Dear Loreto Community members,
The Catholic Bishops of Australia recently released a statement entitled A Vote for the Voiceless. While you are no doubt suffering from an overload of commentary on the upcoming election in the media, the bishops have added an important perspective for your consideration. They state that, “During the long election campaign there will be much talk about the economy and the need for good economic management at a time of some uncertainty.” However, they also state that, “as Pope Francis has pointed out, there is also a danger that the economy can become a kind of false god to which even human beings have to be sacrificed.”
The bishops say that, “This leads to what the Pope has called the throwaway culture – a culture of over-consumption where all kinds of things are thrown away, wasted, even human beings.” The bishops’ point is that the voices of those “thrown away” will not be heard during this election campaign, and it is important that their needs be considered. They nominate some of these people who may be discarded in our society:
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Indigenous peoples
- The survivors of sexual abuse
- Those who suffer family violence
- Those in the womb
- The elderly
- Those suffering mental illness
- Those suffering addiction
- Those entrapped in new forms of slavery
- The desperately poor beyond our shores
Given the strong sense of solidarity and outreach which is a feature of the Loreto Sisters and the Loreto Kirribilli community, the bishops’ statement certainly resonates with us and is a timely reminder of the important issues to be considered in this election.
A Vote for the Voiceless can be accessed at https://www.catholic.org.au/all-downloads/bishops-1/statements-2/1833-a-vote-for-the-voiceless/file
The following reflection was written by Sr Libby Rogerson in preparation for Refugee Week which commences on 20 June. Given the current dismissal of the plight of asylum seekers by both political parties the article below gives the issue an airing from a different perspective.
Refugee Week – celebration or lamentation?
A poignant post script to the recent announcement that that the five refugees sent from Manus Island to Cambodia had opted, despite fear of persecution, to return to their home countries was the reference to the one remaining refugee – a Rohingya from Myanmar. Poignant because this lone man epitomises so much of what it is to be a refugee- stateless, poor and with no place to go. Rohingyas, a minority ethnic group in Myanmar, are persecuted for their Islamic religion, prevented from working, required to have government permission for almost every aspect of their lives, including marriage, and denied the most basic of human rights. Although they have lived in Myanmar for generations the government wants to send them “back” to Thailand, where their ancestors came from and Thailand won’t have them.
With Courage Let Us All Combine, a line from Australia’s national anthem, is this year’s Refugee Week theme. The rhetoric associated with the build-up to the election – keep our borders safe, turn back the boats, save our jobs and have regard to the cost of those who are illiterate, does not easily lead to “combining” but certainly requires courage on the part of asylum seekers and refugees. It is a week when we are invited to celebrate diversity, richness of culture and the achievements of refugees. Most Australians, delighting in the array of different foods, in the exoticism of ethnic shopping areas and the colourful cultural traditions of the more than 100 nationalities which grace our shores, have no difficulty in celebrating. But along with the celebrations is the question we cannot ignore: what is to happen to the 2000 people locked in a limbo of despair on Manus Island and Nauru? It is inconceivable that a prosperous country with a stable democracy and a well-developed rule of law continues to countenance the incarceration of men, women and children for years and years on impoverished off-shore islands with no prospect of freedom. Something has to give. Australians cannot remain impervious to the lip sewing, the poison taking, the self-immolating of desperate people driven mad by a toxic mix of uncertainty, mental illness, fear and boredom.
The issue is not simple and well-meaning but simplistic responses to the issue may well do more harm than good. But until Australia and the countries in the region sit down with UNHCR and map out a regional response to people-smuggling and the settlement of refugees there can be no solution. Until, with courage, the regional nations, “all combine” there will be no genuine celebration of the contribution refugees have made and continue to make to Australia.
Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM
Significant events – Thank you
As we draw to the end of Term 2, I am mindful of the significant number of events that staff and students are busily preparing for. These events include our Music Festival on Thursday 23 June at the Sydney Town Hall, the Verity Immersion to Arnhem Land Sunday 26 June to Thursday 7 July, School Snow Sports Camp Sunday 26 June to Wednesday 6 July, NASA Trip 26 June 26-10 July, Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Bronze Practice 8–10 July and 15–17 July and World Youth Day Poland in Term 3. I thank all staff involved in offering these wonderful learning experiences and look forward to witnessing the impact they have on our students’ self-awareness, resilience, deep learning, empathy, drive and determination. Each of the opportunities we offer enable our girls to grow in their knowledge of themselves and through this we hope that they can make life choices which bring them into authentic relationship with God so that they can make a positive difference in the world.
Loreto Kirribilli Pastoral Review Update
The production of the Loreto Kirribilli strategic plan Navigating the Future 2015-2018, was the result of significant consultation with key stakeholders regarding their perceptions of current practices at Loreto Kirribilli and their desires for the future. The rich data which was captured during the strategic planning process identified further areas to be explored, such as the need for Curriculum and Pastoral reviews. Each review has included a significant research phase and on-going consultation. The consultation process for the Pastoral Review has included collecting data from appreciative inquiry interviews, parent interviews, student surveys, ex-student feedback, Year 12 discussions with the Principal and staff surveys and feedback. A common theme has emerged from this data indicating a need and desire for students to be known more deeply from year to year and to be able to strengthen their ties with their peers across year groups. The Drama, Music and Dance Festivals, House-based activities and our Big Sister/Little Sister Peer support program are examples of highly successful vertical year group integration, which we recognise that we need to build upon.
Our Pastoral review also included an extensive research phase which explored successful pastoral practices in other schools, seeking expert advice and engaging in literature reviews on the same topic. Our intent is to evolve the best of our current pastoral structures and processes to ensure that the learning and well-being needs of each child are being met now and into the future.
- The School Executive, Middle Leaders and staff were presented with the findings of the research and the analysis of data with recommendations for future pastoral models which build on the best of our current pastoral model. The staff consultation process provided input, evaluation and feedback loops with the intention of developing a preferred pastoral model that Loreto Kirribilli could implement from the commencement of 2017
- Staff Pastoral Focus Groups were also formed to consider and recommend the shape of the preferred model and to support in the development of role descriptions and structures based on staff and student feedback
- In addition, Student Pastoral Focus Groups were formed to provide feedback on the preferred model using a ‘PMI’ problem solving tool
Further consultation (June 2016 – Until implementation 2017)
- The Pastoral Model being considered will be presented to the School Board 21 June 2016 and then once again to staff at the Staff Development Day at the commencement of Term 3
- Parents will be provided with further information about the preferred Pastoral model through the newsletter, CH@LK parent portal and at the P&F meeting on Monday 1 August 2016
- Student focus group will present the Pastoral model to Year groups Weeks 2 and 3 of Term 3 2016
- Recruitment of appropriate staff will occur by Week 5 Term 3 2016
- Members of the School Executive and Middle Leaders will develop the Pastoral Program and engage in Growth Coaching training (Term 4 2016 at the commencement of Term 1 2017
- Students will be briefed in detail regarding the Pastoral program and coaching program on Day 1 of Term 1 2017
- A Parent Information Night will be held at the commencement of Term 1 to explain the new Pastoral program in detail and also to introduce all Middle Leaders involved in the program.
It is with deep appreciation that we farewell Mrs Karen Wilson who be retiring after 29 years of outstanding service as Science teacher and Year Coordinator. Our staff gathered for a farewell retirement liturgy on Thursday afternoon where we celebrated the exceptional service Karen has given Loreto Kirribilli. We wish Karen and her husband all the very best as they commence their retirement journey together.
Congratulations to Ms Lanneke Jones for her organisation of the Music Festival encompassing all the adjudications leading up to the culminating performance held on Music Festival night. Thank you also to Ms Odell for her significant involvement in the Music Festival and to Ms O’Connor, Ms Ryan and Mrs Walburn for their involvement and participation in the adjudications. Thank you to all senior staff for their involvement in the Music Festival preparations and the performance day’s administration. Congratulations to all the students involved in our festivals of Dance, Drama and Music during the last few months and for their outstanding performances. Congratulations also to House Captains for their leadership and encouragement of all students involved.
Congratulations to Mr Allen and Ms Baker as Loreto Kirribilli was presented with the NSW Rowing Association Annual Pointscore Competition Schoolgirl Shield for the 2015 – 2016 Rowing season at the Rowing NSW Annual Presentation Dinner at UTS Rowing Club in Haberfield on Tuesday June 14th. This award is the culmination of all the regatta pointscores throughout the season and it is the first time that we have won this prestigious award since we commenced rowing at Loreto. Congratulations to all our rowers and coaches especially our Head Coach Mr Lachlan Allen on a very successful and dedicated season. We look forward to our next season.
My thanks to those families who have already made a donation in support of the 2016 Loreto Kirribilli Annual Fund Cool 4 School! Your tax-deductible donations to the appeal will assist us to air-condition the school and provide the most optimal learning environment for your daughters during the hot summer months. Please consider a donation to the Cool 4 School! campaign.
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)