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There have been many special days in the time that I have been at Saints, but last Friday was the most special day for me in the Junior School at St Peter’s College. Our screening of Embrace Kids, the documentary created by Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt, provided an opportunity for reflection. From that reflection I hope that we are going to work together as a community to continue to bring about change for our young people. Taryn has given us the perfect platform on which to have our students cast a critical eye over the messages that they are hearing from others, from social media and also from themselves. To have close to 400 students burst into applause at the end of the screening was a very emotional event, but certainly for me it brought forward the question “What next?”. 

Embrace Kids shared stories of experiences with body image, bullying, gender identity, advocacy, representation and more. The children were told to celebrate what makes them unique and special and this is an important message for our students. So how do we change some of the messages that the students are hearing from these sources? How do we change the messages of toxic masculinity into messages of positive masculinity? What does that look like? How much change is needed? What does it mean for our boys to say the words ‘strong and lovely’ in our School prayer? These are some of the questions I am going to pose to our students as we move into Term 2. I would love to hear from members of our community who have some thoughts and ideas about what change is needed. If you are interested, here is a link to a podcast with Hunter Johnson, who is a thought leader on this topic. 

I would like to wish all the boys, staff and families a safe break and a time to recharge after a busy first term.  

Ben Storer
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration