Principal 6/5/22: Valuable lessons from Matilda the musical

As I write, this is in a state of prayerfulness as we approach the final weekend of the school musical. We had a wonderful opening weekend, and we pray that our cast, crew and production team remain healthy for the coming shows.

Getting to this point has been a marathon experience involving perseverance through change and a rollercoaster of disappointment at postponement, to exhilaration as the curtain went up last Friday night. The intention to run Matilda the Musical had its origins many years ago and its production has been underway since 2020. Thus, last weekend was extra special in so many ways. Not only was it great to spend some time with the cast prior to the show, sharing in their excitement, it was also a real joy to see families mingling outside the hall. This is something we have been waiting for a long time to enjoy at school again.

There are so many people that I would like to thank in getting this show to opening night. However, I would like to use this newsletter to particularly thank the parents, carers and friends of our school community who have pitched in and provided help supporting the cast, in serving food in the canteen, BBQ or lolly stall and even in assisting in managing traffic flow in the carpark. Your generosity of time and energy has contributed so much to making this event a fun one.

While the music is great and there are lots of fun and fantasy aspects to this story it also raises very serious themes in relation to the way people speak to and treat other people. When we decided on this musical, it was with an intention to use it as an opportunity to educate the cast and crew on the topic of abuse. This included identifying examples of different forms of abuse in the story and understand why it is not acceptable, while informing them of pathways to seek help. Sadly, abuse comes in many forms, not just violence. Neglect and emotional abuse can also have deeply traumatic impacts on people of all ages, leaving them feeling unsafe. It is so important that our children know that they have people who are ‘safe’ and can help them. These include class and pastoral care teachers, year advisors and our counselling team members.

In our musical, Matilda was able to find kindness and safety in talking to her teacher Miss Honey.

The ‘Aim I Safe?’ webpage created by Anglicare Victoria provides a ‘your helping hand’ activity resource for parents of Primary aged children to think of five people they could talk to if they were feeling unsafe. Children can also get help by calling Kids helpline  phone: 1800 55 18 00

On a related theme, Year 11 participated in a workshop focusing on exercising respect in how they relate to others. This workshop was part of their camp program and revisits many of the concepts covered in Years 7-10 PDHPE courses. The workshop was also attended by our school counsellors and Mr Hudson, our High School Deputy.

It is helpful to understand the concept of respect as ‘something we do’. Some key concepts to understand about respect in our everyday interactions are:

  • considering another person’s basic human rights and freedoms whenever you do something that might affect them
  • considering someone else’s needs and values when making a decision, and
  • empathising with their experience and trying to help them in positive ways.

When we ‘do’ respect in these ways we demonstrate the value we hold for other people.

As a school we promote respect for all people as the Bible tells us we are created in his God’s image. As such we are created to exercise respect for our world as his creation, treating others with kindness, extending compassion, and exercising justice. These are things which we can do on a daily basis wherever we are.

Yours in Christ,
Keith McMullen


He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God

Micah 6:8

If your child needs help, there are a range of supports available.
Our counsellors are always on hand to support students, they can visit the student office in B Block arrange an appointment via email on

or they can call:
Kids helpline  
Phone: 1800 55 18 00