It seems so long ago now that the Community Engagement team and I were busily planning for reunions, speaking events, luncheons and other gatherings at Carey. There is nothing more special about the work we do in Community Engagement than seeing our community come together. But now, with the pandemic in full swing, we are all grieving the loss of regularly seeing familiar faces and friends at Carey and being able to gather as a community – which, up until now, we likely always took for granted. And the initial sense of disappointment in not being able to bring people together quickly turned to doubt as the shutdown brought about a raw exposure to the experience of social isolation, job uncertainty and the many struggles to follow.
Struggles have certainly followed and all of us are affected in some way or other, some more than others. Very quickly however, I learnt that focussing on the struggles shouldn’t mean sadness; it should mean hope, as we recognise that with a bit of creativity and willingness there is so much we can do to help each other get through this.
I have always known the Carey community to be one of kindness, joy and passion, but it is only now that I have come to fully realise the strength of this kindness and passion. The overwhelming readiness of our Carey alumni to reconnect with their school and to offer their help wherever they can has been a real silver lining for me. Carey alumni are in a unique position to inspire the next generation, and without a doubt they know this now more than ever. You need only to have seen the online Anzac Day memorial service, an episode of Carey TV or a bonus challenge video from the Carey Community Challenge to know how much our alumni have been contributing to the community. And there will certainly be more in the coming weeks as alumni get involved in the various online activities happening throughout the whole school. There is plenty going on behind the scenes too, with alumni tutoring Senior School students and offering career advice and mentorship.
It has been my absolute pleasure to work with Carey staff in bringing back our alumni to contribute and to inspire our current students. While the pandemic has been an instigator for many of our alumni to initiate or get involved in these activities, I am excited to see that so many wish to reconnect with Carey in a positive way long after the pandemic has gone. It is a truly a silver lining for our community.
Be inspired. Create opportunity.
In collaboration with TEDxMelbourne, the OCGA is excited to soon present an online seminar series for the Carey community. OCG Jon Yeo (1990) leads TEDxMelbourne, one of the world’s largest and longest running TEDx events in the world with the vision of delivering ‘ideas worth spreading’. In this free series, Jon will give you the tools to positively influence those around you, to lead with authenticity and to plan and measure for success personally and professionally.
We will keep you updated with the release date of this exciting online learning opportunity!
Katie Hunt, Alumni and Community Manager
Feature image: OCG and food and travel writer Sofia Levin (2007) on CareyTV showing the community how to cook a delicious noodle meal with whatever you have in the kitchen.