Skip to content

It’s a real joy to welcome you all back to another year at Saints. The long summer break seemed to go remarkably quickly but I hope that you all managed to find time to relax and spend some quality time with the people you love. I’ve spent my time variously riding through the beautiful Adelaide Hills, gardening, cooking and reading.

The beginning of this year has been a bit more exciting than usual because we’ve welcomed Tim Browning into the community as the 15th Headmaster of this School. Even though I’m sure Tim was a little bit nervous, he’s hit the ground running and enthusiastically embraced the place and the people. I also know that he is genuinely enjoying his role.

Tim’s arrival has made me reflect on the fascinating way that lives can repeatedly and un-expectedly intersect. He and I worked closely together early in our careers at Geelong Grammar School. In fact, we were in the same Boarding House together for a period of time, coached athletics together, and occasionally ran with each other around Corio Bay. What struck me then about Tim was his commitment to serving others and his desire to get to know people in an authentic and genuine way. At a School level, Tim displayed these traits by running the Service Learning Program where he was committed to ensuring that the students and staff were involved in supporting the broader Geelong community. For those of you who don’t know, Geelong Grammar is situated in a low socio-economic area and Tim made real connections with the nearby aged care facility and the local primary school while I was there. Tim would drive a bus load of students to the aged care facility so that they could engage in one on one conversations with the residents. At the primary school, members of the 1st XVIII ran lunchtime footy clinics on a weekly basis. On a personal level, I will never forget Tim’s generosity. Tim was the first person on the campus to invite me to their house for a meal. For someone who had just moved state and who didn’t really know anyone at the School, this was an incredibly welcoming gesture that made me feel immediately at ease. I still remember that he cooked a lamb roast and made a delicious pavlova for dessert! Having spent time with Tim again recently, these traits of character still inform the man and leader that he is today. We are in good hands.

Thought for the day: The modernist author, Gertrude Stein has been attributed with saying that “Everybody gets so much information all day long that they forget common sense.” One of the things that interests me is the proliferation of data that has infiltrated our lives as well as the immediate access to information of all types through the internet. On the one hand this access to data and information can be very useful in helping us to identify areas that need our attention and in allowing us to fill gaps in our own knowledge. On the other hand, there is a danger that we defer to the numbers and rely on outside sources for facts and answers because that is the easier path to travel. I believe that we need to encourage our children to engage in the messy and difficult struggle that is sometimes required to understand what is ‘right’ so that they can work out what it is that they believe to be true for themselves. Pro Deo et Patria.

Ben Hanisch, Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School