Message From the Principal

Message From the Principal

Be Brave, make change

At the end of Term Two we celebrated our first Gold assembly for the year, following Term One’s cancellation due to the horrible weather.

Gold Assemblies are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our winners of Gold Awards recognising long term consistent effort across learning, service and co-curricular involvement.

One of the things I will say every time we have this assembly is that the wonderful thing is that unlike the Gold at the Olympics, at a Junior School Athletics Carnival or a House Music Festival, Everyone can receive a gold award! Every person has the opportunity to commit to learning, to get involved in the life of the college, to serve others. The best day would be one where I have every student walk across the stage!! But to win a Gold Award you have to not only talk about perseverance and commitment to learning but actually do it, even when it’s dull or difficult.

When we talk about who we are as a College and our values, it is in the little day to day events we show what we really believe. We live our values in what we do and say each day. Whether it’s ensuring we put our rubbish in the bin – or picking up someone else’s mess, inviting someone to join in who looks lonely, or helping someone who is struggling in class. Our actions show if we really are respectful, compassionate, faithful and wise.

Sometimes it’s also what we don’t do that can send a message about what we believe – if we don’t put our rubbish in the bin, or if we stand by and watch someone be treated poorly, or watch as someone breaks something that doesn’t belong to them. Someone who stands by when another person is behaving badly, without saying or doing anything, is called a bystander. It’s the person who watches a friend get called a name, or be teased about how they are different for their body shape or size, skin color, ability level, or any other real or imagined difference, and does nothing.

In contrast, a person who is compassionate, respectful, faithfulness and wise will not be a bystander, but an upstander. They will stand up for the person who is left out or teased, they will call out unfair behaviour, or if they can’t they’ll let someone know who can.

Every year we acknowledge Reconciliation week at the end of May. It calls us to reflect on our role in helping our country move towards healing, to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and move forward together. This year’s theme is Be Brave. Make change.

One ordinary man who was able to make extraordinary changes in our society and improve the treatment of Aboriginal Australians was Vincent Lingiari, a proud Gurindji man from the Northern Territory. He worked as a stockman, as did many of his people on a huge cattle station called Wave Hill – it had been taken from the Gurindji and they were made to work it, their only wages were food and clothes. Vincent stood up, and led his people in a strike to ensure they were paid the same as the non-aboriginal workers on the property. It then turned into an 8 year battle to reclaim their traditional lands. Vincent Lingiari was not well educated, he wasn’t famous or powerful. But he stood up, and he held onto what was right, so that after 8 years the land was returned to the Gurindji and influenced the move towards recognising indigenous land rights. We can all be like Vincent – we can all be brave, stand up and make change.

Be the Gold Award winner for upstanding!

Mrs Megan Hastie