From the Principal
Anglican Schools Australia Conference
Last weekend, Fr Richard Browning and I attended the annual Anglican Schools Australia (ASA) conference, which this year was held in Hobart. As is often the case, the conference was very thought-provoking and stimulating, and a great way to catch up with colleagues from Anglican Schools from around Australia.
I have been on the Board of ASA for many years and previously held the position of President of ASA, while Richard has been the ACT representative on the ASA Chaplains’ committee for the past few years. Being an active member of an association such as ASA has huge benefits for the College. It provides us with the opportunity to liaise with individuals who hold similar roles in like schools, learn about strategic initiatives in other schools, make connections to share policies, procedures and curriculum, and have an opportunity to work closely with senior clergy, especially Bishops, Archbishops and the Primate.
The theme for this year’s conference was Awe and Wonder, and the program included an impressive list of speakers including Professor Rufus Black (VC of University of Hobart), Dr Paula Gooder (Canon Chancellor, St Paul’s Cathedral, London), former Olympic swimmer Duncan Armstrong, and Claire Madden (Founder and Director of Hello Clarity). However, it was Rev’d Daniel Heischman’s (Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools, USA) presentation that I found to be particularly inspiring and relevant, given my involvement, with Fr Richard, in a forum in Melbourne last year facilitated by Rev’d Heischman. His address was titled, ‘Enhancing our Anglican Identity’, and focused on the fundamental characteristics of identity and mission of Australian Anglican Schools. The presentation was a follow-up to the forum, where a group of delegates, attempted to clarify what it means to be an Anglican School in Australia today, amidst the diversity of theology within the Anglican Church, and the growing secularisation and religious diversity of the country.
On reflection, the tone and format of the two-day forum reflected one of the pillars of Anglican education – its openness to dialogue and learning, through hearing and understanding the experiences of others. Six themes were chosen by Rev’d Heischman, around which conversations took place: faith, reason, worship, pluralism, character and service. While this list is hardly encapsulating of all the constituent parts of Anglican identity, Rev’d Heischman devised the themes to give structure and comprehensiveness to the discussions, and to help set the stage for what makes Anglican Schools unique.
After hearing Rev’d Heischman’s presentation on Saturday, during which I reflected back to the conversations at the forum last year, I formulated a number of key ‘takeaways’ from the conference. The fundamental conclusion was the need for further evaluation at school level, to discuss and potentially answer, the following questions:
- To what extent does Radford reflect the Anglican identities detailed by Rev’d Heischman, which are common to other Anglican Schools?
- What elements of Anglican identity outlined in the presentation do we do well, and where is more work required?
- What words and images mean the most to Radford in understanding its Anglican identity?
- What are the first steps our community needs to take in being more conversant with and confident of its Anglican identity?
These are not questions that can be answered overnight but they are issues we need to discuss and determine. To that end, I have negotiated with Rev’d Heischman to come to Radford early next year (when he will be visiting Australia) to facilitate a series of workshops with staff, students, parents and Board members, to work on trying to delineate our shared values and mission in relation to our Anglican identity. Once the details of Rev’d Heischman’s visit have been organised, we will publish them to the community, and I look forward to seeing many parents involved.
New Senior Chaplain Appointed
As detailed early in the year, Fr Richard Browning will be leaving Radford at the end of 2019, after 16 years of inspirational service to the College. It is hard to put into words all that Richard has done for the College, but I could summarise it by saying his legacy will live on at Radford for a long time after he has left. Through his passion, energy and vision, he has helped to shape the College to be what it is today.
Finding a replacement for Richard has not been an easy task, simply because he will leave big shoes to fill. However, after advertising the position nationally, I am now delighted to announce that we have been able to appoint a wonderful local Canberran priest, whom many families will already know. Much to our great joy, Rev’d Katherine Rainger, currently the Assistant Priest at Holy Covenant, Jamison, has accepted the role, commencing at the start of Term 4. In the coming weeks, Rev’d Katherine will be submitting her PhD, which she has been working on for the past few years, and after a short break, will be ready to start at Radford with great enthusiasm and energy.
In my view, Rev’d Katherine is ideally placed to take on this important role in the College. In addition to being an ordained and experienced priest, Rev’d Katherine is a trained teacher, with over 15 years’ experience in the classroom. At interview, it was clear that Rev’d Katherine understands schools and students, and most pleasingly, articulated a strong desire to link the Chapel program with the religious education work done by the classroom teachers in the Junior School and the RaVE teachers in the Secondary School.
Rev’d Katherine has a very impressive Curriculum Vitae which details a long list of academic qualifications and awards, including a Master and Bachelor of Theology (both with Distinction), Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Teaching, and a Diploma of Anglican Orders.
In the covering letter of Katherine’s contract, I wrote the following:
The Senior Chaplain is responsible for the leadership and promotion of the Christian faith and the College’s values. Whilst all staff are expected to uphold the College values, a particular expectation is placed upon the Senior Chaplain. The Senior Chaplain is to lead by embodying the fundamental values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with specific reference at Radford to Truth Compassion Wisdom, as the values of the College. The Senior Chaplain is to model and lead the practice of respect, deepening the College’s shared culture of living into our values.
I have every confidence that Rev’d Katherine will be able to carry out this role to a very high standard, and I hope everyone will make her feel very welcome at Radford when she begins.
Boorer Scholarship Awarded
I am delighted to announce that The Boorer Foundation Scholarship (Year 7–12) has been awarded to a student who will commence Year 7 at Radford in 2020.
The full scholarship will cover 100% of the Tuition and Capital Levy fees and up to 100% of compulsory College-related costs for six years (Years 7 through 12 inclusive).
As you’d expect, the scholarship drew a high number of applications and the Directors had a difficult time shortlisting the candidates. They were seeking a student who demonstrated outstanding achievement and community or sporting involvement and whose family had significant financial hardship.
While the scholarship recipient will remain anonymous, on behalf of the recipient and their parents and the Foundation Directors, I want to thank the Boorer Foundation for making the scholarship possible. This donation is truly transformational to the life of one student and the Radford Foundation Directors hope it will encourage others to consider donating to the tax-deductible Scholarship Fund.
A reminder also that applications are open for the Radford Foundation Senior Scholarship, commencing Year 11 in 2021.To Home