​It would be easy to be feeling disheartened this week, as we continue to witness growing fear at the spread of the coronavirus around the world and increasing concern for the environment as we move into bushfire recovery around Australia. Our politicians, nationally and internationally do little to instil hope. At Lowther Hall, however, there are so many reasons for optimism and joy.

​Welcome to the start of the new school year! 2020 is a special year for Lowther Hall as we celebrate the school’s centenary – and it is interesting to think that 100 years ago, at the beginning of the 1920 school year, the very first cohort of Lowther Hall students would have gathered for their first assembly, with their Principal, Miss Florence Hutton, with many of the same hopes for the year ahead that our girls might have as they have commenced this week: academic hopes, hopes of happy days with friends and supportive teachers and hopes of involvement in school life that set up meaningful participation in the post-school, adult world. Our girls are part of a tradition that we can all be justly proud of and I am delighted to be commencing this new, centenary, year them.

As we conclude another wonderful year at Lowther Hall and prepare for the celebration of our centenary in 2020, I would like to thank all of our family and community members for their support throughout 2019. Thank you to the staff for their tireless work and to the girls for embracing every opportunity and for making it a joy to be at school each day. I am also delighted to congratulate the Class of 2019 and their dedicated teachers for achieving outstanding VCE results. Many girls have already received offers from tertiary institutions for the course of their choice. Blessings to all for a joyous Christmas and a restful break.

​Our thoughts and prayers this week are with people around the country who have been dealing with the fear and stress associated with the bushfires. Events like this help us to remember to be grateful every day for all that we have and to consider the ways in which we can support communities in times of need.

​A short but action packed week at Lowther Hall this week with the magnificent Raymond House Music Concert, Year 2 Camp, examinations for girls in Years 10 to 12, a concert for Old Grammarians and the usual lessons, rehearsals and meetings! It is incredibly gratifying to watch the girls throw themselves into every experience and to have so many members of the broader Lowther Hall Community – staff, parents and past students, coming together to support the school in a variety of ways.

I am always impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of our girls. In recent days I have seen them throwing themselves into Aladdin rehearsals, signing up for 42nd Street auditions, stepping up to speak in Assembly, studying for examinations, embracing the challenges of camps and engaging with their learning. In order to sustain this energy and pace, rest is very important. I hope that over the coming long weekend, girls and families will take the time to rest and recharge the batteries, ready to return on Wednesday with renewed vigour!

This week saw the last day of classes for our Year 12s, the Class of 2019. We recognised them in formal assemblies, watched them throw their hats of the Mansion balcony and at the end of the week they will be farewelled at their Valedictory Dinner. I was particularly impressed that this year, that the girls decided to celebrate their final day with a range of inflatable jumping castles and slides, rather than by messing up their school! It was delightful to watch them arrive in their costumes and enjoy dancing on the Mansion stairs as we shared breakfast together on Wednesday.

I know that everyone in our School Community who visited the 2019 Art and Design Exhibition will have been impressed with the variety of work on display. One of the advantages of being a school where every girl from Kindergarten to Year 12 is located on one campus is that we can hold events such as this across the whole school and see the development that occurs as a student progresses through the years. I was delighted this year to present the Principal’s Art Acquisition Award, to Madison Adams in Year 9, who produced a work which demonstrated careful attention to detail, finely honed drawing skills and impressive use of space.

During the recent break I had the privilege of travelling with Ms Healy to Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa and to undertake a range of school visits, safaris and wildlife encounters.

​This week I travelled to Canberra to join our Year 6 students on their Study Tour. During the time I spent with the girls I was impressed with their curiosity, knowledge and their support of one another as they explored various aspects of our nation’s capital.