This week I was interviewed for a history that is being written about the school that both my mother and I attended. In preparation I re-read my school reports, looked through some of the magazines (the equivalent of the Lowther Hall Chronicle) and spoke to mum about her school experience. The highlights for both of us were similar: subjects for which a deep appreciation and curiosity to learn more had been fostered (English, Music and Drama for me), activities in which we had been able to participate which had ignited passions (musical ensembles, house competitions and social service were stand outs) and people (both students and staff) who we had admired and looked up to and would seek to emulate in the adult world. I reflected on the fact that my combined school experiences profoundly shaped my interests and my values and ultimately also my career.

Now, as a school leader, I am mindful that everything our girls undertake throughout their school journey, will also, no doubt, have a lasting impact on them. This was reinforced for me when I read some homework from my Year 8 Theology class over the weekend in which many girls identified Lowther Hall as an influencing factor in their faith journey. It was underscored again when, during their birthday visits to my office on Thursday, girls in Raymond House enthused about the commencement of the Year 8 Classroom Mentor Program and described the admiration they had for the older girls who had visited them during the week. It was also apparent when girls in Years 10 to 12 were addressed by the Lowther Clarke Scholar of 2013, Dr Megan Lowry, as part of the Academic Awards Ceremony. Megan spoke about some of the ways in which her own school experiences had shaped her and allowed her to find her passions and her joy. 

It is a significant responsibility that we have as educators, to provide an environment in which our students can flourish. I know that each member of our teaching staff works intentionally each day to seek to provide the richest learning experiences possible for the girls. Our broader administration and support staff have a strong sense of the role they too play, in creating a positive environment in which all girls can thrive. Older girls take seriously their responsibilities as role models and leaders and relish the opportunities they have to guide and inspire their younger peers. 

I hope that when she is older, each Lowther Hall girl will be able to look back on her school days as fondly as I have this week and that in them she will recognise experiences and individuals whose positive influences have left a lasting and profound impression. If we can help our girls to find the things that bring them joy, we will have equipped them well for the years ahead. 

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes