From the Principal, Ms Judith Potter

“Felicity is an attitude of mind, a disposition of the heart which manifests itself in cheerfulness, good humour, joy, happiness, hope, optimism, friendliness, cheerfulness, courtesy, positive thinking, inner peace, self-acceptance and courage.”

(Loreto Schools of Australia Mission Statement)


The International Women’s Day Breakfast is a key annual event here at Loreto Ballarat.

 “International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day..”                                                                              

Jacqui, Georgia, Laura & SaraWe who work or study, or have worked or studied, at a Loreto school are privileged to belong to a world-wide community that has had the education of women at the centre for over 400 years.  Mary Ward and her circle of friends acted upon her and their belief that society would benefit through the education of girls and women – and persevered despite what would seem insurmountable obstacles to most.

From the gospel of Luke we are reminded that to those to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48) and thus, as we celebrate the wonderful opportunities open to us, we must work to ensure that these opportunities are open to all women across the world.  We have much to celebrate and much to do.  Our two guest speakers, Judge Sara Hinchey (Class of 86) and Coroner Jacquie Hawkins (Class of 89) are inspiring women who, in sharing their stories, provided insight into what has motivated and guided them on their career and personal pathways.

I share with you some advice to our students from Sara:

  • Study Hard
  • Never ever give up
  • Travel often
  • Practise mindfulness, meditation and exercise
  • Be kind – to yourself and others
  • Think outside the box.

Jacqui shared her story using the Loreto values as her lens. She encouraged all to

  • Be your own unique self, there is only one you – your imperfections make you the interesting person you are
  • Find your passion, live up to your fullest potential
  • You are able to be and do anything you want, there are no boundaries and everything is possible
  • Strive to be the best possible person you can be. Be persistent and determined.
  • Your actions, big and small, can have a positive impact on the lives of others.

The Loreto Woman of the Day, Georgia Harraway-Jones and the Loreto Community Achiever, Laura Prendergast have given great example of these qualities.  I express our gratitude to Lee Squire of Fernwood Fitness and Sue & Stephen Anderson of Regent Cinemas for their most generous sponsorship.  I thank the Marketing, Community Relations and Fundraising Team – Mrs Judy-Ann Quilliam, Ms Liz Francis and Ms Shona Hendley – for their planning, organisation and running of this very special event.

The inaugural Mary Ward Connect came to be in 2009 to celebrate 400 years of Loreto (Mary Ward) education worldwide.  Initially there were no plans that this become an annual event.  Such was the success of Mary Ward Connect in 2009 that it is now an anticipated event in Loreto schools across Australia.  The opportunity to meet and interact with Loreto ‘sisters’ from around Australia is a very special one indeed.  It was our great pleasure to welcome six Year 10 students from Loreto Kirribilli (Sydney) and Loreto Marryatville (Adelaide) and the accompanying staff Mr Chris Tidyman and Mrs Jackie Amor.  We are appreciative of the welcome given by Loreto Kirribilli and Loreto Marryatville to our travelling students and staff.  I thank Mrs Mary Dow, Ms Courtney Gillingham and Mrs Steph Crawford for the organisation behind the scenes here at Loreto Ballarat.

The vibrant Loreto spirit of the members of the Rowing Squad and their coaches and families was on display for all to witness at the Head of the Schoolgirls Rowing Regatta on the weekend.  I thank Mr Nathan Sims, Ms Gaby Howard, all coaches and all parents who worked diligently behind the scenes. I congratulate all crews on their achievements. I commend the staff and students who participated in the Mt Warrenheip Mountain of Fun Run on Sunday.