Crossing the Bridge at Billanook College

Crossing the Bridge at Billanook College

Many great works of children’s literature include a threshold moment. There is the wardrobe into Narnia, platform 9 ¾ for Hogwarts and Alice’s rabbit hole to her Wonderland. These passages
take children into new worlds full of possibility, challenge and imagination.

The Irish poet John O’Donohue talked about thresholds as “a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness… a line which separates two territories of spirit, and …

very often how we cross is the key thing.” When we take time to consider our threshold rituals we allow new possibilities to emerge, we leave space to be transformed.

At the end of the school year we notice many threshold moments across our network of Uniting Church Schools. Graduations, Farewell Services and Celebrations are rituals which allow individuals and communities to pass into new phases of life.

At Billanook College, Year 8 students take part in a very special tradition called ‘Crossing the Bridge’. Families gather to watch as each student crosses the bridge over the river in the middle of the

Billanook students

Photo by Laura McInnes/Billanook College

school campus. The ritual symbolizes the transition to the next stage of their schooling journey. This rite of passage acknowledges our human need to mark and celebrate different stages of our lives within our loving communities.

Many students, teachers and school leaders say farewell to their communities at the end of a school year. The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania farewelled two long-serving Principals at the end of 2015.

Bruce Simons has left after 16 years as Principal of Hamilton and Alexandra College and Kerry Bolger retired as Principal of Cornish College. Our thoughts are with them as they transition to the next stage of their lives. May many new possibilities emerge.

Sarah Lockwood
Schools Project Worker

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