This past week has been undeniably challenging for our College community following the confirmation that one of our students had tested positive for COVID–19. I have been inspired by the resilience and tenacity of this young person and their family. With the overnight confirmation of those staff and students considered close contacts, I ask that we continue to hold all who have been impacted from our community in our thoughts and prayers.
There is no rule book for leading in a pandemic. We are so blessed in our country to live without war, without conflict and with relative economic security. When a silent force threatens all that brings us our sense of safety and stability, it is only natural that fear, anxiety and an inward focus can become driving emotions.
In such a rapidly changing space, we acknowledge the work of our health care professionals, who are under immense pressure to provide answers, solutions and responses.
This is a difficult time to navigate. How does a leader and our community provide certainty amongst the uncertainty of life in a global pandemic?
Amongst all the things we cannot control at the moment, we need to be reminded that we can control who we are and what we stand for as a community. As a Kildare Ministries school, our values are our compass. This has been my message to staff this week, as they have supported me through the past few days.
We are a community of ‘courage’ who will be steadfast and hold firm despite the uncertainty.
We are a community of ‘justice’ who will consider the needs of the vulnerable and do what we need to do, to stay safe even if it takes patience, some inconvenience and a little sacrifice.
We are a community of ‘compassion’ who will reach out and be there for each other, especially those who most need our care at this time.
We are a community of ‘hope’ who will rise above the challenges together remembering that the only way out of this is through it.
We are a community of ‘wonder’ who celebrate with gratitude the ability of our community to be creative and adapt in the shortest of timeframes.
We are a community of ‘hospitality’ who will gather again when it is safe to do so and we will welcome all back to school under the ongoing protection of St Brigid.
This week has been a massive team effort. Thank you:
- to our students for your resilience in adapting so quickly to the return to remote learning
- to our staff for all they have done to transition our students and ensure continuity of learning
- to our IT team who keep us all connected
- to our non–teaching staff for being the ‘glue’ that holds us together and keeps us running smoothly
- to our Maintenance and Cleaning team for their amazing work on the deep clean of the school
- to our families for your patience and understanding
- to Kildare Education Ministries, Catholic Education Melbourne, DHHS and Barwon Health for their advice and partnership; and
- to our College Leaders for their unwavering support, guidance and care of our community.
We are not there yet but I know that we will get there and with every step we will have the safety, wellbeing and care of our community at the heart of our decision making.
It has been humbling to lead our community at this time.
God bless and stay safe,