they continue to develop into young women of values who will make positive changes to our world.
On Sunday our Year 9 students will be heading off for the Far North Queensland Experience (FNQE), an experience that is unique to Loreto Normanhurst. Now in its eleventh year, FNQE is an important highlight of every student’s journey as a Loreto girl. They ‘walk beside’ country, engage with a number of indigenous communities, perform community service, and experience learning in the beautiful environment of Far North Queensland. We wish them a safe trip and keep them in our prayers as they embark on this transformative journey.
Year 12 have commenced their HSC Trial Examination period. We keep them in our prayers during this time and know that they will be going into the exams prepared and well-supported.
Lord we pray for peace.
Open our hearts to peace.
Help us search for peace.
Help us live peace.
Ms Marina Ugonotti