High Notes, Vol 20 No 32, October 18 2019

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From the Principal

Welcome Back to Term 4.

Welcome back to all staff and students. I hope you had a restful break. The HSC started this week for Year 12 students, so everyone is anxiously awaiting a look at the papers in the new HSC courses being examined for the first time. Year 11 students make decisions very soon about their final suite of courses they will take to the HSC in 2020 as their Preliminary courses are finalised. Extension 2 mathematics has a new syllabus and has commenced for Year 11 students. The Governors Centre construction has begun! Anzac Parade has been secured by a median strip fence, making students use the Tibby Cotter bridge or the bus stop and crossing opposite SGHS, until the Light Rail begins operation officially. I look forward to a productive and happy term four!

High Talent

Late last term, the High U15s basketball team won their way through to the final eight stage of the CHS Knockout championships. During the holidays, High’s Open Basketball team won the Sydney Shootout Tournament. Congratulations to all the boys involved! At the National Schools Judo Championships, Ivan Samsonov (9F) won gold in the Senior Boys D1 60+kg competition. Great work, Ivan!  Kieren Guan (11R) was named Junior Champion at the Australian Open Short Track Speed Skating Championships. Kieren qualified to compete at the Junior World championship to be held in Italy next January and for the Winter Youth Olympic Games to be held in Switzerland early next year. Very impressive results, Kieren! James Walker (9M) won the Young Filmmaker Prize at the 2019 My Rode Reel competition. Well done, James! This week the Sir Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation donated a VW Caddy fully converted motor vehicle equipped for disabled access to the family of a quadriplegic boy. It was the biggest single donation ever made by the Foundation. Congratulations to Vince del Zio and the board for their wonderfully generous gesture. Ryan Jepson (SHS-2019) was presented with the John Lincoln Award for significant service to the community by the Governor, Margaret Beazely AO QC at a recent ceremony at Government House. Congratulations, Ryan! Ryan Ong (10M) has been selected by the Australian Informatics Olympiad Committee to attend the School of excellence at ANU in December. Well done, Ryan!

Foundation Day Assembly

Last Monday we held the Foundation Day Assembly and induction of School Prefects ceremony. Colin Whelan gave an impassioned, interactive and intensely personal address, exploring the concept of leadership in several contexts. He compared the scenario of protesting against the Vietnam War with the current protests to save the planet from climate change effects. He affirmed the inalienable right of young people to protest. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Colin Whelan (SHS-1969), Old Boys, former student leaders, staff, Prefect Interns, parents and students, good morning and welcome to our Foundation Day Assembly, celebrating 136 years since our founding on the ground floor of a building in Elizabeth St. on October 8, 1883. The school’s purpose was to prepare students for university entrance. That remains its primary purpose today. We are celebrating the Jubilee of the Class of 1969. That year was a big one for space flight. The USSR v USA space race was at its zenith. Soyuz 4 and 5 were launched, docked successfully, transferred crew via a spacewalk and returned to earth. Richard Nixon was sworn in before Apollo 9 was launched and successfully tested a moon lander.

"Venera 5 and 6 reached Venus with one successfully landing. Apollo 10 completed its mission. July 16-20 were days dominated by the awe-inspiring Apollo 11 mission, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing and walk, supported by Michael Collins; and the crew’s subsequent safe return to Earth. In November, there was another triumphal moon landing by Apollo 12. In politics, the anti-Vietnam War movement was growing in intensity. In April, the Harvard University Administration building was taken over by 300 students, 184 of whom were arrested. Anti-war protesters were radicalised and ‘The Weathermen’ revolutionaries made headlines. In July, the first US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam. In October, the ‘Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam’ was staged. In November, details of the My Lai massacre were published. It was a time for celebration and condemnation in equal measure.

"At High, Murray Callaghan announced in The Record, the commencement of construction of the McDonald Wing. It would be 50 years before another building, the Governors Centre, commenced this month on this site. He concluded his introduction by saying, ‘you have a wonderful school – care for it proudly!’ I echo Mr Callaghan’s sentiments wholeheartedly. There were fourteen changes in the teaching staff in 1969, partly to accommodate the extra year of the Wyndham Scheme, so the senior students and teachers had to adapt to the new system together.  It was a time of great change.

"In 1969, High fielded 26 rugby teams. The first XV conceded up to 12kgs per man to the other GPS sides but still had a win against Riverview and draws against Shore and St Josephs. It was High’s inaugural year in CHS first grade football. The lads had three wins, three losses and a draw. Joshua Ehrlich kicked eleven goals. First grade water polo won all five CHS fixtures it contested. The first XI finished their season with one win, four losses and two draws. The school production that year was ‘Oedipus Rex’. Our speaker today played Creon – one who has a voice of reason and hard truths to tell the king.

"The Class of 1969 was led by Alex Tzannes (School Captain), Barry Jakeman (Vice-Captain) and Steven Murchie (Senior Prefect). Two of the leadership team were selected as combined GPS representatives in at least one sport. In 1969, as it is now, there was an expectation that our student leaders should represent the best that is in us as a group. Whether in academics, representative sport, drama, music, chess, public speaking or debating, the High student body is looking to reflect what it values in its leadership. High has a strong tradition of leadership founded on the examples of cohorts of School Prefects.

"The Prefect Interns who will take the pledge today before you have had to pass many milestones in their journey through High thus far. They have had to meet academic prerequisites. They have to represent their school in two GPS sports in their final two years of school. They have to have reached at least platinum level in the Student Awards Scheme and need to score at least 100 points in Year 11 and 12. They have had to comply with standards in terms of school uniform, behaviour and punctuality. They have had an opportunity to compose an online personal statement of why they would like to lead. They have faced an electoral college consisting of their peers in Years 10 and 11, the outgoing Prefects and the staff.

"Today we celebrate our founding as a school to prepare young men for tertiary study and as an institution that enlarges character through co-curricular activities. The young men being inducted are worthy bearers of the High traditions of leadership by example across areas of school life. I offer my congratulations to them and to all who made the school what it was, what it is now and what it will become."
Dr K A Jaggar

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