Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,
It has already been a busy beginning to Term II – Happy Easter and welcome back. The greatest gift of Christianity is that our faith is centred on God who renews us and brings us to new life constantly. We are Easter people who continually rise again and bring new life through the Gospel to the people in our lives. We don't get stuck on the suffering of Good Friday. Rather, we celebrate the abundance and hope of Easter morning, and try to live a resurrected life every day. I pray that the recent feast of Easter was a time of great blessing for you and your family.
The school vacation was also a time for our students to stop and evaluate their learning from Term 1. For our Year 12s, time is so precious as they face the biggest learning challenges of their lives. It is a current reality that good performance in Year 12 brings with it more choices about what they decide to do beyond school. Any previous student could tell our girls that this final year is a year of hard work and some serious sacrifices. Attendance should be 100%. Students should inform their employers that they can't accept as many shifts, and even the all-important social life may need to move down the list of priorities a little bit. It is the college’s expectation that students in Year 11 and 12 are spending several hours a day working on their assessments, their learning goals and their regular study. If your daughter is struggling to find a good study routine, she should speak with her homeroom teacher or year leader.
We have changed the date of our Professional Learning day (Pupil Free Day) for this term. For your calendar, please note that the pupil free day on June 3 is now moved to July 5 – the last day of Term II. The parent and teacher interviews scheduled for 5 July will now be held on 23 July, in Week 1 of Term III. I apologise if this has caused any inconvenience and I thank you for your flexibility. A more detailed explanation of this will be sent to all parents in Skool Bag.
As part of our 5 Transformations agenda that was launched last year, we are working to make learning as real as possible for our students by bringing them into contact with our partners from industry, universities, the commercial world and civic institutions. As we continue to explore how to deploy these partners to enhance students’ learning, we are also wanting to reach out to our parent community to invite you or your business to become a partner for learning at Caroline Chisholm College. Whilst we cannot guarantee that every partnership introduction will lead to a learning experience for our girls, we would like to have a broad and diverse database of businesses and partners on whom we can draw to support the design challenges and learning experiences developed by our teachers. If you are interested in partnering with the college for student learning, please contact our partnerships manager, Dianne Mills on 0437359921 or email her at email@example.com.
During the holidays nearly 100 students proudly represented the college in an annual tradition, at the Warragamba ANZAC Day March. It was very impressive to see so many girls turn out in their holidays. 73 students marched while another 25 or so were in the combined Caroline Chisholm and St Dominic’s band and choir. I’d like to thank all the students involved in the march, the parents who brought them along and the many teachers who marched and supported the band and choir. As usual, Ms Junelle Dunne was the main organiser of the college’s involvement in the ceremony. This ceremony was particularly special for Ms Dunne, as the occasional address was given by her daughter, Lily Marmont of Year 12.
Lily’s inspirational speech focused on the involvement of Australian forces in the Pacific in World War II. Lily gave a concise outline of the fighting in which Australian forces were involved before taking her speech in a more personal direction when she talked about the involvement of her paternal grandfather J J Marmont whose wartime service between 1943 and 1945 involved active duty transporting wounded soldiers to dressing stations, setting up medical staging posts and transporting soldiers to air evacuation points on the north eastern coastal strip of New Guinea – a total of 728 days in country.
Lily’s concluding words are worth quoting in full:
“My Grandfather was posthumously awarded the Australian Service medal 1945-1975 for “non warlike” services to country – post-WWII. It bears the Australian coat of arms attached to a ribbon of green and gold stripes flanked by the navy blue, khaki and light blue of the WWII pacific service medals. The clasp bears the initials PNG.
I wear it with pride of place alongside his original service medals each year on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. As the proud custodian of his legacy of service and sacrifice for our nation – I pledge to maintain this family tradition. Inspired by the contributions of all service men and women to our history, unified by the rising sun – linking our past to our present and shaping our future.
Most of this generation of brave courageous Australians are now gone but we will remember them.
To the veterans here today: what you left behind at Kokoda, Lae, Buna, Gona, Rabaul, Guadalcanal, Sanananda, Gili Gili, Milne Bay, Kokoda and Isurava was not only those seventeen hundred mates, but you left something else for us.
In the granite of the Isurava memorial are four words, everything that you represent.
Courage: nothing of value in life is achieved without taking a risk.
Endurance: you never, ever give up.
Sacrifice: in order to achieve the objectives that we’ve set for ourselves we have to make sacrifice, we have to give things up and often with immense physical and or emotional pain.
And mateship: that in the end what we need most is one another.
These veterans put principle above position, values ahead of value. They regarded their responsibilities to one another and our nation and its future as transcending their responsibilities to themselves. We remember them every day, for we are young and we are free.”
On Friday, as part of our regular college assembly, we had an ANZAC Ceremony, organised by Mrs Vella and the elective History students. The particular focus of the ceremony was on the links of our community to service men and women. Students carried up photographs of family members who had served in the armed forces, from many years ago to quite recently. In the midst of the noise of building and construction around us, the focus and silence shown by the whole college community during the ceremony clearly showed the respect they felt.
This was the prayer form the college’s ANZAC Ceremony:
Remember, O Lord, all those the brave and the true, who have died the death of honour and are departed in the hope of the resurrection to eternal life. In that place of light from which sorrow and mourning are far banished, give them rest, O Lord, thou lover of men.
And grant to us who remain the spirit of service which may make us worthy of their sacrifice, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mr Greg Elliott