High Notes, Vol 16 No 31, October 09 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to our U15s basketball team who won the Sydney East Knockout at the end of last term. The team was: Nirvan Chand, Benjamin Coan, Oscar Dumas, Archibald Fox, Daniel Hamilton, Josh Hua, Sam Merrick, Carter Opperman, Kobe Shannon, Norton Wu, Eli Montuno and Kore Wilson. Well done to Esmond Ye (Year 11) who has been selected to receive a Commended Award as part of the 2015 Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Student Achievement – Community Languages Schools.

Staff Changes
Mr Robert Dowdell has been re-appointed as Deputy Principal effective from the beginning of Term 4. Given the possible administrative turbulence ahead with the transition to Edval timetabling and implementation of LMBR, it is comforting to have Mr Dowdell’s extensive knowledge, acute insights and broad experience to help us navigate a way forward for our unique school.

Cleveland Street Night Work
From Sunday 27 September until Sunday 8 November, night work will be in progress on Cleveland Street between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Leighton Boral Amey Joint Venture on 1800 677 700 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NSW Bus Routes May Affect Travel For HSC Students
The NSW Government recently announced a new bus network for Sydney’s CBD to support the transformation of the Sydney CBD. Further information is available at: www.mysydney.nsw.gov.au

Buses will move off George Street on 4 October 2015. This means many CBD bus routes and services will change. There will be fewer buses travelling all the way through the CBD and commuters may need to interchange to complete their journey. This is the biggest change to bus routes in decades and it is important that everyone is informed and plans ahead. To check if there are any changes that affect staff and students travelling to school they should visit the Bus Route Finder at: http://mysydney.nsw.gov.au/bus#bustool.

HSC students in particular need to check the new bus timetable at: www.transportnsw.info to ensure that they get to exams on time. They can also download one of the handy real-time transport apps from the same page.

Application for Extended Leave – Travel
Parents now need to download, complete and submit the new form which is located on the parents’ portal registration. Parents are again reminded that four weeks’ notice is required for such applications. Please submit applications to the Principal for only 5 or more school days.  Leave for shorter periods of time can be managed by notifying your Year Adviser prior to your son taking the leave for travel purposes.

Foundation Day Assembly
It was great to meet the Old Boys from the Class of 1965 at our Foundation celebration this week. Justice Sackar spoke to the assembly about the significance of the alumni of High and about his concept of leadership drawing heavily on Nelson Mandela’s teachings. My address to the Assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest, His Honour Justice John Sackar (SHS 1965), Old Boys of the Class of 1965, Old Boy Prefects, parents, staff, Prefect Interns and students, welcome to our annual Foundation Day Assembly. Thank you for celebrating our foundation with us. We carry on the tradition in which this celebration of the establishment of the School in October, 1883, includes honouring the student leadership traditions that have existed in parallel with the school’s development over its 132 years. The investiture ceremony for Prefect Interns connects us to our past, revives the stories that bind us to it and reaffirms our vision for the future. Modelling cultural values through leadership is an integral aspect of our school culture. Continuity of purpose is also important to any institution

"Sir George Reid, Minister of Public Instruction 1883-84, spoke at the official opening of the school on 8 October, 1883. He distinguished the newly established High Schools from the other two classes of public school (Primary and Superior) by their educational objective – to complete the curriculum of the public schools and to prepare students for the University. That is still our educational objective today. We have no Plan ‘B’. It is very reassuring to know that our foundational purpose is retained so strongly after all these years. We also offer boys at High opportunity for excellence – in scholarship, in sportsmanship, in a wide range of co-curricular endeavours, in service and in fellowship.  Participation in and organisation of these non-academic activities were originally the responsibility of the students. Over the generations since the 1880s, staff, parents and Old Boys have offered their time and money to support our students in these activities. These actions became vitally necessary as the standard of the competition and the expectations of students and parents grew. In today’s GPS environment a great deal of effort is required from everyone to deliver programs to a competitive standard.

"Back in 1965, the last Leaving Certificate was held, marking the end of an era for a credential that had existed since 1913. Robert Menzies was still the Prime Minister and Robin Askin replaced Jack Renshaw as Premier of NSW, bringing to an end 24 years of Labor rule. The Rolling Stones toured Australia. Charles Perkins led the Freedom Ride to raise awareness of the plight of indigenous Australians. The P.W. Hallett sundial was erected in the courtyard as an expression of the School’s great affection for Perce Hallett, Deputy Principal (1935-1952). It remains there today. The Record in 1965 was lamenting the reduced number of boys trying out for GPS sports. The rowers were exhorted to commit to ‘hard work, real effort and absolute cooperation’ in order to raise their standard. The second XV were co-premiers. First grade basketball won their local CHS competition. Graham Dunn won the Australian Junior Butterfly Championship. Trevor Osborne was made captain of the Combined GPS first XI. Neville Morgan, ‘the mighty atom’ was captain of boats and the first XV, as well as School Captain. John Murry was vice Captain and there were 25 School Prefects. Our School Prefects have always been seen as ‘keeping the music alive’. Their actions demonstrated the ethos of the school to the wider school community.

"Turning to our current human emblems of High spirit and leadership, I trust that every Prefect Intern inducted today perceives himself in terms of his stewardship of the role of School Prefect. The All Blacks make a promise to: ‘Leave the jersey in a better place’. Our Prefects must be great role models and demonstrate high quality leadership at High. Each one of you must endeavour to uphold and enhance the traditions of this fine school. We hope you will leave the office in a better place when you move on. We have set a high bar. You will have to maintain a high academic standard in state terms. You need to participate in two GPS sports in your final year. You need to earn 100 Student Award Scheme points and qualify for an Award in your last year at school. You need to demonstrate to all your peers that you believe in the ethos of the school. Be proud to serve in an institution that has produced with such marvellous consistency and frequency, high achieving all-rounders for 132 years.

"Why do we engage in this ritual of preserving the office of School Prefect and testing Inductees for three terms to prove them worthy? Everyone needs a place to stand – to belong. You will stand in a place in the history of our school. We will want you to stand up – for yourselves, for each other and for the culture of the scholar-sportsman. We will help you stand together to represent our culture. Your strength will be in mutual cooperation. You will learn when to stand back to let the voices of others be heard and to listen to other thought leaders in the school. Sometimes, you will have to stand aside and not engage in certain behaviours in order to stay true to your pledge. At all times, we will want you to stand for our values: of striving for excellence in every endeavour; of grasping every opportunity; and of becoming well-rounded, balanced people ready for the world and its diverse challenges. Congratulations to all Prefect Interns who have reached the qualifying standard, been elected and are now making their commitment to serve. Best wishes to you all."
Dr K A Jaggar

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