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I am sure it wouldn’t surprise many people that I might mention Geelong winning the AFL Premiership in my article this week. But this article doesn’t have anything really to do with football but instead the focus is on the connection in our School Prayer of ‘strength and love’. There have been moments highlighted from the day where Joel Selwood, Captain of the Geelong Football Club, turned one of the greatest moments of his career into a day to remember for others around him. He displayed the strength needed to perform at the highest level, but also the strength to show love for his friends, family and the wider football community. He set an example for others to follow and the display of emotions throughout the day was so wonderful to see.

In another moment of sporting history, Roger Federer’s final game provided a connection to these words ‘strength and love’. After competing on the world stage for so many years, to see both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tears, holding each other’s hands was a moment displaying strength, love, respect and admiration. Two of the greatest tennis players that we have ever seen both able to realise how they have driven each other to achieve at the highest level.

These are moments for our young people to learn from and have the opportunity to see the impact that we can have on each other. Recently I read an article ‘Alter Ego’ by author and Professor of Psychology, Geoffrey Cohen. The article highlights the challenge we have where self-integrity can be impacted by social norms and we need to ‘help the young people in our lives reflect on their most cherished values’. We see our young people each day display our cherished school values of Truth, Respect and Service. We see them take up the challenge to be the best version of themselves and it is wonderful when we can highlight role models who set great examples for them to follow.

Finally, throughout October I invite our St Peter’s College community to join me as part of the Polished Man campaign to raise awareness to end violence against women and children. As part of this campaign I will be painting a nail blue to start a discussion and raise awareness. The statistics are alarming. 1 in 2 children will experience violence this year and 1 in 3 women. Change can happen if we call out this behaviour and ensure that our values of Truth, Respect and Service towards each other are our social norms.

Ben Storer
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration