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Principal’s Message – March 5th, 2020

Principal’s Message – March 5th, 2020

Dear Parents and Friends of Loreto Nedlands

Last week we commemorated Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our Lenten journey as we prepare for the great feast of Easter.  Lent is a time of reflection and renewal of our relationship with God. We encourage the students to pray often during Lent and to participate in almsgiving.  Almsgiving involves the traditional approach of “giving things up”, however, this is often an easy option during Lent.  The students are encouraged to “take something on” and to be of service to others during Lent as a way of making sacrifices to grow closer to God. This is a more challenging approach. However, we are encouraged when we hear the students speak of trying to help their parents more during Lent or trying to avoid arguing with their siblings.  One student let us know that they intend giving up their iPad during Lent and using their iPad time to help their parents with chores around the house.  This is an admirable approach. 

During Lent Catholic Schools and parishes in Australia are asked to support Caritas with various projects through Project Compassion.  At Loreto Nedlands we will set goals around our fundraising this Lent and have targets for each class to achieve.  Teachers will inform parents about the various initiatives each week and we look forward to the children volunteering to offer a component of their pocket money to Caritas during Lent. 

I look forward to welcoming all our families to the annual School and Parish Mass on Sunday 8th March at Holy Rosary Church, Nedlands commencing at 8.45am.  During Mass the students in Year Three, Four and Six, along with their parents, will make a verbal commitment to their Sacrament.  Please make the time to come along and join us for this important occasion in our school calendar. 

Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual. An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

I thought the best way to celebrate International Women’s Day was to include a speech written last year by Isabelle Counsel for Loreto Speaker of the Year. Isabelle is a proud Loreto Nedlands graduate and if her words and thoughts written below are any indication, a proud future trailblazer in our society. Many thanks Isabelle for allowing me to include your outstanding speech.

Incredible Women

As a girl, naturally I think all women are incredible! But I’m going to share with you a few stories of some really incredible women in pretty odd situations, who chose to stand up for what they believed in.

Good evening, parents, teachers and adjudicator. My name is Isabelle Counsel, and tonight I’m inspired to talk about some INCREDIBLE WOMEN YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD OF.

Of course, we all know Harry Potter’s J.K Rowling, who used her imagination to succeed – big time! …Or Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who wrote about the horrors of living in hiding during WW2. And let’s not forget about Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who sewed Nun’s old clothes together in her orphanage to dress her dolls, and later became one of the world’s most desirable fashion icons. But do you know about people like Rosa Parks, Kathrine Switzer and Dorothy Lawrence…? Hmm… maybe not… Let’s meet these amazing women!

On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks, an African American woman, boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus. It was a rule that African-Americans had to sit towards the back of the bus. The bus began to fill up with white passengers and so Rosa was asked to move. Incredibly, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. When the bus driver asked her, “Why don’t you stand up?” She just replied, “I don’t think I should have to stand up.” She was arrested. Rosa Parks literally parked herself on that seat and sat for her rights, not stood for them. Why is this amazing? Because in Rosa Parks time, different racial groups couldn’t go to the same churches, grocery stores, libraries, schools or even use the same drinking fountains. This arrest sparked the “Bus Boycott”, one of the largest social movements in history. And now, we take for granted that we can board any bus as equals, race or gender.

Speaking of gender freedoms, Annette Kellerman was a professional Australian swimmer and film star who became one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing suit. In the early 1900s women had to wear black, knee-length, puffed-sleeved wool dresses worn over bloomers with long black stockings, bathing slippers, and even ribboned swim caps. In 1907, Annette was charged with “indecent exposure” for making a full-piece swimming suit by stitching stockings to a men’s racing suit. Can you imagine…?! If you were to walk onto the beach this weekend, you wouldn’t only see modern day one-piece suits, but very embarrassing teeny tiny two-piece bikinis with body parts exposed in every direction…! Maybe her activism went a bit too far for some… But at least it wasn’t physical, like what happened to Kathrine Switzer!

Kathrine became famous part-way through the popular Boston Marathon in 1967 as the only woman to compete in a strictly “Men’s Only” event. Once she was spotted by a reporter, she was chased after by a Race Official, who tried to grab her number and rip it off her chest, while she ran. Kathrine’s coach told her to” Run like hell.” And she finished the race. After that event, Boston Marathon allowed women to compete, and Switzer became the ambassador for women’s running.

Have you ever dressed up like your life depended on it…? Dorothy Lawrence did exactly this. She disguised herself as a man to experience life on the front lines as a journalist during WW1. While in Paris, she got two English troops to smuggle her a military uniform and teach her how to walk like a man. She strapped her chest flat, applied furniture polish on her face to give herself a man tan, cut her hair short, gave herself a shaving rash and forged Military documents. Two weeks in as a male soldier, she turned herself in after several fainting fits and was sent to a convent. We can safely say that she did not help them win the war but won a bet with herself that she could “pass herself off as a man”. Dorothy’s cunning plan to fulfil her dream of becoming the first female war correspondent was unfortunately not successful in making her a famous writer, but her quirky adventure paved the way for future female war reporters.

These women might not have been the “Marie Curie” of their time, but they did some rather great things to stand up for what they believed in. Their actions were ridiculous, brave and creative. Rosa refused to stand up, Annette refused to cover up and Dorothy… well she, just manned up. They fought for small freedoms and the refusal to be contained. It’s a scary thought, but each one of us would be arrested at our annual school swimming carnivals if it wasn’t for women like Annette Kellerman. 

Isabelle Counsel (Class of 2019).


Best wishes for the week ahead.

Tony Corbett
Acting Principal


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Loreto Nedlands

69 Webster Street
Nedlands 6009, WA
p: (08) 6389 9400


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