As I write this report I am sitting in my Nossal office in an almost deserted school contemplating the end of one of the most challenging and unique school terms I have ever experienced, and (like everyone else) wondering about where we are heading and what the future may hold as we move through these uncharted waters.
We started the term being horrified by the images of the bushfires and the devastating images of human and environmental disaster on a scale we have never before seen, and ten weeks later we are facing a worldwide epidemic that is transforming the way we live, interact, and our whole perspective about what really matters. It does feel a bit like the opening narrative from a dystopian novel, although one that I choose to believe will have an ultimately positive ending. That is not to say that we will not have to endure some significant discomfort and major challenges along the way, and we are already seeing the emergence of unprecedented restrictions on our lifestyle, huge social and economic upheaval, job losses, and the spectre of a potentially lethal world-wide virus.
Amid this concern and uncertainty it has been uplifting to see the positive and creative spirit being modelled by many members of the community as they prepare for this uncertainty and I expect that this will (as in other times of great challenge and upheaval) trigger great advancements and positive change in response. Historically, the horrors of the world wars were triggers for huge advancements in science, medicine and technology and I hope that this current crisis may also stimulate a stronger, more united and harmonious world where the common enemies are the corona virus, climate change, environmental damage, discrimination, poverty and inequity. Sometimes the shock of a disaster is the catalyst that forces us to take notice and make changes for the greater good.