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Everything we seek to achieve at SPSC stands upon our Anglican foundations and our core values of truth, respect and service. We are called to be inclusive, to invite families of other faiths, or none, to join our community and we are greatly enriched by this diversity.  Further, it is through the pursuit of truth that we are granted permission to disagree; we must teach our young men how to hold conflicting truths in tension. Robust debate about the issues central to the success of our society should be commonplace in our classrooms and across SPSC community discourse. As a nation, we lack forums and communities of dialogue where there are examples of community figures ‘disagreeing well’.

As part of our Rex J Lipman Fellows Program we were privileged to welcome Stan Grant, one of Australia’s most recognised and respected journalists, to the School this week. His visit reinforced how well placed the St Peter’s College community is to prepare young men for the challenges that lie ahead for our nation. Mr Grant’s engagement with students in Years 3 to 12 and the wider Adelaide community through his public lecture, mirrored our commitment to the pursuit of truth no matter how hard the subject matter might be, or how emotionally connected we could be to either side of a debate. Mr Grant’s articulation of Yindyamurra, the Wiradjuri philosophy of respect, is certainly not the message we hear being portrayed by the media. His challenge, that all Australian’s seek to live with respect while creating a world worth living in, was powerful and reminded us that we each must play our part by taking responsibility for not only our own conduct, but the conduct of our neighbours. Mr Grant asked our students to reflect at the end of each day on whether they had contributed to the construction of a world with less conflict, rather than more. A simply yet powerful act. Are you perpetuating conflict? He reminded us that we are each responsible for our words and the impact they have.

Mr Grant asked us all to be conscious of the ‘illusion of separation’ and reminded us that we are all connected. He warned us of the risks of focussing on the theme of identity above the importance of belonging. In highlighting that today’s media can no longer be relied upon as a source of truth, the responsibility on the School and all parents to be the feed that leads the journey of each young person has never been more significant. A strong partnership between home and school has never been more important.

You can watch Stan’s public lecture here.

Another important partnership, one that has endured over 150 years, is our Winter Intercollegiate Program. From next Wednesday, a festival of sport will see eight co-curricular activities contested across four days. Bragging rights in one’s local postcode are always highly prized among friends and our intercollegiate fixtures provide the opportunity to secure same. Although the scores will likely be revered among the peer groups, it is the spirit of participation and spectating which must stand as an example to the wider community of our shared values. I ask that all participants, in and out of the arena, represent their community with humility, integrity and respect and wish all participants every success. Regardless of who wins the fixture, it’s essential to win the speeches. I draw the attention of our captains of sports to our Customs and Practices tutorial on delivering a speech after a sporting fixture.

Well done to our talented Junior and Senior School musicians who performed at Gig @ the Gov last week. Our Music Departments should be incredibly proud of their performances and ongoing achievements. Across the past two weeks 10 of our ensembles have competed in the Adelaide Eisteddfod and  independent schools ABODA Music Festival and have collected a host of awards including gold and overall section winners. These outstanding results are a credit to the boys, to their conductors who direct their ensembles with such skill and precision and to their parents who support these wonderful partnerships.

Congratulations to Bailey O’Neil (Year 12) who was selected in Adelaide United’s A League Squad to contest the Australia Cup. Bailey is the first SPSC student to be awarded a professional Soccer contract whilst at school.

I was delighted to learn that six SPSC students have been selected to represent South Australia in the National Water Polo Championships in September. Oliver Maddern (Year 10) and Will Disney (Year 11) will be part of the 17 and Under Team and Emerson Cooper (Year 9), John Lucas (Year 9), Oscar Larwood (Year 9) and Joshua Maung (Year 8) the 15 and Under Team.

Congratulations Axel Tansu (Year 7) who has been selected in the South Australian Under 13 State Team to compete at the National Badminton Championships in Ballarat in September.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend and I look forward to joining you on the sidelines across Intercol fixtures.

Tim Browning