Posted on: Wednesday 12 June 2019
Posted in: Videos and Conversations
On the Stage
I want to congratulate the Junior School for the magnificent production of Aladdin Jr. It was one of the most professional, colourful and entertaining school productions I have ever seen. The hard work in preparation was evident on the night and I know that the audiences were blown away by the brilliance and joy of the show.
I commend the staff and girls for their teamwork, energy, focus and commitment. The cast transported us to another world where we could consider what it means to be ourselves and be truly free. Everyone left HOTA with a spring in their step and a song in their heart.
I want to thank all of the staff and parents involved in making the production so successful. I know it really was a team effort and want to thank Mrs Belinda Gravel for bringing the team together so well. To be so successful it is clear that much time, energy, talent and love was poured into the event.
After the Matinee I was able to go backstage and congratulate the girls, and the joy of being part of something so special was clear to see. Of the many things these girls will learn this year, their Aladdin Jr experience will be the most brilliant memory they will treasure. The Aladdin Jr team has given St Hilda’s an incredible gift that will be treasured by our community for a very long time.
On the Road
One of the sources of pride for me as Principal of St Hilda’s School is the strength and quality of our Boarding Program. I have been incredibly fortunate to spend time last week with Mrs Annette Boyle, Head of Boarding on a road trip to Central Queensland. It has been incredibly powerful to connect with our families and to better understand their concerns and joys. Our trip took us to Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, and Charters Towers where we attended the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Annual State Conference.
One of the reasons for our visit was to connect with our families who have been affected by recent floods and have begun the painful work of recovery. What was very clear to us was the enormity of the losses. Some of these losses include stock, fencing, infrastructure and topsoil. It was heartbreaking to see dead stock still caught in fences and trees, which brought the size of the disaster to life for us. Our farmers in these areas are now facing crippling losses in income for years to come. This will not only impact these properties, but will have a flow on effect to local businesses which are already struggling.
I am very grateful for the insights I have gained from our trip. It is obvious that many years of drought have brought significant challenges for those on the land. These conditions can prompt financial, physical and emotional stresses on families and communities. The outcomes of this can be seen in the local townships, as businesses become less viable, and in many cases close down. On a brighter side the growth in tourism is evidently contributing to the social fabric of our more remote towns.
It is a credit to our families that, despite the pressures they face, they exhibit remarkable resilience and the phrase ‘someone is worse off than we are’ is commonly heard. It is heartening to see how they are creatively addressing the significant challenges and approaching the future with determination. They are also very grateful for the support shown to them from the St Hilda’s community – including, of course, the St Hilda’s Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Having seen at first hand the challenges that these families face, I know the gifts are really appreciated. If you have not had the opportunity to contribute yet and would like to do so, please email me at School.
The ICPA Conference reminded us very powerfully of the importance of education and the incredible value of it to the future of our country. This sharing of knowledge is two way. Our rural boarders bring life experiences and practical wisdom from our outback communities to our St Hilda’s context. At the same time, our School gives our boarding families a network of connections and support that are incredibly valuable to them. It has been a great week on the road, and I want to thank our Boarding community for all they bring to St Hilda’s and indeed to our nation.
Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds