What is your New Year’s resolution for 2021?

This week school officially began on Wednesday 27 January and it seems such a long time since we welcomed the New Year. I am not sure how you celebrated New Year’s Eve but for me, it was decidedly different. Traditionally we would head to Glenelg, have dinner at our favourite restaurant and then to Moseley Square to enjoy the festivities and wait for the fireworks. Instead this time we stayed at home, cooked our own delicacies and enjoyed a fine wine, watched TV and saw the new year arrive from home. I think that this was the norm across most of the country with significant restrictions still in place due to the Coronavirus.

Many people make a new year resolution and I have been there as well. It would be something like lose weight, get fitter, try something new or find more time to relax. Inevitably, my resolutions do not happen or fail after a few months. This year I did not make any resolutions, but I was very conscious about my hopes for 2021.

My hopes for 2021 are many. That across the world we can see a significant improvement and progress on beating this global pandemic, that the vaccine will protect people and the number of deaths due to COVID decline sharply. My hope is that with a new president in the USA, we will have a new direction and hope for the world especially in terms of climate change and a focus on working together for the betterment of all people. That in Australia we can travel freely to visit our families and friends, that our economy recovers and job opportunities grow, that families are well-supported and that we continue to grow to a more just and fair society. That we eliminate bigotry, racism and division and be much more selfless and focused on understanding the complexities of being such a diverse society. Closer to home I hope that all families in our three schools at Cardijn can continue to thrive and be successful, that we are there to support and help, to educate and nurture and to lead and make a difference in the lives of those we encounter. Even closer to home I hope that my own family can continue to grow in hope, faith and love, I hope that I can spend much more time to see my granddaughter grow and develop, she is two years old in April. So there is much to hope for in 2021 but you cannot sit still and wait for that hope to materialise, hope can only become a reality if you act. I think that is what excites me most about 2021 – that I am accountable to look for actions that transform these hopes into reality.

I will look for help and perhaps you can rally with me to make some of these our focus and resolutions for 2021.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

1 comment on “What is your New Year’s resolution for 2021?

  1. This is beautiful and well written. Thank you for sharing a snippet of your life with your extended school family.
    I don’t personally .are new year resolutions either. However I entered the year with a new found self love and drive to face the year with no fear. Tackling things that have drawn me back for decades.


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