Yesterday marked International Women’s Day (8 March) which is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. Although there was not a significant event at the college, and students’ attention wasn’t specifically brought to the day, as a staff we shared a morning tea that our Religious Education department provided. Discussions in and around morning tea reflected on our work and the part we play in girls’ education, ensuring that each day we are striving towards empowering our young women in a Mercy tradition to challenge and shape their future.
As we are halfway through the term, students’ school and extracurricular schedules are getting busier. It is very pleasing to see the involvement of our young woman in activities in and around the college, however I ask that you please check in and support your daughter in finding a balance between her school work, extracurricular and leisure activities. If at any point you are unsure or think that she may require some support, whether that be sitting down with her dean, career or guidance counsellors, do not hesitate to reach out.
Mr Glen Child started the week for staff with a reflection that he shared from Thich Nhat Hanh, which echoes the mindfulness that is required as we support our young woman;
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”
Last night the Carmel College Auckland Proprietor Board farewelled two long standing board members; Frances Hague, who has been the board chair, and Sr Rosemary Revell, who sat on the CCAL and BOT boards. The board also welcomed the new chair, Judy Whiteman, and a new proprietor representative and ‘old girl’, Laura McKenzie.
I wish to acknowledge all of the work that both Frances and Rosemary have done in their respective roles on the board, and thank them on behalf of our community. Their work ‘behind the scenes’ is not often highlighted and therefore for many is potentially not seen or known. But these two women have been strong leaders in the vision and direction that has been set and been a big part of Carmel College during their service on the board. Their skills and passion that they have brought has been greatly appreciated and while we wish them both well, I am confident that they will continue to have a watchful eye over our community.
Over the coming weeks there are a number of events in the school calendar, one of which is the notification that there is a planned PPTA strike on Thursday 16 March. An alert was sent yesterday through the SchoolBridge app. The college will be closed, however should students under the age of 14 years require supervision there is a form to indicate this and supervision will be provided.
Next week, week 7, there is the pre-enrolment evening for Year 7 and 9 students for 2024. Information has been sent out and is available in the newsletter. In week 8 there is the PTFA breakfast, student reports will be available on the portal, and during week 9 there will be two parent teacher interview evenings on Tuesday 28 March and Thursday 30 March from 3.30-6.30pm. More information will follow over the coming week about this, however if you have any questions regarding any of these events, please do not hesitate to contact the college.
Below I am sharing a second reflection from last night’s farewell as we are reminded that the work of those in our community is given and shared through their call to Mercy, which is central to our community’s values and what makes our community what it is, as we strive to empower our young woman to challenge and shape their future.
May you meet mercy each day:
In the light of your heart, at the hands of loved ones,
In the eyes of the stranger and the needy
And if by chance you do not first meet it,
Then search your heart for it, listen patiently for word of it,
And it will tap you on the shoulder,
A quiet surprise, a small gesture, the tender look,
Given and received in the encounters of your day.
Mary Wickham rsm