From the PrincipalSeptember 15, 2020
Since our last Newsletter, there has been a continued flurry of activity around the campus with numerous events previously postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions making their way back into the college calendar.
The annual Year 12 Mother /Daughter Dinner was a fabulous evening allowing mothers and daughters the opportunity to share some quality time together amidst a very busy period for the girls who are gearing up for exams in the coming weeks. It was just lovely to watch the special bonds shared, witness the laughter and be a part of a beautiful evening for our girls who are on the verge of that next step into adulthood as graduation looms ever so closely in what’s been a disrupted and at times challenging year.
Staff and students alike embraced this year’s National Book Week celebrations with enthusiasm, great creativity and some magnificent costumes amidst a raft of activities including a staff “Readathon” which saw staff reading continuously in our special “reading chair” for 7.5 hours.
Whilst the students enjoyed the mid-term break, staff took advantage of the opportunity to reconnect with our Mercy story. Journeying through and revisiting the Catherine McAuley experience and reflecting on her writings, we were able to examine our own personal and staff commitment to continuing Catherine’s works.
We were joined by Sr Elizabeth Nicholls who runs the St Catherine’s House of Hospitality in Western Australia and who spoke frankly and candidly about her vocation as both a teacher and Sister of Mercy. Sr Elizabeth took us back with her reminiscing to first contemplating joining the convent as an eight-year-old school girl. The day concluded with opportunity for personal prayer experiences including guided meditation, a prayer circle and the Rosary.
I’m always impressed with the way in which our girls and boys embrace the challenge of taking responsibility for the environment. The College’s Roots and Shoots group, along with their parents / grandparents and staff were recently involved in a tree planting event at Lesmurdie Falls. Roots and Shoots is a global network of young people acting to improve our world. It is a youth-led action programme that is currently making a difference in almost 100 countries. It builds on Dr. Jane Goodall’s legacy and vision of placing the power and responsibility for creating solutions to big challenges in the hands of the young people. The girls and their helpers planted over 200 trees in total, many of which were kindly donated by local nurseries and garden centres. In addition to this, the group also collected honkey nuts for injured black cockatoo being cared for at the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. As community, we are delighted to see such proactive involvement from our young people.
During the past month we have visited a number of areas around the state including Karratha, Tom Price, Port Hedland, Brookton and Moora catching up with our boarding community. It has been an absolute pleasure travelling to the various areas and learning more about the places our girls call home.
The College recently bid farewell, after an SBC journey spanning 27 years – first as a parent then as a volunteer and more recently, as one of our Admin staff, to Mrs. Jennifer Moody. With wonderful memories of the many facets of college life she’s been a part of – camps, overseas travels, Boarding Housemother, life guard, bus driver, senior first aider and seamstress, Mrs. Moody has certainly touched the lives of many. She has also been an invaluable helper with choirs, fairs, music events and functions over the years. Mrs. Moody is looking forward to continuing her association with the college through her granddaughter who will begin her SBC journey in 2022.
The Year 8 students eagerly attended their Retreat Day at 24/7 School Ministry in Osborne Park. Through a series of engaging presentation run by the dynamic facilitators, the girls examined the gift of Creation and built an appreciation of how of all things created, we are the pinnacle of creation and we should be humbled by this mystery and the responsibility required of us to be good stewards.
Fathers were our focus at our annual Dad’s Big Breakfast leading up to Father’s Day . It was just beautiful to see dads, granddads and significant males in the lives of our students enjoy the opportunity to visit the campus and spend time with their children.
Our Year 4 girls and boys, in small groups, have been making their First Holy Communion – a very special and significant part of their faith journey. It has been wonderful to see the manner in which they’ve been prepared by their class teachers.
For the Year 6s, a few days at camp last week with perfect weather conditions allowed them to be adventurous, step outside their comfort zones and take part in some amazing activities run by the staff at the Swan Valley Adventure Camp.
Exams are the focus of the Year 12s at present as many undertake their trial WACE. For a number of the General Studies girls, finalising assessments as the end of the term approaches is a priority. We wish them all well as they approach the end of their time at SBC. A journey which for a number, began when they joined the College as Kindergarten students.
As we approach the holidays, I thank you all for the way in which you have supported us to offer your children the best possible St Brigid’s Experience. It has been a busy term, and I know that the staff, along with the students are looking forward to a well-deserved break.