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As the academic year draws to a close, I offer my thanks to all members of the St Peter’s College community for assisting in making my transition and first year here such an enjoyable experience. Our students have achieved a great deal in 2018.

It is pleasing to see the diversity of the School grow. A school such as St Peter’s College does not sit still and each day of the year involves the endeavour of both students and staff with enormous intensity.

Working at St Peter’s College as part of either the teaching or operational team is demanding and we are fortunate to have a team of staff that are very passionate about their speciality and take great pride in working here. I am extremely grateful for the enormous effort and dedication displayed by all staff during 2018.

I also wish to acknowledge the long and dedicated service of Mr Andre Ryjoch. Although he has been unable to return to the School campus this term to be recognised for his service, it is important we acknowledge his 31 years of service as a Music educator and leader at St Peter’s College. Mr Ryjoch was asked by the Headmaster, Mr Shinkfield, in 1987 to build a bands program. Measures to achieve this goal had already been attempted in the 80s with little success. Mr Ryjoch worked very hard to build the program from the ground up which saw St Peter’s College begin to place a higher value on Music. Mr Ryjoch’s bands gave countless performances at the School and in public, including for the Governor, the Archbishop, performances with Australian jazz greats Don Burrows and James Morrison, and won prizes on multiple occasions at the SA Schools Band’s Festival. Mr Ryjoch also helped Music take its rightful place in the School, lifting its profile, with numerous interstate Music tours.

Mr Ryjoch departs Saints with our sincere thanks for his energetic and dedicated service to Music.

During Week 7 we were fortunate to enjoy a visit from the 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons. Professor Simmons is a world leader in Quantum Computing and conveyed very strong and helpful messages to our students. Her top five guiding principles that she passed on were:

  • make sure you set your mind on something difficult
  • do something that matters
  • take risk
  • embrace your doubt
  • embrace high expectations

This is a wonderful message upon which we should encourage all students to reflect. Next year will be equally as challenging and we should ask all of our boys to set their future goals in this way.

Please accept my thanks for engaging in the strategic review process and helping us solidify our Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022. As a school we look forward to actioning our plan through the lens of Truth, Respect, and Service and working hard to ensure St Peter’s College provides the very best sound and liberal education it can.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas as you enjoy time with loved ones.

Tim Browning