The induction of a new Principal is a historic moment in the life of Somerville House and not one celebrated often. Following the Schools’ establishment in 1899 by Miss Eliza Fewings, only twelve have been entrusted with the responsibility and honour of the title.
On Monday 4 February the School community joined together to celebrate the induction of Mrs Kim Kiepe. With extensive leadership experience and a strong background in girls’ education, Mrs Kiepe is set to carry on a legacy of Principals who have demonstrated exceptional values and a passion for furthering the education of young women.
“I am very conscious of the honour and responsibility conferred on me today,” said Mrs Kiepe.
“And I acknowledge the unique and outstanding contribution of each of the Principals that have gone before me.”
Mrs Kiepe was inducted at a service officiated by Mr Greg Adsett, Chairman, Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association, with many dignitaries and guest speakers including Reverend Heather den Houting, General Secretary of the Uniting Church in Australia.
In her service address, Reverend den Houting spoke of the role a Principal must play; leading by example and defining the certain standards of behaviour they would like to see modelled within the School.
“The quest is to always model a community that holds values,” said Reverend den Houting.
“I have no doubt that Somerville House will recommit itself to its foundational values that are grounded in care.”
At her first public address as the newly inducted Principal of Somerville House, Mrs Kiepe spoke of her vision and hopes for the School in a teaching environment that is changing at an unprecedented speed.
“It is my hope that we can provide the learning pathways and opportunities to enable students to develop the skills needed to chart successful futures and thus be a responsible global citizens,” she said.
“I have absolute confidence that together, we can achieve this through our strategic priority of providing exceptional learning and educational outcomes.”
“It is my hope that a Somerville House education will help develop our students’ aspirations to learn about the things they need to learn, along with the things they would like to learn, so that our graduates can live and work productively in the diversity of the twenty-first century,” said Mrs Kiepe.
Mrs Kiepe also went onto speak of how she views herself as Principal and the many expectations she has placed on her role.
“How do I see my role as the Somerville House Principal?” she said.
“[I believe] the essence lies in my own humanity and a relational leadership style that has been developed over the course of my career in Education.”
“For me it is about being a good role model; working hard and looking out for each member of our Somerville House community: our girls, our staff members, our parents and our Old Girls,” said Mrs Kiepe.
In the final moments of her induction address, Mrs Kiepe expressed how the warmth of the students’ smiles and their welcome to the School reminded her of the privilege that comes with the role of Principal.
“I have this chance to be a part of our student’s lives, and I have this opportunity to make a positive contribution to them as Principal,” said Mrs Kiepe.
“I want to nurture honesty and integrity as you go about your daily lives; a desire to show concern and compassion for others, an attitude and an eagerness to learn more [and] an attitude of finding out what you are good at and doing your best.”
“May this year ahead be a blessed one for us all,” she said.