From the Principal

Welcome to week five of Term 4. The past week has given us a taste of warm weather, and with it the dreams of the long hot days on the beach that are just around the corner. With three weeks for the senior students and four for the juniors I remind everyone that we need to finish the year off positively and carry our efforts through to the end.

We have had a delightful first half of the term with the Year 12’s finishing off extremely well and the rest of the student body being settled and productive. I especially encourage our senior students who completed their exam period to focus on their studies for the next three weeks to ensure they get themselves off to the best possible start for their final year of studies and set themselves up to achieve results commensurate with their ability. I wish all students in Year’s 7 to 10 good luck as they prepare for exams over the coming weeks.

As we complete the second week of Year 12 exams the examiners have told us that things have been running very smoothly. All students I have spoken to appear to be pretty happy with the way things have gone for them which we hope will translate into results which a true reflection of their ability and their efforts. A significant part of our student’s success is due to the work done by staff over the past six years leading up to this point. The College wishes to thank all staff, in particular our Year 12 subject teachers for their efforts in bringing this fine group of young men to this point in their lives. In particular the College would like to thank the staff involved in making the exams run smoothly for their organization and preparations. To those students who have finished congratulations and to those still going we wish them luck and encourage them to remain focussed until the end.

This week I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on what I believe to be an essential element required if we are to enjoy success and joy in our lives. If you were to look at all the successful people in the world, of which there are many, I would argue the one common denominator regardless of the field in which they enjoy success, would be that they would all be passionate about what they do. Whether they be sportsman, artists, musicians, businessmen, architects all would have a passion for their field. Therefore I think it is imperative to find things in our lives that we have a real passion for and then go about ensuring they are a major part of our lives. The advice I provide is applicable to all of us regardless of age, talent, culture or any aspect that makes us different, but today I encourage the boys to take heed as it can have such a profound impact on the success we enjoy and the happiness we have in our lives.

Before continuing with my pitch for passion I think it important to make the point that there can be a down side for those of us who are passionate as with passion can come extreme disappointment. I witnessed an example of this on Tuesday afternoon as I had the pleasure of watching our Year 10 cricket team compete in a semi-final in the ACC A grade cricket competition. Amongst the 13 or so boys is a bunch of young men passionate about their cricket and their school. So when they were beaten on the last delivery of the match which was hit for six, the boys were shattered. Some might argue that their passion set them up for failure or let down. I would argue their passion for the school and the game set them up for success. Their passion carried them through the season undefeated, their passion ensured that their bond to each other was strong. Their passion gave them a sense of purpose and once a week, a sense of belonging that they shared amongst themselves, surely in nobody’s book this is a failure.

I have often said to my own children that you need to find something you have a passion for and make it your goal in life to make this your source of income. There is a saying that if you are passionate about your career you will never work a day in your life. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

I want to encourage boys to do the same, for them this will be subjects they have a passion for, or a sport or cultural activity, whatever it is,  chase it and let it bring joy and happiness into your life. At times you may encounter obstacles wanting to steer you away from these things it may even be Mum or Dad who are advising you to avoid a subject you love because it gets marked down or won’t help you in the future. In these instances we have to stand firm and fight for the things that give us life. We could take the advice of Robert Krulwich who suggests “If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. “

And finally I leave you to ponder “The Holstee Manifesto” which says:

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.

God bless.

Rob Brennan