How to stay connected

The past few weeks have presented unprecedented challenges for us all – both within our School community and globally. The way we work, go to school, shop, exercise and engage in our favourite activities has all changed.

Under these often difficult circumstances, our natural inclination is to connect with those dear to us, seek or offer support from others and find solace and reassurance through interactions that affirm our shared experience.

Unfortunately, this same situation that challenges and causes us to seek connection also calls for social distancing and creates necessary barriers between us and our loved ones. Technology and social media, which have sometimes also been perceived as creating social barriers, are now so central to our efforts to maintain social distancing without complete social isolation. It doesn’t replace the human and in-person connection we crave, but does help to support us in maintaining a sense of unity and solidarity and to sustain us through this period.

My daughter, a frontline healthcare worker working on a COVID-19 ward, recently moved out of home. Not being able to regularly see her at this time heightens the sense of her absence and my concern for her. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks and will be the first one we haven’t spent together. Not to mention the fast approaching Mothers Day! Shared virtual dinners, simultaneously watching our favourite Netflix shows (with associated online commentary) and frequent banter on our family chat all help with a sense that we remain close, connected and available when needed.

Finding ways to connect with those we need and love as well as the communities we are part of is so important right now. It is heartening to see the way our Carey community is rallying during this crisis and finding creative ways to connect with each other. Almost on a daily basis, we are finding new ways to leverage technology to transform activities that normally take place onsite and in person. Assemblies, meetings and even events are starting to move online. For example, in the past week we had our first ever virtual committee meetings for Parent Associations and the OCGA! A number of exciting activities are being planned for our broader community. Keep an eye on Daily Messages for details!

The Carey Community Challenge has also been a massive hit. Kicking off this week, we have more than 350 teams and over 2000 participants all collaborating in a virtual journey around Australia. Read Peter Robson’s article in this newsletter for more information. Carey innovation – we love it!

There are a number of other ways to stay connected with Carey, such as our Facebook and Instagram pages; the Carey App, which you can download or update on the App Store for iOS or on the Google Play Store for Android; our now monthly newsletter; and the upcoming Torch magazine.

Next week, we are launching a survey to give all our parents the opportunity to share with us their experience relating to the pandemic and associated changes to our programs. I encourage you to take up this opportunity and let us know what’s working well for you and your thoughts on what might be improved.

A further initiative to support our community at this time is our Student Fee Support Fund. We have been humbled by the show of support for this fund since it was announced last week. It is our intention to enable all Carey families experiencing financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain their children’s enrolment at Carey through to the end of 2020. Thank you to all those who have supported this initiative to date and for your generosity at this difficult time for all.

I feel grateful to be part of such an amazing, caring, supportive and unified community and look forward to connecting with many of you throughout Term 2. See you online!

Julianne Brandon
Director of Community Engagement