As I write this article it is early Term 4, the sun is shining in the Winter Garden, and the students appear happy to be back to School.

Over the last few weeks, I have had several conversations with the girls regarding how quickly the year has gone, with many of them commenting that their trip to Fiji seems so long ago, a distant memory. However, it was lovely to witness some of the girls reliving their Fijian memories, as those from the Kenani village had an early morning breakfast with Old Girl Georgie Gleeson (’16), to reminisce on the good times.

Earlier in the year, the Year 9 cohort were asked to complete an anonymous and confidential resilience survey. This survey was developed by the Resilient Youth organisation and examined the girls’ use of technology, community belonging, healthy body and mind, and social skills. During Level period this term, three of the students, Mille Fraser-Smith (Year 9), Romy Cantwell (Year 9) and Claire Hayne (Year 9) created and delivered a presentation to the cohort outlining the collated results. These students successfully focussed on the positive results from the survey and also highlighted the need to reduce mobile use during the night, particularly between 10.00pm and 2.00am. The girls demonstrated great leadership skills and did a wonderful job delivering an engaging and thoughtful presentation to their cohort.

During Term 4, the students will be finalising the details of their Leadership Diploma. Some of the students will be trying to obtain signatures from supervisors or teachers in charge of events. Some will immerse themselves in external community service programs or GSV sports, while others will be completing the Digital Citizenship component of the Diploma that requires them to undertake a Tech-free challenge, as well as reflect on their use of technology.

We strongly encourage the students to complete this two-year Diploma. It not only provides them with plenty of reflective opportunities on their goals and Year 9 experiences they have been involved with, but also the opportunity to qualify for a leadership position in their senior years at St Catherine’s.

Finally, in September, I had the opportunity to attend the Yalari dinner to witness firsthand the amazing work of this organisation in providing educational opportunities to Indigenous students, such as Nina Pigram (Year 9) and Kayla Harrison (Year 9). It was a joyous occasion and the girls were extremely proud of their involvement with this organisation, and also the opportunity to represent St Catherine’s. I was very proud to say they were St Catherine’s girls.

Ms Fiona Ganino-Day, Dean of Year 9