I would like to begin by extending a heartfelt thank you to all members of our community who supported me during my transition into the role of Principal, especially considering the challenging circumstances faced. My gratitude goes out to the Executive, Advisory Council, P&F, College staff, and the student body, who have made me feel not just welcome, but truly embraced.
Throughout this term, I've had the privilege of participating in various activities involving our students, starting with the AQWEST Photography Competition, the Iluka Vision Awards, and being able to go and watch the Year 8 Boys A Finals where we had students representing both teams. In all these events, our students have demonstrated excellence in their respective areas. While not everyone walked away with a prize or win, I know they all gave their very best. Congratulations to all the students who represented the school, their clubs, and the broader community throughout this term.
As we approach the end of Term 3, there is a mixture of emotions among our Year 12 students. Some may feel trepidation about what lies ahead, while others are excited about the prospects that await them beyond school. In my relatively short time at the College, I have come to realise that the Year 12 cohort is a tight-knit and resilient group. They support one another through thick and thin, having faced personal challenges. It is through these challenges that they have formed strong bonds as a group.
It is important to reflect on how much the world has changed, especially over the last four years. We are reminded of Catherine McAuley, a remarkable leader who embodied the very essence of leadership as service. She was a leader who had difficulty accepting titles and hierarchy because her belief in the dignity of the human person was unwavering. Her role in building a community wasn't just administrative; it was deeply rooted in sensitivity, listening, and recognising and developing the gifts within each person.
Catherine had an extraordinary ability to help people believe in themselves, acting as a mentor and guiding them towards independence. Her leadership style was marked by evaluation, unification, and effective communication. Catherine was an innovator who never turned away from challenging the status quo, and her leadership was fundamentally relational. She possessed a global vision as a leader, always considering the broader impact of her actions.
Above all, Catherine's strength came from her deep relationship with God, a reminder that true leadership often finds its roots in faith and compassion. As our Year 12 students enter their final week at the College, may they draw inspiration from Catherine McAuley's leadership legacy as they embark on their own journeys beyond these walls.
Please continue to keep in your prayers all members of our community who are unwell. I wish you all a restful holiday break and look forward to seeing everyone on your return in Term 4.