Head of Senior School
Growing up at Tuross Head roughly 50 minutes south of Batemans Bay, holidays were spent at home. The pace slowed. There was time to think, dream and be bored, although if us kids ever complained mum and dad would be sure to give us a job!
Last holidays were strangely similar to those of my childhood. My son and I had a few good surfs at 7 Mile Beach. My children and I did some fishing and caught some fish too! We worked on our little farm doing jobs that weren’t urgent but needed to be done. There was no ferrying children off to holiday sports training and activities.
We have felt blessed to be living in this area during the period of imposed physical isolation. The time as a family was a welcome distraction from the constant stark reminder of how many people are struggling with either the health or employment and financial ramifications of this time. I also realise that we all have had different experiences over the past weeks and it has been a really difficult time for lots of families no doubt. In any crisis though, even one of this magnitude, there are always silver linings. The major one I have seen during COVID-19 is the appreciation and reprioritisation of family.
I read an article recently which outlined three kinds of families: parent-focused families, kid-focused families and family-focused families. Parent-focused families prioritise the parents’ careers above everything else. In kid-focused families, parents do everything possible to keep their kids happy and achieving, at the expense of their own, and their family’s well-being. By contrast, family-focused families make choices in the best interests of the whole unit. Both parents and children make sacrifices in their respective lives to create better balance, harmony and collective happiness. I hope this crisis and tragedy compels us to re-evaluate our priorities and reconsider if the activities that keep us in constant motion actually improve our lives.
Most of us are excited to return to normal school. I’m excited by the prospect of students and staff returning to being on-campus and face-to-face teaching. School has been lifeless without the students, staff and parent involvement. However, let’s remember the lessons from this time and think carefully about what we want our new normal to be.
Mr Peter Gibson