The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Welcome back and I hope your Christmas break was a rewarding one where families and friends had the opportunity to spend meaningful time together. The festive season is a time to be thankful for the people in our lives and to reflect on our relationships, responsibilities and personal situations. We are all part of many different communities and the break has allowed us the opportunity to celebrate with them and in some cases empathise.

With families experiencing loss through the bushfire tragedies in the eastern states and other events that have touched us over the break, it is a timely reminder of the importance of embracing those around us, supporting those in need and showing that we care. It has been great to see many Scotch students and families involved in fundraising efforts for those affected by the bushfires, and hearing of the support that friends have offered other members of our community who are in need. When times are tough, community strength shines through and whether we are directly affected or not, we all have a responsibility to look for a way to help, to show compassion and to seek to understand how others might be feeling. Our students and families have demonstrated this over the break and it has been heartening to hear of the various causes that have received support.

As we start a new year, this strength of community is also important. It has been great to have the students back at school and to have the Year 9 boys on the Senior School campus again after their brief orientation late last year. Many students look forward to returning after the summer; some cannot wait to see their friends, start new co-curricular pursuits and catch up on the news. The excitement of a new beginning is palpable and we share it and look forward to the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead. While most of our student groups are one term into the academic year, the Year 9 boys are experiencing Senior School for the first time. We know they will experience ups and downs - that is life - and the support of their peers, the staff and the Scotch community that has been on display over the break will also be there for those students. Some may feel a little apprehensive for varying reasons and support for those boys is available through our pastoral system and from their peers and the Scotch community.

This is one of the qualities of our school of which we are most proud – as a group, we get behind each other, we think of ways to help others and we aim to "be there" when needed. We are looking forward to 2020 and the adventures and challenges that lie ahead.