From the Principal

Holidays, celebrations, and the rediscovering of joy!

Approaching the end of the school year, with Christmas on the near horizon, and (hopefully) a summer holiday for all, I ask families, students, staff, and alumni to join with us in the active pursuit of joy and adventure over the break between the end of Term 4 2022, and the commencement of Term 1, 2023.

For all of us, the period of the pandemic has been a watershed time in our lives and for most of us it has been as hard as anything we have ever experienced. This has taken a significant toll on us, and interestingly, for many that toll has not been felt until the second half of this year as the pandemic has wound down. For our young people who do not have the lengthy experience of what ‘normal’ is to fall back on, there is the instinctive step to see this as something truly ‘normal’, an event that occurs with some regularity, as it has formed a substantial period of their ‘normal’ over the course of their lives (3 years being 20% of the life of a 15 year old!).

Like their parents, family and teachers, our young people have been so impressive over this period, but I wonder at what invisible, or visible, cost? One of the great experiences in living our youth is the boundless energy, optimism, carefree attitude and yes, joy, we feel over our adolescence and early adulthood. This is a consequence of a combination of absence of adult responsibility, with developing adult energy, the embracing of life and the availability of opportunity. This ‘joie de vivre’ as the French term it (the exuberant enjoyment of life), underpins the buoyancy and optimism of young people and the older, and fuels our resilience and confidence, as well as our risk-taking and our embracing of life with optimism and a positive disposition.

Sadly, over the course of 2022, even with the return to ‘business as usual’, we are not seeing this buoyancy at its pre-pandemic levels in young people, or older people for that matter, as we have in the past.

So, what to do about this? I believe strongly that we need to go out to seek this joy, this buoyancy, and this optimism, rather than waiting for it to come to us. I ask that individually, we keep our eyes open to ideas of interest and excitement, to opportunities to take us out of our comfort zone, and to look in areas we generally take little note of to see what your road less travelled may actually look like. I also ask that we do this collectively, in our groups of friends or colleagues, and that we lead the way in this for our children and our students.

Why would we do this? To thrive in our lives, we all need this, and as an adult we generally understand it, even if life, events and other activities can distract us from it sometimes. However, our children, our young adults, our VCE students have not had the life experience to form and hold strong to that view. They can be easily put off the pursuit of these things without support and encouragement, and this can affect their buoyancy, their optimism and ultimately, their ability to find and celebrate joy.

If they are to find success, make the best of themselves, become a fulfilled person, joy is something that will help them enormously. So, after our last three years, can we bind together as a community and actively steer our young people towards joyous opportunity? Can we role model the seeking of joy, and demonstrate the celebration of joys, successes and the odd failure or two? They will benefit enormously if we can do this as a community!

So, ahead of the start of 2023, let us be a joy-seeking community. Let us be a community that looks for and reaches out to positive opportunities, takes measured risks that bring reward and confidence, and know that in doing so, we are leading our young people towards this as well – which they sorely need after the last three years.

Best wishes for a happy and holy Christmas and holiday period, and a restful and enjoyable break!

factis non verbis





Bradley Fry | Principal



2023 Term Dates