Picnic to promote belonging

OLMC students Felisha Vella, Immanuel Henry, Lena Vo and Jayden Tran. Photo: Kitty Beale

OLMC Kindergarten students Felisha, Immanuel, Lena and Jayden enjoyed their first whole school picnic this year. Photo: Kitty Beale

Thousands of parents and students marked Catholic Schools Week at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Catholic Primary Mt Pritchard with a shared picnic lunch.

The whole school annual event was well suited to this year’s inclusive Catholic School’s Week theme ‘I belong. You belong. We belong’.

Principal Warren Loy said many looked forward to the tradition. He comes to the school after 16 years as Principal of others, including St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary in Smithfield which he left at the end of 2015.

“It’s a huge event,” he said. “All of the students and a lot of parents, especially of children in Kindergarten to Year 4, turn up. They bring a picnic lunch for themselves and their children and sit out on the playground to share that lunch. We were expecting up to 2000 people on the day. It’s a good chance to socialise and meet all of the parents and gives that whole community feel.”

Parents also attended a special assembly, morning tea, and open classrooms before the picnic on March 9.

The school’s community is culturally diverse with a large number from Vietnamese and Arabic-speaking backgrounds. Mr Loy said his first impression of the school was extremely positive.

“The children are so well behaved,” he said. “They’re happy and keen to be involved in school life, and the parents here are there for whatever you ask them for. They are a very giving community.”

Mr Loy’s skill as principal is in leading and facilitating teams that are cohesive. Mr Loy said the ideal was “a good harmonious team that has a good skill set across the team, rather than one person holding all of the knowledge.”

“The people who work in Catholic education are there for the right reasons,” he said. “They want the best for the kids they teach. When you trust them to take things forward the whole school moves in a positive direction.”

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