Colours and Honours Award Recipients

The wisdom of youth...

I always feel great pride during school assemblies. Last week we enjoyed a Founders’ Day assembly in which we honoured the late Dr Harry Hoffman AM obm and heard from his daughter Sue, about his life and the huge difference he made. We also recognised students’ efforts and contributions in our Colours and Honours assembly, which highlighted the opportunities available at AVѧԺ in a range of sporting, cultural and Judaica areas.

Our Carmel purpose is “to provide students with an excellent education where they connect meaningfully with their Jewish identity and embrace the opportunity to make a difference”. The assembly was an excellent reflection of the hard work and effort that so many Carmel students put into their studies and I found myself hoping that some of the younger students in the audience would be watching and aspiring to be receiving a certificate on stage in years to come.

As well as the celebration of student effort and achievements, a highlight of the morning was the delivery of a thought-provoking address by Year 12 student Adi. She described a stage in her school journey when she felt as though she stood in the shadow of her siblings and feeling disappointed with what she saw and frustrated by the idea of what was expected of her. She was unhappy, overwhelmed and confused. For Adi, her committed involvement to the extra-curricular opportunities provided by the School changed everything and had a significant positive impact on her wellbeing.

She asserted that academic stress mustn’t be allowed to extinguish the fire that young people feel igniting deep down inside them – they must practise their passions in whatever area fires them up – sport, music, art, wellbeing, connectivity or community. She also urged the Year 7 and 8 students to start now and “listen to the spark inside themselves; to have the confidence, knowledge and skill to make change happen”.

Adi has certainly taken the opportunity to make a difference – she has set up a Friday Kabbalat Shabbat service with music to uplift culture, spirit and connectivity; she has contributed to Wellness Wednesdays by organising an early morning social netball league to get senior students up and moving during a stressful time of year; she has organised musical Havdallah on Monday mornings. I look forward to witnessing the legacy of her urging the younger students to practise their passions and make change happen.

Shabbat shalom and shana tova