One child, one teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world.
– Malala Yousafzai
Malala’s words have spoken loudly in our hallways at Loreto Normanhurst this week. With the celebration of International Women’s Day on Wednesday and a tremendous initiative from our Year 12 Leaders, ‘Super Girl Week’ all week, we have discussed, debated and discerned what it is to be a woman here in Australia today and how we must use our voices for the many women of the world who remain voiceless. Issues such as pay parity, equality, education, safety, gender bias and feminism have all been part of our discussions this week. It has been very impressive to see students from all years be part of the activities and exploration of ideas. A strong message was transmitted this week from Loreto Normanhurst that the power of women is strong and steady and the influences that try to convince us otherwise should be named, understood and dismissed. It has been an energising and empowering week here at school and a celebration of the many gifts of the vast array of different young women in our community. Shivani Reddy the Communications and SRC Captain for 2016, who has spearheaded the week said it best at Assembly when she announced “You are all special girls and you are all that a ‘Super girl’ is – do not ever forget that.”
As part of this special week we had the privilege of hosting Ms Kate Eastman, (Human Rights lawyer and Class of ’84), Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM and Mrs Ambreen Shah (Staff member) with students Shivani Reddy (Communications and SRC Captain) and Rachel Parsons (Social Justice Captain) at the first of our Spirituality Evenings for the year. After viewing the film ‘He named me Malala’ about Malala’s life there were some great insights from the panel and brilliant questions from the floor. Mrs Shah joined our staff after coming to Australia as a refugee in recent times and has so many important lessons to teach us. We are blessed to have a community where thought provoking evenings like this take place: a fitting evening to celebrate who we are as a Catholic and Loreto school as part of Catholic Schools Week.
Assembly at Loreto is a celebration of our community and it is a joyous occasion. They are student lead, with music and entertainment and powerful presentations from an array of students on issues on social justice, spirituality, and dreaming big. This week we listened to Siobhan O’Malley (Year 12) talk to us of her dream for Olympic success in Swimming and how we must ‘say our dreams out loud’. She spoke to the Assembly of reaching for a goal with all your being and to be proud of all your efforts when you ‘dream big’. It was an inspiring presentation thoroughly enjoyed by the school community. We wish Siobhan all the best as she pursues her dreams this year.
Also this week the Sports Captain, Claudia Bell, gave a thorough Sports report of the success of the vast array of incredible sportswomen who walk our halls each day. From Tennis to Badminton, Water Polo to Equestrian, Gymnastics to Triathlons our students are doing well at School, Representative, State and National levels. It is fantastic to see so many of our Loreto students finding their bliss in the Extra Curricular piece of their growth and development. Congratulations to our Rowers for their efforts at the GHOR last weekend and for their win on the day of the overall points score. Good luck today to our IGSSA Swim team who compete at Homebush today. We wish them every success.
Congratulations to our Year 8 Tennis Team for their recent success at the North-west Secondary Schools Challenge and to the CSDA Public Speaking competitors, six of whom made it to the Semi Finals last week, and to Stephanie Sardinha and Ellen Parker who compete in the Finals tonight in Campbelltown.
As Lent continues we consider how we work with others each day and what God asks of us as we immerse ourselves in the story of his passion and death. How can we carry our own cross and the cross of others around us and how do we bring a generous love to those we are with each day?
Women are a reflection of the glory of God.
Today we honor the women of all times and all places:
Women of courage.
Women of hope.
Women living fully.
Women experiencing joy.
Women delighting in life.
Women knowing the interconnectedness of the human family.
Women honoring the sacredness of the relational, the affective.
Women quietly tending the garden of human flourishing.
Women boldly leading the transformation of unjust global structures.
Women seeking Wisdom.
Women sharing Wisdom.
Women receiving Love.
Women giving Love.
Women: the image of God.
Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love. On this day we commit ourselves to the promotion of
the full humanity of all women everywhere. We know that whatever denies, diminishes, or distorts the full
humanity of women is not of God.
Help us to be faithful to your call to love.
(Prayer for International Women’s Day
by: Education for Justice)
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins