In the silent beauty of the velvet night,
Amidst the glittering Southern Cross,
You Dreamt a new dream.
The promised gift of eternal love for us in the mystery of your son –
A special Spirit Child, lying in a coolamon,
Born of a spirit woman,
Bringing Light and Hope into our world.
The Church in its age-old wisdom teaches that Advent is a penitential season. The penance is all about waiting. According to accepted teaching we wait, for four weeks, purifying our attitudes and intentions to receive in a fresh way the spiritual truth that God breaks through to our human consciousness in fragile, vulnerable forms. The baby in the manger is only the beginning of a human who grows and evolves, owns an emergent destiny and lives. It is the power of our own story we wait to receive; a transcendent ability that we need as citizens of God’s kingdom.
Waiting doesn’t come easily to humans. How glorious it is to snap on a light or the air conditioning, have the car start smoothly every time, ring up, email and get exactly what you want. We construct lives where we never have to wait to have what we need and without too much thought about how the planet and its beings are paying a price for our convenience. The other day I went to the supermarket after school and when I had my few things, I returned to the car park to find that someone had put their groceries in their car and then left their trolley backed up against my car. This meant that I had to do what they did not want to do and return the trolley before I could go home and relax. I was furious. Here was another five minutes I had to wait before I could be where I wanted to be. It was an anger with a truth I couldn’t avoid. Do I get this angry about the real injustices that abound, the huge present sufferings of God’s creatures? No, never. My concern for others is about as strong as a mewling, new born babe. It exists and is alive, and I need to care for it so that it grows strong enough to overcome my tyrannical self-concern.
May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside, every wall and door,
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof.
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy.
Bless every foot that walks the portals through.
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.
In this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise God for the great wonders that have been sent to us: for the shining star and angel’s song, for infant’s cry in lowly manger. We praise God for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory and are bathed in its radiance.
We ask God to be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made fact, the helpless babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before Jesus as shepherds, innkeepers, wise men. Help us to rise bigger than we are.
To all who have touched by the Brigidine Community this year, I wish you a safe and gentle Christmas, where family and friends rest quietly with the hands of Love.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2022.
News from the Vinnies club
Vinnies Christmas Appeal and Wreath-making
by Charlotte Smith, Alice Conway and Wishmi Kahawatta Palliya Guruge
Over the past couple of weeks, the Vinnies club has been very busy! Last week we ran a stall on the Curragh selling the scrunchies we had made. This was a great way to raise a small amount of money from a lot of people, while over the past week, we’ve been week the Vinnies club has been collecting for our Christmas Appeal.
Meanwhile we also ran a lunchtime meeting in DU5, preparing for Advent and made advent wreaths for our homes. However, many members left the meeting wearing the wreaths on their hats! We used left over red fabric from Chanel Day and for the green, you guessed it – an old uniform! Recycle, rejoice, repeat.
News from our Curriculum Leader – Humanities
Over the course of 2 terms students from years 10-12 participated in the cocurricular Suspend Judgement program. Design to extend their learning from Religion and Humanities each student developed their own presentation reflective of learning. On Thursday 14th October members of the QLD Jewish Board, parents and staff were fortunate enough to hear the participants reflect on their learning. Below are reflections from two participating students Eva Mizrahi (year 10) and Rosie Pope (year 12). Rosie’s was also selected to present her audio visual work ‘The Allegory of the Coin” at the Brisbane Synagogue as part of their Kristallnacht Memorial Service. Alexis Hoskin’s audio work has been selected for use within QLD Jewish Board’s Yom Hashoa- a very solemn event at the chapel at the Jewish Cemetery in Mt Gravatt- in April 2022.
In 2021, I had the opportunity to participate in the Suspend Judgment Program, where we learnt more deeply and insightfully about the Holocaust through differing perspectives. This program is an amazing way to learn history in a reflective way outside of the school curriculum, providing young women the opportunity to expand their knowledge. I found the program highly rewarding from the seminars every week to the presentation evening in term four, to learn others views of this devastating piece of history in a creative way.
