Our Head of English, Mr Glyn Roberts, has convinced me that public speaking is both an art and a science. He asserts that great public speaking combines a forensic understanding of how ideas can influence the thoughts of an audience with the subtle art of rhetoric and how it plays on a person’s emotions. We all acknowledge how great public speakers can influence the world.
All Year 11 and 12 students were recently invited to compete for the St Peter’s College Reverend W H Irwin Memorial Prize for Public Speaking. This year marks the 72nd year of the competition, which has been conducted annually since 1948. Its previous winners include former South Australian Premier, the Hon Dr John Bannon AO. The judges, which included English teacher, Mr Thomas Higgins, heard some excellent ideas in both the six-minute prepared speeches and the shorter impromptu section. I am pleased to announce this year’s winner is Xian Huang (Short House).
In Muster last week, before the students were told of state-wide school closures, music ensemble leaders for 2021 were announced, as well as sports leaders for the forthcoming summer and winter seasons. What was apparent in the announcement was the increasingly inclusive and collaborative nature of leadership at St Peter’s College, and how leadership is now taking many forms.
Nowadays, there are co-captains and leadership groups instead of their more traditional counterparts. It is no longer just the most senior, most experienced, most able student wearing the captain’s armband. Our Director of Sport, Mr Barnaby Eaton was clear in his message to the students, that, at Saints, in 2021, the qualities and characteristics of leadership are expected from all students in all year groups in all activities.
During Wednesday’s Muster, students were also thanked for their swift response to a ‘shelter-in-place’ procedure that was initiated earlier last week, due to a member of the public being on campus and refusing to leave. These are important procedures for the School. The maturity and sense of responsibility that the students displayed are crucial in keeping our community safe.
“It is important to pause and smell the roses sometimes, and to ensure we acknowledge all that is positive.” I heard this comment from Mrs Annette van Rensburg, Head of Short House, as she was chatting to a group of her students. And she is right. Even when lockdown was descending upon us last Wednesday, when events were being cancelled apace with community restrictions, there was an air of calmness and positivity across the campus. This is a credit to every single member of our exceptional school community.
Please know we are here to support you as a family through these challenging times.
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School