High Notes, Vol 20 No 6, March 08 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Aryan Jani (12F) will be among 120 Year 11 and 12 students from around Australia attending the 24th National Schools Constitutional Convention (NSCC), being held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra on 19-21 March. All Australian education ministers support the NSCC, with most states and territories funding feeder conventions and the Australian Government Department of Education and Training funding the NSCC. The aim of the program is to provide senior students with an opportunity to become informed better, about how Australia's Constitution provides a democratic framework and encourages them to take an active interest in the operation of government. The topic of the 2019 Convention is 'A new constitutional preamble for Australia?

International Women’s Day Assembly

We celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Good morning staff, guests and students. Today is International Women’s Day.  On your behalf, I extend welcome as our special guest Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, NSW Senator in the Australian Parliament. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women. However, it is also a time to highlight the actions needed to accelerate gender equality into the future. Janelle Weissman, Executive Director of the UN Women National Committee Australia, wrote a rallying letter to mark the occasion. “This International Women’s Day, our theme is ‘More Powerful Together', recognising the important role we all play - as women, men, non-binary and gender diverse people, to accelerate gender equality and create a world where women and girls everywhere have equal rights and opportunities. It requires all of our participation to create a world where everybody can live a life free from violence and discrimination. ‘More Powerful Together’ is a call for all of us to take a stand in unison for gender equality. If we are to realise the goal of a gender equal world, we must all play a part and show our support for women’s empowerment”.

"Last year there were several milestones in the slow journey towards gender equality. Catt Sadler, the co-host of E! News, resigned when she discovered that Jason Kennedy, with whom she had worked since they both joined the network, was earning double her pay for exactly the same work. That inequitable and intolerable arrangement, was a glaring example of how unreconstructed the Human Resources practices of some male-dominated corporations are. Dr Christine Blassey Ford had the courage to make historical sexual assault allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and held firm against the pressure of the Republican Party machine.  Her testimony inspired sexual assault survivors internationally. So too, did the testimonies of the hundreds of victims of disgraced US Olympic gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.

"At the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, 300 actresses wore black and signed a “Time’s Up” pledge to fight against sexual harassment, assault and inequality occurring even in their privileged workplaces.  Oprah Winfrey made a powerful speech when accepting her Cecil B De Mille Award for outstanding contribution to the world of entertainment. She traced her humble beginnings, her experience with sexual assault, female empowerment and the #Me Too movement. Even in the repressive society of Saudi Arabia, women are now able to hold licences to drive cars and may attend football matches. Several daring young women have tried to break free of family oppression by attempting to immigrate to western countries in search of personal freedom.

"Here at High we are working more closely with SGHS to show our solidarity in being more powerful together than separately in raising awareness of the imperative of gender equality. Together, students produced a video highlighting gender issues. Students were invited as guests to each other’s assemblies. Our Prefects are hosting a luncheon to discuss topical issues.

"The central message, around the world and here at High, is that female empowerment is a growing trend and should be supported, not opposed. As students who have many relationships with siblings mothers, relatives and friends, I ask you to think, about your utterances and your actions. Audit your own behaviour against the yardsticks of fairness and equality. If you do, you will be preparing yourselves to become better men, husbands, friends and fathers.

"Culture is changed by early adopters influencing others, until a critical mass with changed behaviour, creates outliers who become unpopular and powerless representatives of the past.  The mainstream then dominates the practices and rituals of the changed behaviour. Our society is still quite a long way from achieving the vision of a gender equal world. Our actions during the last few years at High, have indicated that staff and students want to be seen to care enough to confront the issue of inequality and to take steps ourselves to work towards decreasing its impacts. Let us be the early adopters, particularly in a boys’ school, of changed beliefs, changed values and changed behaviour. I commend the work of staff and School Prefects who have highlighted this mainstream social justice issue and made the assembly celebrating International Women’s Day an important fixture on our calendar."

Funds Held in Trust for the Benefit of High Boys

The Sydney High School Foundation holds funds in trust for the benefit of the school. The SHS Advancement Fund enables tax-deductible donations to be made for the purposes of school buildings, scholarships and student support by way of bursaries. Audited accounts for the Foundation show that as of December, 2018 there were the following balances within the Advancement Fund: $110,000 for Old Boy funded bursaries; $15,037 for the Ethel Killip Memorial Fund; $118,037 for Prizes; $103,657 for the Phil Day Memorial Scholarship Fund; $52,532 for the Student Support Fund and $8380 for the Mitchell Seow Memorial Prize. In total, SHSF manages $376,496 in funds for the school. Usually, half of the interest earned on these funds is donated to the School for uses as determined by the Fund Deeds. However, due to a sustained period of very low interest rates, interest has been retained 2014-19, in the interests of maintaining the real capital value of the funds. The Seow Fund is a specific prize commemorating the sudden death from unknown causes of a much-loved student who had just completed his HSC. The Student Support Fund supplements the DoE Student Equity Funds with direct financial help to students in necessitous circumstances. The Phil Day Memorial Fund finances an annual scholarship, worth $1,500, in memory of an Old Boy and long serving teacher, Head Teacher and Swimming MIC. The Prizes Fund helps to pay for some of the >$30,000 worth of prizes awarded each year to students. The Ethel Killip Memorial Fund pays for the replacement and upkeep of honour boards, memorabilia of Old Boys, photographs on walls and the school artworks collection. The Ethel Killip Memorial Fund purchased >$30k (2014-17) of indigenous artworks for our collection in McDonald Wing. We are always seeking donations for any of these fund purposes. If you would like to help, contact High’s Development Office on 96629330 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr K A Jaggar

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