MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Celebration of Bethany Day!
On Friday 13 March, on the last day of Catholic Schools’ Week, we celebrated our 23rd Bethany Day. Fr Janusz led a beautiful Eucharistic celebration before we commenced an informal day of community building and fun, all around the theme Together, we grow. Here is an excerpt of the address given after Mass:
Good morning teachers and students. It is so wonderful to be here together on Bethany Day. This is our 23rd Bethany Day. We are part of the proud history of this College.
We’ve heard in today’s Gospel (Mk 12: 28-34) a Gospel that speaks about LOVE; we are urged by Mark to love God and to love our neighbour as oneself. At Bethany College, we know that TOGETHER, WE GROW.
You are not 955 individuals who go to school here but rather, one student body, one team, working together to achieve our goals. Henry Ford noted:
- Coming together is a beginning
- Keeping together is progress
- Working together is success
We believe the roots of human progress lie in people working together—in harmony with each other and the world around us. Being able to cooperate and practice compassion are essential in today’s interconnected world. Listening to people and empowering them to come up with their own solutions and build community is so important.
But, let’s be real, our social environment is out of balance—discrimination, bullying, inappropriate use of technology, social inequity and violence prevent individuals and society from reaching their full potential. In particular, girls and women are undervalued – yet hold untapped and huge potential for creating positive and lasting change in the world. But society, governments, large institutions, budgets… they are not in place, designed or set up to support this – at all. So there’s a huge amount of work to be done about this as we all know….
Our aim at Bethany is to GROW TOGETHER, COLLABORATIVELY. That is, to spread the girl effect –girls being the agents of lasting and positive changes that they really can be. We need to BE with one another and give each other courage. You know, sometimes, the most powerful thing, and maybe the hardest thing we can do is to actually BE with someone who is experiencing pain and great difficulty. JUST BE.
Aren’t we all looking for this from one another? To be seen? To be valued? To matter? Aren’t we looking for just a glimmer of support among our sisters and brothers to give us strength and courage? To affirm what we know and know is right and that we are on a good path? Someone to tell us that we are all in this together, not to settle for how the world is? Tell us that we are not crazy because what we want more of in the world is LOVE?
The student in our community in 2015 who has been nominated by you, her peers, as a young woman who personifies our school motto in all of her many actions and deeds, a girl committed to social justice is ZOE BLIGHT (YEAR 11). Congratulations Zoe! We wish you many happy hours on your new mini iPad.
Girls- you will be powerful if you are able to hold on to a vision of a just world. Know who you are. Live out your school motto, as hard as it is some days to love some who annoys us and stand up to do the right thing and become unpopular in the trendy group. The wristband you have as a gift today will remind you of our school’s vision for how we learn. I would like to leave you with one final thought from Sister Joan Chittister, an amazing Benedictine nun in the US – it’s an invitation really… to join me in a renaissance; a new beginning – and I thank you so much for listening and being here today:
“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities, who is respected and respects herself and her deepest knowing….. The resurrection of the world begins”.
Here is a beautiful prayer about teamwork that you can use when you speak to your God in the next fortnight:
God created this day for…
gain not loss,
success not failure,
positive actions not negative thoughts.
O Lord inspire us with desire for greatness,
to wisely use these gifts and talents
you have so generously given to us.
They are tools to be used,
not treasures to be stored up.
Create in us young students:
the Right Attitude to excel in the classroom and in life.
The attitude that says “I can reach deeper inside myself.”
The Firm Belief in God, ourselves,
our families, and our school mates,
to have great expectations for their future.
The Enduring Commitment to persevere,
to never quit no matter what the situation,
to never give up no matter what the odds.
Bethany In Action
Thanks to the entire community for helping us to showcase our great College on our Open Day, where people could see Bethany in Action.
My special thanks to the staff who prepared displays and students who participated in a variety or roles and activities. We truly appreciate the efforts of our steadfast parent community who manned the barbeque and refreshment area: Sonia Bennett, Kelly Efrimidis, Marijana Kopriva, Vesna Mihaljevic , Robert Scagliotti, Val Todoroski, Karen Cotogno-Young, George Efremidis, Ann Stubley, Tanya Moody, Daryl Young and Louise Robinson
Of the many hundreds of young girls who entered our Open Day competition, the winner of an iPad Mini was ELOISE MARTELLETTI (YEAR 5) OF ST JOSEPH’S ROCKDALE. Congratulations to Eloise; we look forward to welcoming her into Year 7 (2017)!
Our mantra: “Girls can do anything. Bethany girls can do everything!* (*except divide by zero)”
Vicki Lavorato Principal