It would be easy to be feeling disheartened this week, as we continue to witness growing fear at the spread of the coronavirus around the world and increasing concern for the environment as we move into bushfire recovery around Australia. Our politicians, nationally and internationally do little to instil hope. At Lowther Hall, however, there are so many reasons for optimism and joy. On Thursday I presented Lowther Hall teddy bears to new members of the Blinkbonnie House Community and marvelled at the girls from 3 to 6 years old as they calmly came forward to shake hands, look me in the eye and say “thank you” upon receiving their bear. On Friday afternoon, each Year 6 student received her leadership badge and firmly made her promise to be a role model and guide to the Raymond House cohort of 2020 and on Friday morning, we recognised the girls who had achieved excellence in their VCE studies last year, at the annual Academic Awards Ceremony. Meanwhile, in classroom, girls were enthusiastically pursuing their learning, student committees were finalising their projects for the year, and older girls were commencing in their buddy and mentor roles. New girls continue to navigate the forging of new connections, staff build relationships with their classes and we prepare for the arrival this weekend, of our exchange students from France. Whilst none of these things might seem significant on a world scale, they provide profound encouragement for me: the future of the world, I believe, will depend less on one or two great leaders, but much more on generations with a critical mass of individuals who have strong knowledge and understanding, who can communicate with confidence, who are not afraid to take responsibility and who can work with others in productive and empathetic relationships. This is what I see in our girls and I have been very proud of them this week.

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes