What a spectacular celebration of community we all shared last Sunday at the Spring Fair. It was a fantastic day. From the Devonshire Tea, to the rides, to the 120 Pavilion, to the Tombola and the Boarders’ Farmers Market, and so much more, it was truly a great deal of fun. The Spring Fair event is a day where we can come together and chat about what binds us as a community – our friendship and our collective belonging to Loreto Normanhurst. It was great to see so many current parents volunteering to make the day a success. Thank you to Mrs Sue Whipps and Mrs Louise Wytenburg, Co-Presidents of PAL, the Spring Fair Coordinators and the Spring Fair Committee as well as Mrs Alicia Maunsell and the Development Team for all their incredible hard work. It was great to see the joy on everyone’s faces on the day. Thank you to the Loreto community for your support of the day.
This week we welcomed our new families and students to the school in Years 7-11 with Year 5 coming next week for their Orientation. Orientation is a time of great nervousness and excitement for all, but I hope all our new students and their families left yesterday feeling the Loreto spirit and a warm Loreto welcome. We have many new Boarders joining us in 2018 and so the traditional ‘sleep over’ took place on Thursday night. This is a brilliant way for our Boarding students to get a feel for what lies ahead. When I spoke to the gathering of new parents yesterday I referred to the Mary Ward ‘open circle’ – a circle where we leave room for someone new to join our friendship group and an openness to allow for the flexibility to leave a group. This is an important concept for us all to connect to as we welcome potential new friends to our community. May we, in true Loreto Normanhurst style, extend our hand in friendship to all who are new to our community and be open to new friends and new experiences together with those who will join us in 2018.
Also celebrated this week in Australia is World Teachers’ Day. At Loreto Normanhurst we refer to this as World ‘All-staff-who-work-in-a-school’ Day! Thank you to our dedicated staff from all sectors who work passionately every day to grow the young women in our care here at Loreto. Thank you also to our Parent Association who so generously celebrated our staff with a very special morning tea on Wednesday.
On Thursday evening colleagues from the school and I had the privilege to attend the annual Mary Ward Justice Forum held this year at Loreto Kirribilli. The Mary Ward Forum is the brainchild of our own Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM and this year the topic for the renowned speakers was Human Rights. Did you know that more than 75% of the people who have been in detention at Manus Island and Nauru have in fact been found to be true refugees seeking asylum? Why then are they still detained? Did you also know that Australia, over its years of discussion and political decision making about refugees and asylum seekers has, in fact, only ever taken in approximately 70,000 refugees in total? As was rightly pointed out by the speakers at the Forum, we in Australia really can do better. As Loreto people Mary Ward told us to be “seekers of truth and doers of justice”, as the water and all other facilities are turned off at Manus this Monday let us pray for the safety of those people who have been in detention and ask for mercy to be shown to them.
Congratulations to the Future Problem Solving Teams for their success in the competition held last weekend at Knox Grammar School. We are very excited that two teams were successful at the National Competition and thus have been invited to International FPS Competition in Wisconsin, USA in 2018. The Year 9 Community Problem Solving Team (My Spine) (Charlotte Greenhalgh, Isabella Greenhalgh, Isabella Stewart) came fourth in Australia and the Year 9 Global Issues Team (Identity Theft) (Charlotte Greenhalgh, Ella Johnston, Isabella Greenhalgh, Gabriella Sposari) came third in Australia. Well done to all the students who competed and to all of the FPS coaches and to Mrs Robyn Roffey for her leadership of FPS at the school. The whole FPS Team are our ‘Team of the Week’!
Congratulations to all students who so brilliantly represented the school at the AHIGS Festival of Speech which was held last weekend at Tara Anglican School. It was fantastic to witness our students speaking, debating and being part of such a comprehensive competition. Well done to the girls and their coaches.
Congratulations to Isabelle Reid (Year 7) and Erica Scott (Year 8) for their nomination to the NSW Youth Advisory Council. We hope their nomination is taken up in the following months. It is great to see our young women putting themselves forward for these important learning opportunities.
May today there be peace within.
May we trust God that we are
exactly where we are meant to be.
May we not forget the infinite
possibilities that are born of faith.
May we use those gifts that we have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to us.
May we be content
knowing we are daughters and sons of God.
Let this presence settle into our bones,
and allow our souls the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love.
God’s presence is there for each and every one of us.
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins