Loreto is participating in Canteen’s National Bandana Day, on Friday, 28 October. CanTeen supports young people when cancer turns their world upside down and helps them cope with the physical, emotional and practical impact of living with cancer. They support 12-24 year olds at every stage of their cancer journey. CanTeen offers support to patients, siblings, bereaved siblings, offspring and bereaved offspring. They provide funding for specialist hospital care, counselling services, information and peer support programs. Many Loreto families have been touched by cancer and it is wonderful to know such support is there for young people when they need it. Bandanas and pens will be sold at the front gates before school on Friday, 28 October.
Student Leaders Retreat
Last Thursday and Friday 30 Year 12 elected leaders attended a retreat along with Mrs Dickinson, Mrs Berlage, Ms Rocca, Ms Bleby and myself. With the aim of allowing time for the girls to plan for 2017, build team cohesion and deepen their understanding of our school charism, the students also displayed great felicity and excitement for the coming twelve months.
Upon reflection, the most profound memory that I have from the Leadership Retreat was the moment when Mrs Dickinson re-established to us that “the purpose of a Loreto education is to make a difference in the world.” This message will be the undercurrent of leadership for the year of 2017, as the team of leaders work to remind Loreto Kirribilli girls that they are women who have strength in their calling: to achieve justice in the world. In this way, we hope that the coming year will allow each girl in the school to discover their own strength, and remind students that they have a voice and the capacity to enact change, no matter how young or old they may be.
One of the most important aspects of the Leadership Retreat was the impassioned discussions shared by my peers of their hopes and dreams for social justice initiatives to enact in the school, under the value of Freedom. As outlined by our very own Loreto leader, Mary Ward, freedom is grounded in a sense of personal relationship with God. It is an inner freedom, accepting of self, open to others and trusting of life. Freedom in 2017 will be defined by a freedom of heart- a freedom to love God, love one another and to love oneself. It is only by being truly free of social constructs and materialistic wants that we can be alone with our own hearts, accepting of ourselves and others and driven to do good.
As such, the year of 2017 will draw a special focus on empowering the women within our Loreto community, and supporting causes predominantly faced by women, with particular emphasis on the prevalence of domestic violence. We will also be drawing particular focus on aiding the dwindling environment around us, strengthening our knowledge on Indigenous Australian culture, and creating a passionate school community for students to thrive in.
The upcoming year fills me with many different emotions- I am both anxious and excited to embark on the hardest and best year of my life in leading the school passionately towards change. As such, I remind all members of the Loreto community to always keep your head in the clouds, and to act with the characteristics of kindness, strength, vivacity and love in the hope that your actions will change lives.
2017 School Captain
Year 7 Exodus Can Drive
Next week is the final week for Year 7 to bring in non-perishable items to support the Exodus Foundation, such as tinned fruit, vegetables, tuna, soup, rice, pasta etc. We ask that donated goods have a clear description of what it is e.g. a picture and a ring-pull on all cans if possible, though not necessary. Colgate Whitening toothpaste, shaving cream, razors, deodorant is also requested. Please NO soft drink. I thank all the students who have extended their thoughts and vision outside of their everyday lives.
Appeal for Used Clothing
The parish of Holy Family Emerton have requested our help to provide donated used clothing to be distributed to those in need. Our community is encouraged to bring any used clothing into School Reception over the coming fortnight, where it will be delivered to Holy Family Parish. Items for babies, children and adults are welcome. If you have been postponing your annual spring clean…delay no more!
Verity Immersion 2017
On Wednesday, I addressed Year 10 students regarding the Verity Immersion to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory next June holidays. The cultural immersion will have students visiting North East Arnhem Land to experience firsthand issues relating to reconciliation such as education, health and lifestyles issues, land management and Native Title. It will also provide a unique opportunity for students to experience Aboriginal culture first hand through such activities as:
- Visits to sacred and significant Aboriginal sites
- Aboriginal art and craft
- Knowledge of bush tucker and Aboriginal language
- Discussion with elders and other members of various communities
- Dialogue and engagement with Aboriginal youth
Students wishing to participate were provided with further details including the proposed itinerary and ‘expressions of interest’ form due Wednesday, 26 October by 5pm.
In our year of Felicity, while there’s nothing wrong with ‘random acts of kindness’, what if we were more intentional about those acts? Cultivating a habit of gratitude is the most reliable way to extricate ourselves from every pattern of poor decision making and disorder in our lives. We can begin by securing five minutes in our lives every day, during which time we count the blessings and mercies we have received in the past 24 hours. If we do that faithfully, we will soon find the constant generosity of God to be amazing, even overwhelming. At the end of the five minutes, you may wish to ask God to reveal to you one person for whom you should perform an act of kindness that day as a concrete expression of your gratitude. Then act accordingly.
Sharon O’Keeffe (Ms)
Director of Mission (K-12)