The Suspend Judgment program was really eye-opening for me. It was amazing to see everyone’s unique projects at the presentation evening, modelled off the modules we studied in terms 2 and 3. The great thing about Suspend Judgment is that as the project parameters are so open, every person had different insights and interpretations of the task. So, when combined into one presentation evening, each project built on the last, creating a beautiful symphony of works that communicated themes of choice, hope, and humanity through the lens of Holocaust education. It was so inspiring to see all the final projects, as it was evident that every presentation was so well thought out and deeply considered. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this program, and next year I would encourage all students in the senior school to consider this incredibly enriching opportunity.
Suspend Judgment 2021
At the close of 2020, the key message that came from the Suspend Judgment Program was to be the messengers’ messengers. In 2021, students from Year 10 to Year 12 continued to be the messengers as they participated in the core and extension Suspend Judgment Holocaust Education Program.
This year, students participated in the program for the first time and returning students participated in an extension of the program that allowed them to engage in topics at a deeper level. Guided by teachers to think critically and be challenged by questions and discussions, students were able to work through online modules prior to gathering together and sharing in a range of activities and thought provoking platforms.
In 2021, the program was also fortunate to welcome back past students who participated in the program in 2020 who played an active role in mentoring, guiding and developing the thought process behind the student presentations. In particular, we thank Skye Nugent for her involvement in leading the learning of the students.
Although the aim and essence of the program is clear, it is hard to explain and capture the depth of discussions the students have. The program seeks them to answer complicated and at times conflicting questions like how was it humanly possible, can one do evil things without being evil, are there really any choiceless choices and who really is responsible for events like the Holocaust?
Through a series of lessons about propaganda, art, testimony, photographs, Holocaust literature and many other aspects, a common theme is addressed in all the presentations that the students develop at the conclusion of the program. We are all humans.
This message became abundantly clear when students from the program were fortunate enough to sit down and hear the first hand story of Rochy Miller’s mother from her book titles Not Just A Survivor. Rochy’s personal and vulnerable talk with the students about her mother’s story affirmed for many students why they are participating in this program. After hearing from Rochy, students were filled with a deep sense of hope and motivation that this will never happen again and that the only way to avoid it is through education that places humanity at the centre.
Each student who participated in the program should be exceptionally proud of their efforts in drawing conclusions about what they learnt through their presentation. The insight these students shared, not only with the College community but also with the wider community at the remembrance service for Kristallnacht with the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation at the Brisbane Synagogue, is a testament to the engagement, passion and wisdom of these students.
We congratulate the work that these students have done as part of the Suspend Judgment Program in 2021 but know that the learning and teaching will continue further into their future.
Curriculum Leader – Humanities
News from our Curriculum Leader – Arts
Arts Wrap Up
Term 4 is always a busy term filled with events, celebrations and farewells. We welcomed Mr Peter Rogers and Ms Chelsea Thomas to the Arts department, teaching Drama.
Across the Arts, the Year 12 students submitted their final IA3 tasks and studied hard in preparation for their external exams. Their hard work and dedication to their Arts curriculum studies were outstanding, and they are to be complimented on their commitment. As we farewell this cohort, who demonstrated resilience and determination to achieve their goals, we wish them all the best for their future endeavours.
Our final celebration and event for the term was the Arts Showcase. What an evening it was! The torrential downpour did not dampen our evening. We thank everyone who braved the weather the join us last night.
The students from years 8 through to year 11 entertained the audience with pieces ranging from choreographic works to stunning vocal performances. The talent and fortitude demonstrated by our students was truly inspirational. The year 8 Dance students had their first live performance experience and were well supported by their peers and parents as they took to the stage. Our senior music students shone in instrumental and vocal pieces, presenting strong techniques and skills. The year 9 and 10 Dance students staged a variety of dance styles from Samba to Contemporary dance dazzling the audience with their energy and vibrant personalities.
Thank you to all who contributed to making this evening possible, the Arts staff, the Arts students, the Parents and Friends Association for providing refreshments and our community who came out to support the Arts students.
We look forward to 2022 and the performance opportunities we can share with our Brigidine Community.
Curriculum Leader – Arts
With the announcement that the Queensland Borders will be opening again shortly, we would encourage all members of our Community to ensure their family has been safe-guarded against COVID-19 with a vaccination. Vaccinations are now available on a walk-in basis at many Healthcare Hubs, Chemists and GPs. For more information, visit the Queensland Health website.
Please ensure you follow your Medical Professional’s advice at all times.