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As we celebrated National Boarding Week in the School’s 175th year of operation we acknowledged St Peter’s College as a Boarding School, not a school with boarders; and there is a significant difference. Our boarders, boarding staff and boarding families are not an afterthought, but rather a cornerstone of our School. Boarding has had a presence on the School grounds since 1853 and is a key part of the culture, history and traditions of St Peter’s College.

Boarding Week was a timely reminder for us city folk to consider who our boarding neighbours are and what is their experience? Our vibrant boarding community, of 91 students, hails from diverse backgrounds; from seven different countries, from regional and remote Australia and from properties of a combined 13,500,000 + acres. Boarding is hard, it’s not natural. Boys are placed in a community that’s not their natural community. But our boarders overcome this challenge to acquire a level of independence beyond their years, attain maturity through forced decision making and develop the skill of making connections, many of which last a lifetime. I was privileged to attend the School House reunion last Saturday. Over 100 boarders from cohorts spanning some 50 years, gathered for a dinner in Da Costa Dining Hall. Many had travelled from interstate and some from overseas, to celebrate the friendships forged by the bond of boarding and School House.

It is these long-standing connections with old scholars that enable the ongoing success of our Careers Evening, now in its 22nd year. This important evening, an integral part of the SPSC Careers Program, featured presenters from our old scholar and parent community representing 32 industries. The evening provided a valuable opportunity for our Years 10 and 11 students to engage in the ongoing decision-making process regarding their futures.

In the Junior School, true House spirit was on display during their recent Cross Country Carnival. All boys from Reception to Year 6 competed in the event and it was wonderful to witness the encouragement of many older students running extra laps to support younger participants in crossing the finish line. Completing the course was a significant accomplishment for all students and one for which they should be very proud.

Whilst I was unable to attend the Voices of St Peter’s College performance on Wednesday evening due to clash in commitments, I was fortunate to have a special preview during their final rehearsal. Joined by Walford Anglican School for Girls, our Junior School Chamber Choir, Middle School and Senior School choirs and Orchestra performed with passion in what was a wonderful display of talent. Well done to all staff and students involved in the evening.

Today marks the start of National Reconciliation Week; a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. This year’s call to action ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ is a challenge issued to our student community in Reconciliation Week and every other week of the school year. Students are challenged to be brave enough to call out any racist or divisive language or behaviour and make a change in our culture by showing respect for each other and in particular for those who are different to us.

Congratulations to Year 12 students Daniel Jesudason and Nicholas Koh who have been jointly awarded the FH Schubert Scholarship for 2022. I acknowledge the efforts of all students who applied for the scholarship; a record number of applications were received, and a rigorous interview process was conducted by a panel including staff and old scholars.

I wish you an enjoyable weekend.

Tim Browning