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International Mother Language Day: Hugo Hart

Thursday 21 February marked International Mother Language Day (IMLD) which celebrated cultural diversity and the importance of language across the globe. The theme for this year was Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation. With the guidance of Mrs Rachel Spiby, Head of Langauges Faculty, David and I decided to promote further awareness surrounding this particular day through engaging with the Middle Years students.

Kahoots is a notorious quiz activity loved by all, which allows each boy to be engaged in healthy competition. I utilised this website to produce an engaging Kahoot which aligned with the key themes of International Mother Language Day. Boys were able to learn key facts and share their own knowledge on the topic of language and its importance within society. I shared this resource with the School Prefects to use with their assigned Year 7 or 8 mentor group. Each Prefect facilitated conversations surrounding the boys’ personal perspectives on the importance of language. I know each of the Year 7 and 8 students loved engaging with this activity, so a particular thank you to each of the Prefects who facilitated these sessions. Languages staff also delivered a lesson in which the students were engaged in a discussion about how IMLD fits into our school values of respect, truth and service. Language students took part in tongue twister competitions in a foreign language and Bilal Shahin (Year 7) taught his French class greetings and numbers in Arabic, which was very challenging.

Through promoting IMLD, I myself was able to learn a series of valuable points I had previously never known. For example, 1,050 different Aboriginal dialects existed before European settlement. A number which has now decreased to around only 13 dialects. These staggering facts helped me realise the importance of preserving our history and appreciating the incredible diversity which exists within our School, wider community and world as a whole.

Although IMLD focused primarily on the importance of language, it also brought forward the theme of embracing one’s historical truth. We have each journeyed through different walks of life, learning various different life lessons along the way. Let’s all try to take the time out to get to know those around us, for someone else’s life lessons may also be of benefit to you.

Hugo Hart
School Captain

Keeping Busy: David Quan

Well, it is Week 6 already! The excitement of 2019, and the hustle and bustle of the new school year seems to have subsided. Hopefully by now, everyone has managed to settle into their new routines, begun their summer sport trainings, started musical rehearsals and finally figured out how to get around the huge complex of the Saints campus!

In the School Captains’ office, the stress-level has hit an all-time high. At the time of writing this, Hugo and I are in the process of finalising the program for the 8th National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) held at Saints on Friday 8 March. The Summit aims to challenge and inspire school leaders and as co-facilitators for this event, it is our hope that we can tailor the program to allow all participants to feel empowered and confident – ultimately bringing positive changes within their own school communities. It has been quite a daunting experience to literally plan out every minute of the day and to call more than 150 schools to promote this event! Luckily, we have had the privilege to work closely with our Human Resources Coordinator, Michelle Koop, as well as Louka Parry, who is one of Australia’s most exciting educational thinkers and doers.

In addition, we have had the valuable guidance from former School Captains, who have willingly shared many helpful and useful insights to help us settle into our new responsibilities. In particular, last year’s School Captains, Indran Mukherjee (SHT’ 18) and Sebastian Cardone (YNG’ 18) have been invaluable with their support. I have so much admiration for their service and contributions to the school – their example set the bar extremely high. Having gone through most of the organisational responsibilities of the NSLS, we finally understand what keeps the School Captains so busy for the first two months of the school year!

In the next edition of the Captains’ Insights, we look forward to sharing more information about the peaks and troughs of the NSLS. In the meantime, though, we still have a lot more to do!

David Quan
School Vice Captain

Students celebrating International Mother Language Day