As the Sydney heat continues, we wonder is it really the end of term? Usually by this time of year, the leaves are falling and our nights and mornings have a slight and welcoming autumn chill. The end of term it is though and it is good for us to reflect on the weeks that have passed and give thanks for all the wonderful events we have been involved in and contributed to during the term.
It is good to be grateful for the hard work of our community. I congratulate each and every student at the school for their hard work and dedication this term. The work the girls do at the school and the maturity with which it is carried out continues to amaze me, as does the humble way our students go about their daily work here on the grounds each day. They put their absolute all into a myriad of events and the joy in which they take from these events is so evident to us all.
It is now time for rest. We need rest for the body, mind and the spirit. Only when we rest can we truly replenish and nourish ourselves for what lies ahead. I spoke at assembly on Wednesday about this student vacation period being a ‘no school work’ holiday for all years other than Year 12. Year 12 too though, need to rest first and then do some hours of work on the days they allocate for some study. This is by no means the whole of the holidays. The Year 12’s, as independent learners, know what they need to do and the importance of rest, sleep and socialising for their holistic development and growth. For all other students the work is novel reading. I have let staff know that this is my understanding of the student vacation and so this means no work should be due for any student when they return to school in Week 1 of Term 2. May it be a restful break for all our students and I hope that families have some dedicated time together where possible.
On 18 April 2018, Mrs Helen Gray, Visual Arts teacher, will celebrate 30 years of dedicated and uninterrupted service to Loreto Normanhurst. This week, as a school, we celebrated Mrs Gray. Mrs Gray, who has often been called ‘Mrs Clay’ for her amazing gift in teaching ceramics, has been a wonderful staff member and educator. She has shared her talent with the hundreds of students she has encountered and she has been a generous Loreto woman full of care, respect, love and encouragement for everyone. We thank her for her incredible service to the school for the past 30 years and celebrate her as a woman and as an educator of talent and determination.
Congratulations to the whole community for raising over $10k for Caritas and Project Compassion this year. This has been our best result ever in the school. It is so important as Catholic Australians that we continue to support the poor around the world through the work of Caritas. At a time in Australia where our government is cutting aid to the needy around the world it is good to see at Loreto Normanhurst we continue to meet the needs of the poorest in our world. It was incredible to have Mrs Kim Nass from Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA) visit us at assembly this week and give us the amazing news that over the last 10 years, Loreto Normanhurst has raised and sent more than $237k to Mary Ward causes across the globe. Long may this generosity continue.
Not only are we raising awareness and funds for those who need our assistance worldwide, but we are training our ecology awareness locally by this week screening the film ‘Blue’ , a film about the rapid destruction of marine life in our seas. I am proud of the Mission Team and the JPIC and Green Team of students for their dedication to the faith-centred and ecology-centred pathways we follow at Loreto Normanhurst. The message is strong, and it can make a difference and I will strive to start to change my own practice.
Congratulations to Eliza Harvey (Year 12) who this week was celebrated as local Sports Star by local politician Mr Julian Lesser MP for her amazing sporting talent. It is fantastic to see Eliza recognised in this way and we congratulate her most sincerely.
Congratulations also to Tatum Bird (Year 12) who is heading into a residential camp this Sunday with the Australian Under 18’s Rugby 7s team to prepare for the Oceania Rugby 7s Tournament. which will be played at St Ignatius College on 21 and 22 April. Then, at the end of April, Tatum will represent the Sydney Scorpions Touch Football team as both Captain of her team and the Scorpions Club Captain in her last NSW Junior Regional Tournament. This is a great honour and a reward for Tatum’s commitment, support and sportsmanship and we wish her the best of luck for both of these events.
Good luck to Lily Finlayson (Year 12), Rosalind Daly (Year 12) and Laura Gourley (Year 11) who have been placed in the top Eight to race for NSW and will compete at the Rowing Australia time trials this weekend in their respective state crews. This is a fantastic achievement and we wish them all the best.
Loreto Federation is being held at Loreto Normanhurst for the first time on 18-20 May and I encourage you all to view the program here. This year’s Federation program has been put together around the theme of ‘Be the Change’ and new speakers have just been announced. An opening welcome session will be held on Friday evening with further sessions on Saturday and Sunday as well as a celebratory dinner on Saturday evening. I am confident the program will engage and inspire our audience and I look forward to tangible outcomes so that together, as a wider Loreto community, we can ‘Be the Change’.
Blessings to all for the student vacation.
A Vacation Prayer
Dear Lord, how we’ve waited for this holiday and now it’s finally here.
Thank You Lord, for the opportunity to take a break from our daily routines
and to replenish our minds, bodies and souls so we may better serve You.
Sometimes our expectations for holidays are unrealistic, and
we find ourselves disappointed when things don’t go our way.
Help us not to worry about having the ‘perfect’ holiday but to relax and enjoy every moment,
whatever it may bring. We are grateful for the joys that await us-whether they be the beauty
of your creation, recreation with family or friends, or peace and solitude.
Watch over us and protect us as we travel, and bring us safely home again-refreshed and renewed.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins