Recently I was privileged to attend the virtual Anglican Schools Australia Annual Conference along with around 220 delegates. I was accompanied by our Head of Christian Studies, Mr Mark Story, and our new College Chaplain Reverend Jacqui who will officially commence her employment at Bishop Tyrrell in October.
The conference theme was Intersections, or noisy chaotic crossroads, if you like, focusing on effective ways to approach everyday intersections amidst the busyness of our daily life. These intersections might be between parent and child, teacher and student, or indeed any other situation you might imagine in work or life where people come together. Anglican schools are exciting and dynamic centres of learning where “faith and learning” intersect, with so many activities and interactions which provide opportunities to learn how to manage intersections and to reach out to others in need.
One of the most compelling speakers was Major Brendan Nottle who oversees the operation of the Salvation Army in the City of Melbourne and is the Club Chaplain for the Collingwood Football Club. Brendan told us of his work with homeless people and shared his insights about addressing Australia’s homeless crises.
Using the conference theme of Encountering the Intersection he reminded us that as busy people we frequently go into “intersections” protecting our own position among competing interests when more effective outcomes will usually be found if we go into the intersection with a belief that ‘no one will be left behind’.
Brendan left us with four imperatives 1) enter any interactions with an intention to listen, 2) only speak the language that will be understood, 3) engage in whatever activities are being undertaken then withdraw and reflect about what to do next, and 4) ask yourself who is not at the intersection and consider how the situation might be more inclusive.
It’s an approach to working with people in many fields and will provide new ways of looking at an abundant life offering opportunities to make a difference in all people’s lives.
We were certainly inspired by his address.
The conference worship opportunities were certainly inspirational, and this final Blessing was too good not to share with you. I hope you enjoy the efforts of Victorian Anglican Schools.
As you know our Newcastle region continues to be in lockdown for some time. Our teachers have been undertaking normal classes each day, sending packs of work home and offering opportunities for well-being activities along the way. A small number of children of essential workers only are being supervised at school where we have limited staff on the roster. We are striving to keep both children and staff safe from COVID infections. Please do not send your children if they are unwell, thereby risking the health and safety of all present.
If your work situation changes for next week, then you are required to book into school using this link BTAC Parent Essential Worker Survey.
For wellbeing activities such as today’s Trivia Teams hosted by IT’s Tim Gardiner brought together 59 teams online to compete today, and a total of 197 students – what an impressive demonstration of Bishop Tyrrell’s co-curricular experience moved online.
Ms Suzanne Bain