Sister Ros, from Sandy Beach arrived late Thursday for a few days of quality time with Ez (& us). There was lunch for 10 on Friday at Babar's and then lunch at Jerrabomberra on Saturday (so all the working boys could catch up too). The three little kids had a brilliant time, with Ella enjoying every moment, keeping up with (and demonstrating her affection for) the big boys.
Thursday night I made a date with Jeni and Irene to see Young Victoria. We started at Jeni's beautiful home at Manuka for champagne and nibblies before tackling the 2 minute walk to Greater Union. We all loved this beautiful film, exploring the first 20 or so years of Victoria's life with her beloved Albert.
Saturday night us girls braved the freezing, wet conditions to head for our favourite Parlour Room Wine Bar to enjoy an in depth catch up, a few of our favourite cocktails and some high class tapas in the comforting, girl friendly ambiance of the wine bar. We missed Claire being there. She needed her sleep after a week of less than perfect health. Ella came prepared to join us on our night out (wearing her mummy's pink beaded shoes) and was quite disappointed when Daddy took her back home for a home cooked meal and an early night.
On Sunday Rob and I headed off for Brisbane so I could attend the Stronger Smarter Summit at the Sofitel Hotel while he stayed a few days at Sunnybank having some quality time with his Mum. Brisbane was enjoying some mild, clear weather after the terrible dust storms of the week before. I enjoyed the gentle warmth, my walks along the river and the relaxed friendliness of the city.
The two day Summit was really inspiring and enervating. It was pretty thrilling to be there to hear deputy PM Julia's announcement of 16.5million federal funding (over four years) for the Stronger Smarter Indigenous Leadership Institute - great news for Indigenous kids and schools all over Australia, because the work of the Institute, under the leadership of the charismatic Dr Chris Sarra, really seems to be making a difference.
The leadership program I've been working on here in the ACT with my colleague Irene funded 4 other ACT school leaders to attend the summit. We got this picture of two of them, with Irene and me, under one of the Strong and Smart banners. We'd had fun the night before at the Summit dinner sharing laughs and stories with some of the local (Brisbane region) Aboriginal elders. They were about my age. I loved their capacity to laugh, in amongst dealing with their complex lives and considerable family responsibilities.