Welcome to the autumn edition of Alumni eNews,
These are uncertain times. Times which remind us of the interconnectedness of our global world, of our vulnerability as social beings, and of our responsibility to one another. It is also a time, as we observe human behaviour and the impact it can have on others, to ensure we hold the most vulnerable of our community and society – the elderly, the sick, the homeless – firmly in our thoughts and that we assume responsibility for seeing that our actions consider their needs as well as our own.
In 2020, as we do each year in Loreto schools, we are examining one of the Loreto values and this year we are reflecting on Verity or truth. This is a difficult value to understand as we all believe our own personal truth to be the one truth and this can sometimes guide us to have misconceptions about what is the real source of truth. Mary Ward’s idea of truth was about what God wanted. She spoke of the mystery of God and the challenge in giving all things to God when we recognise his words, “I am the way the truth and the life”. The quote in our Verity artwork shown below, “Strengthened by the truth, we live with courage and purpose”, is the theme for the year which the Class of 2020 discerned for our community in Term 4 last year. May it remain a guiding compass for us as the days, weeks and terms unfold.
In February we celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2019 and welcomed them and their family members back to accept the school’s congratulations as we honoured them and drew inspiration from the example and legacy they have given us. As you may know, the achievements of the Class of 2019 were excellent. Ranks and marks however don’t define our character and spirit, and nor do they define the Class of 2019. We came to know them as women of compassion and joy, who work for justice and grow in relationships with one another. We heard from one of our most recent graduates, Mairead Stone, Dux of the Class of 2019, and an alumna of the Class of 1998, Lieutenant Colonel Virginia McDougall. Mairead’s humble message of gratitude focused on the importance of collaboration and quality relationships (with teachers, peers and self) for quality learning to ensue. Virginia echoed Mairead’s words of advice and reflected on the impact of her Loreto Normanhurst education throughout her life and career.
Both Mairead and Virginia had powerful messages of inspiration for all of us lifelong learners – to pursue your interest, to know yourself, to keep a balanced approach to life, to maintain good relationships, to raise up those around you, to stride forward in the direction of your dreams, facing fears and overcoming doubts. We wish all of the Class of 2019 well on their new adventure and congratulate them for being such great role models in their faith, their academic life, their work in community and in their extra-curricular pursuits.
In this Olympic Year, our list of Loreto Olympic hopefuls continues to grow and we congratulate alumni Ellen Roberts (Class of 2009) and Tahli Moore (Class of 2012) who have been selected in the squad of 20 to train for the Australian Olympic Softball team. This will be further reduced to 15 after the squad competes for 6 weeks in an American Fastpitch Competition.
We are so proud of our alumni and we love seeing them back at Normanhurst. We heard from members of the Class of 2015 as they took part in a panel session for the Careers Conference heard earlier this month. Sophie Cullen, Sarah Croake, Maddie Benson, Polina Nesterova, and Alice Mao, shared stories of their journey since leaving school, and left our Year 12 students encouraged and inspired for the year ahead.
On Wednesday 4 March, we welcomed ex-students, parents, students and staff to the Women of Influence Evening. We had a special focus for the event this year – celebrating our Loreto women who are making positive contributions to rural and regional communities. Thank you to Genevieve Jacobs (’84), Angela Burford (’09), Camilla Ward (’90) and Grace Murray (’09) who shared their inspirational stories with us on the night.
As a school, we focus on the people who make up our community; our students, their families, our staff both past and present and of course, our ex-students. This focus on people is very appropriate as we seek to celebrate community. In particular, it is wonderful to hear about the achievements and the interesting life experiences of our ex-students. Throughout the last year I have enjoyed meeting and reconnecting with ex-students in regional and remote areas, and welcoming many of you back to Loreto Normanhurst at various gatherings and events. I thank the Ex-Students’ Association for their busy and productive year. The same Loreto spirit brings you all together to work in support of the current students of Loreto Normanhurst. Thank you to Ms Patsy Shannon, President, for her support and good work and I look forward to working with you all as we continue to celebrate and experience life at Loreto Normanhurst.
God of Light,
who guides us in ways of truth.
Ignite within us the courage to uncover our authentic selves and in doing so discover our greatest gifts.
Illuminate the path of integrity, so our lives are defined by love and honesty.
Inspire us to look beyond our own horizons to face the truth bigger than ourselves.
Called by Mary Ward, we seek and speak the truth:
a truth that invites us to do ordinary things well,
a truth that leads to justice for all.
This is our Verity.
In Jesus’ name and with the help of the Holy Spirit,
we say, Amen.
Ms Marina Ugonotti