Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,
John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” This week our community is deciding which students will make up our student leadership team for the next 12 months. These young people have already been recognised as leaders by their peers. I believe that other people have noticed their integrity, their generosity and the quality of their relationships Their behaviour reminds all of us that leadership is so much more about what you do than what you say.
Unfortunately, there are far too many poor role models for leadership in the world at the moment. News from the USA would make you think that the features of leadership are aggressiveness, bullying and a lack of respect. Celebrities would have us believe that material wealth, self-indulgence and instant satisfaction are required for leadership. And yet the most influential leaders, those who were most transformational and shaped the world for the greater good, were the opposite of this selfish view of leadership. Our current pope, Pope Francis, draws his influence from his humility and his ability to speak the truth about God’s plans for the world. His deep reverence for human life, regardless of race, religion or gender make him a voice for peace and justice.
The perfect template on which to base our leadership is Jesus Christ. In word and in action Jesus taught that service and humility were necessary in order to lead. His leadership was characterised by reaching out to the marginalised, by listening deeply to the concerns of others and by making sacrifices for the greater good - even to the point of sacrificing his life. Our students will be happy to know we don’t expect that level of sacrifice from them! What we expect is humble service and a vision for Caroline Chisholm that is hope-filled and inclusive. In the next newsletter we will announce our new leadership team. Please pray for them.
Last Friday all of our students from Year 7 to Year 10 spent the day on their Reflection Day. Such days are vital to remind our students that we must never take for granted the deeper purpose for our lives in relationship with God. I am grateful to our many teachers who conduct each of these programs and share their witness with our students.
Please continue to pray for our Year 12s as they complete their Trial HSC examinations this week. We are blessed in Australia to have as our saint and hero Mary MacKillop. She is an inspiration and source of great encouragement, especially her simple and faith-filled trust in God's loving care. Let us put our cares before God with the intercession of Mary MacKillop.
Mr Greg Elliott