MacKillop College has been preparing to finally open the College gates once again, after another lockdown and several months of doing its best to protect staff, students and community. It has been a humbling reminder of the resilience and adaptability required when working together towards a greater good.
The return to relative freedoms seems to bring with it a need to reflect on the past two years. As a community, and a school, coming together as people has always been a fundamental part of what MacKillop does. The assemblies, the sport, the musical performances, the classroom – these are all staples of the industry and experience within the education of MacKillop’s students. 2020 and 2021 served to turn it all on its head.
On a global scale, the entire method of teaching and learning has been thrown into uncertainty and the education industry has needed to adapt. Face-to-face interactions, practical elements to classes, excursions and invited guests all became unreliable resources, with technology such as Zoom and the flexibility to move from the tangible classroom to a virtual one suddenly became a requirement. Each lockdown brought separation from friends, family and peers.
COVID-19 arose in 2019, however, and it is there this reflection begins. In 2019, MacKillop College was happily working towards its anniversary year, putting a complicated network of events and ideas into action as it prepared to show the community the school, its beginnings and its achievements. The college reached out to students, teachers and staff, past and present, to assist in the creation of a comprehensive history of the first 50 years of MacKillop, and anecdotally revisited all the elements that helped to shape the College grounds and culture today.
From small beginnings, as a portable classroom in the middle of cabbage patches, through to the start of the most recent school refurbishment, MacKillop College has adapted to the needs of students, community and social environment. The book showcases all of the effort, faith and joy that MacKillop College fostered over the last 50 years, and demonstrates the self-same resilience that stood it in such great stead during this global pandemic.
The college’s anniversary year may not have gone to plan, but the school community is so proud of the strength, resilience and faith of its members. These past two years have been challenging, but MacKillop College has shown its ability to navigate the balance between keeping staff and students safe and well, while also keeping the quality of education as high as possible. On the cusp of a new normal, MacKillop is looking forward to coming together in celebration once more. Whether it is something as small as finally being able to sell a book, or as large as congratulating the most recent Year 12 cohort on their phenomenal achievements, MacKillop College has been, and will continue to be, resilient and adaptable.
MacKillop College is located at 1-29 Russell Street, Werribee.
The MacKillop College 50 Year Anniversary book is currently available for purchase at www.mackillopwerribee.com.au/book/. For more information, visit www.mackillopwerribee.com.au or phone (03) 8734 5200.