News from the Nest

From the Deputy Principal Boarding, Andrée Rice

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I would like to share with you an overview of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Federal Conference in Perth by Assistant Head of Boarding, Melissa Robinson.

At the bottom are photos of the our Beaudesert mums enjoying dinner at the Women’s Night of Spirituality.

Catherine Sagin and I had the honour of attending the 45th Annual Federal Conference for the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) held in Perth, Western Australia. This year’s theme was ‘Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity’. Listening to these resilient, strong women who advocate for equitable access to education for all children living in rural and remote Australia, you get the feeling the ‘waves of change’ are rolling in.

I was inspired listening to these parents speak about challenges they experience with everyday living whilst their children are boarding, and the courageous and resourceful way they overcome these difficulties. It also reinforced the wonderful privilege and enormous responsibility it is to care for other people’s children. Watching the girls grow and flourish into outstanding, confident and compassionate young women is not only rewarding but also gives me inspiration and wisdom.

Guest speaker, cricketer Mr. Justin Langer AM was one of Australia’s top-order batsman who spoke about leadership, caring for others and respect. He spoke about making people feel special no matter if you’re representing Australia or are a 13 year old girl from Alice Springs.  Respect has the same effect and positive outcome. This is how all our girls should feel and the aim of all supervisors on every shift, every day.

This opportunity to understand the experiences of boarding families more deeply has led Andree, Catherine and myself to create a presentation about boarding to be shown later in the year. This will be for all boarding staff and teachers. The presentation will enable our staff to further support the girls and to understand the issues facing them. It will cover overcoming homesickness, dealing with parental separation and we will hopefully listen to parents speak about how their life changes when their children have left for boarding school.

ICPA is a wonderful organisation, making real changes and I was very proud that Stuartholme was represented and is supporting our rural parents. To be able to better understand and support our families and girls can only strengthen our Stuartholme motto ‘To be the best she can be’.


Warmest regards,


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