Principal's Report

5 March 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Saturday night’s Gala was an absolutely fabulous event. In particular, the induction of the first group of ex-students into the Hall of Excellence demonstrated the amazing achievements of our alumni, and reminded us all of the tremendous promise of youth. The naming of the best ACK VFL/AFL team was also a highlight, demonstrating how significant our school has been in helping to kick-start the careers of so many. It was also wonderful to be able to celebrate the role of Ray Caroll in supporting those students, and to acknowledge the many other fine teachers, mentors and coaches who helped form these amazing men and women. You will find photos from the night and a full list of the Hall of Excellence inductees and their citations elsewhere in this bulletin. I commend them to you as a read that will inspire and amaze (who knows what your own sons and daughters and their friends may grow up to achieve).

Can you believe we’re half way through Term 1?

It was lovely to see so many parents and guardians at the House Welcome Barbecues last week.  I know our staff really appreciated the opportunity to get to know you and your family in a more relaxed setting. If you haven’t met your child’s pastoral care teacher yet, it would be worth dropping them a line, just to say hello and let them know that you’re keen to work with them for the best outcomes of your child throughout the year. An email or a phone message is always welcome.

This week the year 7s are on camp. It’s been a busy few weeks for them, and these days away are an opportunity to regroup, meet more new people, and begin to allow their true identities to shine.  Like all of us, adolescents understand that "first impressions matter", and while many have been working hard at maintaining a positive outlook and even a "stiff upper lip", we need to be aware of the considerable stress that big changes have on the body and spirit, and be on the look out for when and where an extra kind word, or a moment of real connection might make the difference. The camp is one way that we provide space for this to occur, and for personal connections to develop between staff and students, and among the students themselves.  I’m sure they’ll all sleep well on Friday night and we look forward to hearing their stories on Tuesday morning.

Is your child an introvert or an extrovert…and does it matter?

Psychologists have long identified that each of us appears somewhere on the spectrum of being an introvert or an extrovert. Extroverts receive their energy from being around others – they love a crowd and seek opportunities for connection. Introverts get their energy during alone-time. They work best when there is quiet and fewer opportunities of distractions from others. Extroverts work well in groups and love bouncing ideas off others.  Introverts are more creative when they have time to think alone, and to depth their ideas without being side-tracked. The world needs both types of people!

Have you ever thought about whether your child is an introvert or an extrovert? Knowing this will help you understand how to bring out the best in them, and provide opportunities for their growth and personal understanding and improvement.  Susan Cain’s recent book The Power of Introverts might be worth a read if you have a child who is an introvert (or indeed, if you yourself are!).  It’s an engaging read, written for non-experts like us. She also has a TED talk that you might enjoy watching and learning from.

Are you letting your heart grow?

This Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with a woman from Samaria. Samaritan Jews were the traditional enemies of Jerusalem Jews, so the fact that Jesus even spoke to this woman, let alone drank some water that she drew from the well would have been highly shocking to anyone looking on. In the story, Jesus helps the woman reflect on some "home truths" about her lifestyle (she had had quite a few husbands).  As their conversation continues, the woman allows her heart to open and become more loving and hope-filled. One of the reflections we might make on this story is the extent to which we allow others to challenge our behaviours when they are not ideal, and whether we are open to making changes, or become defensive and entrenched in our brokenness.

Loving God, like the Samaritan woman, let us be surprised and changed by others. Open our hearts and minds to the possibility of growth and new life. Amen.

Peace and blessings

Kate Fogarty