One of the nice features of the term has been the slow return of sport and music activity to the School. We have not been able to resume full programs, and spectators have certainly been limited by the ongoing restrictions, but we are clearly moving in the right direction.
While I am sure there are frustrations around the on-going restrictions, I am equally convinced we are happy to play a part in reducing the opportunity for there to be any conditions under which the virus may spread.
On Thursday, we had a small ceremony to celebrate the purchase of a Torres Strait Islander flag for the School. As we raised the flag, Anna Dingley gave a thoughtful short address to the assembled girls. Here is her text:
Good Morning Mr Crawley, teachers, and girls.
The importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture has thrived and flourished for over 60,000 years. The diversity of our heritage is being kept alive by accessing knowledge of traditional language arts, ceremonies, protocols, land and family. These factors play a crucial role in shaping our identity. And to have a flag to represent our people, ties all these factors together.
The Torres Strait Islander flag was designed by the late Bernard Namok, which symbolises our Unity and Identity as Torres Strait Islanders. The flag was recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in June 1992 and given equal prominence with the Aboriginal flag. The Torres Strait culture and traditions are strongly connected to the land, sea and sky - which are elements that are illustrated in the flag.
The meaning of the Torres Strait Islander flag is represented through:
Green: the land
Blue: the sea
Black: the Torres Strait Islander peoples
At the centre of the Torres Strait Islander flag is a dhari (headdress), which represents the people of the Torres Strait Islands. The five-pointed star in the middle of the dhari represents the five major island groups, as well as the importance of stars for navigational purposes.
The importance of having our traditional flags being displayed here at Glennie shows respect and recognition for First Nation students and families, it also allows a sense of belonging and community partnership. Having pride identity is extremely important for Indigenous youths to recognise who they are, and with the flag being displayed here will strongly empower pride identity. It allows the school to create a welcoming environment. To the Glennie community, let this be one of the many steps we are taking as a school community and nation to close the gap.
A recent decision of the School Council has been to honour the service to the School of Wendy Ashley-Cooper, Head of School 2001-2016. There can be no doubt that Wendy made a significant contribution, through her leadership, to the School. In her early years, she established financial sustainability for the School, ushering the School successfully through some difficult economic times. In addition, she built on a deeply caring culture based on faith, excellence in education and sensitivity to the individual in pastoral care. One of her great interests in education was the role played by music in the life of the School community. Glennie has a strong music tradition. It has been, and is, an area of great pride for the School. Our girls connect with music in many ways. Their performance skills are strong and this develops confidence that extends beyond the music program. For Wendy, the music program had special significance within the School. Therefore, the Council has decided to name the Performing Arts Centre, The Wendy Ashley-Cooper Performing Arts Centre. We will unveil the new name at the Founder’s Day celebrations next month (12 August). It is our hope that this will combine the traditional day of significance with the honouring of both Wendy Ashley-Cooper and our arts program.
Click here to view the gallery.
Click here to view the ceremony.
Mr Peter Crawley