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It was a privilege to share our facilities with students and staff from across the nation last week. We should always play our part in national conversations and national events, particularly those that profile innovation in education such as the Subs in Schools and F1 STEM competition. Congratulations to our Narwhals team of Vinh Lam, Sebastian Chen, Nicholas Robertson and Charlie Angus who after months of preparation demonstrated great resilience and teamwork as they represented St Peter’s College in the national final held at the School.

Our old scholar community is always keen to hear about our current programs. Recent reunions in Melbourne, Sydney, the Clare region and the 70 year reunion have provided an opportunity to personally update old scholars on our students’ current endeavours, our growing social licence and the vision of our School. I thank our convenors for their efforts in ensuring these events were well organised and well attended.

We are in the midst of the Summer Intercol and it has been pleasing to see our competitors maintaining composure and perspective as they approach the contest with a desire to win. The renewed focus on spectator support remains evident across all activities. I commend our boys for taking an interest in others and sharing in the joys and struggles of their battle.

Our students have worn their summer uniform with tie with pride when attending Intercol fixtures. And in the main they have looked good. The battle our boys face as they go through adolescence is giving up some personal liberties and freedom for the greater good of community. It’s a paradox on what we are taught in today’s inwardly focused world.

In wider Australian society, in places where men and boys gather in public, examples of good behaviour are inconsistent. It is up to our boys and our School to be the best example, to be a role model. As a school for boys, we have to be absolutely intentional in what we seek to achieve and review all our actions and conduct through the lens of truth, respect and service. Having been approached by members of the public at the recent regatta to offer feedback about the conduct of SPSC students, I congratulate the nameless young men who were overheard correcting the behaviours of their peers and demonstrating sensitivity to the broad range of spectators present among the excitement of the Head of the River battle. This is something that can be really hard to do, yet is very very important. As a community focused on supporting the growth of boys and young men, we must always invite feedback from the wider community regarding our conduct and be willing to listen to lone voices who help us be our best.

Saturday’s Head of the River regatta, contested by 26 SPSC crews, was the culmination of an excellent season on a number of fronts. I commend the strong leadership of our Boat Club lead by Wade Hall-Craggs for having the courage to stay the course throughout the season. Our 1st VIII crew secured their ninth consecutive Gosse Shield with a win in the Schoolboy Eight. I acknowledge coach Brigette Carlile, the first female coach to take out the state title, for her comprehensive impact on our program and for being such a strong, positive role model for our boys.

A number of SPSC crews are currently benchmarking our local efforts at the National Rowing Championships in Penrith. The following students will soon be competing on the national stage following their state selections; Seb Birdseye (Year 12) has been selected for the 18 Years and Under State team to compete at the National Tennis Championships in Hobart in May. Max Hewitt (Year 10), Alden Au (Year 10), Jack Bell (Year 11), Dan Whittaker (Year 11) and James Stockman (Year 12) have qualified for the national age swimming championships to be held on the Gold Coast in April. Congratulations Max on breaking the U15 50m freestyle record at the State Championships in a time of 24.56 sec. This record was previously held by Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers.

Good luck for the remaining Intercol fixtures and have a wonderful weekend.

Tim Browning