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We are all aware of the extremes of life that can cause great pain and sorrow, but for most of us it is not a reality. We hear stories from across our nation and the wider world, yet we often move on and forget. For Gill Hicks AM MBE, our 50th Lipman Fellow, it is her reality. Having survived the 2005 London bombings as a double amputee, her daily life brings many struggles and challenges. Gill describes her life since the bombings as her second life, given that she was clinically dead for some time in the emergency room.

Gill spoke to our community without prejudice, without anger or hate, and communicated a clarity to our human  condition that we rarely encounter. She presented overwhelming vitality, clarity and a fidelity to our common humanity that was inspiring. Gill reminded us that no ideology can ever justify the pain and sorrow of another individual. Her work with many young men who have been radicalised is ground breaking and demonstrates her utmost commitment to peace making. Coping with change is hard for anyone. Her successful formula, applied each day to ensure she has coped and moved on positively with her life, is ‘adjust, adapt, accept, repeat’. Gill spent some valuable time with our boarding community over dinner and will be back for a day next term to engage with students. We look forward to her return.

Curiosity is infectious. This week it was a joy to witness the bright eyed looks from many Year 1 boys as they undertook chemistry experiments in the Senior School science laboratories. Most significantly when asked what qualities a scientist might need to be successful, one innocent reply was “a scientist would need to be sensible”. I think our Year 1 boys could teach Senior School students a thing or two!

Our Year 10 students start to return from their Pushing the Boundaries expeditions in the coming week. We celebrate their achievement on completing such a terrific challenge, which will no doubt bring a level of perspective, appreciation and fulfilment.

I’d like to acknowledge a number of students this week including Alex Kimber (Year 7) who has been selected for the state cricket team, and Ed and Henry Nitschke (both Year 7) who have been selected for the state indoor cricket team. Congratulations to the following students who have been selected as State Representatives for rugby union and will compete interstate during the holidays: Will Bradley and Luke Robertson (both in Year 10 and selected for the Under 16s), and Thomas Copson (Year 12) and Max Monfries (Year 11) for the Under 18s. Finally, congratulations to the 200 students in the Senior School who performed at their studio concerts this week.

As the first half of the year begins to draw to a close, please accept my thanks for your support of St Peter’s College. I hope you have a restful and safe break during the July holidays and I look forward to welcoming you back to School on Tuesday 24 July for Term 3.

Tim Browning