from Ray Paxton, Head of College
I am pleased to share with you the text of my address for the opening of The Cosgrove Centre by The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) on Friday 18 November 2016.
Waverley College is a place of learning. The mission of this community is to foster the growth of all the learners who inhabit this place. As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition, we celebrate an additional dimension that proclaims the importance of a spirituality which is Gospel-centred, a community which is inclusive, a network of relationships based on justice and ultimately, an education which liberates. We challenge all to a “liberated way of living”. This signals a new way of describing our deepest hope for each student: the hope that he will be liberated by his learning journey, unconstrained by fear, energised by courage so that he may achieve liberation for others and himself.
Your Excellency, Lady Cosgrove, Your Grace, Dr Tinsey, Brother Oakley, special guests, staff, students and parents: on behalf of the College, I proudly welcome you to our community at Our Lady’s Mount and Waterford to celebrate the opening and blessing of these buildings – buildings which have been imagined, designed and constructed for the purpose of liberating the potential of every learner. Today we celebrate the diversity and inclusivity that characterise our students, our families and our staff.
We honour the tradition of holistic learning we have inherited from the Christian Brothers and all who have studied and taught here. We celebrate the significance of the present time in which innovation, higher order thinking, flexibility in teaching practice and classroom design are highly valued. Today, we project ourselves into a future which strongly connects the wellbeing of a student to his growth as a learner.
Bishop Richard, the Waverley College community congratulates you on your appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney. You are always welcome here and we look forward to working with you in furthering the mission of our Church. Dr Tinsey, our community is indebted to your inspiring leadership of Edmund Rice Education Australia. You continue to challenge each of us as we discern the next steps in our journey as an educational community. Br Oakley, as President of the EREA Council, we acknowledge not only your strong guidance and concern for good governance, but also the contribution you, along with Br Wallace, have made as former Heads of the College.
Your Excellency, Sir Peter, in welcoming you and Lady Cosgrove to the College for the second time in your term as Governor General, and in naming this building for you, we wish to pay tribute to the way you continue to display the very qualities, values and touchstones which are at the heart of our mission as an Edmund Rice school. As an Australian, you have assisted us in understanding the meaning of liberation. As a Waverlian, you challenge each of us to reach beyond these walls, as you have done so fully, to embrace strength, resilience, compassion and reconciliation. In a world where fear appears to have the upper hand, you exemplify a spirit of hope. It is for this we are honoured to name our buildings for you. We pray that all who enter these walls will leave as people of hope.