The start to the 2021 school year has arguably been the most peaceful and positive since I joined our community in 2015. The professional development week prior to our students returning saw our teachers enthusiastically engage with our theme for the year Christian education and pastoral care. Our teachers were challenged to remember the importance of their own personal holiness and the great impact their speech and actions have on the lives of their students. Our teachers invested time considering how they can meaningfully integrate the Bible and a Christian worldview into a range of topics they are teaching. Teachers worked collaboratively to ensure that they will provide high-quality, targeted care for every student.
I am thankful for thoughtfulness, wisdom and flexibility of our parents who helped the school to ensure a peaceful and positive start to the year, especially considering the adjustments we have made to comply with government COVID regulations. I trust that the school has made these requirements clear. Please feel free to contact reception if you have any questions in this regard.
For those of us who watch and read the news, the world seems intense, controversial and chaotic.
- Disputes about the US presidential election.
- Countries overwhelmed with positive COVID cases.
- Hurtful speech versus free speech.
- People buying a trolley full of toilet paper when they hear rumours of a lockdown.
The list is endless and the noise it generates inside our heads can be loud and unrelenting. However, the discordant chorus from the 24-hour news cycle does capture the reality of some people’s lives. Around the world people are dying of coronavirus symptoms, others are experiencing mental health problems or suffering financially because of the pandemic.
In the midst of these burdens, people want their lives to be peaceful and positive. They want relationships with family and friends to be warm and engaging. Many people appreciate uncomplicated, but meaningful, opportunities to express themselves creatively, play a sport or learn something new. Some of our parents have said that our school feels like family. It is a place where students belong and have an opportunity to express themselves, participate and learn.
During the summer break our facilities manager, Mr Craig Wilson, orchestrated some excellent improvements to our facilities including a significant amount of painting, a fully refurbished kitchen for our Food Technology students and a newly renovated kitchen used by Year 12.
Two much valued staff members have moved on at the beginning of the year. Mr Robert Palazzolo has been a gracious, skilled and hard-working member of our IT team for many years. Mrs Tamara Hidayat worked part-time to produce high-quality graphic art for our school. I wish Tamara and Robert God’s blessing and every success with their new employers; however, they will both remain a part of our community because their own children are current students.
Finally, while it is important that we seek to make our lives peaceful and positive, human sinfulness limits our efforts. Therefore, we must humbly, obediently and prayerfully turn to God to provide for us daily and give us wisdom as to how we should think, speak and act.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Mr Brett Hartley
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