A global pandemic creates great uncertainty in the world. Horrors of devastating death rates and the ruinous impact on the economy aside, the fact that we do not know when and if normality will resume is unsettling to say the least. Over the past few decades, before COVID, the world has become smaller and more accessible. Long distance phone calls are no longer priced out of reach and discount airlines offer previously unattainable opportunities to visit interstate and overseas family. And now, while I am thankful for and relish my freedom here in WA, not knowing when I will next see my children, my parents and my siblings is unnerving. If I just knew when, the longing in my heart could settle somewhat.

Here at Carmel, I think the year group most affected has been our Year 12 students. For them there was and is no extra time to catch up on lost learning in the coming years. When our school went online at the end of Term 1, they had to ‘keep on keeping on’, remain focused while the world around them turned upside down. Year 12 is a slog, and often students will be buoyed by the thought of Shnat, or an extended holiday before embarking on university. Of course, all that is now up in the air as both State and International borders remain closed, and our Year 12s are resigned to looking forward to a guilt-free Netflix binge.

One outcome of this year that should and has calmed many of our Year 12 students has been the early offers many have received from Universities. Of our 32 ATAR students, 21 have a guaranteed place in their university and course of preference and three have conditional offers. Of the remaining students, five have chosen not to secure an early offer as their preferred course will only take applications once students have received their ATAR, although these students are well on the way to obtaining the score they need for entry. In a world of uncertainty, this certainty has been a welcome surprise.

The goal of Carmel School is to work with students to set them on the path for success in their next stage of life, whatever that might be; University, TAFE, Yeshiva or work. For those who want and are able to pursue tertiary education, our goal is to get them in! Mr Shadgett (Head of Secondary) and Mrs Italiano (Careers Advisor) have worked with our students over the year to help them secure a place at university. So no matter what the next few months hold, the majority of our Carmel students have peace of mind that all their hard work over the past 14 years has not been for nought; thankfully COVID has not robbed them of their future study plans.

May the health and safety we have in WA spread to the rest of world. May we find happiness, healing and bright future for all of humanity.