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At St Peter’s College our community values an all-boys education. As powerful and as valuable as we believe our partnership in this endeavour might be, we will have failed if we allow our young men to believe they are graduating into an all-boys world. Our graduates are entering a world where they will be expected to work both with and for women – a circumstance deserving celebration by all. International Women’s Day (IWD) provides us a timely reminder of the need to be intentional in all we do as we go about normalising all the right behaviours across the School in our push to cast aside wider community stereotypes.

A school for boys requires just as many strong female role models for our sons, as we do men. At SPSC we can play our part in normalising the leading place women do and should take in our community. Today, I pay tribute to and thank all our female staff for committing to the mission of our School community and to the care and wellbeing of our students.

Further, on IWD I want to acknowledge the vital role all women in our School community play in identifying institutional blindness; our female employees, our mothers, sisters and aunties. In ensuring we remain true to the mission of an all-boys education please know that feedback is always invited; my door is always open. In maintaining our strong partnership through open communication and self-reflection we can play our part in ensuring our joint mission in education also supports the principles of IWD.

In a wonderful display of community, the Junior School Movie Night and Fun Fair held on Saturday was a resounding success. With close to 1,000 in attendance, families were treated to a spectacular autumn evening that helped create a wonderful, connected community atmosphere.

Across coming months there are several events that I encourage parents to actively engage in: the Mission Guild Welcome and Information Evening on Thursday 21 March, Alfresco Concert on Friday 5 April, individual year level coffee dates and bottle and plate evenings and the traditional St Peter’s College Community Day on Saturday 4 May.

These community events would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteer groups, namely the Junior and Senior School Friends of Saints, Friends of Music and the Mission Guild. These passionate groups of volunteers are instrumental in organising these events aimed at promoting and fostering a sense of community among parents and families.

This sense of community has prevailed seven decades for members of the Class of 1954 who celebrated their 70-year reunion on Thursday. It is always a privilege to welcome old scholars back to the School, and on all occasions I am reminded how fortunate St Peter’s College is to have such an engaged old scholar network that enrich our community. Yesterday was no exception with thirty old scholars gathering in Big School Room for the combined SPOC March Luncheon and 70-year reunion. Students joined their grandfathers and great uncles after lunch before accompanying them to Muster in Memorial Hall. It was particularly meaningful to honour the Class of 1954 and to acknowledge all in attendance with a special roll call.

Today our School Captains James Hattingh and Ryan Fowler admirably led over 100 students from across the nation in a one-day intensive workshop designed to challenge, inspire and empower student leaders. In what was the 13th National Student Leadership Summit hosted by the School, student leaders from Independent, Catholic and Public schools gathered to explore leadership under a self, other and community framework inspired by the Captains ‘strong and lovely’ theme. I am confident the experience had a profound impact on all involved.

The Burchnall Sports Centre gym has been a hive of activity across the summer months as our students have adopted tailored strength and conditioning programs for their personal development. These dedicated efforts will come to the fore next weekend as our rowing crews open our Summer Intercol account at the 102nd Head of the River regatta. The following week two crews will represent SPSC on the national stage at the 2024 Australian Rowing Championships. A special mention of Anand Holloway (Year 12) who has been selected to cox the South Australian Men’s Youth Eight at the National Championships. Our Head Coach Brigette Carlile has been named coach of the crew.

Congratulations to Year 8 student Tao Wong who has been invited to attend the Australian Maths Trust (AMT) High Performance Mathematics Senior Selection School in Melbourne in April. From this camp a team of six will be selected to participate in the 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad. Goodluck Tao.

Nicholas Panigyris (Year 11) is to be commended for the role he is playing as a two-way Youth Ambassador between Australia and Greece for Mission Blue Hope Spot. Mission Blue Hope spots are dedicated to inspiring action to explore and protect the ocean. As part of his role he received an invitation to visit the dolphin sanctuary on Kangaroo Island.

Good luck to Bryce Hammond (Year 12) who will compete for South Australia in the Under 21 National Hockey Championships in Tasmania next week. Rhun Williams (Year 12) was selected in the squad as a train-on player. Andrew Hattingh (Year 10), Angus Sloane (Year 10) and Felix Lloyd (Year 11) have been selected in the Under 16 State Squad to compete in Tasmania in April. Will Dean (Year 11) is a train on player and old scholar Paxton Silby (DAC 2018) is the Head Coach of the team.

Best wishes for a wonderful long weekend with your family.

Tim Browning