From The Principal

As we quickly settle into the new school year, we are thankful that yesterday we were able to gather as a school community to dedicate our 2024 school year to God at our Dedication Mass, and celebrate the Mass with our students, staff, Board members and guests, including current and new families to our community.  A big thank you to all who participated and contributed to the Mass, and to Father Mark who led the Mass and continues to support our college with his service.

At the Mass our 2024 student leaders were blessed and received their badges.  This team of student leaders have willingly offered their skills and talents in the service of others.  They will build on the legacy of those who have previously served in these positions and they, in turn, will leave their own legacy for others to continue.  Our 2024 student leadership team is:

  • Head GirlsVictoria Da Silva and Hannah Macdonald 
  • Heads of Special Character Niketa Fernando and Alice Wild 
  • Heads of Academic Melinda Chen and Maia O’Callaghan
  • Heads of Arts & CultureChelsea Gardner and Roseline Son
  • Heads of Council Daragh Bonnici and Savannah Castles
  • Heads of Sport Eva-Maree Mene-Tuimavave and Lani Rawle 
  • Heads of Alexandra House – Honor Braid and Niamh Jones
  • Heads of Cecilia Maher – Hannah Bellett and Amelia Smith
  • Heads of Justine House – Savannah Blewden and Reese Steinberg 
  • Heads of Kelly House Anouk O’Malley-Cain and Kayla Proctor
  • Heads of Pompallier House – Adrianna Beck and Amelia Lord
  • Heads of McAuley House – Lucy Collett and Syntyche Khoo 
  • International Student Representative – Syntyche Khoo
  • Board of Trustees Student Representative  – Chelsea Brown
  • Pasifika Student Representative – Jasmine Lealaogata 
  • Tu Wahine – Simonne Lawson and Ella Paku 

I wish this team of student leaders all the very best for the year ahead and look forward to working alongside them.

Our school motto Mana Maria, under the guidance and care of Mary, encourages each of us to embody the virtues of Mary, a woman of faith, courage and compassion.  This year we will be continuing to focus on putting our faith into action, arguably even more so as our Mercy value ‘in focus’ this year is Awhinatanga – Service. 

At Carmel, for our students, service is defined in that we provide service when we see the need to respond with compassion; give generously of our time to others and live the Gospel message. However, at this point I am very thankful that, with Father Mark’s permission, he has allowed me to share his homily from Mass yesterday, ‘Service Is Our Identity’.

Service Is Our Identity – Homily at Dedication Mass at Carmel College

Service is central to the life and teachings of Jesus.  Right from the beginning of his ministry, service is at the very core of his being.  Service is not just what he did during his public ministry.  Certainly, all kinds of people with different needs came to Jesus; those who are in need of healing, those who have broken lives, those who were possessed by evil spirits, those who needed forgiveness.  Jesus served all of them.  But service is who Jesus is.  I have heard someone say that we are human beings, not human doings.  At times, we may often find it easier to do than to be.  Serving is more than just doing things, it is being who we ought to be – to be people for others.

To avoid being caught in feeling the burden of serving others, we need to know the importance of finding our centre, our core.  Jesus knew that he needed to step back from what he was doing and to spend time being alone in prayer.  To do the work of the Father well, Jesus knew that he needed to be with the Father.  Service, therefore, must be rooted in God.  Anything that we do must flow from God who is love.  Within our school community, people serve other people in all kinds of ways.  People serve family members who are unwell or immobile at home; people look out for neighbours who need support.  In a whole variety of ways, people are involved in the work of service of others.  We are very dependent on the little services we give to each other.  Yet, even more fundamental than the ways we serve each other is the way that God can serve us.  God sent his Son not to be served but to serve and to give his life for us.  Jesus revealed God to be our Servant.

Service is more than just the act of helping or doing work for someone.  It is more than just aiming to give assistance or guidance to someone who is in need, providing them satisfaction of their needs.  Jesus has transformed service from just a mere act of doing to a form of being.  We pray, that as we begin this new academic year, that the example of Jesus in the gospel this morning would inspire us to be with God, regardless of the demands made on us by life or by studies, so that we can be truly people for others because service is our identity.


photos above courtesy of Abigail Street and Lorelei Slater, Year 12