This week I happened to see the end of the SAS Australia series where the final three contestants were asked to suspend themselves over a deep ravine hanging from a rope for 90 seconds. The commentary mentioned that if this had been part of the course in the earlier days most would have completed the challenge quite easily however placing it at the very end demands every bit of strength, resilience and courage to make it. The most extraordinary thing was that each of the contestants did in fact make it, only just, but they got there. The ultimate expression of ‘hang in there!’

This week our College, our students, families and staff were again touched by the reality of the coronavirus. We are no strangers to this after working through a case last year as well. Whilst the management of school cases has changed in some ways since last year, the impact is undeniable. Amidst this, we are in the throes of navigating our way through a staggered return to school which has brought its blessings with many year levels returning for the first time this week even if just for a day. This will continue for the next week which I know is challenging for families and I appreciate the efforts you are making with these arrangements. I know that the staggered return is demanding a lot from our staff too, who in any one day will have multiple variations of onsite and remote learning to undertake. Whilst I continually affirm the staff and their efforts and their dedication and commitment to the students, I know they have been giving more than they ever have for nearly 2 years and I am asking them to hang in there just a little bit longer. We also made the tough decision to postpone our celebration morning for Year 12s until the conclusion of the exam period. Again, not one that we took lightly asking our students as well to hold on just a little longer.

We do all of this in the hope that it will be better. Families will be reunited, celebrations can recommence, we can enjoy the arts and sport and travel. We sense that we are nearly there. Just a little bit longer!

Today I want to acknowledge our Year 12 students. This is intentionally not a farewell because we will mark that in November. When I think of the Class of 2021, I will think of their collective voice for good including their advocacy for others, especially the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ students, and students from different cultural or religious backgrounds. Later in this newsletter, there is an article about our ‘Purple Door’ which has come out of this spirit of advocacy. Click here to read more. This Year 12 group has committed to conversations about positive mental health. I will also think of the resilience they have shown and their strength of character. This is what will serve them well as many of them come to prepare for their exams or begin to look for apprenticeships, traineeships or employment. 

We ask that you hold all of our Year 12 students in your prayers as they take their next steps towards concluding their secondary education and walk into their future lives.

Lord, come and remind me of your unfailing love. 

Remind me that you hold me safe, you understand me, and you cherish me. 

I lay down my fears before you.

I leave them at the foot of the cross, for you have overcome the world. 

I choose to give you all my concerns, worries and fears of failure. 

I trust that your loving hand will hold me through these next weeks and lead into a bright future.

I know that you walk with me, guiding my path and inspiring my heart. 

I pray that your friendship will soften the pressure I feel. I pray that I will continue to display my best in all that I do as I go on to new things with you. 

Thank you for your peace and your love in my life. 

Thank you for your kindness and care for me.

Amen

This time of year reminds us of the cycles of life as our Year 12 students are coming to the end of their time with us and we begin to welcome our new Year 7 families for 2022. Many of them joined in a virtual Information Evening on Wednesday. A special thanks to the staff and current year 7 students who hosted this on behalf of the College. 

The most updated designs for our new Science and Technology building were also shared with staff this week by our architects CHT. There was great excitement about this future project and the opportunities it will bring to our young women. One of the features of the interior design will be the recognition of significant female scientists or technological innovators. We are interested in suggestions that we might consider. If you have any thoughts please send them to office@clonard.vic.edu.au We look forward to sharing the final plans and designs with you in the near future. This marks an exciting phase in the next stage of development of the facilities of our College.

Blessings

Luci Quinn