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From the Principal

07 March 2024

How are you going with your commitments to service this Lent? I have no doubt that every day you unconsciously serve those around you by sharing your gifts, but sometimes it is not easy to do so intentionally. It can take us outside our comfort zone or disrupt the flow of our day. Yet, it is these actions that will bring us closer in our relationship with God. As we enter the fourth week of Lent, I challenge you to re-engage with a commitment to serve others within our community.

Today is International Women’s Day! A day for everyone to engage purposefully in pressing for gender parity. The theme for 2024 is #InspireInclusion. It challenges us to ensure the inclusivity of women so that they may live a life ‘feeling a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment’1.

Today we:

  • stand with the courageous women who face adversity everyday. May their strength and determination be celebrated and valued by all.
  • celebrate the women who are persevering to protect our environment. May we be inspired by their efforts and have courage to do the same. 
  • recognise those women who advocate for equal rights. May we all support women ‘to pursue goals without bias or barriers’.
  • acknowledge women who use their positions of power and influence to make a positive change within their communities. May we all use our gifts and talents to create a better world. 
  • thank women around the world who teach one another fundamental skills so their communities can thrive. May we learn from their leadership and generosity.
  • stand in solidarity with those women who look beyond their own needs, working for the common good of all. May we come together as one to create a society where everyone feels valued and connected.
  • Inspire inclusivity for future generations.2

Next week there are two significant celebrations for our Community – Catholic Education Week and Saint Patrick’s Day. Catholic Education Week (10-17 March) is an opportunity for us to recognise the difference Catholic education makes to the lives of those in our school and the wider community as we challenge young people to live out the message of Jesus and walk the way of the gospel to reach their full potential as life-giving members of society. This year’s theme is ‘In the Light of Christ’.

The final day of the week (17 March) is also Saint Patrick’s Day; a day to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and he is said to have used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. Given the adversity and challenges Saint Patrick faced in his mission of converting the people to Ireland to Christianity, Saint Patrick’s Day is a celebration of[3] overcoming evil and praying for those who seek to hurt you. Thomas Carr’s Irish heritage means that Saint Patrick’s Day is a special celebration for our community. It can also be said that there are some similarities between the mission of Saint Patrick and that of Thomas Carr, given the significant role Thomas Carr played in expanding both Catholic education and parishes across Melbourne.

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Grade Five students from our Parish primary schools. They had the opportunity to participate in a range of specialist classes and experience what it is like to be a high school student. The energy and excitement of the Grade Fives was palpable and it was wonderful to be able to welcome them into the College. It is safe to say that they were exhausted by the end of the day, left wondering how the ‘big kids’ do it everyday!

Our students are at the core of all the work we do so it is imperative that they contribute to our thinking, reflection and planning. Each term I host two lunches with groups of students from across Years 7-12 as we discuss their experiences at school, what they love about being students of the College and any areas of suggested improvements. These lunches are such valuable opportunities for us to hear directly from students through a discussion that is scaffolded around some prompt questions. The group I met with last week spoke passionately about the positive impact of our current uniform trial and the need for more authentic student leadership opportunities. Their feedback will assist the College in our planning for initiatives, and feeds into our evaluation of current practices.

With Catholic Education week on the horizon, I want to recognise the great things that take place at Thomas Carr College every week. We are incredibly grateful for our talented and passionate staff and to you, our families, for entrusting us with your young people. We have so much to be thankful for within our wonderful community.

Rose Connolly