As Australia burns we are all in a position to help.

Latest News Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020

We all feel a sense of devastation as we watch the horrors of the bushfires unfold on our television screens before our eyes each night. The loss of wildlife, property and lives fills us all with tremendous sadness, doom and gloom. We’ve come to know the dire images each night so well - the twisted metal roof and the chimney that stands alone like a tombstone in the blackened earth; the ferocious orange flame that rages uncontrollably across the treetops and the selfless firefighters who have exemplified the human spirit.

In all of this, it would be easy to feel a sense of helplessness and impotence in the face of this catastrophe. And it would be easy to see this as a country, as opposed to a city, issue and yet this summer, those of us in the city have rarely seen the distinctly Australian blue sky. All of us are reminded each morning as we wipe ash from our outdoor furniture that this is the ash from far-away communities, flora and fauna that is being wiped out.

If Judaism is anything it is a religion of doing. And the extent to which this has impacted on the staff and me is indicative of just how compelled we all feel to respond. This was the essence of my message at speech night - that we all should aim to do something regardless of how small the action may be. In this way, we don’t succumb to a sense of demoralised inertia but empower ourselves to be and do in a moment of crisis.

When we return to school, we will make every endeavour to involve our staff and children in taking action and to respond in ways that replace despair with hope and empowerment. In the meantime, as these seemingly endless images unfold, perhaps you can explore ways in which you, as a family, can take action.

I trust the remainder of your holiday will be restful and hopefully without as much tragedy as we have witnessed. My colleagues and I look forward to seeing you back at school.

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