From the Principal's Desk

Quiet Forms of Courage

This year I have been talking a little bit about curiosity and courage as essential elements in the life of any learner - curiosity and an openness to new ideas to motivate the learning process, and courage to keep working away at it when it's hard, or when our learning demands that we re-assess our own thinking and biases.


This week I would like to take a moment to acknowledge two different forms of courage that make a difference in the life of the school. One of these is the courage to share your passions by stepping forward to take part in things. You can see examples of this sort of courage later in the newsletter, where some of the work of our creative writers is on display, and of course we saw many examples during Nossal Week itself. These contributions to a lively and expansive intellectual culture within the school are often embedded in ways that make them almost invisible. It is not until an event like Nossal Week brings them together that we get a chance to understand the breadth that a life at Nossal can encompass.


Perhaps more vital, but also more challenging, is the courage we see in those students who find ways to stand up for what is right when they see their peers acting in ways which may be damaging to others, whether online or off. I am deeply grateful to those students (whether they contact us anonymously or in person) who let us know when they are worried about their peers, or who come looking for advice on how to be an upstander rather than a bystander in the face of  behaviours they disagree with. Later in the newsletter, you'll see a report from our Wellbeing Team about some of the programs we have in place to support our students in this work, but there is no denying the fact that, for all of us, standing up to our peers takes both courage and integrity. I want to commend those students who care enough to embrace the challenging of making Nossal's culture as positive as it can be.

Nossal Week

As usual, in the gap between newsletters there have been many events (both large and small) in which our students and staff can take pride. 


A recent gala version of this was the second ever iteration of Nossal Week, a week planned and delivered by the Student Representative Council and the leaders of many of our clubs and societies to celebrate everything all things Nossal. The week covered the full range of Nossal-y activities, from a student-led assembly, through a range of impressive musical performances, incorporating our annual Autumn Concert (which was outstanding as usual thanks to the work of our students and Instrumental Teachers under our Director of Music, Ms Clare Budd), and including stalls and games run by a wide range of clubs. 


The event culminated in a celebration of IDAHOBIT day followed by a very enjoyable Family Evening on the Friday, where our students were joined by parents and friends of the school to celebrate our culture and our community. 


I would like to particularly thank our Student Leaders, who were heavily involved in ensuring that this event ran smoothly and was inclusive and enjoyable for all. They were supported, as always, by a dedicated staff team that led by Ms Fiona de Zylva (Assistant Principal: Wellbeing & Student Agency) & Ms Jane Denman (SRC Liaison). It was a pleasure to see their months of work come to fruition in such a diverse set of offerings.

Parents as Careers Counsellors

Another very successful event held recently, this time online, was an information session for parents designed to help them to launch and lead conversations about career pathways with their students. The event, part of the PFA's raft of annual offerings in support of our parents, was held online on Tuesday 21 May. It provided an interesting overview of current predictions about the world of work, and an excellent explanation of the Morrisby reports which our Year 9 students recently completed. 


The presentation was also a very useful precursor to the events which we will be holding early in Term 3 to assist our students with the course selection for 2025. Those events include our annual Careers Expo, which you can read more about later in the newsletter.


For those interested in what else the PFA is doing, remember that their next meeting will be on Wednesday 5 June, online (to avoid travel in the winter weather!).

House Athletics

As I have no doubt you will read in a later newsletter, the other major recent event at the school was our House Athletics Carnival. The Day was a festive one, organised exceptionally well by our Health and PE staff under the leadership of Mr Cameron Christiansen, and made into a true community event through the inclusion of stalls selling everything from sausages in bread to badges celebrating this year's School Production. In addition to the work of the staff and students on the day, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Rotary Club, whose members so ably managed the barbecue and who somehow kept up with an endless stream of hungry students. 

Languages Diversity Day is Coming

I have spoken above about the diversity of the offerings at Nossal, and the coming weeks will continue to exemplify this valued aspect of our school life. On Monday 3 June we will celebrate our annual Languages Diversity Day with a range of activities for our French and Japanese students which builds on their ongoing commitment to celebrating cultural diversity within the school and in their co-curricular activities.  

Roads & Public Transport

Finally, some housekeeping. As you are no doubt aware, work is ongoing at the intersection between Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard and Clyde Road. You can read more about this, and about some Public Transport disruptions in June, elsewhere in the newsletter, but I do want to take the opportunity to remind you that works of one sort or another are likely to be ongoing throughout the year. In July or August we are likely to see more significant disruptions as Monash University undertakes works on Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard itself. Of course we will keep our community updated on those developments, but it may be worth taking some time to consider alternatives to driving into the heart of the campus in the latter part of the year. 


Tracey Mackin

Acting Principal