From the Head of College, Graham Leddie
New student leadership induction
On Thursday 19 October we inducted a new group of student leaders for 2018 at our Leadership Assembly, where I challenged them with the following questions:
How do great leaders inspire?
How does a group of leaders ensure that every student here at the college does not just survive at school, but flourish?
How will they face the challenges of their leadership year?
There is a very simple answer – they will need to cooperate and work together.
By working together as a team, our leaders can help every student to feel that they belong and are surrounded by people who have their best interests in mind.
Our Year 12 students have to take the lead in this. It is their duty to to protect the vulnerable and the young – to make them feel safe, valued and part of the bigger picture here at Waverley. But no individual in their group can achieve this alone.
The Aesop fable of the Oxen and the Lion is a perfect symbol of what their leadership will require: A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell to quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
The moral of this story? United we stand, divided we fall. When we stand together – when we are united – we can more effectively face the challenges of life.
Some people refer to being united in this way as ‘school spirit’.
If you have to worry about the bus or train ride to school; if you have to worry about being bullied; if you feel alone because you struggle to make friends; if you have to worry about peer pressure to do something you know is wrong … all of that energy spent does not then go into building a better community, it goes into trying to just feel safe – it is destructive.
I spoke at the start of the year, about the drive for connection, which is stronger than our need for shelter and food. it is our leader’s responsibility to help our students feel connected.
To create a sense of connection in our community we must answer the following questions:
- Who do we allow into our circle?
- How big is our circle ?
- What are our values?
With ‘Inclusive Community’ one of our touchstones as a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition it is pretty easy to answer who is in the circle; whatever your skin colour, whatever your religion, whether you were born in Australia or elsewhere, whatever your sexuality – you belong. Our seniors of 2017 acknowledged this when they themed their year – strength through diversity.
What theme are our 2018 Leaders going to choose? I look forward to their answer and I encourage them to think about what they want their legacy to be at the end of their year of leadership. They have the power to make a big difference in the lives of our 1350 students.
How big is our circle?
The Waverley circle is limitless and it lasts forever – from when you get up to go to school for the first time, when you are online, at the beach, in the classroom, visiting another school, or fifteen years after you have left school, you should know you are safe and that someone has your back even if you think there is no way out – I like to think of this as the concept of ‘RUOK for life’.
What values do our leaders need?
I’ve come to believe with my whole heart that our job as leaders is to inspire and equip the people we influence to find purpose and meaning in the work they do.
Serving first sounds easy. But when your life unfolds each day and you’re faced with challenges, your motives are tested. Your motives need to be pure, which is not always easy. The most important measure of serving others is this: Are people better off after they’ve come into contact with you? To put it another way – are you filling their bucket or are you emptying it?
Building trust is one of the most difficult behaviours required of a leader. Do a little self-assessment: Are you trustworthy? Are you willing to extend trust to others? As a leader, you need to emanate trust or others will not follow you. Trusting yourself first and then extending trust to others will give you the right to have others trust you. Building trust is critical to your long-term influence as a leader.
LIVE YOUR VALUES
We need go no further than the Gospel for values that should shape your life:
Compassion – sensitivity to, and concern for, the wellbeing of other people.
Courage – to follow what is true and right and to persevere in the face of suffering and opposition.
Love – The gift of sincere care, concern and empathy extended to others.
Service – Loving care for the needs of others.
Dignity – Respect for life, and above all the dignity of the human person.
Hope – A spirit of optimism and joy sustained by faith.
We are all in the circle, our circle is large and our values are clear.
We all can be leaders, because we can all serve.
Good luck gentlemen for the year ahead, I have high expectations of you and I know you will surpass them.
Sam Hardjono finishes his term as Board Chair
On behalf of the College, I would like to recognise the work and dedication to the College of Mr Sam Hardjono who has served on the College Board since 2006 and for the last four years as Chairperson. At the completion of is four year term as Chair this year, Sam will leave the Waverley College Board.
Sam has been involved during an incredibly significant period of change for the College as it has moved from the administration of the Christian Brothers to the administration of Edmund Rice Education Australia. He was a Board Member under Chairman, Paul Gillian, when the College’s first lay Headmaster, Ray Paxton, was appointed in 2010.
In February 2014 Sam was appointed as Chairperson and since then the College has been extremely well served by having in the role a person of Sam’s capacity and standing, both professionally and in the broader community.
Sam is a member of Waverley’s Class of 1988 and was Captain of 1st IX Football. His loyalty and enthusiasm for his alma mater has been evident over the years in his dedicated and energetic commitment to his role on the Board.
During his time as Chairperson the college has seen major changes to its teaching and learning program, its marketing and development and the implementation of a major capital works program which came to fruition in 2016 with the opening of the Cosgrove Centre.
More recently, I have enjoyed working alongside Sam in my role as Head of College and I would like to extend my personal thanks for his support during this time.
I would also like to extend a warm congratulations to Sam, who was recently bestowed the highest Red Cross award, a ‘Distinguished Service Award for Exceptional Leadership’. The award was presented by the Governor of New South Wales and the President of the Australian Red Cross. As Chairman of NSW and a National Board member, Sam will soon be in Turkey representing the Australian Red Cross at the global General Assembly in November with 193 nations present.
Sam will complete his term as Chairperson of the Waverley College Board at the end of 2017 and a successor will be confirmed in the near future.
Setting a great example
Since the start of the HSC, Year 12 student Jack Henderson has been found sitting under his favourite tree early each exam morning, going over his study notes and exam prep. His focus and work ethic have been phenomenal: Today Mr Porter snapped this photo of him in action. Jack, you’ve set a great example for other students and we wish you every success with your exams.