I was delighted to attend the AGM of the Northholm Association (P&C) on Wednesday Night to find so many new faces joining the familiar faces of the long-term supporters of this important part of our School Community. There was a very real sense of excitement and anticipation as batons were passed and plans were initiated for what I expect will be a busy year. In particular, however, I was thrilled to see such a good mix of primary and secondary parents as this is a clear indication that we have embraced the fact that we are now a Kindergarten to Year Twelve school not only in name but also in spirit.
This is no small thing as structural change within any organisation can be difficult. For many parents who signed up to a Year Five to Twelve school, the introduction of younger years was a challenging concept and I can appreciate that for some there would be a little bit of reticence to embrace the inevitable changes this entailed. Yet, for all of this, recent events such as the Ladies’ Dinner and Twilight Shopping Night event at the Dural Country Club last Saturday and the collegiality that was evident at Wednesday’s AGM, are evidence of the growing strength of our Kindergarten to Year Twelve community. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
The sense of belonging that comes from being part of a community is important for the health and wellbeing of all of us, but is essential to the growth and development of our children in particular. Community gives a child support, a sense of belonging, a strong sense of self and a sense of connection. As part of a community children feel emotionally and physically safe and valued; they develop social abilities and have a sense of sharing and caring for each other. Without being part of a community, a child can feel isolated, alone, a failure and starved of love.
With many school’s reporting increasing levels of anxiety amongst young people, it is evident that such feelings are contributing to one of the greatest social epidemics in recorded history, that of loneliness. Like many adults, children can feel alienated, lonely and depressed, because they spend too much time in isolation from others, on the computer, watching TV and eating by themselves rather than using this time to build relationships and spending time in community.
While computers and television are an integral part of all of our lives, they will never replace the role of relationships. Humans are social beings and we need make connecting in real time a priority. We live in a society and we need to share our feelings, happiness and sorrows with our friends, relatives and others to keep things in perspective, to maintain a sense of balance. By spending time with others and developing our sense of togetherness we create communities.
Let us hope that this sense of connectedness apparent in our School Community will help our children develop their sense of connectedness and enable all of us to contribute to a more peaceful, supportive and progressive society.
New P&C Executive
Thank you to all of those people who attended AGM of the Northholm Association on Wednesday night. I take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President, Mr Bruce Parker for his many years of service to the Association and his active contribution to so many different events. I also congratulate the new P&C Executive and thank them sincerely for their willingness to serve our community in such a critical part of the School’s operation.
The new Executive includes:
President – Mr Stephen Parkins
Senior Vice President – Mr Anthony Wood
Junior Vice President – Mr Richard MacKenzie
Treasurer – Mr Raymond Blanch
Secretary – Mrs Angela Greatbatch
Year Group Coordinator – Mrs Nicky Yin