Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of Caroline Chisholm College,
We are keeping our Year 12 students and their families in our thoughts and prayers this week as they prepare to leave the structure and security of their daily life and Caroline Chisholm College to prepare for their HSC examinations which begin next term. It is a significant change in a young person's life after thirteen years of school and six years in this very special community. Most would face the prospect of leaving with some mixed feelings. Our students have a lot of study and work to do before they sit their exams. I know they wish their memory for facts, dates and quotes was as good as their memory for lyrics of songs by Rhianna and Drake. This has been the place where lifelong friendships have been forged, where important lessons have been learned and where these young women have grown through the trials of adolescence to adulthood. It is also the environment within which they have been challenged, have felt uncomfortable about their failures and struggles, have left some relationships damaged and changed and worked harder than they believed was necessary. Ultimately, Caroline Chisholm College has been the stage on which they played out their journey to adulthood, with all that that entails. For all of the hard work, struggles, friendship hassles, expectations and rules, it is true that most students miss school once they leave. Amidst all of the tumult and change, there are a number of things that have remained constant. The sacred values of the college, faith, courage and tolerance have now become a part of who these women are. We pray they will continue to be people of justice who show compassion and recognise the dignity of all people. I am sure they will not leave these lessons behind. They will also take with them the deep belief that the teachers and staff at the college care about them personally and deeply, and wish and pray for their continued success. May God bless them every step of their journey so that they may continue to flourish and make this world a better place.
Our college values were on display on Friday at our assembly where Tara Bennett from Year 12 and our special guest, Emma Husar MP, Member for Lindsay appealed to our community to consider being an organ donor. Both Tara and Emma have been touched by this issue and spoke in very moving terms about the importance of discussing our intentions about organ donation with our loved ones and family. Tara reminded us that, right now, about 1600 Australians are waiting, in desperate need of organs and tissues that could save their lives. Our students were left with the challenge to have this difficult conversation when they arrived home. I am aware that such a presentation at our assembly may have given rise to some strong feelings for some in our community. If that is the case, I would encourage anyone affected to speak about this. For our students that would mean approaching their Year Leader or a teacher they trust who can then arrange some support.
Students from Year 7 to 12 have been busy being successful in such a varied range of competitions and pursuits recently. I am always surprised and delighted by the many ways that excellence is encouraged and celebrated at Caroline Chisholm. Our sporting teams have been successful in OzTag and Soccer, with our Opens Soccer team placing third in NSW! Thanks to their manager, Mr McIlveen. Our dance ensemble won several sections at the Hills Eisteddfod, with great thanks to Mrs Hughes. Our robotics team, the Westernauts, were well placed at both the state and national Robocup - this being our first ever team to compete in robotics. I am grateful to Mr Fuller, Mrs Zammit and Mrs Wilson who coached and encouraged the Westernauts along the way. We are aiming for even more success next year. Two of our HSC Drama performances were nominated by the Board of Studies of OnStage - the NSW Showcase of Drama excellence to be held in Term 1 next year. Congratulations to Ashleigh Hermann, Atheen Mapooth, Brianna McCarthy and Isabel Wheelahan for their performance of their own dramatic piece called BUZZ … . Ashleigh was also nominated for her solo performance of an excerpt from Pygmalion. This is Miss Lemaire's first year teaching HSC Drama at Caroline Chisholm, and we are delighted that, with her support, the students have been so successful.
At the end of this term, Mr Petit, our careers advisor will be taking extended leave and we wish him well. We wish
Ms Murray happy and safe travels as she begins leave until next year. We also offer our warmest congratulations to
Ms Parnis, our data analyst who gave birth to a beautiful son, Myles, recently. As the weather warms and we look forward to the school holidays next week I wish to acknowledge the teaching and support staff for their great work this term. If you read our newsletter regularly, or subscribe to our Facebook page or Twitter, you will see that these women and men really do devote themselves to the success of the students here. They are generous and caring professionals who remind me every day that Catholic schools are indeed very special places.
Blessing for our Graduating Students
May you be blessed with courage for your journey,
that fear may never keep you from exploring new paths.
May you be blessed with hope,
that you may never give up on yourself or others.
May you be blessed with goodness,
that in you strangers may find a generous friend.
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
May you be blessed with laughter,
that you may never take yourself too seriously.
May you be blessed with curiosity,
that you may always desire to seek out the mystery of faith.
May you be blessed with gratitude,
that you may see all of life as a gift.
May you be blessed with remembrance of one another
and your time together here
For there is forever a thread woven through your spirit
connecting you with Caroline Chisholm.
May you be blessed in knowing that you are loved,
and that we who love you are full of joy
as we celebrate your life in our midst
and your dreams to come.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
Mr Greg Elliott