How incredible the rain has been in Sydney and in many parts of NSW. Our ovals are a rich emerald again and the school’s water tanks full to overflowing. The bottle brush trees are flowering with the boldest of reds and the bush that surrounds the school no longer looks dusty and dry, but dappled with rich dark earth and the warm green of the eucalypt. The grey heron family that call the Veronica Reid Oval home were joined by a family of ducks yesterday. Even though this is a glorious sight for us here at school, some parts of NSW and Australia are still in drought. This much needed and appreciated rain needs to continue. Many farmers are now experiencing a ‘green drought’ where the rain has turned the top layer of soil green, but a little further below it is a very different story. They still must manage their stock carefully so they do not consume all this new green food to then have nothing for the months ahead. Also, when planting and harvesting, the soil, as we know, must have the depth of moisture.
Our prayers and support must continue for our own farming families and those in country towns and for all Australian farmers. We will continue to support fundraising efforts for the remainder of the year for the ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign and for other awareness and fundraising campaigns for our farmers. If for any reason any family at the school enduring difficulty has not been contacted or has not contacted the school, please contact me so we can assist wherever we can.
Assemblies in the senior school are such enjoyable events as they are in the primary school too. This week at our senior school assembly our new school captains were in charge and they did a fine job. The array of talent and the quiet confidence from all who presented was so obvious, and then we celebrated the achievements of our young women who debate, who play sport, and who attend the Green Team and Social Justice Groups. The assembly was topped off with an incredible singing performance and by many amusing videos about current events. It is incredible to see our community come alive in this way and I give thanks for the many talents of our young women and for the way we celebrate the whole person and all their many gifts and talents at Loreto Normanhurst.
On Friday 5 October the world celebrated ‘World Teachers’ Day’. At Loreto Normanhurst we have broadened this concept to celebrate ‘Staff who Work in Schools Day’ and we are so appreciative to PAL for organising a special cupcake morning tea for staff on Wednesday. It was lovely to celebrate the incredible work of the Loreto Normanhurst staff. Each day I am grateful for the dedicated and generous work of our staff and I give thanks for them all. A word of thanks and a gesture of appreciation goes a long way and I hope too that our girls and families will join with me in giving thanks for the wonderful women and men who guide our students each day.
The HSC has begun. On Thursday the Class of 2018, well prepared yet nervous, commenced their HSC with their first English paper. The students were ready and want to now ‘get it done’. Please continue to keep Year 12 and their families in your prayers at this time. We know our young women are well prepared and we pray that the exams will give them the chance to apply all the knowledge they have. These intense weeks will fly by and the HSC will be over, but for now it has begun and we wish them well.
As Term 4 begins, as a community we will focus on Mental Health Month and the theme ‘Share the Journey’. One in four people suffer from some form of mental illness at some time in their life and so it is important for us as a community to be kind and look out for each other. This is always the expectation at the school but sometimes we fall short. It is time to refocus our energy on building and maintaining good relationships as we come to the last term for the year. Through activities and events our community will heighten its focus on the love and support of all students and finding ways to build resilience and care.
The Principal’s Spelling Bee was a most enjoyable event in the primary school on Friday and I was amazed at our primary students’ capability to spell quite difficult words in front of an audience. It was a lot of fun and I congratulate the winners and all primary students as they all participated in the event.
I hope you have booked your ticket for the Mary Ward Justice Forum held at the school next Wednesday evening from 6.30pm. The speakers for the event are outstanding and world renowned and they will present on the topic ‘Shouting Across the Divide – In Pursuit of a More Just Australia.’ The speakers are Julian Burnside AO QC, Dr Sara Townend and Professor Dr David Isaacs. This year it is our turn to host this IBVM annual event, so please bring your friends and family members and come along. You will be challenged in your thinking, but you certainly will not be disappointed. The night is free and you may book your ticket via the Trybooking site. I hope to see you there.
Good luck to all for the first round of sports this weekend.
I lifted fearfully my eye to God –
but by His look I was made happy.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins