Today marks International Women’s Day. This year, the theme being celebrated is #BalanceforBetter. It is a day where we celebrate women’s achievements while also looking for a more balanced world, something that is close to my heart.
Although the theme for this year’s worldwide salute to women centres on gender diversity, the idea of ‘balance’ is one I wanted to touch on for this blog.
In this article, ‘balance’ is defined as that feeling one gets when all the different parts of our lives fall into a perfect sense of harmony and there is a sense of completeness.
One of the questions I often get is ‘how do you find balance between work and home?’ Like many of us, when I find that out, I will let you know! I am lucky enough to work in an area I am passionate about so the balance ebbs and flows. I am getting better at finding some balance between work and home life, deciding to have tech-free time at home and spending at least one day on the weekend with my loved ones.
At work, there is the need to find balance between listening and talking, planning and doing and teaching and learning. The key is working out when each of these is needed more than the other.
As we all aim to achieve the idealistic notion of balance in our daily lives, one thing I do know is that our holistic education, where learning and care go hand-in-hand, provides a more balanced view of the world for our students and wider community.
There will be times on the PK-12 journey that the pendulum swings for some students towards an academic outcome while others may need more care – and this changes throughout the different stages at School. As a community, we are here to support each other as we mould our own notion of #BalanceforBetter.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we celebrate one of our lovely leaders Mrs Donna Lund who has grown St Stephen’s Service Learning section into one of which we are immensely proud.
Mrs Donna Lund - St Stephen’s School Service Learning Coordinator
Donna Lund’s caring and compassionate nature precedes her. As someone who truly listens and believes in serving other people, she has truly found her place in her position as Service Learning Coordinator at St Stephen’s School, which allows her to assist people in need and spread the word and actions of helping others on a daily basis.
Previously working in the disability sector, predominantly with autistic children, Donna then found herself working as a Career Practitioner at St Stephen’s School, which evolved into her position heading up the volunteering and service area in one of Perth’s biggest school communities.
“I believed that preparing students to make choices about their careers did not all have to be about education, it also involved service and empathy for others,” she said.
This led Donna to grow the School’s intrinsic Service Learning area into a standalone department, which sees students, staff and volunteers helping the community on a weekly basis.
This includes, among many other things, supporting those that are homeless, suffering hardship, aged care, the disability sector, soup patrols, a partnership with WA Charity Direct and introducing Food Carts into the northern suburbs to collect unsold food from cafes that would otherwise go to waste, passing it on to the homeless through the School’s relationship with UnitingCare West.
“A large amount of what we do is embedded in the curriculum so students have an educational outcome and when they leave school, they have been exposed to much more than just academic subjects and have a more compassionate view of the world,” Donna said.
“Every person has a story and a reason behind their journeys in life and bringing a smile or some comfort to another person is what energises me.”
This outlook is just one reason Donna has been nominated for a prestigious community volunteering award in 2019.
The search for balance is an ongoing one. I will leave you with this short verse from John.
‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33