San Clemente staff cut to the chase

The absence of students did not stand in the way of five staff at San Clemente High School, Mayfield fulfilling their promise to participate in The World’s Greatest Shave on 1 April to aid the fight against blood cancer.

Principal Bernard Burgess, Librarian Kristy Huber, PDHPE Coordinator Mick Byrne, front office worker Tracy Harper, and Ministry Coordinator/Teaching and Learning Coordinator Religious Studies Emma South shaved their heads at the school, which was filmed for students at home.

The school has raised more than $4500 for the Leukemia Foundation, which exceeds expectations. Organiser Emma South said the school was truly overwhelmed by the generosity of its community.

“We started with a goal of $2000, and the donations keep rolling in,” Mrs South said. “In these challenging times it warms your heart to see people so generous, connected and active in their support of people in need. We are indeed a strong community.”

Mrs Huber said she always knew she would donate her hair to help someone someday but was not sure when that would be. When Mrs South let the staff know she was taking part, Mrs Huber said her heart started pounding. “Here was the opportunity – was I brave enough to take it?” she said.

Knowing she would regret it if she did not give it a go, she overcame the feeling of her “heart jumping into her throat” every time she thought about it, and came to the conclusion, “how often does someone get the chance to help the wider community and contribute to their wellbeing and happiness for the future?” 

Mrs Huber was the last person to be shaved, and wondered if when the time came, she would cry, scream or run away. Thankfully “my hair was plaited up and made ready for donation, I just felt calm”.

“In a few short snips, my plaits were in my hands and the buzz of the clippers sounded in my ears, lulling me further,” Mrs Huber said. “I bundled up my hair (54cm of it) and sent it off to Sustainable Salons, which collects ponytails and distributes them to charitable organisations where they become wigs for those suffering from medically induced hair loss.”

What does it feel like now? “It’s not totally real for me yet,” Mrs Huber said. “At the moment my scalp and hair are super sensitive, light and floaty. I’ve received really great feedback and support from colleagues, friends and family and I hope I have made a difference in someone’s life.”

Mrs South is also getting used to her new hairdo, and is very grateful for everyone’s support. “It feels amazing to know that such a simple gesture, a very quick haircut, can bring a community together,” she said. “My sense of gratitude for being able to be a part of this movement and part of this community is overwhelming.”

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Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle