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Year 8 Reflection Day

On Monday, 23 July and Wednesday, 25 July our very excited cohort of Year 8 students headed to Lower Plenty to enjoy a day of reflection in the beautiful surrounds and gardens of Amberley.  Our day was led by the GPBS team, (Gather Proclaim Break Send), and filled with music, song, dance, and deep personal reflection.

Our first session, Gathering, was focused on the Cross and the intentions we hold deep in our hearts. Lighting a candle reminds us that we are a people of hope, that we are not alone on the journey, and that we embrace Jesus’ message of God’s love for all. Our next session, Together, challenged us to embrace the power of the team. We are strong when we live our lives in partnership; we are made for community and become more whole when we share our lives with others.

Women who Inspire, our third session, focused on the role-models in our world. ‘Who inspires me and why?’ created powerful discussion. We also conversed about the challenges we all face in the ways social media is used. We worked in groups to discern ways we could illicit the most beneficial and affirming impact of the legacy of impressive women and use of technology. We critically considered how we use Social Media ourselves as a positive influence.

After lunch, our day concluded with a Eucharist, celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr Kevin Toomey OP. We prayed with music, story and by remembering the needs of our world. The beautiful live music created by Alyssa and Dan enriched and supported our Day of Reflection.

Student reflections

‘On 23 July 2018, some of the year 8 students went to Amberley for a Reflection Day. Throughout the day we reflected upon how we can make the world a better place through music, film and prayer. We learned about inspiring women and men and how inspiring people have changed the world for the better like Malala, Bethany Hamilton and Rick and Dick Hoytz. All of the stories we heard were very heartwarming and made us aspire to become inspiring. At the end of the day we shared Eucharist and Liturgy with Father Kevin, students, teachers and the staff from Amberley. Overall it was a great day!’
Ashling O’Farrell

‘On 23 July we went to Amberley for our second Siena Day of Reflection, as part of the Religious Education and Faith Development program.  Before we left, we felt excited about what we would be doing and what it would be like.  During the first session on Together, we were inspired by a video we watched about a father and son who ran marathons, rode and swam together, even though the son couldn’t walk or talk. From this video, we learnt about teamwork and standing together.  During the second session on Women who Inspire, we were thinking about how these women make a big difference in the world and what we can do to be like them in the future.  Our final activity was to have a Mass, celebrated by Fr Kevin Toomey OP, a Dominican and our school Chaplain. This was a lovely end to a day of growth and inspiration.’
Sarah White, Sasha Sahely and Lucy O’Connell


‘On 23 July we went to Amberley for our second Siena Day of Reflection.  Upon arrival, Amberley was very warm and inviting. We were excited to see instruments and a beautiful cross. During the first session on Together, we were thinking about how we can do so much more if we give each other a hand and how being together sounds so much more fun than doing things alone.  During the second session on Women who Inspire, we were thinking about all the inspirational girls out there and how we can be one ourself. Our group specifically focused on Bethany Hamilton, a brave woman who continued surfing despite the fact that she was involved in a shark attack, losing her arm. A Day of Reflection is a day for contemplation, thinking deeply and reflecting about how I am going in my life.’
Lucinda Burgin Uhlherr and Aurelia Tjitji


On Wednesday, 23 July, we visited Amberley for a day of reflection.  When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the Gather, Praise, Break, Sing (GPBS) ministry group. Our first session was on Together, emphasising the idea of how more can be achieved by working collaboratively. We watched a short video clip on two men who enforced the spirit of working together!  Rick, due to a complication at birth, wasn’t able to talk or walk. With the advanced technology of today, he was able to communicate to his father, Dick, that he wanted to run in marathons. Together, they ran. Dick was the body and Rick was the heart and spirit. This made me think about the bigger impact that ‘together’ can make. The next session was focused on the women in our world who inspire. I was thinking about the hard work and determination that they exert in order to accomplish their goals. Finally, we had a mass celebrated by Fr Kevin Toomey OP, who is our school Chaplain. This was a great time to value being in the present and to reflect on who we are and what impact we strive to make on the world. The experience at Amberley made me think about the small things we can all do to make a difference. Overall, the Day of Reflection was a day to contemplate and reflect on how I am going in my life. I learnt many things, one of which being that ‘together’ is powerful and that you only need a passion for empowerment to inspire others. 

Milly Whitehead 


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