A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 7 - 2022

We’re already at the end of Week 4 and as we expected, changes around the wearing of masks come into effect from Week 5. While the mandate has been lifted, masks haven’t completely disappeared from our daily School life as was outlined in the communication to all parents and caregivers earlier this week. Of course, it is a personal choice should anyone wish to continue wearing a mask at any time when at Westminster.

In other areas of the School, we are still feeling the impact of COVID-19. As we enter our winter season, many of our students have been stunned to find out how much they have grown since they last wore their winter uniform. Shirts are too tight, legs have become too long for trousers and kilts are too short. Normally, it would be a visit to Westminster Shop for the next size (or two) up but like so many others, we are having huge issues with our uniform supply chain.

Shanghai is the world’s largest port in terms of shipping container throughput and is the gateway for many manufacturing industries in China. While we deal with Australian companies for our uniforms, most of our items of clothing are manufactured or shipped through China. So, while we juggle uniforms that might not quite fit, their replacements are currently held up in transit.

The supply issue ranges from footy jumpers through to trousers and shirts. Our Shop has done an incredible job of maintaining stock throughout the pandemic, but the backlog of shipping caught in Shanghai is simply unavoidable. However, there are some fantastic things that have come out of this. For example, our First XVIII is playing in our wonderful Indigenous jerseys. Usually, these are only used once a year but now we are wearing them together for longer, which is a great thing.

This year our theme has been to ‘be brave’. Interestingly, Reconciliation Australia has the same theme this year and they are encouraging us to Be Brave. Make Change, during National Reconciliation Week and beyond. Being brave this year, we have asked Elizabeth Close, a fantastic Indigenous artist with superb work all over Australia, to work with us. Working with a group of our students, Elizabeth and the team have designed an amazing piece of art that tells a story of our shared journey at Westminster.

As we move forward and turn the Boomsma Plaza into a beautiful art zone, this major piece of art will be our first and it will adorn the eastern end of the Year 12 Centre. Making it even more special is that Elizabeth will be assisted by some of our students in the installation of the artwork. She has done a terrific job bringing all the ideas together and creating a piece of art that is about all of us and our journey together. Weather permitting, the team will start painting on Monday 30 May and we look forward to sharing the artwork’s progress from start to end.

We have many reasons to celebrate at Westminster – this artwork is one such reason, seeing a return to a little more normality as masks come off is another, and we are absolutely delighted to see our students take to our new Forder Centre and Year 12 Centre as if these facilities had always been there.

As a final message, with COVID-19 still continuing to make its presence felt within the broader community, we ask that you do not send your son or daughter to School if unwell. Even if it isn’t a case of COVID-19, there are other viruses at play and we know that the virulence of the seasonal flu is high. It is the responsibility of all of us to try and keep our whole community as healthy and safe as possible.

Simon Shepherd