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I am grateful and give thanks to God for such an amazing team that we have on the LESNW board. After our board meeting on Monday, I left with a sense of pride and anticipation on what our regional team and learning communities are accomplishing despite being under stressful conditions. I feel honoured to be part of such a dynamic and passionate organisation who are so dedicated in wanting to make a difference in the lives of our students, families and the wider community.

From a board chair point of view, I see the fruition from our focus group discussions last year, with a number of the key areas you shared being addressed and supported. David Wilksch and Jane Mueller joining the regional team are just a couple of examples of where LESNW have listened and responded to the needs of our learning communities. I look forward to seeing the great work they will achieve in supporting and being a resource for our learning communities.

I am also constantly amazed at the level of commitment and passion our regional team work at to help provide our learning communities with the support and resource they need to help them achieve their mission and vision. I thank God for their service and love of what they do.

It was also great to hear that the Marketing and Communications committee is starting to evolve. I look forward to seeing the wonderful work that will come out of the team over the coming months, and encourage those who have experience in marketing and communications in our learning communities and a passion to be part of a vibrant and dynamic team, to put your hand up and join Fiona Castle-Schmidt on the committee.

I am currently reading a book entitled “Paul” by NT Wright. It is delving into the man/apostle Paul and his background before his conversion on the road to Damascus and the landscape and context of the environment he was ministering to in the early 1st century. As I have been reading I have been struck by one of the key focus of Paul’s ministry. That Israel was set apart by God to be different to the rest of the world. Prior to Christ, this was limited to Jews. But Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament scriptures. He is the Messiah. Immanuel. God with us. And through His resurrection He lives with us and is King forever. And He invites us (non-Jews) to be part of His kingdom. And he calls us to be set apart from the rest of the world. Not by a set of rules and regulations and what we can and can’t eat, but by our love for and of each other because of His love for us. As the LESNW board chair, I have the privilege of seeing this played out in the way our learning communities and our regional team show their point-of-difference in their love and passion to see the love of God shared in their own communities. For that I am extremely grateful.

Whilst I may be getting caught up in the excitement of all the great things that I see happening across our region, I am also reminded (and sobered) that our learning communities have a heavy load and are under constant pressure an demands. With this in mind I pray that we can provide you with the support you need to fulfil your vision and mission.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

Yours in His service,

Paul Bert
LESNW Board Chair


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