The Joeys community celebrated International Women’s Day this week with an inspirational address to the boys from Gail O’Brien AO, board member and patient advocate at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer hospital.
Mrs O’Brien, wife of the late and celebrated cancer surgeon Chris O’Brien, talked about the devastating loss of her husband to a malignant brain tumour and, a year later, her son Adam to a seizure in his sleep. “I am not telling you this as a story of grief, though it certainly is that; rather I want to tell you what I gained, as well as what I lost. It’s not a story of falling down; it’s one of falling up,” she told Headmaster’s Assembly.
Afterwards, boys offered flowers to women around the College, including mothers who came to Assembly, teachers and support staff, in recognition of the contribution they all make to the boys’ lives. The flowers were purple chrysanthemums, representing the colour of International Women’s Day – a colour that historically symbolises justice and dignity.