As we commence Term 3, we do so immersed in continued ambiguity. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to challenge the world, and we are left pondering what really matters. We have grown to expect the unexpected and to respond with rapid agility. Pope Francis recently implored a struggling world to take solace from the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). We ask the Lord for the grace of weeping today, with and for all the people who are suffering the consequences of this pandemic.
Our Loreto communities continue to nurture hope, love, life and are inspired by the words of Mary Ward, “Be convinced that God will always give you what you need”. We certainly bring to leadership the very best skills we have learnt and acquired over time, however, ultimately we must rely on the guidance of the Divine. It is in this spirit and in the context of challenging times that we welcome and celebrate those who have offered themselves to lead our communities.
We welcome Mrs Michelle Brodrick as Principal of Loreto College Ballarat. Michelle is a highly experienced educational leader who brings a wonderful breadth of knowledge and energy to her leadership role. Michelle is enthusiastic about commencing work with both the College and broader Ballarat community and to promote the ongoing vision, mission, values and endeavours of the School and Loreto education. She is certain to lead Loreto College Ballarat in a way that continues to provide young women with positive, challenging and rewarding school experiences.
In welcoming Michelle we farewell Ms Judith Potter, Principal of Loreto College Ballarat for 14 ½ years. Throughout her time at Loreto College, Judith gave abundantly of herself for the benefit of her students, staff, and the College Community. Judith exudes the virtues of Mary Ward with warmth, gentleness, dignity and compassion. She is a woman of deep faith – a faith lived with freedom, justice, sincerity, verity and felicity. Judith truly articulates the Loreto story and gives life to the Loreto charism. She has influenced the lives of thousands of students throughout her outstanding career as a teacher and an educational leader in both Independent and Catholic Independent schools throughout Victoria. Judith has served Loreto College Ballarat with dedication, wisdom, expertise, a deep passion for learning and teaching and has been exemplary in ensuring the provision of high-quality educational facilities for the young women entrusted to her care. We thank Judith for her contribution to Loreto College Ballarat and to Loreto education and wish her every blessing for the future.
We welcome Donna Orazio, who has agreed to take on the duties of Board Chair at Loreto Coorparoo. This follows the significant achievements of the former Chair of the Board, Ms Diane Bukowski who served the School Council and then the Board from February 2008 to 30th June 2020. Our Boards are key partners in the Loreto communities of Australia and guide the work of our Principals and staff. We are grateful to Diane for all her dedicated work and to Donna for taking on this important role.
We continue to keep Cressey Wallwork in our prayers. Cressey has stepped down from her role as Board Chair at Loreto Nedlands due to ill health. Cressey will be replaced by Eric Chidlow as Acting Chair through to the end of 2020.
Finally, we warmly congratulate Samantha Jensen on her appointment as Principal of Mt Alvernia College in Brisbane. Samantha will commence at the start of Term 1, 2021. Until then, Samantha will continue to provide her characteristic high order leadership as Deputy Principal Director of Studies at Loreto Toorak.
Term 3 always commences with our celebration of Landing Day on or around July 19. Our communities are invited to mark this most significant day in our ongoing story of Loreto in this region in a manner appropriate to your local context. May we remember with gratitude the pioneering Loreto sisters who ventured to our land and celebrate our life-affirming network across this region. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as we celebrate Landing Day at our Office Team meeting next Thursday.
As this term unfolds, many may be experiencing feelings of anxiety, anger, despair and insecurity. It is a time for us to reaffirm the value and dignity of every human life and to further nurture the seeds of compassion in the hearts and spirits of our communities. We are so blessed to live in the land of the Holy Spirit and are called to reach out to those less fortunate, particularly those who are suffering at this time.
I continue to be in awe of the commitment our school leaders have to the students and staff within their communities. Thank you for all you do. May your leadership continue to excel, and your wisdom continue to reflect in those you lead.