It is great to be back at Newman College after 7 weeks of leave. The opportunity to get away with my family was truly unforgettable. We drove in total 13,000km, to Darwin and back. The tyranny of distance was overcome by the adventure of the getting not just to each destination but in the power of the journey itself. We had so many memorable experiences on the way that will be the dinner table discussions for the rest of our lives. In Exmouth for example, who could have foretold the experience of swimming five metres from a humpback whale and her calf. The exhilaration of this beauty was underpinned by holding my son’s hand and watching my daughter embrace the moment as we watched in awe of what was before us. In Lake Argyle we got to swim at sunset in the middle of one the biggest inland lakes in Australia (19 times bigger than Sydney Harbour) – truly incredible in its size and beauty. And finally, the relief of getting to Darwin, recognising the monumental drive that we had undertaken and at the same realising that we had to drive back! This was also life giving and immensely satisfying.
The reason I share these anecdotes is that I have learnt so much from this experience. Firstly, value your family and cultivate those special relationships we can sometimes take for granted. We all can get so busy – with work, study, our friends, and interests. Never lose sight of the value of family and time spent together. At the heart of our Marist community is our family spirit supported by our presence to each other and this is something we have to nourish. Secondly, like all journeys there are high and low points! To overcome the challenges of sticking together, staying committed and being patient is critical to one’s individual and collective success.
On returning to school, my reflection of my own journey can be viewed in light of our Year 12 students. Their 14-year journey of education would be full of high and low points. As they move towards the end of their time at Newman there will be relief and hopefully satisfaction of the fruit of their efforts. What is important to note is that when you do get to the end, a new journey will begin. Our prayer for our Year 12 students is that they finish their Newman journey well and that they are prepared for what is ahead. As for me and the family, we are back, ready and looking forward to our next adventure. What will be different is that our time together has made us stronger, ready for what lies ahead.
Thanks to Dr Lucie McCrory in the role as Acting Principal over the last seven weeks. Her dedication, professionalism and care for our students was exemplary. Thanks also to Mr Simon Martino for his support and commitment as Acting Vice Principal.
One of the blessings of being away was the time to read a number of books. The joy of reading was highlighted this week across the College with Book Week. The Primary parades were a definite highlight. The creativity of families and the support of teachers was outstanding. Some members of the College Executive immersed themselves in the Book Week Parade at Marian Campus on Thursday. The Wizard of Oz being the choice, Dr Lucie McClory was Glinda, Mr Simon Martino was the Tin Man and I was the Wizard!
Next week we participate in the second year of the Champagnat Cup. Our senior teams in netball, basketball and AFL will compete against fellow WA Marist schools, St Joseph’s Northam and Bunbury Catholic College. We look forward to our Marist family spirit and the success of all students on this gala day.
We continue to pray for our eastern states communities so affected by COVID-19. The isolation of lockdown and the prevalence of the virus has been devasting for so many people. We continue to develop and prepare our contingency in the advent of any further lockdowns.
I warmly invite all parents to our Newman Parents evening on Monday 6 September, 7.00pm. The topic of the event is ‘Under Your Influence’, facilitated by Jade Lewis. More information can be found within this Newsletter.
Mr John Finneran