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The sombre tone that has cast a shadow over the start of the academic year continued this week with the tragic news of a light plane crash in the Philippines involving one of our families. Sadly, it has been confirmed that Simon Chipperfield, father of Miles (HWK Year 9), Henry (HWK 2021) and Edward (HWK 2022) and wife of Josephine died in the accident.

On behalf of the St Peter’s College community I extend my deepest sympathy to the Chipperfield family and their friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this incredibly challenging time. I am aware that many in our community would like to express their sympathy and support. Jen Robertson, family friend and mother of Henry (Year 11), Nicholas (Year 9) and Edward (Year 7) has kindly agreed to coordinate these offers. Please contact Jen via email or phone 0428 170 870 to discuss how best you can support the family.

Last Friday it was wonderful to engage with over 400 parents and guardians at our cocktail event. It was a beautiful night to welcome new and returning families into our community, to connect with staff and to celebrate the start of the 2023 academic year. I thank the Junior and Senior School Friends of Saints committees for their support of the evening and for their ongoing efforts in creating connected experiences for our families. I encourage parents to engage with the families of your son’s friends; this is an important component of the partnership we all hold in educating our young men.

Last Thursday we gathered at our traditional Academic Muster to applaud our high achievers of the Class of 2022 who are representatives of the effort, growth and resilience of the wider cohort. As we commend these students to the School community we acknowledge the well-rounded and comprehensive nature of their accomplishments. Evidently their high performance in the classroom and examination hall was not additional to, but rather a result of their rich pastoral and co-curricular engagement. Congratulations to the 2022 cohort and a special mention of our Dux William Begg (FLL 2022) who delivered a wonderful Address, and Proximae Accessit Anay Pradhan (WDK 2022).

The celebration of our 2022 graduates continued on Wednesday with the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) acknowledging the highest performing Physics students in the state in SACE and IB. I am delighted to announce that SPSC students were awarded both Bragg Medals, Karan Sethi (SHT 2022) for SACE and Alexander Grice (HWK 2022) for IB. The award holds a special place in the School’s history; multiple SPSC students have been recipients of the award that is named after old scholar William Lawrence Bragg and his father Sir William Henry Bragg, joint recipients of the 1915 Nobel Prize. Additionally Alexander Grice, Karan Sethi, William Begg, Luca Paull (SHT 2022), William McConnel (FLL 2022) and Kyle Miller (MAC 2022) received their merits for Physics at the AIP Public Lecture.

As we acknowledged the start of the Christian season of Lent with Shove Tuesday and an Ash Wednesday Service earlier this week, we challenge all in our community to reflect on living simply and taking joy in the important things in life: family, friendship, loyalty and kindness.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend with your family.

Tim Browning