2021 at Cornish College, and hopefully in all our lives, is a year for regeneration and repair. I wish to acknowledge the hardship and challenge many of you faced in 2020 and continue to face, and to thank our community for supporting those in need in such a united way. It is important to acknowledge that for many of us, cracks have appeared.

Rather than ignore the cracks or see them as faults, we need to seek to repair. This can set us on a strong road to recovery and improvement.

I have recently been fascinated by Kintsugi – the Japanese art of repair. “Gold mending”. It is an art form that seeks to recover rather than to discard – a sustainable approach to living that teaches us to relish our blemishes. Rather than seeing the cracks as faults, we see opportunities for beautiful repair.

Through the lens of beautiful repair, we see the importance of developing the compassion to identify what needs repair, the courage to acknowledge the cracks rather than ignore and the integrity and creativity to make what we have more beautiful.

There are cracks in education, but we, as a school, are by no means broken, and we have the courage to admit that we can do things better and that we can do better things.

So, if Cornish looks, sounds and feels a little different now and in the years to come, it’s because it has to. We are not doing things differently just to be different. We are doing things differently to make a difference – because education of a different kind is exactly what your children deserve.

So, we move forward now to make things beautiful.

I see beauty in our community. A community who gets on Facebook and welcomes new teachers with encouraging comments and who proudly tells our story at soccer matches, cafes and wherever they get the opportunity.

I see so much beauty in the 680 young people who come here, greet us daily, thank us, engage with and challenge us and are proud to be one of us.

I see beauty in every teacher and the support staff who overcome challenges, who learn new things every year, who put aside many of their own personal endeavours just to make a difference here and to be champions for your child.

And I see beauty in our 100 acres, land of the Kulin Nation – the first people to, no doubt, see beauty in it long before we did.

You, our community, have led us to a place where we are confident to explore the possibilities of change – and that is a beautiful thing.

Let’s have a great year.

Nicola Forrest