As we head into the State election this weekend, I have been reflecting that I often take for granted the fact that we live in a society in which each voice is valued and can be heard. Despite the outcome, which is not guaranteed to be one that we personally want, election day for me is always cause for celebration because of the fact that we can, in a small way, exert influence in the way that our community works. At Lowther Hall, we similarly value the fact that everyone has a voice which can be (respectfully) expressed. There are processes for raising concerns, committees on which to work for improvement and change and elections into positions of responsibility. Recently, for example, new Raymond House Captains have been voted for by the girls in Years 4 to 6, Senior School have elected their 2023 Social Justice Committee and Student Council Representatives and this week, expressions of interest have been sent out for the Senior School Faith Committee. Similarly to the world beyond school, having processes which give a voice does not mean that everyone always gets what they want. Sometimes students, parents or caregivers raise things that they would like changed that are not able to be actioned; sometimes our preferred candidate is not elected; and sometimes we are not successful (despite our enthusiasm) to be the person filling the seat at the committee table. I hope, however,  that we can celebrate the many ways in which we can contribute, speak up and ultimately, influence our community. As I write this, there is a “nutbushathon” happening in Senior School at the front of the Mansion – a fun initiative that has taken place because someone proposed it and it took off as an idea. On Tuesday next week, Celebration Day, the entire program in Senior School has been developed (and will be led) by the Social Justice and Faith and Worship Prefects. Despite being only a week before the end of the year, I have had several students bring me proposals to consider about various things that are happening before they finish. I am incredibly proud of the fact that our girls and families can shape our community as we all work to make our school the best it can be.

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes