High Notes, Vol 17 No 31, October 14 2016
Welcome back to Term 4
Solar Project Completed
Urgent! Parent Responses Needed - Tell Them From Me Survey
Application for Extended Leave – Travel
Foundation Day Assembly
"Special guest, Joseph Waugh PSM (SHS 1987), former Principal Bob Outterside AO, School Council Life Governor, Phil Lambert, Old Boy Prefect Richard Glover (SHS-1961), School Captain 2015, Luke Hoad, School Vice-Captain 2015 Niyaz Mostafa, representing the P & C, Elaine Sadler, parents, staff, Prefect ‘Interns’ and students - Welcome to our annual Foundation Day Assembly. The primary purpose of today’s gathering is to celebrate the opening of the School on 1 October 1883. We also honour the student leadership traditions that have developed over 133 years since then. The investiture ceremony for Prefect ‘Interns’ preserves 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 through rituals of office is important to all institutions.
"Today I want to take us back 25 years to momentous world events. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and Boris Yeltsin succeeded Mikhail Gorbachev. The USA and the Soviet Union agreed to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in each country to 7,950. Operation ‘Desert Storm’ forced Iraq out of Kuwait. Lech Walesa was elected in Poland. The Balkan Wars erupted resulting in horrific ‘ethnic cleansing’. In South Africa a referendum established a multicultural constitution. Bob Hawke was rolled by Paul Keating. The Internet was made available for unrestricted use. Boris Becker won the Australian Open after a 5-hour marathon. Freddie Mercury from Queen died.
"In 1991, in his final Headmaster’s Report, Mr Outterside AO wrote that “High provides boundless opportunities for the boys”. He commended them on their “corporate spirit” and propensity to participate. I am impressed by the same characteristics of this great school. His context then was one of change. The Education Reform Act of 1990 had come into operation. The Carrick Report and the Scott Review had recommended many changes that were needed to decentralise and improve public education in NSW. He praised the School’s “capacity to adjust” to the proposed reforms. He celebrated the expansion of the selective intake to 180 boys with the announcement of two new Houses – Rubie and Torrington – in honour of long-serving Old Boys.
"Between us, Bob and I have mentored > 5,800 young men as they have graduated from High. Eight teachers who were teaching with Bob in 1991 at High are still with us. We can have change without difference in some aspects of our institutional life. We have even more opportunities now and participation rates are very high. Back then the big push was to localise education in clusters of schools. Now we are centralising functions but promoting networks of schools.
"This morning I want to take up Bob’s 1991 themes of ‘preserving’ and ‘adjusting well’. Business Intelligence and the Learning Management and Business Review are impacting on our culture today in as revolutionary a way as did the outcomes flowing from the Acts and Reports of 1990-1. Centralisation of accounting is the biggest change. Next year the School will go from having three bank accounts to having none. Ordering and acquitting accountability will move to an online process. Policy implementation and staff development will be monitored centrally. It is envisaged that timetabling will be included in the student management system. Business Intelligence will expand its online presence and increase data for local decision-making.
"Plainly, preserving High’s uniqueness, its six-day structure, its after-hours operation, its GPS commitments and its traditions, will be challenging in the short term. It will require stronger partnerships with parents, with Old Boys and with students. We will need to adjust well. We must build mutual trust and work together closely through our P & C Sub-Committees and our Associations – Incorporated and Unincorporated - to preserve our independence and cutting edge approach as the public alternative to private education. We will need to be nimble to remain in an education system but act in many ways as those very few independent public schools in Australia do. We will flourish by preserving and adjusting.
"Our related purpose today is to introduce our Prefect Interns. Student leaders are the foundations of our ethos. Over the years School Captains have galvanised action among Old Boys to support school events, reunions, GPS Old Boys events, fundraisers and Committee memberships. They provide helping hands across the years.
"Our Prefects have to be great role models and demonstrate high quality leadership at High. Each one of them must pledge to uphold and enhance the traditions of this fine school. Prefect Interns -you will have to maintain a high academic standard in state terms throughout your internship. You need to participate in two GPS sports in your final year starting from now. You will need to earn 100 Student Award Scheme points and qualify for an Award in this current year and in 2017. You will need to demonstrate to all your peers by your dress, demeanour and self-regulation that you believe in the ethos of the school.
"There are certain dispositions that will assist you as a student leader. Stay authentic and you
will be trusted. Stay true to your values. Keep an open mind about issues and always listen to
the opinion of others. Know how to delegate tasks to achieve goals. You need to learn how to work
with others. Learn from your mistakes, take responsibility for outcomes and suggest strategies
for improvement. Seek knowledge so you can develop your skills. Experience is a great teacher. I
congratulate you all on your achievements so far and wish you an enjoyable if demanding
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