House Communities: Graduating class’s words of wisdom and thanks, regarding their Heads of House, tutors, and fellow house members - by Akshara Yogesvaran (Music Leader – Aston)
It was no secret that this year, the Class of 2020 as well as the rest of the school had to face a variety of challenges. Yes, our final year of high school didn’t quite turn out as we planned. But in saying this, we also still have a lot to be grateful for. As a graduating student of Loreto Normanhurst, I can confidently say that for me, Aston House is on top of that list. Our house communities have provided us with so much support over the years. They gave and continue to give Loreto girls from every year group a special place that encourages them. It didn’t matter what aspirations I was chasing or what interests I had. I could always count on my Heads of House, my tutors, and my fellow Aston angels to support me in the best way they could. This is what my house meant to me and this is what I find myself most grateful for as I graduate. Since I knew I was not the only year 12 who felt this way. I wanted to give some of the other year 12s, the opportunity to express their gratitude in their own words. Yes, this is our final year of school we will miss our House communities. But, we are just as excited to have the chance to carry forward those experiences, memories, and lessons into our futures.
The most rewarding part for me would definitely be hearing the final product of Barry choir on the online Music Festival. After working on the arrangement and rehearsals for a long time, especially through COVID, I was so happy to hear the song sound amazing. I was also really proud of how each of the Barry girls persevered through the tough times and confusion, but we came out with two wins! (Spirit cup and Best Accompanist)”
– Natasha Benham (Music Conductor – Barry)
“In 2020 I was both Kendall’s Conductor and Social Justice leader. The most rewarding part of being Conductor was seeing how well the House rose to the challenge of learning a song and then producing a performance virtually – it was amazing. The most rewarding part of being Social Justice leader was seeing how many girls put their hand up to help out and donate (e.g. Christmas hampers) or join Green Team and/or JPIC. My first rehearsal as Conductor was so rewarding. Everyone was so excited, and so was I. The rehearsal went really well, with awesome progress and lots of laughs. There’s nothing better than other people feeling inspired by you doing something you love and learning to love it too. Year 12 Kendall are AWESOME. Everyone has worked together so well, and I believe we’ve created such a strong rapport between one another that extends to the whole house. I really am going to miss all the girls once I graduate. If I could give advice to all of the young Kendall girls, it would be - Don’t be afraid to volunteer to do things!! Get involved. I didn’t get involved until Year 10 and I really regret not getting involved sooner.”
- Stephanie Arnold (Music Conductor/Social Justice Leader – Kendall)
Helping to lead the house cheers at the swimming carnival, and seeing an explosion of house spirit and positivity on the day! Also, seeing girls participate in swimming events for house points even if they weren’t confident was so inspiring. A memory I will always remember was being a part of music festival every year and seeing the whole house work collectively to end up sounding amazing! I am most grateful for the other year 12s in Kuring-Gai as well as Mrs Nairn/Mrs De Sousa who all really helped us to build house spirit and foster a welcoming, positive environment for every single Kuring-gal. My advice for all Kuring-gai girls would be to get involved in everything and always give your 100% - even if you’re not the best runner/swimmer/singer, still try your best because that way you will end up inspiring others to follow your example and get involved, thereby increasing house spirit.
- Grace Napoli (Sport Leader – Kuring-gai)
This year I had the opportunity to conduct the 'Momentous Maye house choir' for Music Festival 2020, a role I had been dreaming of becoming since I first came to Loreto. The support and effort every single girl put in to learning the song I had choose and arranged, I'm still standing by Elton John, exceeded my expectations. Standing up the front, I was able to see each girls' beautiful face attentively looking back at me. It was unreal. I still remember my first day as conductor; I was terrified to sing in front of the entire house, but this feeling vanished as each girl replied with a smile. As the day approached and the rehearsal were beginning to draw to a close, an excited energy filled the rehearsal room. However, this year, in classic 2020 style, the music festival night was cancelled, and we had to move to online rehearsals and rather, produce a coach choir. Navigating a zoom rehearsal was crazy, but it was made easier with the support and encouragement of my beautiful Maye community. Whilst I didn’t experience conducting on the ICC stage, being filmed in the Gym conducting to my imaginary choir truly was a unique experience. I believe that I have grown as a person and that the Maye house community was brought closer together. Honestly, "Momentous" is the only word that can describe my conductor experience for Music Festival 2020
- Caitlin La Rose (Music Conductor 2020 – Maye)
“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to be the conductor for Mornane 2020; leading the house through Term 1 and 2 enabled me to develop a stronger sense of leadership and community. But I wouldn't have been able to get through such an unpredictable Music Fest without the support of my Head of House and Tutor. Ms Prees was an incredible support through the whole process, always happy to have a chat with me about Mornane's progress and help me with any issues I had. My Tutor, Mr Chesterman, has greatly supported me throughout my time at Loreto, constantly giving me advice with my schoolwork and encouraging me to take the opportunities that Loreto provided. Having their reassurance and support this year has made my HSC year so much easier and I'm incredibly grateful for all they've done.”
– Arabella King (Music Conductor 2020 – Mornane)
The person I am most grateful for in my house is Miss Taaffe. Having been my year 7 advisor then later my Head of House, she has been an integral part of my Loreto and Mulhall experience and has always been a source of support for myself and all other Mulhall girls. I don’t think I ever really appreciated this until this year, as she helped me and made sure to check up on me before, during and after trials. Miss Taaffe has made Mulhall such a comforting and caring environment and I would encourage girls to make the most of your time while a part of this community and reach out to Miss Taaffe if you haven’t already because she gives great advice and is always ready to even just have a nice chat with you.
- Annabelle Mitchell (Performing Arts Leader – Mulhall)
As sport leader for Ward, the most rewarding part of leading the house was seeing everyone cheering for the girls in their house when racing in the swimming carnival. It is such a great day to foster house spirit, and to see everyone working together to lift house spirit was so great. My favourite house community memory is working together on music festival with our conductor, Bella, to arrange ‘Living on a Prayer’. It was so much fun working with the house to create a performance that we were all super proud of, and despite not getting the performance at the ICC we always dreamed of, the couch choir was still really impressive and something I will never forget. I am most grateful for the amazing support network that we have in our house. My tutor and head of house have been my and so many other girls’ rock throughout the HSC year. They are always checking up on us and helping in any way that they can, which I am super grateful for! To all other Ward girls, my biggest piece of advice would be, get involved in anything that you can! It is so much fun to get to know girls in other years and lead them in your senior years in fun events such as sports carnivals, music fest and light entertainment. I recommended that whatever your passion is, you find a way to express that with everyone in your house, because your passion will translate into great leadership! - Grace Tassell (Sport Leader/Accompanist 2020 – Ward)