Thursday 12 April 2018

Cultivating Leadership

Last Friday, the boys from the Regis campus gathered eagerly for their perennial Leadership Assembly to discover who had been elected as Student Leaders for 2018. Mr Matt Smith, the Head of the Regis campus, reminded the boys that their democratic engagement in the process of nomination and selection was integral to the quality of leadership that would be exercised by those who were given the responsibility of office over the coming year. The boys were also reminded that leadership entails more than just wearing a badge and undertaking some designated responsibilities. Indeed, in a Jesuit context, leadership is a call to service; to commit with intent to building a community where all have a place with a particular regard for those who are in most need. It was instructive to hear that 52 boys in Year 6 were nominated for leadership, leaving Mr Smith with the arduous but rewarding task of interviewing every one of the boys. This represents half of the entire year level so the call to leadership and to service is very strong. After careful consideration and consultation, I am very pleased to inform that the following leaders have been elected to office and go forth to build the fabric of community that the Regis campus is renowned for:

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Year 5 Student Leaders Year 6 Student Leaders: Year 6 Prefects
5.1 Julian Criola 6.1 Evan Dransfield Oscar Davies
5.2 Angus Devlin 6.2 Daniel Saunders Julian Reynolds
5.3 Riley Wallis 6.3 Darcy Henry James Rochaix
5.4 Angus Martinez 6.4 George Gaha Thomas Lee

 

Congratulations to these young men who take on the mantle of office and who will be both challenged and enriched by their leadership roles over the course of the coming year. Special congratulations are extended to the Captain of the Regis Campus for 2018, Oscar Davies, who was popularly elected by the boys to take on this important role.

At the other end of the school, the Year 12 boys completed their End of Semester Examinations and headed off for their retreats over the final days of term. Responding to the boys’ request for a range of retreat experiences, various retreat programs were offered, from the intense spiritual discernment provided by Kairos, to street retreats, nature retreats and service retreats. At the end of a very busy assessment period and prior to the arrival of the holidays, the retreat program is designed to equip the boys with the necessary tools to reflect deeply on their past, to step back and assess the many competing demands of the present and what the future may hold.

 One small but important gathering took place early in the week when the Year 7 First Nations Boys gathered in the Principal’s Office to receive certificates of achievement. Just 11 weeks ago these young men arrived from various parts of the state and different states of Australia to undertake their six years of education at the College. That they have survived the first term is significant in its own right, but that they have acquired MacLit Certificates for achievement in English and earned other honours speaks enormous volumes for these boys’ resilience, commitment and resolve. I was acutely mindful when presenting the boys with their certificates that these young men in the here and now are, in the metaphor of tomorrow, the leaders of their communities into the future. We give thanks for the gift these young men are to our College and for the contribution that they will make to their world in the post-school years.

Out of the sight line, the College Board met for the second occasion during the week to provide their own strategic leadership of the affairs of the school. Chaired by John Wilcox (OR1975), members of the Board who act as Directors of the incorporated entity – Saint Ignatius’ College Ltd – deliberate and provide advice about the most important priorities and goals together with processes that can best see them come to fruition. There is an endless array of matters that affect the complex operations of a large and integrated school, from staff, curriculum and resources through to policy, compliance, risk, property and finance. With a multi-million dollar budget and a commitment to sound stewardship of all that has been endowed from previous generations, the Board is keen to ensure that the inter-generational responsibility for optimum management will see Saint Ignatius’ maintain its place as one of the most highly regarded educational institutions in the nation. And, it is worth acknowledging that the current Chair of the Board arrived as a boarder from Walgett in Year 6 and undertook many leadership roles during his years at Riverview, consummating his graduation year as School Captain of 1975. Perhaps some of the young men who have been invested with their first years of leadership at the Regis campus may emulate John’s commitment to leadership and service over the decades ahead.

Seated: Ms Michelene Collopy, Fr Jack McLain SJ, Mr John Wilcox, Dr Paul Hine, Ms Miriam Stiel | Standing: Fr Peter L’Estrange SJ, Mr Harvey Gaynor, Br Ian Cribb SJ, Dr Elisabeth Murphy, Mrs Rosalie Nott, Mr Greg Mackay, Fr Tom Renshaw SJ | Absent: Mr Richard Pegum

As the term comes to a close, I wish to thank all who have given so much over the last 11 weeks when delivering and supporting the various components of the educational program. This includes classroom and learning activities, pastoral care, Masses, camps, sport, debating, drama, music, service and the list goes on. We pause to gather breath over the coming fortnight and for that we are grateful. May it be a time of refreshment and renewal in preparation for the shortest but most intense term that will see, among other things, Mid-Year Examinations for Year 11 plus the cascade effect of examinations for all other year levels, Service Week for Year 10, the winter co-curricular program and a raft of other activities and events.

Dr Paul Hine