Principal’s Blog

Celebrating International Women’s Day – 8 March 2020

In a year where we are considering how we animate the Kildare Ministries’ core value of Justice, it is timely that we celebrate International Women’s Day. This year, this important day falls on Sunday 8 March. The theme for this year is Each for Equal.

The International Women’s Day website reminds us that ‘an equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world’.

At Clonard, we have a strong tradition of educating young women to take their place in the world as active and equal contributors. Our girls are taught to find their voice, value their voice and use that voice for good. 

We celebrated this year with an International Women’s Day Afternoon Tea where we had the privilege of being joined by Julie Whelan, past Assistant Principal and Old Collegian, Laura Thistlethwaite. Julie and Laura have a strong alliance with the people of East Timor after both visiting during their time at Clonard. Their continued commitment to building an equal world through volunteer commitments is an inspiration to us all. Their efforts, especially in ensuring education for young girls through their work in Timor Leste, are the foundation for creating gender equality. Thank you to Lisa Armstrong-Rowe and the staff who supported her in organising this event for us.

As we reflect on where we have come from and where we still need to go in achieving gender equality, it is important we acknowledge the extraordinary women in our lives who inspire us, give us courage, believe in us, pick us up when we fall, challenge us and nourish us. I know personally, I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t had the wisdom of women around me who formed me to be the person I have become – for each of them I am truly grateful. We also recognise the women from our faith tradition, St Brigid, Nano Nagle and the courageous Brigidine Sisters who founded, lead and formed our College. In their own time, they took their place as equals. I trust that over the weekend there might be a point in time for reflection, gratitude and hope for a future where we are ‘each for equal’ especially for our daughters and the generations of women to come.

Enhancing Catholic School Identity Survey

Thank you to those families who have already completed this survey. Your responses will provide valuable feedback for us as we undertake our full school review this year which includes Catholic Identity. The outcomes of this review will then shape our next School Improvement Plan. The expression of our identity and the way we understand ourselves as a Catholic school is core to what we do. In particular, in times of change in the context of the broader Church and as Kildare Ministries continues to grow and evolve.

Student Road Safety

Last year I wrote to families expressing our concerns regarding students who directly cross the road from the shops or from the corner of Minerva Road and Murphy’s Lane to access the bus stop opposite. This is especially dangerous in the afternoons due to the busyness of this area. In the interests of student safety, we reiterate and ask that families remind their daughters to use the designated crossing points at the intersection of Minerva Road and Church Street and opposite the bus interchange at Westcourt. To further support our students, we have opened the second set of gates on Church Street beside the Brigidine Centre to encourage the flow of student movement down Church Street to the lights. We have also stationed a staff member in Murphy’s Lane for this term to monitor the movement of students. 

Finally, a reflection for Week 2 of Lent;

I will lean in

I will lean in, retreat from the pressures I face and move closer and deeper into your love.

I will breathe out, refrain from the distractions I seek, and become open and receiving of your grace.

I will linger, encircled by the depth of your care, and receive the endless nature of your mercy.

I will whisper, in the quiet, of this sanctuary, and be honest and real in your presence.

I will listen, awaken all my senses to your voice, and become expectant and hopeful of your kingdom work in my life.