From the Principal (Thursday Times, T1 W7, 2017)

16 March 2017

Dear Parents

Last Friday I witnessed one of the best student-led assemblies for many years. The SSE committee charged the Head and Deputy Head boy, Jake and Chris, with responsibility for presenting a message about the confronting and disquieting matter of domestic violence in Australia. The committee felt that having such a topic presented by two young men could be a powerful idea. They were right.

The Senior School Assembly was spellbound as Jake and Chris presented the facts intelligently and from the perspective of two young men forming their views about serious problems and how they may be understood and potentially solved. They were broad-minded, and presented a politically astute and ethically compelling view. There was no doubt in the minds of all who listened that these were serious views, well understood and engaging because both Jake and Chris had something they wanted to, and needed to, say.

I am very proud of them. We often talk about our fear that the youth of today have lost their ability to engage in important debates passionately. This is not true, at least as far as this presentation and some before it that I have seen in schools. While I am very aware that parents and teachers play a crucial role shaping ideas, a compelling aspect of this presentation was the unique voice of two students who had formed their own view and in the case of some of the statistics presented and used, those views were shaped for the first time so reverberated with the sense of urgency that accompanies revelatory experiences.

I’m sure there is more to come.

I wish our rowers well in their final preparations for the Head of the River. Our rowers have worked very hard preparing for all regattas this year. Mr Potts, Mr Reid and all the coaches have also worked hard to settle down and redirect what has been a changeable few years at the rowing club. The parent committee has again been a tower of strength, helping our rowers and their families feel welcome and supported at regattas and practices alike.

The increasing competitiveness of our rowing teams is one good indication that the programme is on the right path, but it is the very strong numbers in the senior ranks particularly that encourages me. I hope this trend continues and look forward to seeing our crews perform next week.

I have cause to walk through Junior, Middle and Senior Schools regularly and I am always delighted by friendly encounters with students, parents and staff alike. Being able to work in an environment where one’s experience of it is so often a reflection of what it aspires to be, is a great feeling. Thank you for continuing to support the School.

With my best wishes

Luke Thomson

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