Churchill Avenue News

From the Principal

EDITION 7 16 June 2023

Welcome to Week 8, Term 2 as we enter the final stages of Semester One. The students have been undertaking a series of assessment tasks including exams at all year levels, with the Year 12 students having completed the GAT, so it’s a busy couple of weeks for the students and the staff. Whilst it can be a stressful time, we encourage all the students to plug away, stick to what we hope are good routines and methodically go about finishing off their studies for the term and do the best they possibly can.

The Term 2 SACCSS sport seasons are coming to a pinnacle, with finals being played over the next couple of weeks. To this point we have had a successful winter campaign with a couple of our teams playing off in the finals. We wish them every success.

With the focus on exams and SACs, sporting finals and everything else at this time of year, I have wondered if the advice we present kids on a daily basis to set goals, to think big, to have big dreams helps or hinders. Too often I talk with students who get lost in the big picture, lost in the big dreams, finding themselves drowning in the day-to-day tasks that confront them. Now, not for one minute am I about to say that we need to tell our kids to forgo their dreams, their goals or not set grand plans for themselves, for without them they are very unlikely to achieve great things. Rather I’m suggesting that having framed their big picture, do we encourage them to focus on the day-to-day tasks that will eventually allow them to achieve their goals.

This thought came upon me a number of years ago when visiting Cambodia, where I came across a number of wonderful young people with a dedication and focus I don’t often encounter amongst Australian children. The engagement in their work and their learning was something to behold. Their dreams were simple, there were no grand plans or dreams to have great wealth, rather they simply wanted to get an education so they could get a job and ultimately repay their families and their school. Obviously, the vast majority of students I came into contact with had very little in life and being able to provide food and shelter for their families is seen to be a significant achievement in life, hence their commitment to their studies.

Whilst I understand that the world I was witnessing in Cambodia is literally worlds apart from our world, I did come to the conclusion that there is much we can learn from these people and their simple existence. I was blown away by what drove these students and their sense of gratitude for everything in life. With all of this in mind my reflection this week focuses on doing the little things well and having a sense of gratitude for what we have in our very affluent lives.

God Bless.

Robert Brennan