Searching for answers, ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed the concept of ‘eudaemonia’, which means to live well or flourish as a human being by 1: virtue or excellence, 2: gaining practical wisdom, and 3: developing moral strength. Ultimately, to flourish or embrace eudeamonia is a journey of self-discovery and developing your best talents.
As we learn to live between repeated lockdowns, the Olympic Games being held in Japan this year have given us all a sense of hope and national pride as we watch our Australian athletes pursue their dreams and strive for Excellence in their fields of endeavour. While reflecting on this, I explored the concept of ‘ikigai’. Ikigai is the Japanese concept of finding purpose in life, which is also similar to the French term ‘Raison d’etre’, a reason for being. Yet, to understand where one is going requires us to look at where we have come from, and that is what is at the heart of our Flowerdale publication this term.
Finding meaning and developing one’s strengths takes time, and the journey to self-discovery will be different for us all. This edition of Flowerdale journeys into the past not only to understand our School’s humble beginnings but also to see how far we have come. To this end, we follow alumnae Khoi Cao-Lam (Class of 1997), Sofia Cojocaru (Class of 2000), Antigone Koutoulas (Class of 2009), and Nicky Serafim (Class of 2012) on their personal journeys from their school days to where they are now.
The self-reflections of current students Constandina Chasomeris and Alannah Halabi, who will graduate later this year, demonstrate their journeys of self-discovery and developing their strengths and talents to lead lives of service and purpose at Alphington Grammar School.
Equally, we celebrate 25 years of service by Assistant Principal, Head of Primary, Mrs Tracey Nicholson. Mrs Nicholson has not only seen The School evolve from its portable buildings and outhouses to the modern structures and facilities we all now enjoy, but she has also undergone her own journey of becoming a passionate and deeply committed educator leading her part of The School. A look at our Year of Achievement and events so far rounds off this edition as we move cautiously into the remainder of the academic year.
Although our year may have a different ending to the one we hoped and planned for, I am so proud to share the staggering beginnings and vision of some of those who walked before us. I hope you find joy in reading this edition of Flowerdale that our Alumni Coordinator: Ms Adelle Greenbury has compiled.
Dr Vivianne Nikou