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From the Head of Junior School

Posted 10 March 2023
Junior School

In the lead up to International Women’s Day (IWD), I’ve been speaking with students across the Junior School about women who inspire them and the importance of celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness about discrimination. It has been wonderful to hear students across the school talk about mothers, female teachers and public figures who influence them.  

This year’s International Women’s Day #EmbraceEquity theme is focused on promoting conversation around why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.  

An example we have explored is giving three students, each from a different year level, a block to stand on so they can get a better view of the football game they are watching. Whilst this can be viewed as providing ‘equal’ accommodations for the students, it isn’t ‘equitable’. Different individuals need different supports to be able to reach a level which can be seen in giving the shortest student two blocks to stand on, the one in the middle one, and the tallest no blocks, although not equal, it demonstrates equity of access.  

Exploring equality vs equity  

House Meetings held this week have also been focussed on marking International Women’s Day. House Captains and other Junior School student leaders sharing their inspirational women’s actions and character strengths with younger students in their houses.  

Please enjoy reading some of the inspirational woman our students have written and reflected on over the past fortnight and take a moment to watch some of our students talk about the incredible women in our world in this video.   

Malala Yousafzai inspires me in many ways. The main reason why she inspires me is how she stood up to the Taliban when she was 15 fighting for every child to receive an education. When she was a young child, the Taliban burned all the girl’s schools down in her area. It shows incredible bravery and determination to stand up to the Taliban in that way.  In Australia we take for granted our opportunity to go to school and at St Peter’s it is important to acknowledge that it is often a lot harder for girls to attend school because of this injustice.  For her hard work in fighting for girls and boys to attend school, she was the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize for peace and the second Pakistani to ever win the award.  For International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate her achievement and contribution. 
Isaac Campbell, Year 6

Helen Keller was deaf and blind for most of her life. She inspires me because she persevered throughout her childhood disabilities which many of us could not even imagine. She also campaigned for what she believed was the right thing. Her life is full of inspiration and was truly an amazing woman.
Tyler Gao, Year 6

J.K.Rowling inspires me by being able to create a well thought out magical world from scratch, and I love her entertaining writing style.
William Bouchard, Year 6

Bronwyn Oliver was born on the 22nd February 1959 in NSW. Her parents were Milton who was a greenskeeper, who is a person that looked after a golf course, and Wendy, who worked at a pharmacy. When Bronwyn was eight she attended art classes on the weekends. She was the smartest at her school, so naturally her parents wanted her to go to university. But Bronwyn wanted to pursue a more creative career. So after leaving school she went to Sydney to study art. She meant to sign up for a painting class but a computer error put her into the sculpting class. Later in she said “ I knew straight away I was in the right place”. 

She graduated from the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education in 1980. She won the New South Wales Traveling Art Scholarship in 1983. Then she finished a Master’s Degree at Chelsea School of Art in 1984. After, in 1988 she was granted a period as an artist-in-residence in a city called Brest on the coast of Brittany, while she was there she studied Celtic metalworking techniques.  

What inspires me about her is that she changed the materials of her works, she used paper, cane or fibreglass on her early sculptures, as she found “fibreglass hazardous and paper to impermanent”. So for most of her career she worked in metal. I like that she found that instead of having a set material for all of her works, she found the metal for the job. She was interested in building things from the inside out, or “building the bones”. But she carried the injures of working with unforgiving metal. The character strengths that I think that she had are Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, as a lot of artists do, but she made her works look very natural and look like they belong where they are placed. Creativity, as she could envision something that has not been made yet and make it. And persistence, as with making the giant structures of metal takes a long time, but she could still make about 15 a year. 

Bronwyn Oliver was an Australian artist who’s sculptures can be seen around Australia and has inspired lots of people into making art, but in a different way.
Thomas Wallett, Year 6

Helen Reddy was an Australian/American singer, television host and activist. She had 15 songs in the top 40. One of her most famous songs “I am Women” was considered a feminist anthem by many, and won her a Grammy award for the best female pop performance.  

I strive to be like her because I admire her perseverance and belief in herself. Character strengths Helen Reddy showed were perseverance, bravery, love and kindness. These were evident in her success in the American music industry and how her lyrics spoke to a generation of women.
Harry Passaris, Year 6

Deng Vingchao, grew up in a poverty stricken family which led to her father passing when Deng was a young child. Her mother, who at the time was a single mum, was studying and practising medicine. Deng was studying at Beiyang Women’s Normal School. She participated as a team leader in the Mav Fourth Movement. Where she met her husband Zhou Enlai in 1919. They were married on the 8 August 1927. Deng started to work in the underground for five years in Shanghai. In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, she was elected third Vice Chairman of The People Republic of China. In 1991 she had to go repeatedly to the hospital because of colds and pneumonia, she later died in 1992 at the Beijing Hospital at the age of 88.
Zain Shahyan, Year 6  

14 March, 8.45am  JS Summer Photos  The Avenues/Function Space 
15 March, 2.30pm  Years 5 and 6 Chapel  Chapel 
16 March, 9.30am  Prep visit to Vailima  Vailima Retirement Community 
16 March – 18 March  Years 3 and 5 NAPLAN  Classrooms 
17 March, 8.45am  Prep- Year 6 Assembly  Memorial Hall 
17 March, 6.30pm  Reception Parent Dinner  The Kentish 
20 March, 8.45am  NAPLAN Catch up  Classrooms 
21 March, 2.00pm  Prep to Year 2 Chapel  Chapel 
21 March, 2.30pm  Years 3 and 4 Chapel  Chapel 
21 March, 3.30pm – 8.00pm  Parent Teacher Interviews  Classrooms 
22 March, 9.30am  Prep visit to Vailima  Vailima Retirement Community 
23 March, 3.50pm – 6.00pm  Parent Teacher Interviews  Classrooms 
24 March, 8.45am  Palm House Pet Morning  Palm House Oval 
28 March, 2.30pm  Years 5 and 6 Chapel  Chapel 
29 March, 10.15am-3.00pm  Summer House Games  Various JS Locations 
30 March, 5.30pm  THRASS Parent Information Evening  Function Space 
31 March, 7.00pm  Embrace Kids Movie  Memorial Hall 
 

Jasmine Taylor
Head of Junior School