In assembly last week, Mrs Martin gave a passionate call to action. Her message to the Ladies in Blue was as follows:
“The word transformation is often incorrectly interpreted as focusing only on race. It is far more encompassing than that. Here at St Anne’s, it is about making the space at the table more inviting for everyone. Transformation includes inviting others in, who may be, for example, of a different religion, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, outlook, and even aspects particular to our school situation, such as: sporting code, House, grade or boarding status.
Real transformation will enable a deep sense of belonging and is not something anyone should look at with cynicism or fear. We are all invited to the table, and our seats are waiting for us. What is required is that we show up, and commit to making everyone else in our school welcome too.”
Mrs Martin expressed thanks to those who have been involved in driving the process of transformation and updated our community on some of the initiatives which have taken place.
“I am very proud of our school, St Anne’s, as we are being brave in facing the difficult issues which confront our society. Very few elite high schools will be immune from the issues we face, but we are choosing to deal with them with courage and it is difficult sometimes, but we soldier on, because it is so worth it.
Some of our conversations will be uncomfortable but we are developing resilience. Sometimes we may feel vulnerable, and difficult as it may be, it is okay, as long as we are growing from them and as long as we are giving other people around us the space to grow. Each of us needs grace and support to learn, and what is so important is that we give those around us space and support to learn too.
We are preparing you for life outside St Anne’s and life out there isn’t all butterflies and roses. I guarantee that you will be better equipped to deal with having open conversations in delicate situations. I guarantee that many of you will take the lead in navigating difficulties as you are growing resilience and gaining experience.
I dream about us being that school that paved the way for many others and the only way we can do this is through openness and kindness as we face our challenges together. Everyone here needs to feel a strong sense of belonging to this sisterhood and not one of us has the right to deny that of anyone. Each of your voices is important. Each of you is significant and no one’s voice should drown out nor silence another. There is space for us ALL to BELONG DEEPLY.
It is our time to shine as we build our school up and we are honoured to have this responsibility. It takes each one of us to build. Will you join me as we build together?
Taken from The Blue Note, Edition 7. Link below to read the newsletter in full.