Last week in the newsletter I spoke of the drought and our need for prayers and this week, we have been preparing to support those impacted by the drought through various initiatives. Our students have been working with Ms Timmins, the school’s Social Justice Coordinator, to glean ideas to provide both financial and moral support for those in need. So far, together, they have organised the following possible ideas and we hope the whole Loreto Normanhurst community will join students and staff by getting behind the following initiatives.
- We are registered as a supporter on the Buy a Bale website. This will continue to be promoted via the newsletter, in an email to students and on our social media platforms as well. This link will channel our community donations so we can track how much we raise as a school. The link is active and you can access it immediately and donate.
- We will utilise our Assembly on Wednesday 22 August and the ‘Behind the Boarder’ segment for awareness-raising and this will coincide with a lunchtime sausage sizzle to raise funds for the cause.
- We will feature two boarders every week in the newsletter, who will share their family’s story and experience. This will also be promoted on our social media platforms as well.
- We are currently working on some ways to collect donations for hampers and the logistics that this presents.
- The Asquith Bowling Club are delighted to get behind Loreto’s initiative of supporting drought stricken farmers with the ‘Parma for a Farmer’ initiative. For every schnitzel or parma sold in the next two weeks at the Club on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Club will donate $1 to the cause. If you mention Loreto, you will receive a free soft drink to wash the parma down! Please pop by the Club this weekend if you can and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
- The school is also talking more specifically to our boarder families to offer assistance where we can. Please contact the school directly via email should you need assistance and to have a confidential conversation.
- The ABC ran a story this week on how the drought is impacting students who are away from home in boarding schools. Lara Ciesiolka (Year 10) was interviewed earlier this week and features in the story. Please read the story here.
All in all, we are trying to do as much as we can in a collaborative way with students and staff working together. We continue to pray for rain and for those in our community and in the wider community who are struggling, and we hope that the drought will break. We know of course, even when that is the case, it will take a long time for many families in the country to bounce back from this devastating drought. Our other Loreto schools in Australia are also behind our boarding community and we thank them for their support and their prayers.
It was a very smooth send off for our Year 9 students last week on their Far North Queensland Experience. The first early group who arrived in the dark at school were in high spirits as were the second group later in the day. The students and staff on the FNQE have had a fantastic and productive trip so far. Most groups have completed their community service, an integral part of the trip. They have seen so many amazing sights, met beautiful Aunty Syb, an Aboriginal Elder of the area who has introduced our students to the complexity of women’s business and the wonder of the rich indigenous history of Australia. I understand there has been quite a bit of singing on the bus as well as laughter and bonding of newly forged friendships. Please keep Year 9 and the 25 staff who accompany them in your prayers as they move to the half way mark of this magnificent experience.
Congratulations to our Year 8 Debaters who won the Catholic Schools Debating Association (CSDA) Grand Final last Friday night. CSDA covers all catholic schools in the metropolitan Sydney area and it is a very high level competition. We congratulate Ella McKenzie, Maia Henville, Loren Bambagiotti and Michelle Hoffman and their coach Emily Findlay for their hard work and dedication to debating. Congratulations to all students and staff involved in the CSDA competition and in Oratory and Debating. Thank you to Ms O’Dwyer, who runs the program, for the amazing work she does for the school.
I am looking forward to attending the Year 11 play ‘Dream Girls’ tonight. It is an original work written and performed by our Year 11 Drama class. I believe it is thought provoking and enjoyable and we would love to see many of you there. Well done to the Year 11 Drama students and thank you to the Drama staff for their ongoing dedication to enable these experiences to be possible for our students.
Our Year 12 students continue to push through their Trial HSC Examinations and all our Languages students are about to sit their Speaking HSC Exams – some this weekend and the others over the next few weekends. Not only are these students managing the Trials, but they are sitting a portion of their HSC now as well. Please keep all our Year 12 students in your prayers and in particular, our Languages students, at this time.
Good luck to all students playing sport this weekend. I hope the games are enjoyable and competitive.
“Come to me all you
who labour and are
I will give you rest.”
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins