High Notes, Vol 17 No 38, December 02 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong has awarded major prizes in its 2016 NSW Design and Technology Competition to Daniel Cai (11M) and Jonathan Tran (11M). A great achievement, boys! Congratulations to Advait Joshi (SHS2016) who won the open entry ASX Share Market Game, winning a prize of $2000! Well done to Nathan Ho (9F) who won a gold medal at the 2016 Oceania Kung Fu Wushu Championship. He also collected a bronze in the team event. Ike Matsuoka (7M) swam 2.26.63 in the 200m butterfly at Swimming NSW’s Metropolitan Championships. He easily qualified for the 2017 Australian Age Swimming Championships to be contested in Brisbane next April. A wonderful achievement, Ike!

Valé Debra Gilmore
Last Thursday the South Chapel at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium was filled to overflowing as scores of mourners celebrated Debra’s life in music. Current and former music students at High played music specially selected by Debra for the occasion. She planned her own funeral with her usual attention to detail and characteristic flair. Colleague Suzanna Lim delivered a eulogy as did Muhamed Mehmedbasic (SHS2009). Riley Irwin (SHS2014) conducted the strings which included his mother, Rebecca. Ennes Mehmedbasic (SHS2012) played a moving solo “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Morricone. Debra’s life was encapsulated by speakers from her family and professional life in terms of family, music, food and fun. She was certainly a memorable character who touched the lives of a great many people.

Debra taught at High from 1994-2010 before going to the Board of Studies to develop curriculum and finally moving to the Arts Unit getting involved in event management and supervision. She was a highly successful and demanding music teacher who engendered a fierce loyalty amongst her students and colleagues. She was a dynamic leader of many High music tours to countries such as Canada, Italy, France and USA last year. Her life was cut short by illness. She is sadly missed by her extended family, her lifelong friends, her colleagues in education and by so many students she nurtured.

Summer Sports Assembly
We were treated to an entertaining speech from special guest Dr Tim Musgrove, former School Captain, who addressed us about the importance of participation and High spirit while wearing his blazer from 1978. He recounted his family’s long and devoted connection with the school and expressed his pride in the opportunities the school had given him. He stressed the great importance of acquiring team values and skills while at school and demonstrated how important they have become in his life as a surgeon. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Dr Tim Musgrove (SHS1978), staff, parents, GPS representatives and students – good morning and welcome to our summer sports assembly. We are honoured to have Tim here with us representing three generations of Musgrove High boys. I want to thank the staff who give their time so generously to make enjoyable and character–building experiences for our boys. There are too many to name here but I will mention some. Mick Aldous has taken over as relieving HT Sport and has already made a difference – particularly in financial management. In cricket, MIC Geoff Tesoriero, coach Andrew Walters, Committee member Usha Arvind and COLA manager Keith Saunders, provide an environment in which the boys can flourish. In basketball, MIC and coach Ben Hayman, Nima Sedaghat (SHS 2004) as Treasurer and Madura Perera as Parking Coordinator, produce the framework for an impressive program. In sailing, Adam South and his family have worked well with new MIC, Matt Cotton to run a two-venue program. Jessica Millar has taken over water polo and has positive feedback from the boys. Kurt Rich has taken over as MIC of tennis and is working closely with David Deep to make sure our boys are fit and strong. Peter Loizou as swimming MIC is coming off the back of a very competitive swimming season. The High community has a lot to be proud about in respect of sports administration and the quality of the programs offered.

"This morning, I would like to emphasise the value of training for self-efficacy and developing routines to preserve self-belief. The body, the mind and the emotions are interconnected. Imagined experience affects the body in a physiologically measurable way. You know how this feels when waiting to do a major examination. You also develop fears before going out to play tennis or bat at the crease or take on a bigger team in water polo or before the final at a swimming carnival. The quickest way to assure failure is to secretly believe it is inevitable. Ironically, to make your body perform naturally, you need physical and mental training. You need to develop the dispositions that characterise successful sports people. Top performers have: tough mindedness, intense concentration, self-confidence, intrinsic motivation, positive attitude and a capacity for anxiety management.

"Athletes must train themselves relentlessly to acquire these traits. Adversity must be dealt with quickly. Come to terms with it and move on. High performers develop physical routines to calm themselves, to put the last point or play or goal or mistake behind them and to start afresh, still believing they can do it. They re-connect their bodies to the rhythms of their training. Unless you take charge of your brain, you run the big risk that it will run itself and take charge of you and quickly detract from your performance. You know what that looks like in famous sports ‘chokes.’ Our Australian cricket team recently lost their self-efficacy and their self-belief, with disastrous consequences. It happens to our cricketers, too.

"Top performers conquer those emotional and mental distractions, fears and obstacles that impede the performances of others. They have strategies to combat poor concentration, ill temper, self-doubt, lack of motivation, nervousness, self-recrimination or lack of enthusiasm. Unless you take control of your heart, it will control you. Once your emotions are in control, catastrophic thinking quickly follows. More wickets are taken in the dressing room than out on the pitch. You have all seen the turning point moment when an athlete makes a big mistake and their self-confidence begins to erode. It is particularly painful in single contestant sports like tennis and golf.

"The butterflies flew straight last Saturday when our boys surprised themselves and everyone else by winning the Raschke Cup after a patchy early season performance. They were all in formation when our tennis open boys overcame Scots 12-0 in a tight contest. However, High boys are susceptible to allowing themselves to be intimidated. No one doubts that size, skill, resources, privilege and an inflated sense of entitlement are real issues for us…but we have each other. When we believe in each other and the team we can cope with setbacks and recover. We can use our self-belief to face the next point, shot or quarter with resilience. If we believe we deserve to be in the competition and if we believe that when we do what the coach says, when we execute our game plan and stick together we can prevail. Be steadfastly optimistic and positive. Do not contemplate defeat. Be mentally tough until the job is done, the time is up, stumps are pulled, or the last point is won. Win with grace. Accept defeat with dignity. Above all, enjoy what you do.

"I wish all our teams well for the summer season. The GPS teams are being honoured today. They are the leaders of a journey that the rest of you share, too. All of you boys who compete on Friday nights or Saturdays deserve our praise. Without you, the school cannot produce high standard GPS teams. Keep up your good work! One day many of you will stand where these who come before you will stand today. Together, we can make the butterflies fly alongside us."
Dr K A Jaggar

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