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A Catholic Independent Day & Boarding School for Girls years 7 - 12

Diane Neve

Psychologist specialising in Organisational Development and President of the SSCA

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Diane Neve is an Organisational Psychologist and Director of Neve and Associates, her own consultancy business.

Diane graduated from Stuartholme in 1974 and has two daughters currently attending the School. Diane is also President of the Stuartholme Sacré Coeur Association (SSCA) or Alumnae.

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Tell us about what you are you doing now

I work with various companies on conflict resolution and leadership coaching for managers and CEOs, to try and help them with their businesses. I also do parenting courses to help them learn to cope with teenagers and young children/babies.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love self-knowledge – it’s everything for me. Teaching and showing people how to understand themselves more and how they interact with others, is really special. You see light bulb moments going on, and it’s just fantastic.

Describe your role with the Stuartholme Sacré Coeur Association (SSCA)

I’m the President of the SSCA (Alumnae) and have been for four or five years now. Before that I was on the Committee as Secretary. I’ve also been involved in the Australian Sacré Coeur Association as President for four years. It’s the Australian version and also includes New Zealand. Part of that was working with the International Society of the Sacred Heart. I got to go to a few amazing conferences overseas and see what the worldwide Sacred Heart movement was doing.

How long have you been associated with the School?

I’ve been associated with the School since I first started here in 1974. My two sisters were here before me so I remember coming up with them a few times. I remember talking to the gorgeous nuns that were here and wandering around the School with them. I just couldn’t wait to come here.

The tradition for my family has lived on with my two daughters, who are currently attending Stuartholme. They love it as much as I did.

What did you value most about the School and its education philosophy?

It doesn’t matter if you’re someone who’s sporty or artistic or academic, Stuartholme creates a well-rounded individual. Stuartholme especially pushes the message of be who you are and you will find your place. It’s about valuing education and being the best you can be, in whatever avenue that is.

Why an international school of the Sacred Heart?

Stuartholme is part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools. There’s a connection with 30 other Schools around the world, with over 10,000 Alumnae. You start off in a small school here and start by connecting with New Zealand. After that you quickly realise you’re part of a much larger international network of support throughout the world. We have a lot of students who come from other countries around the world to Stuartholme, especially Boarders, because they’ve heard of the Sacred Heart education philosophy and want to be educated in accordance to the Goals. We really are an international school.

What would you say to a family who were looking at Stuartholme for their daughter?

Stuartholme is marvelous! It’s a School where girls can be anything they want to as long as they understand it’s their responsibility to be a part of it as well. I’ve seen some of the other schools who try to fit each child into a tiny square box. If they didn’t fit with the philosophy of that box then it was just too bad. Whereas at Stuartholme, you didn’t have to be this particular person or do this particular thing or even believe the same things as others, just as long as you could justify your views and opinions, you would be listened to and understood. It allows a lot of freedom, especially during adolescence, which is a typically tricky time to grow up. It’s often a time where students get lost. It doesn’t matter if you’re loud or shy, you’ll be expected to participate, engage and encouraged to learn about yourself.

In your words, describe the Goals of the Sacred Heart education and what they mean to you?

The Goals are there to help support the development and growth of young women. They’re basically a great way of encompassing what your education will be like, where it will go and who you’ll be at the end. It is a Catholic School but it also allows students to investigate other religions and faiths as well. Religion in the wider society doesn’t play the important role that it used to. It’s important then for our girls to have a strong understanding of their faith and what it means for them.

My favourite Focus Goal is Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. You can choose what you want to do but you have to understand the consequences that come with it. If you choose a path that’s looking after others, then you will grow significantly through that. It’s important to give, not just take. You see it start in Year 8 – they begin with smaller opportunities and then by Year 12, you see a class of strong, inspirational and compassionate women.

Another Goal is A deep respect for intellectual values. This Goal is not just about learning the theory of things but experiencing them too. Overall the goals provide a really solid foundation for education.

Which goal challenges you the most?

The Goal that challenges me the most is A personal and active faith in God. I found from my own personal experience that I was very strongly faithful during my years here at Stuartholme. At that time, the world was very black and white for a while. But then you leave school and enter a world where nothing is black and white. You’re trying to find your career and partners and good friends and it’s all a bit complicated. So the faith dissipates for a while, as it’s not part of you constantly like it was. What is interesting is that I am finding the faith is coming through very strongly for me now.

What does Cor Unum mean to you?

At Stuartholme and through all the Sacred Heart Schools, we talk about the world of Cor Unum. It means ‘One heart beating together in the heart of Jesus’. It’s very much the centre of this School. I have friends that I met in Year 8 that I still have today. We’ve been through marriages, children, some of our children getting married and every year we go away together on a girls’ weekend. There are 8 of us together and it almost feels like we are The Cor Unum, one heart beating together.

Every year when I attend each of the School reunions, you can see how the foundation is still there for each group. When I was in New York I reached out to some of the Alumnae there and we were instantly connected. We were meeting in a café and as soon as I walked in I spied a lady sitting in the corner and I just knew she was the lady I was there to meet. I had never seen her before but the connection was just so strong. I can’t describe it but I think it was definitely the one heart that joined us.


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