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Pembroke is a community.

6 November 2020

Our community is motivated and galvanised by the guiding principles, statements, values and aims of the School, and, of course, by the shared endeavour of educating children from the age of 4 to 18—but it is so much more.

Every day Pembroke is engaged with current, past and future students; current, past and future parents; and current past and future staff. It is a community that extends to all manner of interactions, locally, nationally and internationally. This interaction can be with allied educational bodies, government departments, businesses, or individuals walking their dogs on Kensington Oval or going for a jog. It can be with volunteers offering their time or friends helping with the stage set-up and put-down at a production. It can be the collective goodwill demonstrated when the direction of COVID-19 became clear. It can be the friendly smile and wave when passing one another or the concern shown when someone is not feeling so well.

In any given day all these different parts of Pembroke influence and help to shape, define and develop the School. When people reflect that they have a sense of belonging at Pembroke it is invariably because they are experiencing an affirmation that what they do and how they are matters to the School. Furthermore, they feel a link to the rich heritage that all of us inherit and to the future possibilities we can shape. Students especially feel the important contribution that all members of the community make to their life at the School, and frequently comment on the great sense of community.

When we think of Pembroke as a community all manner of daily activities make more sense. Places and structures named after significant characters in the life of the School come to life and take on fresh meaning. Old scholar networks retaining their connection to the School makes perfect sense. Past parents wanting to stay in touch becomes understandable as a connection that spans decades for many. Advertising in the media so that future students and parents can be made aware of our wonderful environment takes on a new significance. Philanthropic activity to make the seemingly impossible become possible is a privilege to be involved in, offering hope and exciting progress. Parent groups providing support to students, parents and one another becomes a critical source of friendship and connection.

It is this purposeful hustle and bustle of community life that makes Pembroke such a vibrant, down-to-earth and friendly place. All are welcome in our School. There are so many people who contribute to it. There are so many people who deserve our thanks and encouragement for all they do. Perhaps most importantly, it seems to me that our many and varied community members are aware of the difference they make in every interaction to uphold a culture seeped with openness, intelligence, decency and shared responsibility. It is an amazing mix because it is a lived experience that we feel, not just words on a page.

Luke Thomson