Welcome to all members of the Siena community as we begin the 2021 school year. A particular welcome to Year 7 students and their families, along with those joining us at other year levels. Siena students and staff have made a wonderful start and although we did not foresee such an early return to remote learning, our experiences last year allowed us to quickly adapt our curriculum delivery back to an online model. My thanks to teaching staff and our IT department who responded so decisively on Friday, gathering our Year 7 and other new students together to demonstrate the use of Microsoft Teams. We look forward to returning to campus on Thursday, pending government advice.
In this newsletter's Learning and Teaching update, we provide a list of new staff and notification of several staff changes, particularly relating to those in Leadership roles. Together, it has been pleasing to see such a strong and positive commencement on the part of all. Last year could be described as both a blessed and broken one. We have been changed, enriched, and strengthened and there will be much about our daily routines and approaches that we seek to retain. At the same time, we are savouring those opportunities which see a return to familiar and cherished practices, along with known structures and a daily rhythm punctuated by human encounter.
Our annual theme is Be Possibility: a graced and hope filled call to each of us to Be the possibility within us. This Dominican inspired theme urges us forward, prompting us to not only listen to our dreams for our world but to turn it into action. In our gathering liturgies to commence the year, this has been our prayer – that students will live the extraordinary possibility of their best self; to know what they are capable of and so to transform the world. The possibility of God’s vision can be!
A Blessing for the New Year
We give thanks at the unfolding of this New Year
in the presence of the Holy One.
We arise with gratitude for life.
We arise with hope that all shall be well.
We arise with courage to meet what will be difficult.
We arise with conviction to do what is life-giving.
We arise with eyes ever alert for beauty.
We arise with openness to greater truth.
We arise with desire for continued transformation.
We arise with compassion for the hurting ones in our world, wherever they are.
We arise with grief still settled in our spirits for all that remains broken.
We arise with sorrow for the way creation’s resources are plundered.
We arise with eagerness to live with depth and quality of life
and work for dignity for humankind and creation itself.
We arise with a sense of kinship with all whom we love.
We arise with willingness to help those who will need our care.
We arise with happiness, knowing we are invited to live life fully,
To be signs of hope in our world.
We arise into this new year entrusting ourselves into God’s creation.
We arise in truth and love.
Sr Sheila Flynn OP
This term we are farewelling Gayle Petch and Tracey Kermond. Gayle has been a long serving member of staff who will be known to many. We thank Gayle for her fine service to the Siena community and wish her every blessing in her retirement. We also extend thanks and best wishes to Tracey Kermond, HR Manager, who is returning to South Australia next week. Tracey has been instrumental in establishing a high-level function and service in Human Resources within the College and we wish her every happiness in the future.
We welcome back Jen Lear, College Counsellor after a period of parental leave.
We were also delighted to hear of the safe and happy arrival late last year of Massimo D’Angelo, born to Louise D’Angelo and her husband Nicholas and late in January, Jonty Rice, to proud parents Laine Rice and his partner Tara. Next week, Minna Jewell will depart as she and her husband Brent await the arrival of their first child. With baby boys the current theme, time will tell! We wish Minna, Laine and Louise every happiness at this very special time in their lives.