Principal’s Message

Principal’s Message

What a spectacular week we have all been part of at Loreto Normanhurst. Our community has been full of felicity demonstrating teamwork, great leadership and exceptional talent. From the Girls’ Head of the River (GHOR) to the Music Festival at the ICC  on Wednesday night – with these events and all the other daily happenings at the school we have a great deal to be thankful for. There is nothing quite like seeing the focus of young students right behind their leader whether it be in sports or the arts; it is a powerful phenomenon and we have seen that exude out of each and every Loreto girl this week.

The week commenced on a high last weekend in the sporting arena. Congratulations to our rowers who were placed 2nd overall at the GHOR at SIRC last Saturday. This is an incredible achievement given the tough conditions the rowers experienced in their preparations for the big day. Congratulations to all the rowers for giving it their all out on the water and to their coaches and parent support crew who were  cheering them on to success. The strong themes for the rowing season in 2017 were hard work, collaboration, leadership and of course Loreto Normanhurst spirit. It is amazing to see such consistent results in rowing after so many years. Well done to all for such a brilliant result.

Prior to the Music Festival on Wednesday, many of our mums gathered together at the City Country Mothers’ Lunch held in the Boarders’ Dining Room. It was a beautiful lunch of sharing stories about the first term for the students and the families. I had the joy of sitting with a table of new Mums to Loreto this year and they told me many stories of how well their daughters had settled. Thank you to everyone who worked together to arrange the event.

As the Mothers’ lunch was finishing, many were heading straight into the city to celebrate 45 years of Music Festival. I am sure you will agree the venue was just incredible and a fitting space for such a special occasion. The extraordinary venue was matched equally by such an amazing concert event. As I watched performance after performance I could not help but be proud of each and every student. Focused and joy-filled, it was obvious that everyone wanted to do their best. Mrs Woods let me know that the ICC performance team who were there on the day kept telling her what an incredible concert this was and that they were not sure that it could be done. They were astounded by the talent and the capability of our students in every respect and they made comment on our technical and creative staff who, with our Year 11 Drama students, performed their duties in an outstanding way. It certainly was a fitting concert as part of our 120 year celebration and congratulations go to all involved. Special mention to Ms Katie Hardyman (Class of ‘88) for composing and performing the song ‘Felicity’ which was donated to the school for the event. It was magnificent. It was a privilege to have Sr Deirdre Browne IBVM to present the trophies.  The winners for the Music Festival in 2017 were:

Best Accompanist: Gahee Bong (Aston)

Best Conductor: Laura Campbell (Mornane)

Best Choir: Maye

Spirit Cup: Ward

It was great to be back at my desk on Tuesday this week after the Principal’s Overseas Trip. It was a whirlwind visit ticking off all our objectives for the trip and exceeding them. Our connections with families was just fantastic. Hearing and seeing where many of our Boarder families reside and catching up with their  families and with an extraordinary array of ex-students in both Hong Kong and London was terrific. It was exciting to visit a  range of schools and see how our learning model compares with other schools across the globe. Many schools we visited, particularly in the UK, were interested in the size of our Boarding School and School and they complimented us on our innovative approach.

It was tremendous to see our younger ex-students mingle and mix with women who had completed their schooling at Normanhurst over 50 years ago. Both in Hong Kong and London our community did us proud and we were very happy to connect. Many have asked if it will be a regular event and we have said it will join the suite of Principal’s Road Trips that we rotate over the years. This is a superb and important way to build and connect our community and learn a great deal about the education landscape across the world. Our insights were many regarding the trip and of particular significance was visiting all the Mary Ward places and the Mary Ward Schools outside London.

Thank you for the prayers of the community whilst we were in London. It was heartening to see the way the City of London handled the attack  during that week, with such an emphasis on peace and understanding.

It has been a tough term on students and Sports staff with so much inclement weather to deal with which looks set to continue. We hope the sun shines on Saturday so that the scheduled games can occur. Good luck to all those competing in the final round for the Term.


God help us to live slowly:

To move simply:

To look softly:

To allow emptiness:

To let the heart create for us.



With prayers of peace and hope,

Ms Barbara Watkins