As we look forward to the next 3 weekends, there is certainly a great deal to think about: Mother’s Day, the Senior School Production and the Federal Election!
This Sunday, most of our community will be celebrating Mother’s Day and this week it has been wonderful to celebrate Mother’s Day across the School with a series of events that have facilitated the coming together of girls with their mothers or another significant woman in their lives. For many of us, Mother’s Day is a joyous time to celebrate our mums or be celebrated as a mother, but for others, it is a more complex time involving grief or feelings of loss, regret or guilt. Like so many of our Lowther Hall girls, I am fortunate to have had many mother figures in my life who I will be celebrating on Mother’s Day: females who have nurtured, encouraged, cared, challenged and inspired me! Whatever your Mother’s Day looks like this weekend, I hope that it is a time of positive reflection and celebration for your family.
The following weekend – on Friday 13 and Friday 14 May I am very much looking forward to seeing many of our community members at the Lowther Hall Production of Picnic at Hanging Rock. The excitement is certainly building as the cast and crew rehearse and put the finishing touches on their performance in readiness for opening night. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, make sure you don’t miss out!
Then, on 21 May, it is election time! Lowther Hall will once again be a polling booth, with the Mansion open for tours and a sausage sizzle and coffee van for those who are coming on site to vote. I know that a number of our Year 12 girls are eagerly anticipating their first opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Elections are interesting times for Independent Schools, with various parties making particular promises within the education space. This week, Independent Schools Australia (ISA) issued an election statement outlining assurances it is seeking from election candidates to support choice in education, addressing five key areas: student wellbeing and mental health; resources to implement national reform priorities; support to address the consequences of federal funding reform; support for regional boarding schools; and capital funding. In addition, you may be interested in the various information that has been shared by various parties so far:
- A Labor Government will provide grants of up to $30,000 to community language schools.
- A Coalition Government will further enhance a range of school-based, online and community programs to address youth suicide.
- In response to a question at a press conference, the Prime Minister announced that he has written to religious leaders to affirm that, if the Coalition wins government, he will take forward the Religious Discrimination Bill as standalone legislation.
- A Coalition Government will increase expenditure on online safety programs, including investing $23 million in an eSafety schools package.
- The West Australian has published comments by Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek on strategies to improve teaching quality and the need for better teacher pay.
- The Coalition this week released 'Our Plan to Raise School Standards', which will implement further recommendations of the Quality Teacher Education Review, including funding to provide professional resources and development opportunities for teachers and school leaders.
No doubt there will be more to watch for in this space in the coming weeks.
Ms Elisabeth Rhodes