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Over the past few weeks there has been significant national coverage of the utterly unacceptable behaviour of a group of boys from a Melbourne independent school travelling on public transport.

These events provide an opportunity to reflect on our practices as a School as we work in partnership with parents to raise kind and loving young men who we hope will contribute to the greater good of our community.

Our School and family environment along with the behaviours we celebrate and accept provide a template for students that they will carry with them for life. The mission of St Peter’s College is clearly defined in our School prayer:

Look with favour, we pray thee,
O Father Almighty, upon this our School,
and grant that its foundations may ever stand firm in truth and righteousness;
that beauty, order and reverence may
be the message of its walls and fields,
and that so long as one stone remains
upon another, it may stand for all things
that are strong and lovely and of good report, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

These beautiful words are our measuring stick on all things, particularly masculinity. It is important that we reinforce a balance of strength and love concurrently in all our students. I firmly believe that difference and diversity is to be celebrated, it is not good enough just to tolerate. At Saints we have undertaken significant work this year to challenge all students to think critically, to embrace difference and to highlight the importance of language. Students from across the School have worked with Tessa Opie to learn about healthy and consenting relationships among young people; have partnered with girls’ schools on a range of activities; used ‘wear it purple’ day to celebrate our diverse community.

Whilst we are making good progress, there is more we can do to ensure our students treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. As always, you remain welcome to contact me at any time with your observations or suggestions regarding our School’s culture, behaviours and actions so that we can continue to work toward achieving our mission.

In student achievements, congratulations to Charlie Piro (Year 7) who represented Australia in a 10-day sailing regatta in New Caledonia. He raced against the top 60 junior sailors across multiple countries and finished 16th. Charlie has been officially sailing in the South Australian sailing team for the past two years and represented the state at the last two national championships. Congratulations to Nicholas Koh (Year 9) who has been invited to participate in this year’s Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee’s School of Excellence. The purpose of the School of Excellence is to develop mathematical problem-solving skills to help identify students who may become members of the Australian team for next year’s International Mathematical Olympiad.

Tim Browning