From the Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School
From: Dr Adrian Johnson - Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School
It is customary for the entire College to come together at the start of the academic year.
This year saw just over 2,000 students and 160 staff gather in the G Wigg Sports Centre for our Commencement Service.
After weeks of meetings and preparations, we staff were delighted to see the return of our students: schools are eerie places without them.
Students from the Junior School invited us to treat one another with respect; “because you want people to feel they are being cared for, valued and important”.
Lily, Steven, Izzy and Jude reminded us of our values and what, in effect, these truly mean: seeing again, listening deeply and acting with kindness. Visual learners might appreciate viewing this message here.
Rev Katherine led us in prayer and offered a reflection which encouraged us to look for the ‘chosen one’ beside us. In an old story, she explained: an Abbot went to his friend, a Rabbi, in an effort to lift the spirits of his monks, at a time of dwindling numbers and crumbling buildings. On returning to his community, he conveyed the message: the Rabbi wasn’t much help but he did say: “… one of us is the Messiah and chosen by God to do beautiful things.” From that day on things changed. In every act amongst themselves they took greater care: after all, one of them was the Messiah.
In this way, all people might become more compassionate and acknowledge each other’s incredible potential. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the room linking this message to some of the stories of heroism and courage during, what most would acknowledge has been, an extraordinary summer. In times of despair – perhaps because of it – people did beautiful things. Yet again, through adversity, we are reminded of what really matters in this world: our shared humanity.
This message was reinforced by our Year 12 Prefects and Year 7 Mentors in their presentation: Where are the green sheep? Here, Mem Fox’s tale was lovingly reworked for our context - teachers tending their ‘flocks’ to help students reach their full potential. Acknowledging that, on any worthwhile quest, we will face roadblocks which need to be negotiated. However, by working together, and taking things one step at a time, we are more likely to reach our goal.
Our Pre-Kindergarten students taught us all a vital lesson on Friday when they noticed the green sheep were right there, all along, but we hadn’t taken the time to look in that place. Perhaps this is a timely reminder to us all as we navigate a world of ‘Likes’ and ‘insta’ and FOMO and ATARS and image - so often, the things we seek are right in front of us. We just needed someone to point it out to us and help us grasp it.
As Rev. Katherine said in closing on Friday: “Imagine a school where we looked at each person who passed us in the playground, or between classes, as one chosen by God to do beautiful things. I wonder what that would look like?”
2021 Term Dates
Please note the Term Dates for 2021, as below, are now published on the website Quick Links. We ask parents take note of our dates which, as usual, differ slightly from Directorate schools in Semester 2.
Parents are reminded that students require permission from their Head of Year (Secondary School) or the Head of Junior School, as applicable, prior to taking leave during term time.
Monday 1 February 2021 - Orientation Day for new students
TERM 1 - Tuesday 2 February to Thursday 1 April 2021
TERM 2 - Monday 19 April to Thursday 24 June 2021
TERM 3 - Monday 19 July to Friday 24 September 2021
TERM 4 - Monday 11 October to Tuesday 7 December 2021