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News > From the Headmaster > From the Headmaster | June 2024

From the Headmaster | June 2024

In striving to build an exceptional community of learning at St Peter’s College our hope is that every member of our School is placed on a pathway to growth. As our students mature through the Junior and Senior schools their expectation that growth is, in the main, connected to success, is challenged by broader and more complex challenges in their education, life and relationships.

As part of our CEO-in-Residence Program it was wonderful to welcome back Andrew Lee, (HWK 1994) to engage with students and help them understand these experiences. Andrew met with Legal Studies and History students and also spoke to the entire Senior School at Muster making the following key points: take inspiration from rejection; seek out perspectives that are different from your own and shape the future.

As a very successful student, Andrew reflected on one of the biggest experiences of rejection in his life and explained how this disappointment actually helped him secure a pathway to growth. As a very successful international lawyer he also explained how he learnt so much from uncomfortable situations - wrestling with conflicting truths while representing refugees and individuals who had been a given a death sentence. You can watch a recording of Andrew’s excellent Address here.

In a similar vein, former AFL footballer and old scholar Phil Davis (YNG 2008) recently visited and shared with our students the three elements of his success: a strong work ethic, discipline and a growth mindset. His message was one that our students should have found familiar given we consistently promote these ideals within our community. Phil’s words served as a powerful reinforcement, particularly those that challenged society’s stereotypical views on masculinity.

These opportunities for students to engage with our old scholars are so beneficial and reinforce the importance of generational belonging. They also serve as a reminder of how fortunate the School is to have such an engaged old scholar network that enriches our community.

In May, our talented team of 100 students and staff joined 4,000 aspiring musicians from across Australia to compete in the Generations in Jazz (GiJ) Festival. Considered one of the world's best school-based music events, I am proud to share that our Big Band 1 took out the top award in the Stage Band Awards. This is the first time in the 37-year history of the event that St Peter’s College has been named Best Big Band in the country. This significant national accolade is a credit to the culture of high performance and striving for continual improvement in all ensembles; a legacy created by our musicians and music staff over many years.

A culture of giving has been at the heart of St Peter's College for generations. Acts of generosity have sustained our School since it was first founded in 1847. This year, our Annual Giving Appeal invites old scholars to support the restoration of the Chapel, the spiritual heart of our School. This magnificent building has provided (and continues to provide) inspiration, hope, joy and solace to generations of students. The Chapel fleche – its rear spire - requires urgent repairs costing $300,000. I thank you in advance for your contribution and continued support of St Peter’s College.

In May, SPSC Foundation Chair Rick Sawers (ATH 1966), Development Manager Mark Colley (WDK 1978), Old Scholar Liaison Philip Marshall (SHT 1964) and I had the pleasure of joining alumni and their partners for the South East Chapter event in the Coonawarra. Thank you to the convenors Patrick Ross (W&A 1976), Tim Heysen (ATH 1971), Bill Trowbridge (W&A 1975) and all who attended.

I look forward to the Broken Hill Chapter Dinner tomorrow night and invite our old scholar community to attend our Perth Chapter Dinner on Thursday 27 June. As we continue to foster connections, I encourage all old scholars 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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