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Head’s Message

Success and failure

From the Head of College, Graham Leddie

Heads Speech to the 7 – 9 Academic Assembly: Fail to succeed

At our recent senior Academic Assembly, I spoke about the value of hard work by hand. The amazing power your hands can deliver through work, symbol, connection and love. Today, I would like to unpack the notion, ‘fail to succeed’. Please watch this short clip:

Everyone wants success but usually the first thing you find on the road to success is failure. This is what divides those who want success and those who are successful.

It is impressive to see students testing themselves, watching how others do things, asking for tips and assistance and then having a go.

Today, I will shake many academic achievers hands and we will celebrate their fine achievements, but what this does not show is how hard they worked, how often they failed and the number of attempts they made seeking success.

Nelson Mandela said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Fail is an easy word to say, but a very different beast to wrestle with. Like a skateboarder as he lands on the cold hard concrete, it hurts.

It means realising you can’t do something at that moment.

It means wondering if you will ever be able to do it.

It may even mean battling with that voice in your head, that says you can’t.

But the admiration here for our academic achievers is that you got back up. You said to yourself, I can’t do it .. Yet! And you dusted yourself off and had another go. I suspect in lots of cases, as with all of us here, you are still having a go.

We are all looking forward to the next trick you are going to master, through enthusiasm and pride in your own achievement.

Our admiration is not just for the award, it is for the desire you have shown to try and try again. That is what learning is all about in anything we undertake in life, you fail and you learn from your mistakes. You seek to get better, one step at a time.

In this school learning community you are fortunate to be able to access amazing learning resources and be supported by your teachers. I am enormously proud of these young gentlemen who have mastered a skill that we can celebrate today.

I know amongst the audience here we have numerous learners who are standing on their deck with wheels spinning underneath them, looking for success, but remember the first thing you find on the road to success can be failure.


Academic Buzz

The College is certainly a buzz of activity at present with the following activities:

  • HSC trials
  • Transition from winter co-curricular to the track and field season, as well as preparation for summer co-curricular
  • Learning walks
  • Science Week
  • VET work placements
  • Wednesday’s celebration of the Assumption Mass (Years 5-12)
  • Years 7 – 9 Academic Awards Assembly
  • ICAS Award winners
  • The College hosted the Gifted and Talented Secondary Teachers’ Association this week
  • Year 11 spelling bee House competition
  • 2020 Year 7 interviews
  • Author Talks, Years 7 to 10 – Author James Phelan

For further details, please see the reports throughout the newsletter.


Successful Fundraiser supports Hugo Kulscar

Wednesday 15 August saw a large group of our students, teachers, old boys and families attend a fundraiser for the Kids Cancer Project at Latham Park, South Coogee. The event was to show support for Hugo Kulscar of Year 6 and his family. Hugo is currently undergoing intensive treatment for Leukaemia at Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital and, after some initial hurdles, he is responding well to treatment. His courage and support from family and friends are all helping in his daily battle with the side effects of his intense treatment. We now call on the wider community to support Hugo in his battle. You can show your solidarity with Hugo by making a donation at the link below to help fight this terrible disease. Hugo won’t give up fighting and your support to help him get through this battle will really lift his spirits.


Assumption Mass

At the Assumption Mass yesterday, Fr Bernie Thomas challenged us all to look past the statues and symbols that we have used throughout time to represent the Mother of Jesus, Mary. He asked us to focus on her steadfast faith, her trust in something greater than herself and her amazing courage as a 15 or 16 year old girl to be thrust into such a challenging situation. Like Sister Jan Barnett rsj at the May Procession, Fr Bernie challenged us to think about where we would find Mary in 2018. Mary would have got her hands dirty, she would have been assisting those most in need, those on the margins, such as the homeless, the disabled, those that have fled other countries and those needing love. Fr Bernie also commented on how reverent and prayerful the boys were at Mass, which he very much appreciated.


Nurrunga Update

In response to feedback from the Parent Association and readers, this week you will be able to enjoy Nurrunga in a new online format. Stories now expand within the page, rather than taking you to a new page and the overall design has been simplified. These changes will make it even easier for you to enjoy the College newsletter across all platforms.