AT the commencement of each school year at Mount Carmel College, the incoming year 10 leadership group joins together to formulate the annual college theme.
The theme is chosen after lengthy discernment about the ways in which it could further enhance school spirit and unite the college community.
“It is such a great privilege to be with the student leaders in their formation and planning days,” Mount Carmel College principal Fiona Nolan said.
“They work as a team to discuss and debate issues that they feel are important to the college, identify their goals and put into words what they want their call to action to be.
“With such great energy and enthusiasm, sometimes it can be challenging for students to harness their thoughts and decide on a clear focus, but they kept coming back to the origins of the school and the qualities that Mount Carmel values.”
The founders of Mount Carmel, the Sisters of Charity, spent their days going out to the homeless, orphanages, the female factory and jails to make human connections with the less fortunate.
They created a sense of belonging and helped them feel wanted.
The student leadership team have been inspired by the Sisters of Charity’s dedication to making others feel like they belong and the theme they have chosen for the year is: ‘Here is Home.’
Presented formally by the college co-captains on the first day of the 2020 school year, Gabrielle Cousins and Bronte Gadon expressed their sentiment clearly.
“If you pull apart the meaning of home, the words safety, love and support come to mind,” they said.
“It’s the place we can turn to because we know we belong there – belonging is a basic human need and plays an essential role in our identity.
“You can be yourself and say what you ought to say without the fear of being judged, belonging means your contributions are valued whatever they may be and belonging means that you are a part of something bigger.
“We want that something bigger to be our college.
“Some of you may not currently view school as home – after all, school can be stressful, overwhelming and can be associated with negative feelings.
“But home isn’t about being perfect and comfortable all the time.
“At home, we have to learn to do chores, have responsibilities and negotiate rights and privileges with our parents.
“Home isn’t just a place of comfort, we learn to be challenged in a loving, supportive environment which helps us to grow up and discover ourselves as individuals.
“The aim of this year’s theme is to encourage every member of the college to make positive connections with others so that our community becomes a home.
“Whether that be as simple as giving a smile as you walk by or going out of your way to invite someone to sit with you at lunch.
“Not only doing this with your classmates, but also with students from across different grades.
“By the end of the year it is hoped that everyone will have that warm sense of belonging and feeling of being wanted.”
Over the coming weeks the theme will be unpacked, and the students will provide many different visual representations of the theme.
Caption: 2020 college co-captains Bronte Gadon, left, and Gabriele Cousins.