Churchill Avenue News, Edition 19

From the Principal

19 April 2024

Finding Strength in Surrender: Navigating the Uncontrollable

As we embark on the journey of Term 2, the theme of control weighs heavy on our hearts, reminding us of the profound lessons we learned in the face of uncertainty and loss. The passing of our beloved Principal, Robert Brennan, in Term 1 left a lasting mark on our school community, challenging us to confront the reality that there are certain aspects of life beyond our control.

This event served as a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and the futility of attempting to control that which is ultimately beyond our grasp. In the midst of our grief and sorrow, we were compelled to confront the uncomfortable truth that there are moments when we must relinquish control and surrender to the will of something greater than ourselves.

I believe control is a concept that is deeply intertwined with the human experience — a desire to shape our destinies, to influence outcomes, and to carve a path forward amidst the chaos of existence. Yet, as we grapple with the complexities of life, we come to realise that there are forces at play beyond our comprehension, beyond our influence, and beyond our control.

As we navigate the bustling events of this term, including the Year 12 Retreat, Exams, Subject Selection, the Mother's Day Mass and many more, let us approach each with a spirit of surrender and resilience. May we find peace in knowing that even amidst the uncontrollable, we are guided by divine providence.

I believe it is important to remind our students of the importance of managing what is within their control. While there are aspects of life beyond our influence, students have the power to shape their experiences by focusing on how they treat one another, managing their time effectively, and making conscientious choices in the classroom.

In the lead up to Term 2 Exams, students can take charge of their academic success by implementing effective study habits, seeking assistance when needed, and maintaining a positive mindset. By managing their time wisely and prioritising their studies, students can alleviate stress and approach exams with confidence and readiness.

Students also have the opportunity to foster a supportive and inclusive school community by treating each other with kindness and empathy. By embracing diversity, practicing empathy, and standing up against injustice, students can contribute to a culture of acceptance and understanding within our school.

In the classroom, students can exercise control over their behaviour by making choices that reflect respect, integrity, and accountability. By demonstrating attentiveness, participation, and cooperation, students create an environment conducive to learning and growth for themselves and their peers.

As educators and mentors, we should encourage our students to focus on what they can control, empowering them to take ownership of their actions, attitudes, and aspirations. By instilling a sense of agency and responsibility, we equip our students with the tools they need to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of life with resilience and grace.

As we move into Term 2, let us remember the lessons we learned in the wake of Principal Brennan's passing. Let us embrace the reality that there are aspects of life beyond our control, and find comfort in the knowledge that we are not alone on this journey. May we find strength in surrender, courage in adversity, and peace in knowing that we are held in the palm of God's hand.

In contemplating the theme of control, my thoughts turn to the wisdom found in Proverbs 16:9, which states, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." This verse speaks to the tension between our desire for control and the reality that ultimately, it is divine providence that guides our paths. It reminds us of the importance of surrendering our plans and trusting in God's greater purpose.

As Acting Principal, I am committed to guiding our school community through this change with compassion, courage, and unwavering dedication. In the wake of Rob's passing, I am humbled by the opportunity to lead and inspired by the resilience and strength of our students, staff, and families. As we navigate the term ahead, my foremost priority remains the wellbeing of our students, ensuring that they feel supported, valued, and empowered to thrive. Together, let us honour the legacy of Principal Brennan by fostering a school environment that nurtures not only academic excellence but also the holistic growth and flourishing of each individual in our care. With faith as our anchor and love as our guide, I am confident that we will navigate the challenges of the term ahead and emerge stronger, more united, and more resilient than ever before.

God Bless.

- Mrs Laura Ruddick