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News > From the Headmaster > From the Headmaster | March 2024

From the Headmaster | March 2024

It is always a privilege to engage with our old scholars and on all occasions I am reminded how fortunate St Peter’s College is to have such an engaged old scholar network that enriches our community. Over the past month I have enjoyed chapter events, reunions, and our Community Golf Day. Thank you to all old scholars who have attended these occasions.

Image: Guests at the Melbourne Chapter Evening

In March, SPOC President Oren Klemich (DAC 1978) and I had the pleasure of joining alumni and their partners for chapter events in Melbourne and Sydney. Additionally, our Development Manager Mark Colley and I hosted a Mid North regional reunion in Clare. I acknowledge our convenors; Andrew Gill (WDK 1983) in Melbourne, Prof George Murell (MAC 1977) in Sydney and George Millington (DAC 1992) in the Mid North - for their efforts in ensuring these events were well organised and well attended.

Thirty-five old scholars gathered for the SPOC March Luncheon in Big School Room with a notable six attendees marking their 70-year reunion. It was special occasion, with students joining their grandfathers and great uncles for dessert before accompanying them to Muster. There, the Class of 1954 and all old scholars present were honoured with a special roll call, fostering a sense of legacy within our community.

Image: Old scholars roll call at the Senior School Muster

I am heartened by the genuine interest old scholars take in our current programs, our growing social licence and our vision for the School. Our sporting endeavours are often a topic of interest and I am pleased to report a successful Summer Intercol fixture has been contested across Badminton, Cricket, Rowing, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo (Sailing was postponed due to weather conditions). In all contests it has been pleasing to see our competitors maintain composure and perspective in their approach despite their desire to win. Notably, our 1st VIII crew secured their ninth consecutive Gosse Shield at the Head of the River regatta with a win in the Schoolboy Eight. Coach Brigette Carlile became the first female coach to take out the state title and I acknowledge the comprehensive impact Brigette has had on our program and for being such a strong, positive role model for our boys.

Image: SPSC 1st VIII with Tim Browning, Headmaster and Brigette Carlile, Coach

Old scholars frequently enquire about the preservation of the School’s customs and practices that have been passed down through generations. Of particular interest is our School uniform, a symbol of our collective identity. St Peter’s College remains one of the only schools in the state to still wear a tie with our summer uniform. I am pleased to report our students wore our brand with pride when attending the recent Intercol fixtures, and in the main they looked good.

It is important to acknowledge the challenges our boys face as they navigate the complexities of adolescence. Embracing our School uniform and adhering to its standards often requires them to relinquish some personal liberties and freedom for the greater good of community - a paradoxical notion in today’s inwardly focused world.

The renewed focus on spectator support has remained evident across all activities and I commend our students for taking an interest in their peers and sharing in the joys and struggles of their battle. In wider Australian society, in places where men and boys gather in public, examples of good behaviour are inconsistent. It is up to our boys and our School to be the best example, to be a role model.

As a school for boys, we have to be absolutely intentional in what we seek to achieve and review all our actions and conduct through the lens of truth, respect and service. Having been approached by members of the public at the recent regatta to offer feedback about the conduct of SPSC students, I acknowledge the young men who were overheard correcting the behaviours of their peers and demonstrating sensitivity to the broad range of spectators present among the excitement of the Head of the River battle. This is something that can be really hard to do, yet is very very important.

As a community focused on supporting the growth of boys and young men, we must always invite feedback from the wider community regarding our conduct and be willing to listen to lone voices who help us be our best selves.

I am grateful for the generous contributions of our old scholar community, which have ensured the success of our annual Careers Evening, now in its 24th year. With over 40 industries represented this year, the evening continues to provide invaluable insights and opportunities for our students to explore diverse career paths.

Looking ahead, I invite our old scholar community to attend our Anzac Memorial Service on Tuesday 30 April. Join us from 10.25am as the List of the Fallen is read by our School Captains and Prefects, before Father Theo will lead us in a service. Morning tea will be served in Big School Room after the service. Click here to register your interest to attend.

As we continue to foster connections and celebrate our shared heritage, I encourage all old scholars to stay updated on upcoming events, including the South East regional reunion and chapter events in Perth and London slated for mid-2024. Be sure to join SPOC Connect to catch up on the latest old scholar events and browse the gallery of photo albums.

Tim Browning

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