9 February 2022

‘We need hope like we need air’

PrincipalWhole School
‘We need hope like we need air’
‘We need hope like we need air’
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We have had a fantastically energetic start to the 2022 program with the cast of Mamma Mia! undertaking a week-long intensive, the rowing training camp at Nagambie and now the induction programs for each of our students transitioning into different parts of the school for the year ahead. It has been great to students wearing masks well, reconnecting after the break and looking forward to a positive year. Their enthusiasm for school fills us all with great optimism and hope for the year ahead.

Hopefulness and embracing struggle
‘We need hope like we need air.’ – Brené Brown

Hope is one of the most powerful responses we can have in times of challenge. It can be easy for us to dwell in the past and lament what we have we have lost, but by focussing on hope, we direct our attention to the future instead.

Being hopeful is not about being groundlessly optimistic about reality. Rather, hope is about understanding that life is full of adversity, suffering and challenge. As such, to be hopeful is an active pursuit.

Brené Brown (2021) identifies that we can experience hope when we undertake specific actions, which I paraphrase here to highlight how we can support our children and students. These are also of course applicable in all parts of our own lives. You can:

  • help them to set realistic goals so they have a clear sense of where they are going
  • support our children to stay flexible, develop the ability to respond to change and forge an alternative pathway which still allows them to reach their goals
  • give agency to and empower our young people to take control of their own journeys.

Every student can determine the amount of effort they are willing to invest into their program. We know that success follows effort, and that those who work hard and commit to striving to do their best each day are the ones who will have greatest success at school.

But as we strive for personal best, we should not be afraid of the struggle. It is this struggle where the growth takes place; where a student needs to stretch themselves beyond their current skill level to reach new heights. This is how we develop the persistence to continue and the confidence to be successful, knowing that we have done the work and are ready for the challenge ahead.

We want our students to see that having hope and experiencing struggles are purposeful parts of the process of reaching their goals. I encourage you to affirm the effort you see your children invest into all parts of their learning program.

Uniform review
I have been pleased to see a lift in the expectation and standards of uniform and appearance by our students and I thank you all for your support in this area. I appreciate that this has been difficult over the last 18 months to access uniform suppliers, but we hope that is behind us now.

Thanks also to those who have provided feedback through our recent uniform review survey and focus groups. As mentioned in prior communications, we will not be introducing a new uniform, rather we will be making small improvements where necessary. The outcome of the review will be shared with you all in the months ahead and we look forward to refreshing several items.

Chair of the Board transition
After 10 years of steady and compassionate leadership in our School, Jane Simon (pictured) steps down as Chair of the Board on 14 February.

Jane joined the Board in 2008, taking over as Carey’s first female Chair in 2011. Jane is passionate about community and service, and strongly believes in the importance of education. Jane has overseen a number of important property projects, significant enrolment growth at the Kew campus, the development of the School’s Strategic Plan and the recruitment of a new Principal.

Jane has led the Board with incredible warmth and care, and the School has much to thank her for as she steps away from the role as Chair.

The Board will continue to be well served as Deputy Chair, Tim Chilvers, will step up to the role of Chair.

As a school community, we will have the opportunity to thank Jane for her tremendous commitment to our community and welcome Tim as we acknowledge this transition at the Commencement Service which now be on Thursday 17 March on Sandell Oval, restrictions permitting.

Jonathan Walter


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