GSE Assistant Principals/Deputy Principals Conference

Aug 3, 2016

In mid-June the Melbourne Good Samaritan Education Colleges hosted the Assistant Principals’ and Deputy Principals’ Conference on the theme of Peace and Justice. The conference built on the foundations laid last year by our Glebe and Rosebank colleagues where the theme of Stability was particularly developed.

Facilitators Bern Nicholls and Annelies Hoogland wove the threads of student voice, leading the peaceable Kingdom and leadership with an undivided heart throughout the two days at the very tranquil Yarra Valley.

One highlight for many at the conference was the opportunity to explore the thread of student voice through classroom visits at both Santa Maria College, Northcote and Mater Christi College, Belgrave. These holy conversations with students provided a real opportunity for encounter.

We were delighted to have Sr Catherine Slattery lead us in prayer through the prism of Lectio Divina, Listen-Reflect-Share-Pray. Prayer augmented our formation on Chapter 72 of the Rule led by the Mission Team. Deep relevance was seen in Sr Aquinata Bockmann’s osb reflections on what she sees as the core of Chapter 72:

No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead what he judges better for someone else.

Tarrawarra 2Another highlight was the visit to Tarrawarra Abbey for a reflection from the abbott and celebrating Vespers for the memorial of St Lutgarde, a Cistercian Nun.

During our time we reflected on Sister Mary Joan’s ten principles of Justice and Peace: Listening and Availability, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Discernment, Conceptualisation, Vision, Stewardship, Commitment to the growth of people and Building Community; and the challenge these principles present to us as leaders in our Good Samaritan/Benedictine communities.

During the evenings we celebrated with much reflection on the challenges and contributions in our communities, as we honored our stories and journeys in and through the Good Samaritan landscape. We are indebted to the lives of the Sisters, the Rule and the Parable and the legacy they leave for us in our ministry.

We are indebted to our Melbourne colleagues who hosted us so beautifully. With much gratitude to: Therese, Karen and Nicole and Julie and Carmel who made it possible and so meaningful for us.

The unspoken narrative of collegiality was heard loudly and seen clearly and for this we are grateful.

John Muskovits
Assistant Principal, Dean of Curriculum
Mount St Benedict College