​There is nothing like the sound of the girls’ voices to bring Lowther Hall to life! During January the operations team, maintenance staff and various contractors worked to prepare the buildings and grounds for the start of the year. There have also been several weeks of meetings, professional learning sessions, curriculum writing and classroom set up by the teachers, alongside the completion of the various start of year tasks by the administration and support staff. Despite all of this busy and important work, until the girls arrive, the school doesn’t quite feel quite right.

​I am certain that all who attended St Paul’s Cathedral for our annual Carols Service last night will agree that it was indeed a “night divine”! The girls, as always, made me incredibly proud as they lifted their voices together in song with great enthusiasm.

​As we head into the State election this weekend, I have been reflecting that I often take for granted the fact that we live in a society in which each voice is valued and can be heard.

This week a record number of parents and caregivers came together to celebrate the end of the school year at a fundraiser luncheon hosted by the Parents and Friends’ Association. It was delightful to be able to gather with members of our community and to reflect on the ways in which everyone has worked together to support the girls throughout the last twelve months.

​Today is Remembrance Day, and across the School there will be various ceremonies and assemblies, as well as a minute in silence at 11:00am to reflect on the cost of war and the sacrifices made by those who have fought in various conflicts around the world. For me, this moment that marks the end of a war that was supposed to “end all wars” is all the more poignant when observed in community at school, where the tragedy of lives lost and cut short is juxtaposed with the hope and possibility that is present in each vibrant Lowther girl.

This week I hosted visitors from one of our partner organisations, the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF), including a representative from Rural Education and Environment Development Centre (REED) Nepal and the youngest Australian to summit Mt Everest, Gabby Kanizay.

Sometimes it is important to step out of the usual routine in order to gain perspective and be able to work at a different pace. To this end, this week the Executive Team and the Teaching and Learning Leadership Team have been undertaking some extended planning time out of the School.

​This week, we farewelled the Year 12s with formal assemblies, their valedictory service, the valedictory dinner and the ritual throwing of the hats off the balcony. My favourite part of the celebrations, though, are the House lunches where Ms Healy and I meet with all of the girls to hear their reflections on the Lowther Hall journey.

I am sure that today we all have at the forefront of our minds, those who are being impacted by the floods at this time. I know that several school families have been evacuated from their homes on the banks of the Maribyrnong River and that many students and staff have extended family or friends who are in areas where houses or towns are under threat of rising water.