From the Principal - Mark Geraets
The love and kindness our community has shown so tangibly following the tragic news of Amelie Borella’s death has been both heartwarming and restorative. Our focus now is on supporting our students, teachers and families most affected by this terrible tragedy.
But, amidst the outpouring of grief, it also has been wonderful to hear stories about Amelie. How she was a funny girl with a very quick wit who could keep her fellow boarders in stitches of laughter. How she was a talented sportswoman who really enjoyed representing the school in football, and how she was a bright academic student even if you might not describe her as “studious”! These memories of Amelie and many more are being contributed to our collection of notes, messages and photographs which will be collated and forwarded to the family in the coming months. Anyone wanting to send messages or photos to add to the collection, can do so by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure they are included.
We are navigating this period of grief and mourning with the wonderful help of experienced health professionals and, I have to say, their support has been terrific. They tell us that the way forward for the health and wellbeing of everyone in our school community revolves around keeping open the channels of communication and, as time progresses, reinstating routine and familiar structures.
So, academic classes will continue as timetabled and our teachers, Learning Mentors and academic staff will continue to provide additional academic support for those who need it. We know some students are finding it difficult to focus on their studies and we acknowledge it is even more difficult to feel connected while we are in lockdown.
All of us should seek help from others when we feel down or vulnerable and we encourage parents to encourage their child or children to do the same. We will keep communicating with you and we are available to provide support in a number of ways. Our health professionals continue to reinforce the importance of validating students’ feelings and directing them to support mechanisms.
Please encourage your child to reach out in the first instance to their Learning Mentor, Classroom Teacher, Section Leader or Head of the Senior School or Head of Junior School. Our team of Counsellors are available to help and have been joined by community Chaplains and Headspace professionals. We are additionally supported by the Youth Division of the police department. Please see a list of contacts below:
Headspace: 1800 650 890
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Police Youth Dept: Amy 0412 192 234 or Kylie 0419 161 464
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
School office: 6022 0000