Our school is led by our community

What we have heard from our community
I am pleased to provide you all with the Shape the Future community report which has been generated in response to the feedback we received through the Appreciative Inquiry process undertaken over the last 18 months. The report captures the hopes and dreams of our community and provides some wonderful insights into what matters most to us here at Carey. It is a key document that will inform the development of our Strategic Direction statement which we will launch at the start of our centenary year, 2023, and will chart the course for our next 100 years. 

New Experiences in Far North Queensland
Over the most recent mid-year break, I was thrilled to be with our staff and students as we launched a new program for our future Year 10 students, to be known as Zero, in Far North Queensland. Over the last six months a small team of committed staff have co-created this experience with a group of 42 trailblazing students from Year 10,11 and 12.

The 15-day program exposed our students to some genuinely remote and different environments which contrast anything experienced in Victoria. The expedition saw students travelling through myriad landscapes; the coastal hinterland including open grassland and rainforest with both containing huge biodiversity in both Australian flora and fauna. Students were also invited to experience the Great Barrier Reef and its amazing marine eco systems.

Critical to the program have been partnerships we have established with Orpheus Island and James Cooke University’s Research Station and The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) who have enabled access to the Taravale and Mt Zero (note the namesake of the program) properties on which the students undertake a magnificent bushwalk into spectacular waterfalls and engage in conservation work on the property. Carey students on the recent trip had an opportunity to assist the AWC’s long-term ambition to ‘re-wild’ and return the property to its natural state, as the students spent time working in removing the non-native lantana plants. Longer term we will assist the AWC’s work in many projects, including the provision of a protected habitat for the endangered Northern Bettong. Students will be able to monitor the populations and the habitat development, working side by side with ecologists from the AWC who accompany students throughout their week-long stay at Taravale. 

With exploration of Magnetic Island and Mungalla Aboriginal community, our students embraced this new set of experiences which also had a particular emphasis disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with each other and our natural world. With the support of journaling and artistic reflections we saw our students thriving in these new environments. It was the first of many great experiences to come and we look forward to sharing more of this with you as this program develops. I want to acknowledge the great work of our development team lead by Deputy Principal Peter Robson and Outdoor Education staff Tom Ziebell, Katherine Cameron, Chloe Johnstone and Tahnee Wood, as well as the additional staff team who joined us to deliver the program: Steve Beck, Jake Biddulph, Tim Hunter, Tanya May, Sally Nelson, Geoff Trevaskis, Melanie Stapleton, Julia Robinson and Julie Harris-Wetherbee.

Uniform update

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.

Jonathan Walter