Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity on International Women’s Day
By Theresa Collignon, Group CEO and one of the Founders of Gateway Community High
International Women’s Day is always a good day to reflect on the work we do here at Gateway Community High. Since the majority of our students, staff and directors are women, it is a fair to say that we learn, work and connect with women as a strong point.
Our goal at Gateway Community High is to create a school that enables our students to Achieve. Belong. Grow – all of which empowers our students to reach their potential.
Breaking the Bias
The International Womens’ day theme this year is Breaking the Bias. In the words of the UN:
“Imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Imagine a gender equal world.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
A Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity
Because we are deliberately inclusive in our approach at Gateway Community High we approach the learning journey of our students without bias, and with a commitment to respect of diversity in all its forms.
We are fortunate to have a small but diverse mix of students, both male and female, from many postcodes, a range of ages, viewpoints and interests. As a special assistance school our student cohort have experienced a range of barriers to full participation in their schooling. We celebrate the range of different cultural and language backgrounds, different beliefs, differing physical and academic abilities, socio-economic advantage and perspectives.
We aim to practice our belief in diversity and inclusion every day so that the School is an equitable place to learn and connect with others.
The Power of Learning and Connection
We live our commitment to make our students feel welcome, supported and respected no matter where they are starting from or where they are heading on their learning pathway.
We believe the power of learning and connection work together to enable students to set and achieve their educational and academic goals, create and benefit form a culture within the school that fosters a feeling of belonging, and provides a basis for personal growth and increased wellbeing.
Learning can come about in many ways. It is not just what they learn in classrooms that helps empower the students but also through creating a safe environment that fosters a sense of belonging. We see the connections and friendships they make.
We know they meet and see role models along the way. We hear about the boost to their confidence and self-esteem gained from re-engaging with their formal studies, acquiring new skills and knowledge. We see the pride in their achievements as they complete their classroom work and progress through their subjects towards their Year 10 ROSA completion. Connections are made to and between fellow students, with staff, counsellors, local community organisations, government agencies and to the broader community at large.
Enjoy the day and take a moment to celebrate the fabulous women in your life that have made a difference, that have empowered you and helped you reach your potential – and while you are at it pick up the phone or send them an email to say 'Thank you'!