Hi I'm Josie and I'm the Chaplain at QACI.
Who would have thought this is how I would spend my first six months as Chaplain!
As soon as I heard QACI was looking for a Chaplain, I knew I had found myself the perfect position. With a background in music performance and teaching, a love for acting and a great appreciation of the visual arts and dance, I couldn't think of a better place to be surrounded by like-minded peers. Although I have worked as a Chaplain previously, there is a big difference between a small, outer suburb Anglican K-12 school and an urban selective-entry Senior High School. I was prepared to spend some time finding my feet. What I could never have predicted was that after spending 8 weeks getting to know the school community, the country would go into lockdown and we would be facing a global pandemic.
Along with the rest of Australia, I watched with awe and respect as school teachers all over the country reworked lessons within a few short weeks, learnt new platforms and returned to school after the break with an extensive curriculum presented and delivered online. With many staff working from home I did have an opportunity to connect with some of the staff who were on campus in a way I may not otherwise have managed - although, I was very aware of the limited time they had between preparing, presenting and reviewing classes. After what I saw here and at home where my own children embraced (or tolerated) online learning, I feel incredibly grateful that we are fortunate enough in Australia and in QLD to have teachers who are willing and able to do whatever it takes to keep students engaged and learning in every environment.
As students are about to enjoy a relaxing 2-week break following the return to school and face-to-face learning, and trying to navigate their way through a new normal, I would like to say thank you to our community, for embracing everyone, teaching everyone and reminding us all of what it is to be young, creative and passionate. It hasn't been easy for any of us, but I see everyone working, trying, failing, and trying again. I see students and teachers asking for help and offering freely their time and skills. I see everyone caring for each other and embracing differences – creating a safe space for the whole beautiful variety of human existence. I look forward to spending the rest of 2020 with QACI and creating new memories and traditions for this new time.
Enjoy your break.