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From the Principal

Fri , 10/05/2019

From the Principal 2019– Term 2, Week 2

Last Friday was a very special day in the life of the College, as we celebrated our 21st birthday with our Foundation Day service and celebrations.

The day started with a full College assembly and eucharist service, with all 1100 students from Kindergarten to Year 12 and all staff collected at the Secondary Campus. It was also wonderful to welcome to the Chair of the College Council, Mr Tim Reid, as our special guest, plus a large number of our parents and community members.

It is always a special occasion when we can collect as a whole school community, and this morning it gave me great joy and pride to see the community collected together in front of me.

Please find below my Principal’s Address from the Service, so that you can understand the messages that our children received about the notion of celebration:

Good morning.

Today we collect together to wish the College a Happy 21st Birthday, which we shall do through this morning’s service. Today, we shall engage in communion, have opportunities for reflection, singing and prayer, celebrate the contribution of some of our long-standing staff members, have an afternoon of togetherness and fun, and share a communal morning tea and lunch.

TSAC … 21 years old, eh? You’re all grown up. Congratulations!

You know these days, in Australia, it is now really the 18th birthday which is considered the time at which a person becomes an ‘adult’. But that was not always the case – back in the day it was thought to be your 21st birthday, and it was then that you had your big party. In fact, in the USA, in 2019, it is not until you are 21 that you are considered responsible enough to do ‘adult’ things such buy alcohol or go into a casino.

But here in Australia, it’s 18 for most things, 16 for some and 21 for only a small few. But so whichever way you look at it – TSAC, you’re all grown up and it’s time for us to celebrate.

I love to celebrate. I think you know that by now. Celebrating is very important – being together and being thankful and joyful and positive with each other. That is something that really means a lot to me, and is why we have times in assemblies when we ask you to offer thanks and gratitude to the people around you, by shaking hands. When we do that, we’re celebrating being part of a community.

That we love to celebrate is also why we sing hymns and pray. When we do that, we are celebrating being children of God.

That we love to celebrate is why we have end of term Clan activities. When we do that, we are celebrating our Clan loyalties and relationships.

That we love to celebrate is why we call people across the stage at assembly at every opportunity that we can. When we do that, we are celebrating success.

And it is that we love to celebrate that, today on Foundation Day, we get together, we eat, we play games, we dance, we sing and we have fun.

But in this address, I want to talk about ‘why’ we do those things? Why is it important to celebrate?

Well, celebrating is a positive thing, clearly. Celebrating can be noisy and messy and colourful and it creates bonds between people. It puts smiles on people’s faces.

And I think that it is a vital and integral part of being a person, to put smiles on the faces of others. That, in my opinion, is right at the essence of why we are here – to put positivity, love and joy into the world.

Here’s what I think – I firmly believe that you get back from the universe what you put into it. It’s a phrase I use quite a lot. And what it means, is that your immediate environment is a reflection of the way you behave in it. You’ve heard, no doubt, the phrase that a ‘person is the product of their environment’? Well I think that’s the wrong way round – I think that we make the environment a product of how we behave.

To put it simply, it means:

  • Be positive, and positive things will happen to you.
  • Be nice to others, and other people will be nice to you.
  • Celebrate, and you’ll notice things around you worth celebrating.

There are so many easy ways that we can be down in the mouth. And frown. And see the negatives in people and the world. But imagine living a life like that? Always skulking in the miserable corners, lurking in the unhappy shadows. All that does is drag you down, and drag those around you down.

Forget that, I say! Spiral up! Have fun, and the people around you will have fun. When the people around you have fun, you have fun. And so we spiral up, up, up.

It’s even written in the bible, like most things are, when in Proverbs Chapter 17, verse 22 we read:

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Listen to that again:

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

It’s so important to have joy in your heart, to put joy out into the world, and to celebrate everything.

So, back to that question – why is it so important to celebrate? What are the benefits? Well, because celebrating lifts us up and it lifts up the people around us. TSAC, today we are celebrating you. You’re all grown up.

But you know it’s weird – I’ve been wondering what it means to be ‘grown up’ when you are an organisation. For people, we know what it means – you can vote, get married, get a job, drive a car … but organisations can’t do that. A school can’t do those things.

So, how does a school grow up?

Well, we get more buildings of course. We offer more subjects and courses. Our facilities come to maturity. But that doesn’t mean very much – when the lights are off in those buildings, in the middle of the night, TSAC is a quiet and still place.

Of course, we have more people in the College now – that’s how we really have grown up. 21 years ago, as I am sure you heard me and others say, the College started with 11 students. Today, we have about 100 times that many. That’s ‘growing up’.

Our 1100 students and 150 staff, that’s the real measure of our growth. And today, that’s what we are really celebrating.

TSAC is empty buildings when you’re not here. You bring the College life, and so it is you – the community, the people, and all of the people who have been and gone before you – you are the sound and colour and life of the College. That’s what we are really celebrating today.

When I look up and say ‘TSAC, you’re all grown up!’ I’m really looking and speaking to you.

And when I say Happy Birthday TSAC, I really mean ‘Happy Birthday all of you.’ Have fun today, and remember to inspire the people around you to have fun too.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending today. I hope you have a wonderful day of celebration. Happy birthday.

Staff Service Awards
Also, as is traditional on Foundation Day we also took the opportunity to recognise and celebrate some very important people in our staff who have reached milestones of years of service: 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or 20 years.
The combined total of years of those that we celebrated today was 260 years of dedicated and expert service to our school, and I took an opportunity to thank those staff, on behalf of myself, the College Council and community , for their service.

5 Year Awards:
Ana Bozan
Anja-Lee Caldwell
Kirstin Davie
Helena Groeneveld
Leah Johnson
Alison Maklary
Jade Parker
Graham Swinton
Kelly Whitehorne

10 Year Awards:
Carolyn Ball
Larissa Brown
Richard Clark
Fleur Falconer
Kerry Hogrefe
Dali Jovanovic
Craig Mason
Lynda Moore
Toni Myers
Barbara Szwedzinski
Allan Yates

15 Year Awards:
Lisa Christofis
Kate Frewin
Debbie Johnson
Sherina Parker
Sheryl Prins
Hilton Whitehorne

And lastly, we also had a recipient of a very special award, with a staff member having served the College with great dedication for two decades.

20 Year Award:
Tania Brewer


Thank you.

Darren Pitt

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