I will start by sending a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all those who confidently voted for me in the IEU Executive elections. Please be assured that the work of support staff and teachers, particularly those in the rural sector, will be at the forefront of my work as VP.
Various challenges have recently faced many of us and these have impacted on our students, families, colleagues, communities and the very nature of the work we do. An extraordinary bushfire season, devastating drought, floods and now the COVID-19 have all presented challenges to independent schools, and to the entire education community, for that matter. These challenges have rocked the very essence of our social, economic and spiritual fabric.
Every school community has been touched by the tragedy and grief of disaster, it is time we praised the support and determination of our schools and our school communities for their vision, leadership, and care of those needing it most.
There is no doubt that many independent schools will be needing to “tighten their belts” as they offer an array of proactive measures for those affected by circumstances beyond their control: financial education aid, water sharing, extended hours and special boarding arrangements to name a few must be stretching the finances of all our schools. There is no doubt that, for many of our schools, much of this aid will be unstainable over an extended period. I encourage tolerance, patience and support as we all work through these issues together.
I applaud the independent sector for its vision and leadership, for its compassion, for its strong sense of community and for its desire to do all it can for those who matter.