It is on this day in 1893 that New Zealand became the first country in the world to give all women the right to vote. Women had been allowed to vote in many places before this, but this was tied to either the payment of tax, or owning certain amounts of land, or being of a certain class. Indeed, in New Zealand at this time women could vote BUT not stand for Parliament. The following year South Australia became the first government to allow both.
It is difficult to comprehend now, but these two colonies were very much outliers internationally for a long time. Indeed, it was not until 1928 and a lot of protest and pain that the UK enabled all women the right to vote.
I reference this not to comment on feminism, but to highlight the power of forces of change. In our own lives - but particularly in the ways that we support the progress and aspiration of our young people - we must constantly encourage towards self-reflection, self-empowerment and endless questioning. Our students will be growing up and seeking employment in a world where the authority and confidence to challenge, discern and question will be really positive attributes. An incredibly important attribute is the ability to see the impossible and make it possible. Our role as their educators is to enable, channel and empower that.
So many times at the College but also at home the words 'I can't'... 'it's too hard'... this is impossible'... are used interchangeably for, 'this is pretty difficult'.. or'I have to try many times to get this right'. It is the characteristic of mental and emotional resilience that will best enable our young people to really succeed.
The current activities at the College relating to subject and curriculum development has this consciously in mind. We are getting much closer to the goal of our online curriculum map, which I hope will enable parents to see and support the academic journey of their children; and crucially identify the types of learning and subjects that will best support their child's pathway.
I want to send a huge thanks to the parents and friends who supported our Race Day last week. It was a cracking evening. This event was always about building community, and it was a really positive and engaging event. I was coincidentally at a curriculum meeting on Monday alongside Andrew Kendall, the Principal at St Joseph's in Stanthorpe, and he was really appreciative of the efforts of our community. We will now engage with communities in Stanthorpe to ascertain the best way to gift the money.
I'd like to thank the parents who have so solidly engaged with the work we are doing on child and adolescent mental health. The feedback from the parents attending the sessions run by the College has been really positive and constructive - many thanks. I firmly believe that this work is absolutely central to a successful College. If there is a theme or topic that you feel would support you please let us know.
Lastly, thank you so much for the way that you as parents have continued to support our mission at Mary MacKillop. It has been a really successful and positive term. Please stay safe over the break.