High Notes, Vol 19 No 31, September 28 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

At the AAGPS Athletics championships held last Saturday, High placed 4th in the junior division, 8th in the intermediate and 6th in the senior division. Individual results included: Anthony Vlatko: 1st 17’s 400 & 800m, Julian Markworth-Scott: 1st 17’s Long Jump, Pico Dos Santos-Lee: 1st 17’s 110m Hurdles, Eric Holmstrom: 2nd Opens 3000m, Raghav Ramanathan: 3rd 17’s High Jump; Sudaraka Pieris: 1st 16’s 100m, Rhys Shariff: 3rd 15’s 1500m; Joshua Suto: 1st 13’s High Jump, 2nd Long Jump, 3rd 100 & 400m, Rowan Tan: 1st 14’s 400m, Kane Shields: 2nd 14’s 800 & 1500m, Justin Lee Nonis: 2nd 14’s 200m and Paul Feng: 2nd 14’s Shot Put. Congratulations to all competitors for their efforts during the athletics season. Our Intermediate Chess Team showed great commitment and desire to improve with coach Vlad Feldman. High are state champions in the Intermediate division of the NSWJCL interschool competition for 2018. The players are: Justin Wayne-Lowe (10S), Ryan Lee (9E), Kerwin Ma (9M), Harry Wu (9R) and Kalaish Stanley (9T). Great work, boys!

Year 12 Farewell Assembly

This week we said farewell to our Year 12 students in front of a packed Great Hall. Interesting and moving speeches from Jivan Naganathan, Alex Zhou and Varun Narayanan were followed by Mr Gifford saying his goodbyes to his Year Group and Archie Fox in a moving School Captain’s reply. My address to the assembly, along with my farewell Message from the program are reprinted below.

"Good afternoon Year 12, parents, students and staff. Welcome to our Farewell Assembly for the Class of 2018. It is with great pleasure that the High staff and I can host your visit to the school today to participate in our annual celebration of Year 12’s last day of attendance at secondary school. The Class of 2018 were unique in their culture, achievements and relationships with each other and with the staff. The boys should be proud of what they have accomplished over the years as individuals and as a cohort. I have tried to capture the most important of these affecting Year 12 students in my ‘Principal’s Message’ contained in your program. To correct errata in the program – Leo Li won two gold medals and Archie Fox three at CHS rowing, while Guy Suttner represented at CHS debating with Symeon as a combined GPS representative. Since that message was written our first-grade volleyball team regained the first grade premiership, while second grade maintained their winning run for one more year. Symeon, Alex, Guy and Ryan have made High history by extending our run of GPS debating premierships to four consecutive years. The Class of 2018 has much to remember with pride!

"I value this last opportunity to thank publicly the senior leadership group for their support.  Archie, Alex and Justin carried on the tradition of an activist Prefect body. Together they energised the Prefects to try to make a difference in areas of social justice. Thank you to all of our departing student leaders – SRC, Community Service, volunteers and committees. I want to acknowledge all the Year 12 parents who are coming to the school for an event for the last time. Thank you for any help you have given to our programs over the years. We value your contributions highly.

"This year in the media, High was portrayed as having an identity crisis. We were told parents and students thought there was too much emphasis on sport. I contend that our boys really believe in the ethos of the scholar-sportsman, even among the highest achievers. In evidence, I want to acknowledge and thank the nine students who competed in two seasons of sport and earned 99.5 ATAR or higher in the Trial HSC. Thank you to the four students who competed in three GPS sports each year they were at school. Fifty-three boys participated in two sports each year and 59 played one sport each year of school. I want to thank the 95 Year 12 boys who showed such great pride in their school and represented High in at least two sports in their final year at school. Another 63 played one sport. Nearly 75% of the cohort showed their commitment to our ethos right to the end. These statistics affirm that even in their most demanding and stressful year at school, our students valued participation in school sport.

"Congratulations to those highly committed Year 12 boys who represented the school at the highest levels in multiple GPS sports in 2018.There were 24 boys from Year 12 (2017-17) who competed in GPS first or second grade in two seasons of sport this year. Our ‘Triple Firsts’ this year were: Archie Fox, Eric Holmstrom, Clinton So and Sam Merrick. Our ‘Double Firsts’ were: Nirvan Chand, Alex De Araujo, Eli Montuno, Timothy Trent, Ryan Zheng, Jack Ralph, Leo Li, Ryan Dow, Daniel Ma, Vishesh Sarda, Vassili Matsos, Ryan Ho-Shun, Yirong Shen and Anderson Chan. In the ‘One-Two- Club’ were: Oscar Dumas, Dev Lalwani, Mathew O’Sullivan, Lukas Posumah and Jason Zhang. Our only ‘Double-Two’ boy this year was Symeon Ziegler.

