Thank you to students, staff and parents for a very warm welcome into the community here at William Carey. It is a challenging experience to change schools and workplaces, leaving behind people and places that are loved and familiar, in order to start somewhere a little less familiar and a little more uncertain. I am thankful to the Carey community for all the support I have received during my first five weeks; from words of encouragement, chocolates for sustenance and coffees for endurance. I am also thankful to know a God who is bigger, better and before our present circumstances and whom I trust is working for our good as a community here at Carey. I was helpfully reminded of His desire to do good for us from Psalm 103 in the first session of my first day during Staff Development Week:
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
I look forward to seeing how God will continue to do good in our community over the coming years, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
I have come to Carey in the new position of Dean of Students (Years 7-9). My role is primarily to oversee the wellbeing and academic progress of students in these cohorts. I am working with various teams, including Year Advisers, Pastoral Care teachers and classroom teachers, to ensure each student is well-known, well-educated and well cared for. I bring to this position several years of experience working in student welfare and Science education, as well as a passion for and some expertise in the area of formative education; education that changes and develops students. I am excited to utilise my experiences and passions in this role, to complement the extensive experience and talent of the existing staff team. As a part of my new role and in order to get to know Year 7 students better, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Year 7 Camp last week.
Year 7 Camp was held at Galston Gorge over three days filled with fun and challenges. Students participated in a variety of activities, including laser tag, rock climbing, BMX riding, raft building and archery. The leaders from Crusaders were excellent. They engaged students in each activity and knew them all by name by the end of camp. A highlight for me and some of the other teachers was to see and help several students ride a bike for the first time – what a great experience for them and us! In addition to these experiences, students participated in two Christian Discovery sessions in which the message of forgiveness and life in Jesus was clearly presented before being discussed by students in smaller groups. Our leaders from Crusaders once again did an excellent job in this area and it was encouraging to see students wrestle with Jesus’ claims.
As a result of camp, Year 7 students know each other and some of their teachers a little better. I would like to thank Year 7 students for their excellent behaviour and I hope that camp has helped them to feel a little more connected and at home in the High School. I would also like to thank the staff who attended; namely, Mrs Russell, Mr Holdsworth, Mrs McMullen, Miss Fenton, Mrs Baker, Mrs Anderson, Miss Smith, Mr Liu and Mr Miller. It was an excellent camp and a great introduction for both me and Year 7 into life at Carey.
Yours in His service,
Dean of Students Years 7 – 9