​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.

​This week, I have enjoyed sharing with staff and students some of my holiday adventures. This most recent break took me to Exmouth, a couple of flying hours north of Perth, where I enjoyed snorkelling and swimming with humpback whales. As a person who really only became a competent swimmer as an adult, jumping off the back of a boat into the ocean to encounter an enormous wild animal was daunting to say the least.

It is hard to believe we are already at the end of term – there has been so much packed into the last 8 weeks and now, here we are! I have taken great delight in seeing the girls throw themselves into their learning, a variety of activities, camps, sporting competitions and this week, the Annual Music Concert.

A highlight of my week was a visit to Bush Kinder with our youngest Blinkbonnie girls! Each Thursday during Term 4, the girls have headed out to an area of bushy parkland on the Maribyrnong River, where they have been able to explore an environment full of plants and animals which provoke all sorts of adventures!

As I write this week’s blog, I am sitting in my office decked out as a zebra from the final pages of Graeme Base’s beautifully illustrated book, Animalia, having just attended the Lowther Hall Literary Festival Assembly.

One of the great things about being away, is coming home. You return to the places and people that are familiar and dear, but (usually!) you come back enriched by whatever experiences you have had while you have been away.