Thanks to Father Paul Kim for celebrating our 2018 Opening Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral last week. We introduced our Student Leadership Team to the community and presented the girls with their badges. It was a wonderful celebration and lovely to see the whole student body sing and engage in the event wholeheartedly.
During the Mass, our Principal, Mrs Carnegie, spoke to the girls about the work of two great women: Professor Michelle Simmons (2018 Australian of the Year) and Sister Philomena Gallagher SGS who was the 10th Principal of Stella Maris College.
“Professor Simmons, a quantum physicist, is working on the space race of the computing era to develop a quantum computer which can consider all possible outcomes simultaneously. The work is pushing the frontiers of technology and has the potential to revolutionise areas such as weather forecasts, stock markets, traffic flow and the development of medicines.
“As a physicist, I am a woman in a man’s world,’ says Michelle, ‘I am a fan of ensuring all young people, male and female, pursue what they love. I want Australians to be known as people who do the hard things. If we want young people to be the best they can be we must set the bar high and tell them we expect them to jump over it.’
Mary Gallagher entered the Good Samaritan Institute in 1927. Her intellect was recognised early and she was enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University. She competed a BA Dip Ed majoring in History and Latin, English Mathematics and Economics. She went on to complete an MA in Latin. In 1948 she became Novice Mistress and based formation of the Sisters more closely on the Benedictine Rule rooted in scripture. She is remembered as a wonderful, forward thinking leader of the Sisters. One of her former novices said, “She was for us a sign of the deepest aspirations of our own hearts, of what drew us to this Congregation, of what we most treasure – our spirituality and our tradition’. Why would I tell you today of the story of Mary Gallagher? It is because she is part of your story as Stella Girls. In 1970 Sister Philomena (Mary Gallagher) was appointed as the 10th Principal of Stella Maris College. She was my principal when I started in Year 7. A tiny woman only five feet tall, but a more humble and gentle soul you would never meet. Her love of learning was passed on to the students she taught and interacted with. She encouraged all in her care to be the best that they could be.
So together, let us continue to honour the work of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and the legacy they have passed on to us, so all our Stella Girls can achieve all they can be. As Michelle Simmons would express it, ‘We must set the bar high and say to each other, together we can jump over it.’ (excerpt from Mrs Carnegie’s speech at the Opening Mass)
Thank you to the many Stella staff and students who contributed to our beautiful mass, particularly our Music staff, our musicians and our choir who put in many hours’ preparation and performed beautifully
in this sacred space.