26 March 2020 Rashmi Singh   | News | Year 09  
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The students of Year 9 cohort had their first assembly of the year on 25th Feb, Tuesday.

Mr Elgood, the school principal, welcomed the students into the brand new year of 2020 and shared his vision of work ethic, application and his expectations for them.

The students have been touched by the unprecedented event of extreme bushfire season throughout the summer holidays and were happy to welcome Balmoral Village RFS captain, Mr Brendon O’Connor and Ms Victoria Herrera as guest speakers.

Mr O’Connor has been with the Rural Fires Brigade for over 20 years and the last 10 years in the capacity of the captain of the base. He and his team started to fight the 2019 fires right before the winter season in the far North Coast Down. The local fires started in October in Yerrandrie, moved to Oakdale, Thirlmere and then to the Balmoral village. Balmoral village was hit by fires 10 times between 19th December and 21st December. A total of 20 houses were lost and sadly 2 firefighter volunteers who were protecting other people’s lives and properties, also lost their own lives.
Mr O’Connor in his speech told everyone that we have just one Earth and it’s our job to look after it. We all are one inside despite our different looks on the outside. We should all join each other in protecting our environment. Every little effort counts.

Ms Herrera who was actively volunteering to save other people’s lives and properties ended up losing her own home. She told about the horrific moments when the fire shed, where her daughter was taking shelter, became too hot as the flames were attacking the door ferociously and when her daughter felt that instead of protecting her, the shed may harm her. She expressed her gratitude to the many people who simply visited the village regularly after the fires and helped the village people in all possible ways to get back on the track.
Needless to say, the students were quite in awe of events and applauded the firefighters for their courage and selfless service to the humanity.
At the end, the Deputy Principal, Ms Paleothodoros, suggested that some Year 9 students may visit the village some time during the year to show their solidarity to the village people.

Ms R SINGH

Year 9 Adviser