Heathdale flower 30th April 2021

Flying the Flags

This ANZAC Day we celebrated all our soldiers, including our First Nations people who were not always recognised for their service.

Heathdale flower

ANZAC Day last Friday was a beautiful time with the students at the Melton campus. For the first time at both campuses, we had our new flagpoles proudly displaying our flags.

At Heathdale we want to celebrate the three strands of our Nation’s story; our First Nations people, those who arrived during European settlement, and our migrant communities who have brought wonderful diversity to our great land. For the first time as a whole school we gathered in front of these flagpoles and children sat and stood when appropriate on the soccer pitch. They had clearly been taught well in their classes. They were extremely respectful and the ceremony had a real sense of occasion. Students wore ANZAC badges with pride, we laid a wreath, we said the Ode, we sang the National Anthem and Mr Kirkman played the Last Post on the bugle. We were also able to talk about and show respect for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers who served in many wars but did not have the privilege of enjoying the freedoms they fought for.

The students did so well that I popped into every class to congratulate them. Considering this time last year we were in lockdown and our ceremony was remote and cross campus, it was lovely to acknowledge this important day together. I would like to congratulate you as Parents and Guardians for the impeccable behaviour of all children even down to the very youngest.

Sometimes it isn’t easy being a parent. Teaching your children such things as the history of ANZAC day can be confronting, confusing and difficult to understand in today’s world. I firmly believe that we are continually educating our children today for the adults they will become in the future. This might mean teaching our children to cook so that in the future when married, the cooking load is shared. It might mean teaching our children to hold the door open for all people so that in the future they notice the person who is struggling with too many bags to open the door. It might mean role modelling the courageous act of standing up for something you believe in so our children know it is okay not to be a silent bystander. May I take this opportunity to encourage you, nothing goes unnoticed by their little eyes. We are constantly being role models and they are constantly learning from what they see. Parenting and educating is a long game with wonderful rewards. With Mother’s Day coming up take some time to sit back and watch what delightful characters your little ones are developing into. Sometimes I am brave and say to my boys “How am I doing as your mum? Do you have anything you would like me to improve upon?” You would think this would illicit answers such as we would like more screen time or stay up later, but it doesn’t. Sometimes I like what I hear and sometimes I need to reflect. Mostly it gives me a way forward. They usually say, ‘Can you be a little more relaxed or can you spend a bit more time with us?’ Sometimes it isn’t easy being a parent but it is a long game with wonderful rewards.