Community connections

As the page on the 2021 Carey calendar turns, the banner headline for April tells us, ‘When you’re told it’s not possible: Prove them wrong’. Borne out of necessity due to a year like no other, what was perhaps thought to be impossible pre-COVID has been readily adopted as common practice: meetings on Microsoft Teams, parent teacher catch-ups from home, sport online, orchestra and choir performances from individual homes pieced together for CareyTV, Outdoor Education in suburban backyards, and creative minds finding ways to generate laughter during lockdown. Some would have said that keeping community together during COVID is not possible, yet the efforts of many have shown that through the imagination, where we can form new ideas, visualise and explore possibilities, a new understanding of how to build community has been revealed. Whilst the gradual emergence from COVID-19 continues, part of the intrigue is determining what to keep from the experience.

So, as we move out of a time of lengthy lockdowns, we not only continue to access Teams but we proudly claim to have become experts in managing content online. However, a discernible difference is that the return of our community to our campuses has breathed renewed life into our school. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, or at the least the experience is appreciated a little more. For teachers and students, whether it was being able to walk into a classroom and interact, attending that musical rehearsal in the IWA, kicking and hitting balls on Sandell with others or having lunch with friends at school, renewed importance was given because of what we know we missed.

Our sense of community and those invaluable moments where experiences are shared become critical to our culture. We continue to be thankful to have students and staff back on campuses and, increasingly, as restrictions allow, inviting parents to share in the vast array of programs we present as a school. We showed that it is possible to stay connected in lockdown, but we have been reminded of the power found in the day-to-day contact; those incidental conversations that remain at the heart of who we are.    

Peter Robson
Deputy Principal Wellbeing