High Notes, Vol 20 No 28, September 06 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Alec Ng (10F) on his selection in the All Schools U16 Volleyball Team. Well done also to Joshua Reid (10F) for his selection into the all Australian U15 volleyball team.

Illuminate Festival

Hundreds of students and parents crowded into the great Hall on Monday night last for the opening of the Illuminate festival for 2019. The courtyard twinkled with streams of decorative lights and was set up with art installations. The exhibition space was packed as people jostled for a view of the artworks, industrial arts projects, operating robots and interactive games. Mr David Hirst (SHS-1983), a distinguished architect, gave the opening address. Saarangan Arvind (11E) was the MC. He introduced an hour of performances to a packed house. We were entertained by a group HSC drama performance by Tyler Harapin  (12T), Kobe Shannon (12T), Jevon Somanader (12E) and Irvin Tsui (12R). Tyler and Jevon also delivered their HSC monologues. Yung Kim (11T) performed a piece from his Music 2 HSC repertoire on flute. Andrew Chang (12T) played piano in an accompanied piece for his HSC music extension. To conclude, Ryan Jepson (12F) projected his English extension 2 film ‘L’oeil’. The standard of the performances was high and much appreciated by our special guests and the audience.

Judy Cassab Art Prize

As part of our Illuminate festival, the Judy Cassab Art Prize was judged and the winner announced on opening night. The prize was established by Peter Kampfner, son of Judy Cassab, and a High Old Boy. There is a gallery of artworks by Judy Cassab in McDonald Wing. Judy donated, or selected and purchased, the artworks for the first Ethel Killip Memorial Art collection in 1963. The prize is for painting in any category, is open to any student from SBHS or SGHS and is based on artistic merit. The finalists were judged by Romesh Nithiyendran (SHS-2007). There were 12 finalists from 24 entries from SGHS. From SBHS there were 21 finalist from 41 entries. Congratulations to the runners up – a Year 10 SBHS collaborative mosaic piece. The winner was Prathik Subbanna (11S), with ‘Colonialism’, an acrylic on cotton cap. He was awarded the $2000 prize. I would like to thank the finalists and the visual arts staff from the two schools. On behalf of Prathik and the two schools, I would like to thank Peter for his continuing generosity and for his commitment to sponsoring this Art Prize.

Wear It Purple Day

Last Friday, we celebrated Wear it Purple Day – 30.8. The assembly was informal and took the form of a Q & A with our guest Josh Akhurst, Youth Liaison Officer, from Surry Hills Police Station. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Since 2010, ‘Wear it Purple Day’ has been held as a response to the multiple teenage suicides that occurred in that year. The suicides were provoked by persistent bullying and harassment caused by a lack of peer acceptance of an individual’s sexuality or gender identity. This year’s assembly coincides with the designated day of awareness raising about the consequences to society of a lack of inclusivity in human interactions. ‘Wear it Purple’ strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. It focuses on awareness raising in educational settings, opportunities for networking, providing safe places (digital and physical) and collaboration with other supportive organisations. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Stand Up, Stand Out!

"At High, we have been active for some time in the practice of social inclusion.  In recent years, we have taken the opportunity, in a variety of forums, to express our respect for diversity among young people.  At either IDAHOT or Wear it Purple assemblies, we gather to demonstrate our institutional resolve to treat all people equally. We expand our attention to all forms of discrimination – racial, religious, sexist, or sexual orientation. The wearing of purple is an emblematic statement of a personal sympathy for the individual human right to be different and to express yourself uniquely.  We have grown as a society in recent years in our recognition of a need to integrate people with a physical disability or a mental health issue into our institutions and work places.  We have learned more about acceptance and have worked to diminish rejection and discriminatory behaviours. We must be consistent in our public and private utterances and interactions with others. Acceptance of difference does not imply endorsement of any particular world-view or personal behaviour. It does imply the international human right to be treated with dignity and equality. At High, our Equality Committee raises awareness of the need for inclusivity in the school community setting.  Our School Prefects have had a focus recently on supporting the mental health of our students.

"We see ourselves as activists, in this struggle for inclusivity in society. My belief is that at High we are standing up for equality in human rights and that we are standing out among secondary schools, because of our institutional efforts to become inclusive and supportive of everyone’s right to self-expression."

Tell Them From Me Survey

The online survey of parent opinions about school life has opened. I encourage parents to take this opportunity to express their views and influence possible change. The survey gives all parents a voice in our development of policies and processes. It is very simple to access and easy to complete. This year there are several questions designed specifically for our school. Parent voice is very important to us at High. The survey closes on October 25. To have your say about our school go to https://sbhs.co/p19
Dr K A Jaggar

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