From the Year 7 Dean
The ability to ‘bounce back from adversity and move forward: Bounce Forward’ is the focus of the Term for the Year 7 cohort. Sharon Witt, who is an educator, presenter and author of the Teen Talk and Girlwise series, suggests that it is important to provide our girls with key strategies to develop resilience in order to prepare them for life. Involving oneself in social justice endeavours is one way that has been suggested to foster resilience in pre-teen and adolescent girls.
At St Catherine’s School, there are many social justice events that the girls can partake in, often initiated by student leaders but we are also fortunate enough to have a partnership with the Lille Fro Foundation. The Lille Fro Foundation is an Australian charity founded by a St Catherine’s Old Girl; Tamara Cannon (’91). The Foundation aims to break the cycle of generational poverty through providing education for those living in extreme conditions in some of the remotest parts of the globe. The School currently sponsors four children from Ladakh, India and it was with much enthusiasm that our students wrote letters to these children. Beaulieu Blair wrote to Jigmet Ishey, Davis wrote to Tsering Norphel, Holmes Kilbride to Tashi Chuskit and Langely Templeton to Tashi Lamo. As Tamara is travelling to India this month to deliver the letters, we are hopeful about receiving a reply from the children in the next few months.
The Year 7s were also fortunate enough to welcome Kate from Vision Australia and Clayton, her dog guide to our extended level meeting on Monday 31 July. Kate gave the cohort an insight into life with a vision impairment and explained how integral her dog guides have been in assisting with her day-to-day undertakings. It was evident how engaged the Year 7s were from the excellent and extremely pertinent questions that they posed to Kate. Many thanks to Chloe Manson (Year 10) for organising this event as part of her Leadership Diploma.
“On Monday, we were lucky enough to have a guest speaker come in from Vision Australia. Kate is living with vision loss and has her black Labrador, Clayton, to help her. Kate spoke to us about how Clayton helps her live an ordinary life, and how he is more than just your average dog. Clayton has been trained on how to do almost anything, from finding a train door for Kate to hop on to, to finding an ATM in the middle of a shopping centre. Clayton knows that when he has his harness on he is working and needs to perform to his best ability, but when his harness comes off, he is able to be a normal cheeky dog. Kate has had seven vision dogs and has loved them all, and she is able to put her trust in them to guide her through her everyday life.” (Anna Berkowitz, Year 7)