High Notes, Vol 19 No 6, March 09 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

In the first GPS swimming long course competition at SOPAC, Patrick Yi (8F) swum courageously for High with many great results: first places in 12-14 years 50m backstroke & 200m backstroke; second places in 12-14 years 50m breaststroke & 200m butterfly and a third place in 12-14 years 200m freestyle. Great effort, Patrick! Other place winners were: Ike Matsuoka (9M) 2nd places in 15-16 200m butterfly and backstroke; Jaden Yi (7T) 2nd in 13 years 50m breaststroke; David Goh (11R) 2nd in the 17+years 200m breaststroke; and Adam Feng (12S) second in the 18+ 50m backstroke. Congratulations to all our GPS swimmers.

Early bird response

Thank you to the 667 families who paid all the invoices on their ledger in full by 28 February and received a discount on the package. More than 55% of families have chosen to support the school early in the year.

International Women’s Day

In what has now become a regular feature of our school calendar, 8 March was celebrated as International Women’s Day, with a school assembly and a guest speaker. The purpose is to raise awareness amongst our boys about issues still facing women in their quest for equality. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Emma Alberici, staff and students, welcome to our assembly to acknowledge International Women’s Day. The historical philosophy of International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 each year, rests on two pillars – the campaign for gender equality and the celebration of the achievements of women. This year’s theme is ‘Leave No Woman behind’. This theme, like the title of the supposedly reformist US legislation, ‘No Child Left Behind’, is both aspirational and focused. It is a cry for women to be given a seat at the table when decisions affecting them as members of society are being made. It also focuses on inclusivity and the need for policy to apply to everyone. The theme, like its military equivalent for soldiers, emphasises the solidarity and commitment of the International Women’s Movement. In respect to the celebration of achievements of women, this year we have much to celebrate as a society in our progress towards equality. Australia is leading the world in women’s teams sport by fighting for better wages and conditions for female athletes.

"Women’s sport is really taking off as a standalone spectacle. Crowds of over 40,000 at a women’s AFL match demonstrate how far society has moved in responding to women’s sport as a movement towards parity of esteem. Standards of play are rising in all codes. It will become commonplace for fathers to take their daughters to major venues to watch high quality women’s sport in cricket, rugby and AFL. For now, many fixtures are held at small venues and at inappropriate starting times.  All that will change. The examples are the advances already made in individual sports such as tennis and golf. Broadcasting revenues will grow with spectator numbers, underpinning the capacity to improve wages.

"The more profound hope for the future is that Australian men, who profess a love of sport, will respect women more as they perform to levels most men could never achieve or even aspire to. The knock-on effects should be a growing respect for women as equals and a reduction in domestic violence.

"It was a real step forward for sport when Australia’s international cricketers included wage justice for international womens cricketers in their industrial campaign. How inspiring was it for women and girls to have renowned physicist Professor Michelle Simmons named as Australian of the Year. Our Young Australian of the Year, Samantha Kerr was also a worthy recipient as the most accomplished female soccer player in Australia and internationally very highly regarded.

"Despite accolades like these at the apex of Australian sport and life, women are still not acknowledged widely enough for their achievements in the broader community. Problems with unequal pay and the glass ceiling are still as real now as they were a decade ago. The way to change the status quo is to convince boys like you to act in the future as enlightened men in all aspect of your lives.

"Gender equality is a worthy goal to pursue as a man, because it is morally and ethically the right way to run a society.  Equal recognition and acknowledgement starts with equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace. It also starts more fundamentally, in respectful relationships in suburban homes, those that you will make with your partners in the future.

"Our attitudes and actions in this important litmus test of enlightenment, lag behind those in play in some advanced European societies, such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland. If we are truly the nation of the ‘fair go’ the credo must apply to all. It will be up to you and your cohort of students across the country to advance the cause when you become responsible adults."

Student Leave Requests – Reminder  

Too many parents are ignoring or pleading ignorance about the school policy on Student Leave of Absence – Extended Leave Travel requests. This applies to leave that is five school days or more in duration. Parents are reminded that as a matter of policy leave will not be processed or approved unless four weeks’ notice has been given. Also, cogent reasons for travelling during school term need to be supplied. The effect of this decision is that all leave requests that involve that last four weeks of term must be lodged with me for approval by the end of week 6, each term. If you are planning to travel during the school term you need to download, complete and submit the form for my approval by the closing date.

Invoices for Summer Activities Co-payments   

Families in Year 7 and later year enrolments, have had invoices posted for term 1 activities. Despite these charges, most activities are also heavily subsidised from school funds, particularly in direct grants from school funds (general service contributions), provision of MICs, teacher supervision, WHS compliance costs and first aid costs (co-curricular supervision levy) and parking allocation support. Co-payments are used primarily for the provision of coaching. In basketball alone, a team of over 50 people delivers the program! We have staff, students, Old Boys, parents and volunteers working to make your son’s school experiences more enjoyable. It would be appreciated if you could make your co-payments promptly. Thank you.
Dr K A Jaggar

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