Head of House: Barry

Head of House: Barry

‘All around you are possibilities for doing good and making the world richer for your having lived in it.

Mother Gonzaga Barry, 1893


This quote from Mother Gonzaga Barry certainly encapsulates the first semester of the year for the Barry girls. It has been an extremely busy, yet an exciting and invigorating time for Barry House. House Captain, Ella Nicol, has done a fantastic job thus far, guiding the girls beautifully through her dedicated and caring leadership.

I would like to begin by thanking our Year 11 Barry girls for their wonderful contribution and efforts towards this year’s Loreto Day. Their organisation towards the ‘Barry Disco’ and the very popular ‘Barry Hot Chips’ was outstanding. The energy and passion shown by our Year 11’s towards Loreto Day is testament to the strong leaders these girls are becoming in our community. Inline with the Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model, we know that Community is at the centre of our approach and forms an essential part of our FACE curriculum. This team building spirit has been reflective and a testament to many of our achievements this year, including winning House Choir at this year’s Music Festival, as well as taking home the glory in the Swimming Carnival in Term 4 last year. Congratulations to our winning Conductor, Sophie Andreou and Accompanist Gian Ellis-Gannell on their exceptional leadership of the choir and their teamwork in producing a winning performance.

In June this year, the Loreto Normanhurst staff took part in our annual Spirituality Day. The day was a wonderful opportunity for all staff members to reflect on and connect with the vibrant history of Loreto Normanhurst and hear of the foundations that make our school what is it today. ‘Strengthening our own spiritual backyard’ – through the pilgrim door, was the theme for our Spirituality Day, involving a pilgrimage around the school that immersed us in the history of our pioneered leaders, in particular the history of Mother Gonzaga Barry. I found this experience to be very insightful and thought provoking, hearing stories of the extremely courageous, determined and faith-filled women such as Gonzaga Barry. Being a Loreto educated woman myself, I have heard the stories of these women since before I can remember, but it has not been until more recently, that I have truly come to appreciate the sacrifices, forward thinking focus and comradery of these early pioneers.

Leading the first group of Loreto sisters to Australia from Ireland in 1875, Mother Gonzaga Barry was an educational visionary, introducing a wide range of activities into the school curriculum and immersing us in the deep Loreto Charism that seeps through the walls of all Loreto schools today. Mother Gonzaga aspired Loreto girls to become warm, lovable, well-adjusted young women. I still love hearing the stories of these women and they continue to inspire me as I move through the various stages of my life, and I have now been listening to these stories for over 20 years. As part of our Barry House time, we often focus on particular stories and quotes that Mother Gonzaga Barry has left us with, and they are a source of inspiration and encouragement and provide a great sense of purpose in whatever context we are focusing on. Her faithfulness to God, her educational vision and her commitment to the girls in her care, provide our community with a framework to “Leave after you something on which others may build.”


Mrs Dominica Hodgetts

Head of Barry House