High Notes, Vol 17 No 30, September 23 2016

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From the Principal

High Talent
Congratulations to our ‘Philosothon’ boys for their recent strong showing at the St Andrews School competition. Jonah Beer (9F), Alexander De Araujo (10R) and Nicholas Giannoulis (11R) were placed second in the teams’ event and Alexander was ranked first in Year 10. For a school without a formal philosophy elective as part of the curriculum our boys acquitted themselves very well indeed.

End of Term 3
Thank you to everyone in the High community for all their efforts this term. Our boys have had many opportunities to learn, perform, compete, compose, reflect, demonstrate and share. We welcome our new permanent staff member Dat Huynh (SHS-2004) who has been appointed to the Industrial Arts staff. Dat has been a temporary teacher with us for some time and is also doing a great job as MIC Fencing. This week we say goodbye to Mark Pavone, Head Teacher of Sport who leaves us after seven years in the role. Mark has left a significant legacy in the form of the Sports Policy implemented in 2013, expanding the number of sports offered by the school, increasing the organised training sessions and providing a coach for nearly every team. His Strategic Plans for Sport were well conceived and practicable. Much progress has been made thanks to his leadership. We wish Mark all the best in his new role in Queensland.

The Class of 2016: Principal’s Farewell Message
It has been a great six years for the Class of 2016, full of activities and achievements. You came in 2011 to a school where the grounds had just been given a much needed facelift. Around the gym encapsulation work provided concrete dish drains, bitumen roadways and a grassed bank. The COLA was fenced and the run-ups extended and a sandstone retaining wall added. The Junior Quad had a big area of new bitumen. The Senior Library was fitted out for research, allowing you as Year 7 students more access in the Junior Library. Most rooms had data projectors, computers and sound systems. You were the last cohort to be issued with the DER laptops. The environment for learning was in place and you made the most of it.

There were many notable achievements by Year 12 students. Thomas Shortridge represented Australian Schools in debating. Edward Belokopytov represented Australian Schools in table tennis and led our team to a CHS title. Kabir Agrawal took 7 for 6 against Sydney Grammar in cricket. Jason Hong was ranked in the top 5 in golf in NSW schools. Luke and Jayden Schofield qualified for nationals in cross-country. Garry Huang won gold in the NSW Schools sabre competition. Kalem Best, Christian Haddo, Luke Schofield and Andrew McNaughton set an all-time record for High in the 4 x 50m open swimming relay. Garry Huang, Arthur Chao and James Ye were members of gold medal fencing teams at the Australian Schools Championships. Other team successes involving Year 12 boys this year included: the CHS Championship in open volleyball, GPS Premierships in Rifle Shooting (first and second grade), volleyball champions in first grade and premiers in second grade, and cross country (open).

Our Combined GPS representatives from Year 12 were: Tully Moffat (cricket), Marcus Plataniotis, Thomas Nimac and Finley Hayhurst (football), Luke Schroeder, (basketball), Kalem Best, Christian Haddo, Luke Schofield and Andrew McNaughton (swimming) and John Huang (rifle shooting).

As you all leave High, I want you to remember also one of its most valuable cultural attributes – its ability to connect you with mentors. Substantial people in our society have often had significant exposure to the influence of mentors. Our Old Boys Union has a program aimed at providing mentors and career coaches for its members. In his impressive biography, Keating (Allen & Unwin, 2015), Kerry O’Brien asked Keating about his relationship with Jack Lang (Labor stalwart and former Premier of NSW). Keating visited Lang twice a week in his Sydney office for seven years (1962-69) until he was elected the Member for Blaxland.  During their long friendship, Keating learned from the old man how the game of politics was played. Lang urged him to believe in the force of self-interest in politics. He cautioned him to seek the support of earnest people. He stressed that it was the issues that sorted people out in the long run.

Lang was Old School Labor but his great insight into politics helped Keating form one of his own ‘long lines of logic’ concerning the policy direction he would push for the Australian economy. He came to the view that the ‘socialisation objective’ (the government managing the high points of the economy) was old thinking. The future was in using capital and employing people. Keating sought to enlarge Australia by bringing its driving forces together – labour and capital. He believed in markets, not business.

Between the ages of 18 and 25 people can derive great knowledge and vicarious experience by engaging with a mentor. The life lesson is to learn from people with great insight and experience in your chosen field. Just as Keating made use of his connections to develop his political philosophy, so would you derive benefits from connections with Old Boys or other mentors in your chosen fields of endeavour.

I trust you will really enjoy the next phase of your education and hope that your teachers and peers have prepared you well to undertake it.

Year 12 Farewell Assembly: Principal’s Address
Good afternoon Year 12, parents, students and staff. Welcome to our Farewell Assembly for the Class of 2016. It is with great pleasure that the High staff and I can host your visit to the school today to participate in our annual celebration but unique experience for you - your sons’ graduation from high school. The Class of 2016 expressed its character in its own unique way. It has been a cohort that should be proud of its undoubted achievements in a range of co-curricular activities. I have listed the most significant of these in my ‘Principal’s Message’ contained in your program.

"Whenever you talk about your time at High, you will always be able to say that in your final year the school earned five GPS Premierships. Missing in your program is the undefeated run by our first grade GPS debaters as Champions, retaining the Routledge Louat Shield for the first time since 1938-39. Also unique to your Year is the fact that the Bennie twins (1996) and the Schofield twins (2016) were important members of High’s only two GPS cross country premierships. High also retained the Kippax Cup as the champion CHS Boys School in athletics for the 4th consecutive year.

"We have as one of our marketing slogans – nurturing scholar-sportsmen since 1883. The implied strength of our sporting culture is in its belief in mutual support and group perseverance in adversity. Our students participate because they want to. They know it is good for their personal balance in life and helpful to their team mates and important for the strength of the reputation of the school. Whether in sports, community service, music, chess, social justice, debating or public speaking, participation is our key cultural message.

"I customarily take this opportunity to thank the senior leadership group for their support: William, Vishal and Eli were very committed to their roles. They had complementary skill sets and were able to tap into a broad cross-section of students’ interests. I think they made an effective team. Thank you for being our student leaders. I want to acknowledge all the Year 12 parents who are coming to the school for an event for the last time. Thank you for any help you have given to our programs over the years. We value your contributions highly.

"We constantly need to reaffirm our culture of the scholar-sportsman. We really appreciate those who care enough to plan their busy lives around academics and sport. Such a disposition to find successful balance is the hallmark of the High boy. We need more boys prepared to compete in two sports in their final two years at High. I want to thank the eight boys who competed in three sports each year they were at school. Fifty-nine boys participated in two GPS sports each year and sixty-one played one sport each year of school. I want to thank the 92 Year 12 boys who showed such great pride in their school and represented High in at least two sports in their final year at school. Another 57 played one sport. More than 71% of the cohort showed their commitment to our ethos right to the end. That is a statistic to be proud of in a free-choice environment.

"There were 19 boys from Year 12 who competed in GPS first or second grade in two seasons of sport this year. Congratulations to those highly committed boys who represented the school at the highest levels in multiple sports in 2016. Our ‘Triple Firsts’ this year were: Luke and Jayden Schofield, Elias Hall, Christian Haddo, Jacob Katafano, Ethan Merrick and Andrew McNaughton. Our ‘Double Firsts’ were: Kalem Best, Marcus Plataniotis, Adam Smagarinsky and Daniel Zhang. We had a large ‘One-Two- Club’: William T Chen, Jerry Gek, Finley Hayhurst, Raphin Hossain, Liam Jepson, James Merlo, Nafis Rahman and Karthik Subbanna. Our ‘Double-Two’ boys were Desmond Cai and Kentaro Takahata.

"In my Principal’s message I recounted Paul Keating’s relationship with his political mentor, Jack Lang, who had the propensity to go to the barricades for causes. Nicknamed ‘The Big Fella’, he was elected NSW Premier in 1930 on a platform of opposition to tax cuts. With 20% unemployment that year he refused to cut government salaries and spending and restricted landlord’s rights to evict defaulting tenants. He paid workers the minimum legal wage on government relief projects. His refusal to repay the Commonwealth for interest owed to British banks and his subsequent withdrawal of government cash from NSW banks, were political acts too challenging for Governor Sir Phillip Game who dismissed him in 1932.

  "Lang may be characterised as an extreme ideologue but nonetheless, Australia needs more ’issues men’ like him to show us that public service through politics can be more than a game of survival driven by a 24-hour news cycle. It can and should be about earnest people, standing up for issues and arguing their points of view with ‘long lines of logic’ aimed at the enlargement of Australian society.

"I trust that your time at High has built your personal capacity to think long term and act earnestly in pursuit of your goals. Seek out mentors in the profession you wish to enter and find out more about it before you decide to commit to it. I wish you all the best in your HSC preparations and in the examinations to come and expect that you will be successful in gaining entry to your chosen tertiary options. It was my great privilege to serve as your Principal."
Dr K A Jaggar

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