Term 1 has presented many challenges for families and the College with the COVID-19 Omicron variant permeating Western Australia. As the State’s borders have opened we have seen numbers of infections steadily increase, impacting the wider community and our school. Thank you to families for responding to the many changes that have taken place throughout the term. We are hoping for a more settled College environment in Term 2 as some restrictions for schools are lifted.
Last week I spent time in Victoria visiting three Marist schools. Each school is different but all connected by our Marist family and shared mission. Speaking with students and teachers was an eye opener for me as they told of their experiences living in lockdown for the most part of the last two years. Year 9 students, for example, have not yet completed a full term of high school. This term will be the first. Year 9 students have never been to a College Mass, Assembly, a secondary school camp, excursion, incursion or any other whole school event. Only in the last few weeks has co-curricular recommenced for these schools. It has been a challenging road but they are on the journey together. Their resilience is marked by their aspirations; aspirations that we all have – to live life and live it to the full.
As we journey together towards the end of term, perhaps it is timely that we reflect on our local context. How we engaged in our learning this term, how we sought support, how agile and flexible have we been? The COVID-19 Pandemic is now a major disruption in our State and now our school. The uncertainty and the complexity of the road ahead can and is causing anxiety for teachers, students and families. Where we draw support and how we build resilience will be critical as we move towards Term 2.
150 Years of Marist Education in Australia
This year, we celebrate 150 years of Marist education in Australia. 56 schools will gather today at a Mass held in Sydney to celebrate our Marist Project – one where our Founder, St Marcellin Champagnat, championed the education and aspirations of dislocated youth. This hope and this mission is ever present today.
End of Term
So, as we reflect on the term, thank you for your presence and contribution to the life of our community. We have achieved much this term across curricular and co-curricular pursuits. Congratulations to all students for your resilience and commitment to your learning.
In many ways it is a blessing that Easter is upon us. Our Christianity is predicated on this story; the death and resurrection of Christ and the new life and the hope that emerges from the despair and dislocation that forever permeates our world. If anything, we need to draw on this hope that lies within us and those around us. This Marist community is founded on our family spirit and that presence that values relationships.
I encourage all families to attend the Easter services over Holy Week. Take a moment and give thanks with the hope that Easter brings.