More often than not I have begun each newsletter this year with something around COVID-19. Today I feel it is important to address an issue that precedes the pandemic and may possibly continue long after we see the end of COVID-19 in its present form - namely the social unrest that is occurring around the globe.
I want to start with the following words of wisdom:
If we love God,
We will undoubtedly love our neighbour also; they are as cause and effect.
- Retreat Instructions (p 147, Sisters of Mercy)
These words of Catherine McAuley seem particularly appropriate at this time of social distancing and the challenges brought by the pandemic. They are also good words and values to live by when we view the concerning scenes of social fracturing in the United States and the protests spreading around the globe, and around some parts of Australia. It is hard not to be moved by the indignity suffered by marginalised groups of people all made in the image of God – all our “neighbours.” We must ensure that we treat each other with dignity, respecting each other’s worth in our relationships with them. Surely this transcends national boundaries and binds us in our common humanity. I know our students are trying to understand why this unrest is happening and what they might be able to do – how should they respond? Our Mercy Action Leaders have been thinking about these issues and, supported by our College Director of Mission, Mrs Gabby Scanlon, have been working on prayer and reflection resources that help our students to process the issues of the Black Lives Matter Campaigns and centre our students on engaging in dignified conversations around the way we treat others.
In their words:
“… also what we can do to ensure that ALL people are given an equal chance at life
because as people of God we are all created equal and good.”
Our Mercy Action Leaders are to be commended for starting the conversation and for contributing in any way they can to a positive change. Sometimes social change is hard to effect but initiating the dialogue and raising awareness is a good place to start.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Year 12 during one of their Learning and Curriculum sessions. I spoke to them about their experiences of Continuous Learning and the importance of controlling their thinking around their HSC. Rather than thinking they had “missed out” on something because of COVID-19, I challenged them to reflect on the positives in all that they had experienced. What did they learn about themselves and what tools would they use going forward in this experience of their HSC? Reflecting on these transferrable dispositions, for example, prioritising and self-discipline, will help them to make sense of the pandemic’s impact, reinforce their capacity to deal with unfamiliar challenges and build their confidence that they do have the skills to navigate their HSC in 2020 – valuable life lessons for the future too. I am immensely proud of our Year 12 students and the diligent way that they have engaged with and completed their recent Assessment program and indeed the way that they have conducted themselves throughout our Continuous Learning Program experience. Well done Mercy girls!
The Year 11 Leadership Process has commenced since last I wrote. The new four College Executive Student Leaders have been voted in for 2020/2021.
|Head Girl||Yasmine Alwakal|
|Assistant Head Girl||Kyah Day|
|SRC President||Isabella Barakat|
|Vice SCR President||Riley Rodewald|
Congratulations to these four fine young Student Leaders. They will bring many gifts and thoughtful initiatives to us and we look forward to their leadership year. The voting process continues this week when the Portfolio Leaders are elected, and it culminates in the Student Leadership inauguration at the Leadership Assembly in the final week of this term. I very much look forward to working with all of these young women – they are following strong role models in the examples of the outgoing 2019/2020 Student Leaders whom I also sincerely thank for their many and varied, significant contributions to our Mercy community during their time of leadership.
I will be communicating briefly at the end of this week with any updates as usual, however, would ask you now to take a moment to complete this brief Family Check-in Survey - click here.
Your feedback is really useful in guiding us to review and refine our practices in response to any issues or trends emerging in our community during our Phased Return to School Plan. Thank you for taking the time to complete it.
Finally, I would like to remind you all that you can always stay connected virtually to what is happening in our OLMC community via social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember to like OLMC on your favourite social media pages for regular updates.
For now, please stay well, healthy and safe.
Mrs Marie Wood