A Suitcase Full of Opportunity

Futures learning – we contemplate what our St Catherine’s graduates carry in their educational suitcases for the journey post School

St Catherine’s hosted educators from across Melbourne, regional Victoria and two interstate guests for our Festival of Better Learning and Teaching. The attendees at the conference enjoyed the opportunity to listen to Professor Beverley Oliver, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education at Deakin University who provided an inspiring and thought-provoking Keynote Address. Professor Oliver challenged us to visualise what graduate success looks like today?

In preparing students for employment in the 21st Century, Professor Oliver, detailed the importance and legitimacy of developing credentials for the future and the need for Deakin students to now provide evidence of their capacity with certain skills, qualities and attributes. Professor Oliver noted five key focus areas for Deakin University today:

•              Interdisciplinary thinking;
•              Critical, creative and sustainable problem solving;
•              Communication across diverse audiences;
•              Judicious use of technologies;
•              Ethical work with teams, communities and cultures.

With colleagues attending the conference on Saturday, I redirected the question to the St Catherine’s context – what does a successful graduate at St Catherine’s possess? What do our students leave armed with in their suitcase after their St Catherine’s journey?

In a few short weeks, our Year 12 cohort will have completed their final VCE examinations and will receive in the mail (or as a text on their smart phone) their VCE statement. Professor Oliver likened this process to notching up miles on a frequent flyer statement from Qantas but what the miles do not reflect is the whole experience nor does it tell the full story of one’s educational journey.

I believe our girls graduating in 2015 will walk through the gates at Heyington Place next Tuesday evening following our Years 9 to12 Speech Night with a full suitcase reflecting a wealth of experiences from their educational journey at St Catherine’s that will enable a rich and fulfilling life. It is these experiences that develop the values of curiosity, perseverance, empathy and integrity.

The celebration of the academic, co-curricular, service and leadership achievements next Tuesday evening is a reflection of what is inside the suitcases of our Senior students – for most – overflowing and brimming with opportunity.

I also look forward to welcoming St Catherine’s Old Girl, Associate Professor Melinda Truesdale (’81) to provide the Keynote Address at Speech Night next Tuesday. Ms Truesdale is currently the Director, Royal Women’s Emergency Department and Senior Emergency Physician at Royal Melbourne Hospital, and in sharing her story, I am sure will provide our girls with the inspiration and motivation to strive for their goals and to take ownership of their educational journey.

Mrs Michelle Carroll

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