The Most Reverend Archbishop Geoffery Smith and Fr Steve Daughtry, past Principals Dorothy Pargeter, Stephen Matthew and Cheryl Bauer, members of our hardworking Board, my talented colleagues on the staff team, special guests and friends, our wonderful parents and our superstar students – thank you for all being here. My commissioning has messed everyone’s morning up, there has been a lot of fuss and how good is it that our Junior School has made a special effort to be here this morning. I am humbled by the attention! Thank you to the mums and dads who have helped out and then stayed for the service.
Sitting over there are two special people to me, my mum and my dad. Do you know that my dad Barry was a Principal? And his dad, my grandfather, was also a Principal! A lot of us end up doing the same sort of jobs that our parents did. I appreciate that in a family you learn about what your parents do, they talk about it with you and you meet many people also in that line of work.
I want to be a really good Principal like my dad and grandpa. I know that I will bring some really important understandings to the role that has been passed on by both my parents. Mostly that is about character, who you are, being the best version of yourself. What my parents installed in me was this code of conduct thing, which my Rite Journey boys would know all about! The code means you are always looking to do what is right, making good choices, especially for others.
For St John’s students you too reflect those important character strengths and values of your parents. You aim to be responsible, inclusive and caring and to give your best as often as you can.
A great school will mirror all the good stuff that happens at home, and then some more. And there-in lies my dedication to St John’s Grammar. As Principal, I will do everything I can to lead the school to be a place which is value-rich and respects the faith our parents invest when they send their most precious things in their lives to us. Parents, you not only want us to endorse and support those values but you want us to grow them and make them ever-so evident in your child’s daily actions and behaviours.
So much of what was offered as support today was about all of us working together, a sign of a true community. Thank you to Hayley, Harriet and Houyuan, Dylan and Talia for your advice about staying healthy and not falling off my bike, to Catherine and Arthur for your invitation to work together in supporting community. I love that! To the Receptions and their gift of simply caring for each other is just perfect and my new apron from Sherryn and Nick means that I can not wait to get stuck into the scones we plan to make at the ELC! How about my colleagues who clearly have revealed the importance of collegiality and having some fun together.
I want to thank the Board for showing faith in me and giving me my dream job and our student leaders Ella, Oli, Ben and Stella, for guiding the ceremony today and for The Archbishop Geoffery and Fr Steve for their blessings.
There has been a few oaths and ‘repeat after me’ statements today and I have one more that I will leave you with and this one is my own pledge.
You will all know that Amanda and I have relished having our three girls Meg, Ella and Jessie be part of this excellent school from Monti and OHSC, through the Junior School and the Secondary School. As a parent, you really ride that schooling journey, the highs and lows, the wins and losses, the good days and the occasional rough ones and the whole time you want the absolute best for your kids. When that is delivered, there is nothing better for parents. There is nothing better than when people in your own school go above and beyond to make the experience for your child simply great and when the relationship between your children and the teacher develops to a point where it can be life shaping. My pledge is to help forge a school where every person in this organisation understands how important that level of care, attention and love is!
I want all our staff to inspire every child as they would expect their own to be inspired.
I want every parent to really feel and relish that first class care for their children and…..I want all the kids of this school to know just fortunate they are to be here.
And I make that long-winded pledge because we, the St John’s community, absolutely deserve this.
Thank you for my special morning.