High Notes, Vol 18 No 4, February 24 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Luke Schroeder and the NSW U20 basketball team, who were runners up in the national basketball tournament. At the Roberta Nutt Shield Competition for fencing last weekend, Matthew Pellen (9R) and Kevin Fernando (8T) won Gold and Silver respectively in the U15 Epée. Yu Ming Lee (7T) came through with an impressive Bronze in the U15 Sabre. Dylan Huynh (8M) won Bronze in the U13 Epée, and Yu Ming Lee (7T) brought home the Gold in the U13 Sabre. Congratulations to our fencers for their strong start to the season.

Early Bird Discounts on financial contributions

There is less than a week left for parents to take advantage of the early bird discounts on our contributions package. Tuesday 28 February is the last day to receive the benefit. With the maximum contribution, you get the value of one year of equivalent private school education for your son, for about one-twelfth of the price. Please support the school in its goal to provide the opportunity for your sons to pursue excellence in a wide range of endeavours.

Weights Room

Yearly memberships for the weights room close on Tuesday 28 February. If you want to have unlimited access to a supervised weights program, act now. No further memberships will be allowed after this date. At just $240 for a full year of unlimited supervised sessions, this is great value for money.

Presentation Night 2017

Our guest speaker, Mr Grahame Campbell, modelled the academic-co-curricular mix, by playing his clarinet for us, and by recounting an interesting story of his journey in consulting and petrochemical engineering. He stressed that getting to know the social and political issues, culture and views of people in whose countries you were working, was vital to the prospects of a successful project delivery. He found a way to connect with people wherever he went through his music. My speech is reprinted below:

"Special guest, Mr Grahame Campbell (SHS 1960), Lady Joan Cutler, Mr Vince Del Zio (CEO Sir Roden & Lady Cutler Foundation, Prof. Ron Trent (President SBHS Council), Mr Geoff Andrews (Chairman, SHSF Inc.), Corporal Ben Elson ADF, guest presenters, staff, parents, Old Boys, and prize winners – thank you all for joining us this evening.

"This year we celebrate having Killip Wing refurbished with new external downpipes and exterior painting. Also, the northern wall of the main building was painted, giving our presentation to Moore Park a much-needed facelift. An additional 23kw of solar power generation was added, thanks to the generosity of several High families. Our P & C paid for our sound and AV upgrade in the Great Hall.

"High completed an external validation process against the School Excellence Framework where in all areas, we met or exceeded our self-evaluation status. Our inaugural ‘Illuminate Festival’ was a celebration of our cultural intelligence – in music, art, drama and film. Our first year of reporting specifically on student capabilities in problem-solving, evaluating, working in teams, communicating with others and creating and innovating, was implemented successfully. We are aiming to provide parents with a growth profile in these skills from Year 7 to Year 9.

"At the 2016 HSC, examination targets for means were set for each course. Fourteen courses exceeded them and eighteen did not. In percentages of band 6/E4s targets for each course, twelve courses achieved their targets and twenty did not. Our top three z-scores were: design and technology (1.59), drama (1.33) and PDHPE (1.327). The average ATAR for 209 students was 93.12 with just 76.6% of boys earning ATARs of 90 or higher. A high 8.6% of candidates earned <80 ATAR. Thirty-two boys who enrolled after Year 7 by means of our local selection scheme averaged 92.76 ATAR, just 0.5% below the 177 selected by SSET results (93.23).

"Outstanding HSC individual results this year included Aidan Karahasan and Anthony Chen scoring maximum ATARS. In our HSC course top ten results, Aidan came 1st in physics, 5th in chemistry and 7th in extension 1 mathematics – an impressive consistency of excellent scholarship. Preetham Kadappu ranked 2nd in chemistry and 3rd in physics. In extension 2 mathematics, Amit Singh Deep was 6th and Kabir Agrawal 9th. Andrew Wu was 8th in chemistry.

