From the Principal
I am writing this newsletter to you as a wealthy man, and you are reading it as very rich people.
This might seem a strange way to begin a newsletter, conceited even, but it is true. We, you and I, are very rich people, falling as we do, into several of the global categories for high material wealth.
Did you know for example, that if you have assets in excess of $4,327.24 you officially qualify to be in the top 50% of the richest people on the planet. Four thousand dollars is not an insubstantial amount of money, but it also does put very much into perspective how little half of the world’s population must have.
Furthermore, if you have $92,732.08 in assets, so in other words if you own your house or even if you own two medium priced cars, then you are officially in the top 10% of the world’s richest people.
I’m sure that it comes to no real surprise to have it stated that we are very fortunate to lead the lives that we do, and to enjoy the relative wealth that we have. As an Anglican school, espousing the virtues of compassion, generosity and kindness to others, it is part of my role to ensure that our students also understand their good fortune, don’t take for granted their privileged position, and understand their obligation to society to give back.
I raise the comments as an introduction to our Service program, which I would like to outline for you here.
A good Service program operates on local, national and global levels – providing students with opportunities to make positive impacts in a variety of ways. Our programs, of which I am very proud, and which are outlined below, are doing just that.
As you will know, at the start of this year I appointed Mr. Graham Swinton to the newly created role of Director of Student Activities, with a portfolio of Service, Leadership and Outdoor Education. This year we also welcomed Erika Williams as our new College Chaplain, and she too has been keen to be involved in Service activities. As a result, in 2018 the College has a sharper focus than ever on being other person centered, and the initiatives implemented this year and planned for next year are really assisting us in getting our students to understand what it means to give back.
Your children are able to get involved in a number of ongoing groups and activities that have service at their core. Locally, these include the Social Justice Group, organised by Chaplain Erika and which seeks to raise funds for charitable donations, visiting EM Tooth Residential Aged Care run by Anglicare, where our students provide entertainment in the form of music, dance, singing or just conversation for the elderly, indigenous tree planting with Ipswich City Council, collecting items for Christmas Hampers for City Hope and others.
In addition, I would like to bring to your attention some bigger scale Service projects which will be implemented this year and next:
Year 8 Homeless Night
With over 100,000 people homeless in Australia and, most worryingly, with 27,000 of those under the age of 18, this issue is something that our students need to connect with.
On Thursday 30 August, Year 8 will be provided with a glimpse of the homeless experience by being ‘homeless’ overnight on the Secondary Campus site. Of course, they will be 100% safe with security and staff always present, but they will be required to experience first-hand what it feels like to sleep outside on the ground and to have only a blanket to keep them warm. Whilst this will be a deliberately confronting and uncomfortable experience for them, and whilst they will be rewarded with a full cooked breakfast on the Friday morning and the day off to sleep and recover, they will also have a valuable learning experience that will help them develop empathy for the homeless and encourage them to find ways to help address this national and local problem.
The Term 3 Activities Week will have a Service component, with students on Secondary asked to choose a service activity to become involved in. Those on offer include assisting at Vinnie’s sorting items to give to the poor, or providing help at Uniting Care Aged Facility. All activities will be supervised by staff, and provide valuable opportunities to give back on a local level.
Fiver for a Farmer
I’m sure that you will be aware of the dreadful drought which is devastating Australian farming this year, and in support of our farmers students will be asked to contribute a ‘fiver’ and take part in a Sponsored Walk, with all proceeds going to the Rural Aid and Drought Angels.
An exciting new project is our Service Van, which will be operable by the end of the year. The brainchild of our Business Manager Jackie McComb, and being managed on a mechanical level by Mike King, our students will be involved in renovating a caravan which will, when ready, be used to provide service to local charitable organisations.
I shall keep you updated on this project as the year unfolds, and am very excited by it.
The greatest benefit of a Service activity is when it involves sustainable and ongoing help. I am very proud to announce that in 2019, in an immersion activity organised by Mr. Swinton, TSAC students will have the opportunity to travel to a Fijian village, in a safe and fully supervised experience supported by Higher Ground Outdoor Education, and assist in the building and renovating of a village for a local community. Each year, a new group of TSAC students will be able to return to the same community and offer further help, and in this way, will build a legacy of TSAC service on a global scale.
Again, more details of this exciting activity will be provided as they are firmed up. I would like to thank Mr. Swinton for his great work in managing it.
I am very proud of the work our privileged and wealthy students do to give to those who are less fortunate, and I am delighted with the recent and upcoming developments in the program. They reflect, in my view, the spirit of giving and care that exists at our College, and I thank you in advance for your support of them.