From Paddy

This week we welcomed, with great joy, our parents back on site to celebrate our Autumn Festival. What a wonderful morning of coming together and watching the students share together in a spirit of generosity after experiencing such devastating loss in the community during the recent floods.

A huge thank you to Loani, Ben and all our staff for creating such a wonderful celebration.

Thank you also to Kyle Lionhart, who shared his beautiful music with our students. I recently read an interview with Kyle. In it he shared some of his reflections on Covid and music:

“We’re social beings,” he said. “We need to be with each other. All the social distancing and the communication through screens and social media is where we begin to lose each other.

“But music, just like any form of art, helps people just get out those emotions, and rekindle that human connection.”

The truth of these words was so evident at our Autumn Festival – and was in some ways perfectly illustrated through our new choir. This choir captured that “rekindl[ing of] that human connection” in both the beauty and the complexity of its harmonies. Choirs are made up of multiple voices, each the product of multiple, sometimes radically different experiences and stories. Yet, when all those voices join, thoughtfully, considerately, they produce such an amazing sound.

That thoughtful, considerate meeting of multiple, different voices in harmony is surely what all communities long for – and it was amazing to see that happening again last Thursday, not just in the choir, but amongst all of our community.

Thank you to everyone who made the festival such a wonderful rekindling.

Thank you also to all those who have made another form of social connection possible over these last two weeks – the connection of compassion.

This was particularly evident when our Senior School students visited Coraki to spend a day helping the local SES, Community Organisations and residents with the ongoing cleaning of the town and surrounding areas.

It has also been evident in so many smaller, but equally important, ways: in the donations of homes, cars, goods to those who have lost everything; in the financial support our Community Giving Fund has offered; in the letters of support to our wider communities volunteers; and so on. The road to recovery is long, and the School will continue to support people in any way that we can in the coming weeks and months. (And so I would like to remind all families impacted by the floods that you can reach out to the school for help, particularly for financial assistance.)

And we will also continue to find ways to rekindle that human connection, through harmony and compassion.

As Paul McCartney once said: “I love to hear a choir. I love to see the humanity…I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.”