Today, Nicola Forrest was inducted as the third Principal of the College, with a special assembly combining Foundation Day and the Induction ceremony.
We were delighted to welcome Rev Denise Liersch, Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, to lead the Induction. There was a wonderful sense of community as students, staff, parents, special guests, friends and family welcomed Nicola, with student, staff and parent representatives presenting symbolic items to her, including a Bible, a book, a plant and a cross.
Nicola spoke of her path to become Principal, including the importance of teamwork and learning under Cornish’s former Principals, Kerry Bolger and Vicki Steer. She reflected on how belonging to the Cornish community has “energised and enriched” her life and inspired her to “lead with courage”. She encouraged others to do the same, noting that responsibility – and being part of the Cornish community – is often part of a bigger plan.
“Somehow, some way, we are all meant to be here. If you really let this school choose you, if you open up to all it has to offer and take it all in, embrace every opportunity and be part of the values – you can actually make a difference.
“Cornish College chooses all of us to make a difference, and it sets us up to be leaders in our school, in our community and for our world. When Cornish chooses you, it’s choosing you to lead. Thank you for choosing me to be part of it,” Nicola said.
Following the Induction, it was fantastic to welcome back Rick Cookson-Mleczko (CC2015) to give the Foundation Day address. Rick reflected that his Cornish education had provided opportunities to explore his passions, and that the growth of the College has only strengthened its sense of community. We also heard from Polly Draper (CC2019), 2019 Dux of Cornish College, and Sophie Mackey (CC2019), 2019 Cornish Award recipient, who both gave warm, inspiring speeches about the important role the Cornish community had played in their journeys.
As the ceremony drew to a close, it was heart-warming to hear a sustained round of applause for Nicola as she departed with the official party. It was a wonderful way to welcome our third Principal, and showed the solidarity, excitement and hope held by the Cornish community.