St Catherine's School, Waverley
An Independent Day and Boarding School for Girls
St Catherine's School, Waverley offers AIEF Scholarships for boarding students.
St Catherine's School, Waverley – 2018 Report
Dr Julie Townsend, Headmistress
2018 has been an exciting year for Indigenous education at the school. We have striven to raise awareness of the program within the wider school community to demonstrate how it continues to grow and strengthen. The 13 students, including eight boarders and five day students, keep embracing the many different aspects that contribute to school life. It was wonderful to receive a generous donation from the St Catherine’s Foundation, as this not only demonstrates their support but will also go towards the many expenses that are needed to offer an equal opportunity.
The students have shown great resilience and perseverance when faced with the many challenges of being away from home. The three remarkable young women who completed Year 12 in 2018have each in their own way impacted on the school community. Summer-Sky is an elite athlete with a passion for soccer and rugby league, which she has played at school and club level; Tanaya is a strong willed and enthusiastic public speaker who enjoys leadership roles at our Indigenous events; and Kaleena has shown her compassion and sense of social justice for others. We are very proud of the achievements of these students and wish them all the very best for the future.
Academic attainment is a core expectation for all students and Eden in Year 9 continues to excel. She is a dedicated and focused student who has achieved excellent results across all subject areas. Eden is also a keen percussionist who is an integral member of various ensembles and the choir. Jada in Year 8 has a passion for languages and is studying both French and Spanish. She was fortunate enough to be able to join the service trip to Noumea where she not only had the opportunity to enjoy beautiful beaches and the culture, but she was able to attend French classes, all in this very authentic location.
Sport works with academic excellence in supporting an all-rounded education. Lailah in Year 10 is a passionate rugby league player who has played with the Redfern All Blacks all season and has now been asked to trial for the Roosters Under 18s Tarsha Gale Cup team. Eden and Jada both enjoyed a season of softball and Jada, an elite athlete, has gone on to play AFL and basketball, as well as excelling at the field events at the athletics carnival. Kayla in Year 9 has joined the school first soccer team.
Engaging the students academically and in sport and service education is important but so is celebrating our rich Indigenous history through our Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week assemblies. ’Don’t keep history a mystery’ was the theme for Reconciliation Week in 2018 and this presented an opportunity for Jada to talk a little about her ancestry as a descendant of the Gurindji people, who were made famous through the exploits of Vincent Lingiari. It was also an opportunity to bring back old girl Phillipa McDermott, a Wakka Wakka and Mulinjali woman who attended St Catherine’s during the 1970s and early 80s. Phillipa is currently the Head of Indigenous Employment and Diversity at the ABC and she spoke to the students of her life growing up and her experiences at school. The highlight for the year was Christine Anu who came, sang and educated the whole assembly on her life in the Torres Strait Islands at our K-12 NAIDOC assembly. The girls learned language, heard stories and of course joined her in singing some well-known songs. Following the assembly the girls held a BBQ on the lawn, raising funds for charity. Both these days allowed the students to showcase the school’s commitment and belief in our Indigenous history.
As we head towards 2019, we will continue to reflect and adjust the program to try to achieve the best outcomes for students and their families. We aim to see the program continue to grow in strength and we are committed to fostering our strong relationship with the Nowra and Wreck Bay area. Our Indigenous students in 2018 are a diverse and dynamic group of young women who are an asset to the school community.