"In my ‘Principal’s Message’ I summarised the contribution to the world of Sir Tim Berners-Lee with the designs behind the worldwide web. His fine example of global citizenship in not profiting from his invention, has made it possible for the world to become more interconnected than ever before. Technological innovation in the fields of robotics, 3-D printing, the internet of things and artificial intelligence generally, will transform the world of this century in the way the car did to the horse in the twentieth. We will have new ways of doing things in occupations yet undeveloped, producing products and services, as yet unimagined. Many of you will be working in these sunrise industries. Soft skills will be needed – critical and creative thinking, collaborative problem solving, evaluating people, products and services, working in ad hoc teams and communicating in multiple media. Along with these cognitive skills, character skills such as empathy, resilience, mindfulness, curiosity, courage and leadership will be important to flourish in this technology-embedded future. Meta competencies such as respect, integrity and ethics will be even more necessary to operate in such a world. I hope you have had the experiences, socialisation and training here at High, to prepare you to enter the next phase of your lives.

"I wish you all the best in your HSC preparations and in the examinations that follow and expect that you will be successful in gaining entry to your chosen tertiary options. It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as your Principal."

Principal’s Farewell Message

The class of 2018 was a memorable one in many ways. I was impressed by the leadership shown by Archie Fox as Captain and by the great work of the Vice-captain Alex De Araujo and Senior Prefect Justin Lai. Year 12 should feel justly proud of their leadership group. This Year group extended the work of the past few years on gender equality, this year teaming up with Sydney Girls to produce a petition to Parliament calling on Family Law reform and gender-neutral discourse in legislation. Prefects wanted to make a difference in areas of school life that had a direct impact on Year 12 students’ lives. Their focus on mental health issues facing senior students certainly raised awareness despite the subject matter being confronting for many students. It is pleasing that there is a culture developing for Prefects to be heavily engaged in important social issues.

There were many individual and team performances in 2018 by Year 12 students: The first XI made it to the finals of the Davidson Shield for the first time. Aditya and Abhijot should be proud of their efforts. Sam Merrick picked up three gold medals at the CHS rowing championship, closely followed by Archie Fox and Tim Trent, with two apiece. The 2nd VIII rowed the race of their lives at the Head of the River into 7th place. Albertus, Leo, Widhiwipati, Jonathan, Lenny, Kevin and Dimas can be well pleased with their season. Seb Diaz and Oscar Dumas were selected in Combined GPS first grade basketball. Sebastian went on to represent at NSWCIS level.  He was also a member of our CHS Knockout Championship win.

Adam Feng was selected in the combined GPS swimming team. Alex De Araujo was selected in the NSW School Debating Team, which won the national title. Symeon Ziegler competed at CHS level. With Guy Suttner and Justin Lai in the PDC team, High won the Hume Barbour Trophy for the 26th time! Justin couldn’t make the finals as he was representing NSW as the winner of the ESU Plain English Speaking Competition. He was successful in Darwin and represented Australia in international competition.

High won the NSWCHS Volleyball Knockout Competition.  Alec, Eli, Nathan and Jonathan will remember their last season of volleyball at High fondly. Nikhilesh Belulkar’s’ Waterwheels’ video gained mainstream airplay.

It is great to see so many boys pursuing excellence. It is important to remember that we owe something to society as well as to ourselves. I leave you with an inspiring example of a person who lives for the benefit of everyone. Famed computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was born on June 8, 1955. He worked at Plessey Telecommunications Ltd as a software engineer. In December 1980, he was working on a prototype program, which he called Enquire, based on hypertext. It was designed to facilitate the sharing and updating of information among researchers. From March 1989 onwards, he worked on his highly ambitious global hypertext project. By 1991, he had developed a large imaginary documentation system. On Christmas Day 1990, the first successful communication occurred between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol client and a server by way of the internet. The result was the emergence of the World Wide Web. It is arguably the greatest invention of our age. Berners-Lee designed the URL (universal resource locator), the web address and HTML, hypertext mark-up language.  He has been one of the pioneer voices favouring net neutrality. He took out no patent; he takes no royalties. He is a genuinely caring global citizen. He was knighted in 2004.

I hope there are some of you wanting to make a big difference to people’s lives as Berners-Lee did.

Farewell and good luck in your future careers!
Dr K A Jaggar

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