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Following the sudden seven-day lockdown it has been wonderful to have students back on campus after a period of remote learning. I commend all students on their ability to quickly adapt to online learning and I thank all parents and families for the role you played in supporting your son to navigate the rapid change in circumstance. I also thank our staff who worked incredibly hard to deliver a seamless transition to online learning that ensured the continuity of our students’ educational program.

We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments interstate and ask all in our community to remain vigilant in adhering to the SA Government guidelines in relation to restrictions. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, particularly in relation to guidelines restricting parent involvement in campus events.

Across the School, Blue Week has been celebrated in Week 4 and it has been heartening to hear students of varying ages speak to the issue of mental health. This year’s theme ‘Embracing your Identity’ has provided every member of the community the opportunity to normalise discussions around mental health and emotional literacy and to reinforce the importance of reaching out for support in times of need. Earlier today the much-anticipated Battle of the Bands competition rounded out our Blue Week activities. Congratulations to Farr House on winning the competition. It was wonderful to welcome John Brewster (HWD 1966) and Sam Greenwood (FRR 2010) back to the campus. John and Dave Gleeson joined our Staff Band to perform The Angels hit Marseilles before forming our expert judging panel.

It was great to see our talented Junior and Senior School musicians perform at Jazz@The Gov last night. Philip Walsh, Director of Music and our Music Department should be incredibly proud of last night’s performances and the ongoing achievements of our ensembles and soloists. Over the past weeks alone the following students have been recognised at the state and national level; Timothy Suyapto (Year 9), Mathew Lok (Year 8) and Thomas Teh (Year 7) won the Junior String Ensemble competition at the Adelaide Eisteddfod and Year 10 students Jonathan Harris, Gary Peng and Cameron Johnson came third in their Senior String Ensemble division, Oscar Page (Year 10) was part of the SPSC Sax Ensemble that received a bronze award in the National, Strike a Chord Musica Viva Chamber Group Music Championship and Charlie Wells was selected as a winner of the 2021 National Fanfare Competition. Charlie’s composition will now be recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra before being broadcast at professional venues around Australia in 2022.

Over the past two weeks, we have been treated to wonderful creative arts exhibitions. Our Junior School Art Exhibition, celebrating artworks by students in Reception to Year 6, was full of colourful masterpieces inspired by Picasso. Congratulations to the boys, Ms Sally Houston and the Junior School Art Department for bringing together such a magnificent collection of art. Across four performances, the Years 11 and 12 Senior Drama students treated audiences to an exceptional standard of performance in the production of She Returns. Congratulations to the students, in particular Wilbur Glaetzner and Alex Karytinos, Mr Paul Fabbro, Director of Performance and the Senior School Drama team; your dedication and countless hours of rehearsals certainly paid off given a full week of rehearsals were lost to the lockdown.

Next Wednesday, Chess and Soccer will launch the four-day Winter Intercollegiate Program that includes eight sports, plus an exhibition Squash match. 2021 marks the sesquicentenary of Intercollegiate Football with the first Intercollegiate fixture played between St Peter’s College and Prince Alfred College a Football Match, contested in 1871. The Intercol is a reminder that life continues in times of great uncertainty. Intercol fixtures continued during WWI and WWII, and we are delighted the fixture has been maintained in 2020 and 2021, years marked by a global pandemic. I trust all students will appreciate the privilege to participate, compete and attend fixtures, when many students across Australia are in lockdown.

I wish all students across all sports well and encourage both participants and spectators to represent our shared community with the highest level of integrity, sportsmanship and respect.

Tim Browning