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Honouring the foundations of our College

Honouring the foundations of our College

Author: Gary O'Brien
Author Role: Principal

Welcome back to another exciting term at CHAC. I hope you all had a restful break and have taken the time to recharge your batteries for what promises to be another action-packed term.

On Wednesday 24 April, we held our Primary and Secondary ANZAC Day services. We were honoured to have three past students–all graduates of the past four years– attend our service. Ryan Tipping, Mitchell Rutter and Harry O’Connor represented the Navy, Army and Air Force respectively. The College community was held spellbound as these fine young men explained what ANZAC Day meant to them. Their addresses gave new meaning and life to our understanding of ANZAC Day, providing a very clear and present-day connection to a tradition that has lasted over 100 years. We were privileged to have representatives of each young man’s family present and the obvious pride they showed was truly touching. We wish each of our guests all the best as they continue their education and chase their dream of serving and defending our country.

 

Today marked our formal recognition of the College’s Foundation on 15 April 1987. Foundation Day is a significant day in the life of the College–it is the day we recognise and celebrate our beginnings, and we remember all that has happened in the intervening years and refocus on the future. We reflect on our College's Foundation and the blessings we experience today as members of this flourishing College community– a community founded on a strong unwavering moral purpose, a dedication to the care and development of every student, encouraging each to become the best they can be. Today, we accept and affirm our responsibility to contribute to the ongoing strengthening of our core values, Anglican traditions and future vision.

For those of us with long associations with the College, we can reflect on the many changes that have occurred along the way and remember those who were instrumental in setting the path for this College. A path with a strong people focus, a balanced and holistic view on what a true education should consist of, and a genuine commitment to providing each student with the opportunity to discover their passion and pursue it.   As the College grows older, fewer of those initial pioneers are still with us. The College Founder Mr Rod Wells died in August 2013, 25 years after he established and opened Cannon Hill College. Other members of that founding team such as Mrs Wendy Jowett, Mr Don Jowett and Mrs Judy Holt and the inaugural President of the P&F Mr John Holland have also since passed away. Our Founders may not have imagined the evolution of this College to its current situation, but I am confident they would be very proud to see it today. It is with gratitude that we affirm our Founders for their tremendous generosity, belief and vision that gave us this College. 

We can be proud of the vibrant learning community that we have become and to which we belong–where successive years of staff, students, College Council and community effort have placed a high value on collaboration, connectedness and excellence in learning, allowing us to thrive and to achieve beyond our best imaginings. Today, CHAC students are widely known for their academic, cultural and sporting achievements, their creativity, their service to others, their respect and care, openness and friendliness and their courage and compassion. That reputation is quite an amazing achievement, given the struggles in the early days of the College–yet it is entirely consistent with the aspirations of the College from the outset.

Each Foundation Day anniversary, we aim to remember the past as well as consider what new gifts we have to offer the future. When we look out on the campus today, we give thanks for the latest enhancements–our Enterprise Centre and the completed 2nd stage of the Science Centre, and we still look forward to the D-Block redevelopment that remains on track for commencement during the midyear holidays. What we have achieved in this College comes, in no small part, from the exceptional commitment, expertise and professionalism of our College Council and our staff, both past and present. I thank all who have been involved from the College’s inception for their dedication and commitment. I would also like to congratulate and thank Mr Dave Pavish for his 25 years' service to the College. Mr Pavish was recognised for this milestone at today's Foundation Day Assembly.

While we can feel great comfort in being part of a thriving and successful learning community–able to hold our heads high in the Australian educational landscape–it is critical that we recognise that each of us has a responsibility to continue to nurture and create our culture. Respect, reputation and success should never be taken for granted–they are to be earned, valued and treasured. Our 2019 theme–Pursue the Possibilities – is a call to each one of us at CHAC to play our part in assuring a flourishing future for our College. Our legacy must be equal to that imagined by those who came before, who gifted their service for our current situation.

During the last week of Term 1, the inaugural CHAC Talk was held in the College auditorium. More than 200 people turned out to hear Dr Baden U’Ren from Bond University deliver an engaging and challenging talk titled Success in a volatile world: what we can learn from entrepreneurs (Arming Gen Z for the Future). The level of interest could be clearly seen in the quality and scope of the questions asked in the 30-minute question and answer session and the informal discussions that followed in the foyer afterwards. We thank Ms Mossman and Mr Forster for their organisation of this event and look forward to the next event in this most interesting series.

The holiday break saw a number of Secondary College students compete in the World Scholars Cup. This is a very academic competition that requires significant and very specific preparation to be undertaken. Once again, the CHAC teams performed exceptionally well, with a number of teams taking out first place in individual categories and teams placing highly in the overall competition. Congratulations to all who took the time to prepare and then attend this event. Full details can be found later in this newsletter.

Next Wednesday (1 May) sees the College host the annual Grandparents Morning and Primary Cross-Country Carnival. This is a highlight for many of our younger students as it allows them to show off their school to their grandparents. We ask that you follow the RSVP instructions distributed last term and repeated in today’s newsletter to ensure we can arrange the activities of the morning with minimum disruption.

Our Senior Formal will be held on Saturday 4 May. This is the first of several stages in the transition of our Year 12 students from their secondary school life to life beyond school. I look forward to including some photos from this celebration in the next edition of the newsletter.

The first two weeks of the term include our Secondary Parent-Teacher Interviews. Please take this opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with those best placed to provide you with useful information and constructive feedback. Students are encouraged to attend these sessions with their parents.

Today, after 5 years, we farewell Mrs Peta Prestidge, our Digital Communications and Events Manager. Peta has been a real asset to the College and assisted greatly in developing the College’s digital footprint and presence in this realm. We thank her for her dedication and commitment and wish her well in her future endeavours.