This week, in preparation for my newsletter article, I looked back at previous articles to see what we were doing as a school pre-COVID-19. In 2014, we had just received approval from the Board for the Library refurbishment. Our Library now has a fish tank and I am happy to say that the fish are thriving and all the furniture is slowly going back into place as restrictions are eased. Hand sanitiser is now at the entrance. Who would have thought we would be like this?
A few years ago, I also wrote about “Employability skills”, and I still think what I wrote then rings true today.
There has been much in the news recently about Australia’s Youth unemployment figures and how prepared our young people are for work. I was particularly struck by one commentator who discussed how attitude, turning up for work on time and presentation was so important. I think this is one of the reasons we put a particular emphasis on punctuality and correctly wearing the College uniform. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit." The particular habits which assist young people to be successful at school begin with certain routines such as getting enough sleep, eating breakfast, arriving at school on time and having a program for homework. Routines can seem boring and it is great to have a break from routine, however they are key to the development of habits which reduce stress caused by being unprepared for the day ahead.
Many of our students have part-time employment and this, I believe, is because they have demonstrated excellent presentation and communication skills. They are punctual and hard working. MacKillop girls are highly regarded in our local community as very employable!
We are slowly getting back to ‘normal’ or maybe the ‘new normal’ with hand sanitiser and social distancing being with us for a very long time, however sport training starts next week and competition looks like it will commence in Term 3. Further details will be advised as soon as possible.
This week of course is Reconciliation Week. The events in America would certainly focus our minds on how our organisations need to demonstrate diversity in all its forms. If we do not truly reflect the society which those organisations seek to serve, we entrench injustice, inequality and generational poverty. In Australia, we are not perfect in this regard and much work still needs to be done to ensure that the most marginalized are not forgotten. Access to education, health care and affordable housing are basic needs.
Until recently, the College has had only one piece of Indigenous Art and this was given to the school through our connections with Bond University and the Alliance of Girls Schools’ Australia. This piece is displayed in the College Reception. To commemorate Reconciliation Week, the College has purchased a new piece by Artist Justinna Napaljarri Sims, entitled “Seven Sisters Dreaming”. The painting is displayed in the middle stairwell of the main building.