Boarding mums come together

A hug from your Mum definitely makes the list of a boarder’s favourite thing, and recently, they got to do just that, suprising their mothers and grandmothers with a rose at the annual Boarder Mothers Luncheon.

This event is a great way for boarding families to connect and bond over the shared boarding experience. Sending your daughter to boarding school is hard, and a decision that comes with sacrifice. Boarding Captain, Sally Lasker  (Year 12, Teelba) summed this up perfectly in her speech, “As difficult as it is for us to go boarding school, it is just as difficult for our mothers. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a boarder. Over the past few years, boarding has helped me gain a lot of confidence and strength.”

Sarah Neliman – YEAR 12 (Goomeri)

For some of them, they were used to driving us for hours to get to our sports trainings, and now they hardly drive us at all. You have gone from getting up early to take us to primary school to waking up to an empty house.

Boarding flips our lives upside down. For a mother to have the confidence to put her child in the responsibility of a boarding school is a big move to make, and it takes a lot of courage and trust.” Supported by fellow captain, Sarah Neliman (Year 12, Goomeri), who expressed her gratitude for the boarding experience, “I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a boarder. Over the past few years, boarding has helped me gain a lot of confidence and strength.”  

Head of Boarding, Ms Sharron Currie addressed the group of mothers assembled at Gip’s Restaurant, to share her experience, and what she has learnt about our Glennie Boarders;

I have to start with the confession that I have never been a Boarder. I wanted to, and there were certainly lots of discussions around my dinner table about it when I was growing up. I went to school in Goomeri – a small town about 2 hours away with the same group of about 15 kids from Kindy to Year 10, give or take one or two transient students each year. Our school finished in Year 10, so our class of 15, who I had spent every lunch time with for 11 years, all went different ways.

Many went off to boarding schools, some to the workforce, some to TAFE or Ag college, and some boarded the bus each day to our nearby schools that catered for Year 11 and 12. I was always very envious of my friends who went off to boarding school. When they returned in the holidays, they seemed so mature and sophisticated, so grown up and independent.

I didn’t think there was anything that could match the unique friendships and connections that you made when you went to school with the same small group of friends every day for eleven years. 

But then I came to know the Boarders. 

Fast forward to 2023 and I find myself working in a role that takes these connections to a whole new level. And I am grateful that I work in a school where Boarders are at its very heart.

I say the heart of our school because for 38 weeks a year, our boarders are everywhere. The boarding houses are not only where they sleep, but where they dance through the corridors. The school yard is their back yard. They fill the cubicles with laughter and feel safe enough here to shed their tears. Boarders are involved in everything: sport, drama, dance, service programs and every other co-curricular program on offer. Boarders can be relied on to be part of whatever is going on. If something needs doing … a boarder will do it. During school hours they provide a lot of the humour and joy that we know as Glennie. They have a camaraderie that is infectious and fun, and add a special character to every conversation. Every day girl loves their boarder friend. 

Despite desperately wanting to be a boarder, and now working in boarding – I haven’t been in your shoes before. I haven’t had to leave my child in the care of someone else for the majority of their teenage years. I haven’t had to listen to my child’s homesick voice, agonising over whether I jump in the car and drive hundreds of kilometres to take her out on leave for a bit.  I haven’t had to sit at home wondering how they swam in their race today, or if they were eating enough vegetables at dinner, or whether they had someone to chat with after school, or if they remembered to go to their rehearsal. 

While I may not have had to make the decision to send my child to boarding school, for the past six months I’ve had a little glimpse into your life, and to me, you are the unsung heroes.

I understand the weight of your decisions and sacrifices you have to make. The kilometres travelled, the hours spent calming your anxious daughter through the phone and the occasional tear you shed when you walk past empty bedrooms during the school term. 

I know that you would love nothing more than to be there hugging your little girl during the tough times. And while you can’t be here, I know that you are sitting at home worrying about them anyway.

With this in mind, I want to reassure you – we care. And when I say we, I mean my most incredible team of House Mothers and boarding supervisors who genuinely care as much about your daughters as I do. 

And while sometimes, they have to put on their cranky Mum hats too. I want you to know that when there are tears, when there’s sadness, we feel it too. Our heart breaks too for the girls who are so far from home, who just need a hug from their Mum. 

But our hearts also swell with pride at their resilience, their courage and their tenacity. Your girls are independent, they are adaptable, and they are full of common sense. They bring life to our school community and set our school apart from others. 

We are proud of them and we know you are too. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for putting your daughter into our care, for trusting us and for believing that we are able to have a positive influence on your child’s life. We find it incredibly rewarding to delight in the growth and achievements of your daughters and incredibly blessed to be a part of their journey from school life to young adult life.”