Dear PLC Sydney Community

Connections_Paul Burgis_vertical

A really warm welcome back to everyone in our PLC Sydney community.

We are very excited about the year ahead.

A particular welcome is extended to new families. I hope your daughters make friends quickly, relish the teaching of our staff, and really flourish the tone and environment of the College. To returning families, I hope that this year your daughters engage fully with their learning and really grow as individuals and a community.

My wife Susan and I have our first grandchild visiting us regularly at present. What a joy! As I hear him saying his first words and laughing as he learns a new skill, I am reminded of the delight of learning. I am sure every parent reading this page can remember the astonishing growth that children experience in their early years. The growth in latter childhood and early teenage years is equally astonishing, even if it is sometimes clouded by the emotional growth that accompanies it, and by our puzzlement as to the best decisions to take. 

Our wonderful privilege as parents and educators is to assist each child and teenager to grow. 

As we enter the New Year I would like to ask each parent reading this page to consider two terms: ‘Post-Traumatic Stress’ and ‘Post-Traumatic-Growth’. When soldiers return from the horrors of war they can be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. It is interesting that there is now a powerful new framework to assist these soldiers that is called ‘post-traumatic growth’. It doesn’t lessen the significance of their harsh experiences, but it does reorient them.

This is a negative example. Our task as adults is sometimes to reorient our children so that they can address all aspects of life honestly, and also with hope and strength and a desire to grow in our compassion.

In our school prayer is the wonderful supplication that for students at PLC Sydney God would “give to all who work here the true love of knowledge which makes all study a discovery and a joy.” 

It is true for each of us that the year ahead will bring discoveries and joys as well as challenges and griefs. I know that for parents as well as staff we share the common determination to assist our daughters to grow into effective and compassionate young women. We want to celebrate achievements – in particular when students do their best – and we want to turn possible negative scenarios into opportunities for growth. This is how we wish to partner with you. 

In this and future issues of Connections we will celebrate students and programs, we will draw attention to opportunities to build our community and we will communicate our plans and progress. I welcome you as a partner in assisting us to make sure that we cheer on each student that is deserving, and to join together in the task of educating your daughters. It is such a privilege to be a teacher.

I look forward to reporting on our goals, recent examinations and our building program at the upcoming parent evenings. Please make every effort to join us on these and the following important occasions.

I would love to see you at the P & F Association Welcome Cocktail Party on Friday 12 February at 6.30 pm in the Macindoe Research Centre.

I would love you to join us on Friday 18 March for the Foundation Ball.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Corinthians 12: 12

Dr Paul Burgis