I am sure you are, like me, caught up in the maelstrom of news over the last four to six weeks pertaining to COVID-19. On the one hand, you feel the need to remain informed via the news conferences and updates, but on the other hand, you are so tired of the conflicting messages and opinions coming from different parties.
This same personal and professional conflict is being faced by everyone around the world. Each of us needs to make the best decisions with the information we have in hand during this time . It has been said that “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. Furthermore, it is during crisis that the true characters of organisations and individuals are revealed. I feel blessed to be living in Australia and connected to Trinity at this unprecedented moment in history.
In terms of responses, at the College level we experienced firsthand the compassionate governance of our College Council governed who dug deep to provide a 50% Term 2 fee relief to our college families alongside additional funds to assist those in significant financial hardship. At the staff level, I am so blessed to be witnessing incredible positivity, creativity and collaboration amongst staff. Daily our teachers teach and share with one another so as to do things more effectively in the creation of online learning resources. Our pastoral care staff organised weekly family-check-in calls, shared by both teaching and non-teaching staff to ensure that all our families feel supported during this challenging time. Our non-teaching staff collaborated to create reasonably priced family meals for our parents and staff to make dinners both nutritous and cost-effective. Our non-teaching staff supervised the in-school-hour care children of our essential workers at the end of last term so that our teachers could focus on planning for Term 2 online learning. We had staff offering online yoga sessions for colleagues over the Easter break. Our sporting staff recorded keep-fit videos for the students whilst our performing arts staff and tutors continued to push through with online instrumental lessons and rehearsals!
Our parents too have demonstrated incredible creativity, innovation and resilience during this time. We know some of you organised online catch up sessions with one another and online play dates for your children. Our older students are maintaining contact with their friends through online gaming, social networking platforms, phone messages, …etc. Our parents ensured that the spirit of ANZAC Day prevailed despite the cancellation of our annual ANZAC services on both campuses, by ‘Lighting the Dawn’ with their children and having their childrenplay The Last Post at the front of their driveways. You joined millions around Australia to commemorate our fallen soldiers and reiterate the teaching of the “Lest we forget, We shall remember them” message. Most importantly, you have supported your children in engaging in their online learning at school or at home, fully and whole-heartedly despite the difficulties this presents. In so doing, you have helped Australia flatten the curve. Last, but not least, thank you to the essential workers amongst our parent body who have continued to work during the mandatory isolation period ensuring that various essential services continued to operate, maintaining some sense of normailty.
Australia has been able to flatten the curve over the last 4- 6 weeks because each of us has understood the significance of our complying with the public health and respective levels of government advice to “stay home and save lives”. Collectively, we are responsible for this wonderful public health success. I thank our staff and parents for your leadership in your classrooms and homes and for teaching our young people to step up and make a difference. Our young people will grow up to be the leaders we can count on when they lead our country in various fields in the future.
We as a community have excelled at all levels in our willingness to step-up and make a difference in our lives and the lives of others, especially as regards their wellbeing. The Trinity school spirit shone brightly through the world’s darkest hours caused by this pandemic. #WeAreTrinity.
Dr Tsae Wong