This week, while visiting the Year 8 students in Anglesea on camp, the girls persuaded me to give the rock climbing wall a go. As I made my way up, wondering whether my arthritic right knee was going to hold up, I remembered just what it feels like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to put your trust in others. I didn’t quite make it to the top, but apparently I made it far enough for the Year 8s to be entertained. I hope that some of them who were perhaps feeling apprehensive about undertaking the task, might have drawn some inspiration from the fact that an adult that they knew could take on the task without major mishap! Our girls are watching the adults all the time. They take their cues from us in how they see the world, how they see themselves, what they will try, what they believe is safe, interesting and worthwhile. Even though they might not always show it, or even sometimes rebel against it, the example we set has an enormous impact. As I visited each of the activities at Year 8 camp, I was so grateful for the teachers who were there with the girls. These incredible individuals were not simply encouraging from the sidelines, they were in the ocean with the surfers, on the paddleboards with the paddleboarders and undertaking the high ropes course with the girls. Speaking to the staff between activities, a number of them identified their own fears or level of discomfort which had to be overcome, but each of them was determined to show the girls that it was important to give things a go and to help more reticent students to feel able to join in. Thank you to all of our parents and caregivers who, like so many of our staff, role model embracing life and giving things a go, helping to pave the way for the girls to reach their potential and discover that they might just be braver than they believe!
Ms Elisabeth Rhodes