"While our HSC results overall were not up to our high expectations after a two-year period of growth, they were still solid and our co-curricular achievements, some of which are highlighted at the end of the printed program, were very strong. In particular, winning five GPS Premierships and back- to-back GPS debating, is a notable achievement! We have installed a sign identifying the corridor space ‘GPS Premierships Gallery’. We have had to commission a third GPS Premiers Honour Board. It took 67 years to fill up the first one and forty-two to complete the second one. I hope the third one will be the quickest! Our Second Grade Premiership Honour Board has nine entries since 2000. There were only seven earned between 1906 and 1999. We also needed a second honour board to record the names of more than 50 Old Boy university medallists.

"To honour the spirit of the sportsman-scholar, this year I have instituted an award to recognise those boys who showed excellence in academics (an ATAR of 99.5) and sport (first grade GPS competition). The Scholar-Sportsman Award reinforces our core values by appreciating high achievers who maintain a well-balanced life by also representing the school at the highest level in a GPS sport.

"We have acquired a new honour board commemorating CHS Blues recipients. I want to thank Mrs Elizabeth Phipps for her generosity in making this donation to recognise elite sportsmen, including her son.

"Our school trophies were made in house this year. The school purchased and installed a laser cutter. Ms Dam sourced the acrylic and had oversight of the project . Mr Comben did the design work and the coding. Many hours of work were invested by teachers and current students, in particular, Jack Jiang and Shourov Quazi. Thank you to everyone involved.

"This evening I would again like to share some thoughts with the graduating Year 12 group about the world High alumni are moving into. One doesn’t have to be a Marxist historian to understand, that first social, and then political movements, have their genesis in changes to economic conditions. The globalisation of economic activity made possible by improved transport and the very rapid growth of technology, particularly in data storage and manipulation in devices, from mobile phones to mainframe computers servicing the cloud, has created international winners and losers. In developed countries, the winners are in services industries and those trading in the internet of things, the losers are in manufacturing. The proliferation of robotics in manufacturing has made many jobs redundant. Companies outsourcing and offshoring have benefitted developing economies by relocating labour intensive tasks to where there is cheap labour by global standards. Nowadays, our economic realities are grounded in interdependence and interconnectedness.

"There have emerged political movements led by people who purport to represent the interests of those disadvantaged by globalisation – workers in traditional industries like steel making, car manufacturing and whitegoods. Populist leaders champion pushback against the effects of globalisation, appealing to nationalistic sentiment. They argue that the inexorable changes to economic life, occasioned by globalisation, can somehow be stopped, delayed or at least lessened, in their effects on the forgotten workers, who were the backbone of the superseded industrial economy. People who don’t want the world to be the way it is are finding voice through politicians who say they have a solution – they can fix things and bring back the good old days. They scapegoat minorities and play to xenophobic tendencies.

"Exacerbating the international situation is mass migration. There are more than 50 million refugees or displaced persons seeking resettlement and opportunity. They may well become the catalyst for the demise of the European Union. Individual governments have found the scale of movement overwhelming. International terrorists use porous borders to move freely between the Middle East and Europe. Public compassion is waning as the millions keep coming and the financial and logistic burdens on host countries keep growing. Unless sectarian, ethnic and terrorist violence in Africa and the Middle East is controlled or stopped by force of arms or negotiated settlement, mass migration will continue and force Europe to change

"The Trump presidency might trigger a ‘rebirth of freedom’ style backlash in the Republican Party, with republican values reinstated: a renewed reverence for truth, a more sober patriotism, leaders more grounded in duty, a renewed respect for law, a greater commitment to tradition, and a deeper knowledge of US history. Alternatively, Trump might just become ‘a subject of horrified wonder in our grandchildren’s history books’.

"Whatever happens in the USA, Australia needs international free trade and open borders. You will be entering the workforce at a time of great uncertainty and heightened tension, as China flexes its muscles in the South China Sea. Australia is likely to face a forced choice dilemma in foreign policy – China for trade or America for military protection. As High boys, I expect you will have the flexibility, resilience and interpersonal skills, to thrive in an uncertain world, however it operates.

"Congratulations to all our award recipients this evening. I wish the Class of 2016 good fortune, personal and professional success, and a fulfilling life in the years ahead. It was an honour and a privilege to serve as your Principal."
Dr K A Jaggar

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