Message from the Principal
I am pleased to share the Spring edition of our Alumni eNews with you, in the middle of this season of change. Here at Loreto Normanhurst, spring has certainly sprung; moving through the school, you can smell the wattle in the air and hear the birds in the blossoms.
This season indeed also marks a time of change for our Ex-Students’ Association, which will welcome a new President in 2021. I would like to thank Patsy Shannon for her tireless commitment to the alumni community and wish her the very best as she continues in her service to the Association as a committee member.
The Class of 2020 graduated in September with the same grace and generous, joyful spirit for which they have become known and loved in our community. With some modifications, we were delighted to celebrate many of the time-honoured graduation rituals that typically mark this milestone in the life of Loreto Normanhurst. We were unable to welcome families and members of our broader community on site but appreciated the support and solidarity our girls received from afar. Thank you to those who joined us via live stream, social media or in spirit as we honoured this remarkable cohort at their Awards and Graduation Ceremony and virtual HSC Showcase, which was opened by alumna and highly decorated musical theatre performer, Elise McCann (’02). Elise spoke very powerfully about championing the Arts, and urged our girls to allow space in their lives for creativity and passion. I invite you to explore the hard work and talent that was on display at the showcase by visiting the HSC Showcase microsite.
Another time-honoured event, the Music Festival, was also held virtually for the first time this year. The success of the evening was a testament to the strength of our community as we were able to gather online from afar. Please enjoy the photos and video of this event in the pages that follow. A special thanks goes to the alumni who donated to our Music Festival Bursary Fund, and to Natalie Nicolas (’10) our Composer in Residence, for addressing our students as they prepared for the event.
We are always grateful for such contributions from ex-students to the life of our school, whether it be through our Year 11 Pilot Mentor Program or the Year 12 Morning Tea hosted by the Ex-Students’ Association. It is wonderful to be able to acknowledge these contributions in the pages of our eNews, along with those members of our alumni community who have accomplished particular success in their fields.
Although we have not been able to gather in person lately, it has been heartening to remain in touch in different ways. There is a lovely story inside of connecting with one alumna, Yvonne Quarrell (’48), via radio! Our ‘Lunch and Lyrics’ event and reunions may not have taken place, but we are delighted to reach out to you this festive season with an inaugural Advent Calendar.
While much has changed recently and in the 123 years for which Loreto Normanhurst has educated proud, compassionate young women, we remain ever steadfast in our commitment to Mary Ward’s values and to being people for others. To stay true to this mission while keeping pace with our digital world, we are updating the way we represent ourselves in our publications and online. You will start to see some new designs and colours, including on the Advent Calendar. Please enjoy a piece of this new visual expression in the video below.
As you read this, our Year 9 students are in the middle of the 2020 ‘Songlines Experience.’ Many of you will fondly remember your Year 9 trip to Far North Queensland. This year’s re-imagined experience unfolds in our backyard here in Sydney. It is proving an equally formative time of ‘Caring for Country, Walking Beside’ for our girls as they learn and celebrate their gifts, friendships and the rich and diverse First Nations cultures inherent in the treasured and sacred Aboriginal lands on which they stand.
It is with Year 9 in mind – and their experience of being open to change, challenge, connection and gratitude – that I leave you with this prayer.
God Creator Spirit,
Walk with us and give us the strength to stand for life, in the face of destruction and greed of the Earth.
Teach us to be respectful and gracious for all that our land and waters provide.
Instil in us the spirit of unity with our Indigenous sisters and brothers from around the world. Lord, with your grace, help us to endure the challenges placed before us and our Earth. Let us take time to reflect on the spiritual connection to our lands and the fragility and beauty of Mother Earth.
With your love and spirit, let us walk together in unity, peace and harmony on these great lands.
God, strengthen our love and respect for each other and our connections to country and creation.
We pray, as one global family, for a safe and just world for our children and our children’s children. Let us bring your love to all people.
I wish you and your families well in this season of Spring.
Ms Marina Ugonotti