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From the Principal

The 2018 College theme, ‘One Body, Many Parts’, continues to resonate, never more so than over the past two weeks as we welcomed a number of alumnae to the College.  The women and the families of past decades are a valued part of our community and their stories and their wisdom provide inspiration for the students and families of today.  Celia Conlan (Class of 1987), was the speaker for International Women’s Day and the 2017 inductee into the Siena College Hall of Excellence.  The Hall of Excellence was established as a way of recognising notable alumnae who embody the spirit and traditions of the College and of St Catherine of Siena.  We talk at Siena of educating women to go out and make the world a better place for others.  Celia is one such woman.  Her account of her time at Siena College and her advice to all who attended the International Women’s Day breakfast was interwoven with humour and challenging stories of her work as a barrister practising in the area of family law.  As we celebrate the achievements of women in 2018, we are reminded that there is still much to be done to achieve equity, particularly for women in third world countries.  We stand in solidarity with all who continue to face inequity on many fronts, those who are oppressed, denied access to education and meaningful work, and subjected to violence and disadvantage. I thank Kate Gotlib and the SRC for their efforts to organise a much enjoyed breakfast, the proceeds of which support the Kopanang community in South Africa. 

Year 7 students have well and truly been introduced to the history and traditions of the College since the start of the year.  This week, they listened to stories from a panel of speakers including two women from the Class of 1944, Sr Frances Caine OP and Loyis Gibson who was the recipient of an inaugural Siena Community Award in 2017. The panel also included the Presidents of the Alumnae Association, Gayle Peggie (Class of 1974) and Kate Gotlib (Class of 1996), Liz Merrett our Alumnae Coordinator, and Mr John Davenport, a neighbour, whose family has long been associated with Siena College. The panel reflected on our Dominican heritage, their school days, and the nuns at a time when they were enclosed and relied heavily on the Davenport family for support with shopping and other practicalities.  

The recent College Swimming Carnival was a great community day with close to perfect weather, enthusiastic cheering from all four Houses, excellent competition and many students electing to swim or dive or take part in novelty events.  Congratulations are extended to all competitive swimmers and divers who secured a place or achieved a personal best and to the students and staff who took to the water to participate in an event.  Thanks to the excellent leadership of Head of Sport, James Houghton, and all staff who oversaw events on the day, it ran like clockwork and was much enjoyed by all who participated.  

The term has flown by and this week we look forward to parent teacher conferences, online access to reports for the first time, a Year 11 Formal and to the final two weeks of a busy and productive term.  A number of staff and students depart for distant places prior to the end of the term and will be commissioned and blessed at our weekly College Eucharist in the Chapel on Thursday, 22 March.  Kate Gotlib, Minna Denholm and Bronwyn Ilott will accompany a group of twelve students to South Africa to work with Dominican Sister, Sheila Flynn, and the women and families of the Kopanang community near Johannesburg.  Sr Sheila describes an immersion as '…a pilgrimage, a sacred journey into the unknown but in the Spirit’s power, that enlarges and engages the heart in transformation.'  The South African Immersion offers our students and staff an experience that takes them out of their own context and immerses them into the culture and spirituality of a vastly different country and people.  It is an invitation to enter the context of the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized, and to view the world in a radically different way, from the heart and the hearth of the other.  

Two staff, the College’s Human Resources Manager, Tracey Kermond, and Deputy Principal Mission and Identity, Jennifer Levett, will participate in a Dominican Pilgrimage to Spain, France and Italy along with other Dominican educators and Dominican Sisters over the Easter break.  We wish all our pilgrims a transformative experience and a safe journey.

 

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The 2018 College theme, ‘One Body, Many Parts’, continues to resonate, never more so than over the past two weeks as we welcomed a number of alumnae to the College.  The women and the families of past decades are a valued part of our community and their stories and their wisdom provide inspiration for the students and families of today.  Celia Conlan (Class of 1987), was the speaker for International Women’s Day and the 2017 inductee into the Siena College Hall of Excellence.  The Hall of Excellence was established as a way of recognising notable alumnae who embody the spirit and traditions of the College and of St Catherine of Siena.  We talk at Siena of educating women to go out and make the world a better place for others.  Celia is one such woman.  Her account of her time at Siena College and her advice to all who attended the International Women’s Day breakfast was interwoven with humour and challenging stories of her work as a barrister practising in the area of family law.  As we celebrate the achievements of women in 2018, we are reminded that there is still much to be done to achieve equity, particularly for women in third world countries.  We stand in solidarity with all who continue to face inequity on many fronts, those who are oppressed, denied access to education and meaningful work, and subjected to violence and disadvantage. I thank Kate Gotlib and the SRC for their efforts to organise a much enjoyed breakfast, the proceeds of which support the Kopanang community in South Africa. 

Year 7 students have well and truly been introduced to the history and traditions of the College since the start of the year.  This week, they listened to stories from a panel of speakers including two women from the Class of 1944, Sr Frances Caine OP and Loyis Gibson who was the recipient of an inaugural Siena Community Award in 2017. The panel also included the Presidents of the Alumnae Association, Gayle Peggie (Class of 1974) and Kate Gotlib (Class of 1996), Liz Merrett our Alumnae Coordinator, and Mr John Davenport, a neighbour, whose family has long been associated with Siena College. The panel reflected on our Dominican heritage, their school days, and the nuns at a time when they were enclosed and relied heavily on the Davenport family for support with shopping and other practicalities.  

The recent College Swimming Carnival was a great community day with close to perfect weather, enthusiastic cheering from all four Houses, excellent competition and many students electing to swim or dive or take part in novelty events.  Congratulations are extended to all competitive swimmers and divers who secured a place or achieved a personal best and to the students and staff who took to the water to participate in an event.  Thanks to the excellent leadership of Head of Sport, James Houghton, and all staff who oversaw events on the day, it ran like clockwork and was much enjoyed by all who participated.  

The term has flown by and this week we look forward to parent teacher conferences, online access to reports for the first time, a Year 11 Formal and to the final two weeks of a busy and productive term.  A number of staff and students depart for distant places prior to the end of the term and will be commissioned and blessed at our weekly College Eucharist in the Chapel on Thursday, 22 March.  Kate Gotlib, Minna Denholm and Bronwyn Ilott will accompany a group of twelve students to South Africa to work with Dominican Sister, Sheila Flynn, and the women and families of the Kopanang community near Johannesburg.  Sr Sheila describes an immersion as '…a pilgrimage, a sacred journey into the unknown but in the Spirit’s power, that enlarges and engages the heart in transformation.'  The South African Immersion offers our students and staff an experience that takes them out of their own context and immerses them into the culture and spirituality of a vastly different country and people.  It is an invitation to enter the context of the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized, and to view the world in a radically different way, from the heart and the hearth of the other.  

Two staff, the College’s Human Resources Manager, Tracey Kermond, and Deputy Principal Mission and Identity, Jennifer Levett, will participate in a Dominican Pilgrimage to Spain, France and Italy along with other Dominican educators and Dominican Sisters over the Easter break.  We wish all our pilgrims a transformative experience and a safe journey.