Term 1 | Week 8
Celebration of Community
Our recent KWS Day provided a marvellous focus for what was a wonderful weekend of warm and enthusiastic community engagement. The Icebreaker gathering hosted on Friday evening attracted over 300 lively parents and was an enormous success. The Saturday fair attracted great numbers and was an outstanding occasion.
A huge thank you to the many parents who contributed to the day ensuring the event was such a superb success. Special mention must be made of the KWS Marketing & Engagement team whose hard work and great enthusiasm resulted in one of the best KWS Days we have had. Thank you!
Following KWS Day our Ex Students hosted Reunions on the Saturday night and Sunday saw a number of our Boarding communities stage very successful gatherings. The weekend was a great celebration of the special community we have at Kinross Wolaroi School.
The value of schools to Community
In the contemporary world schools are one of the last bastions for community for many people. Other community institutions such as Churches, Clubs and Scouts have experienced declining membership in recent years, either because our society has lost interest or confidence in them, or is too distracted by the seemingly endless demands of modern living. In many instances, contemporary society sees people engage far less with their neighbours or fellow citizens, particularly in large urban areas. Fortunately for many of us this is not true of Regional Australia where it is still common place to receive a smile and a greeting of ‘hello’ or ‘G’Day’.
A culture of individualism pervades our society, where self-actualisation, the pursuit of pleasure and personal wealth are the all-absorbing goals of many. This is very different from the village, town and neighbourhood sense of shared community that has been a traditional part of western societies for hundreds of years.
The former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, famously said that there is no such thing as society, only aggregations of individuals. I don’t believe this to be a healthy or sustainable concept. A society cannot survive long term if its citizens are encouraged to focus purely on themselves and where our children compete with others who believe they are the centre of reality. I believe there is great value in the group, where people are ‘other centred’ and where one is a part of something far greater than themselves.
At KWS we prize community, we believe in a deep sense of belonging, being accepted, cared for and being valued and nurtured. Where one contributes to the welfare of others. This is why we see pastoral care and our Wellbeing Program playing such an important role in our educational offering. It is also part of the reason why we see co-curricular programs, sport, community service initiatives and outdoor educational opportunities as a part of our platforms designed to help create young adults who are engaged, competent in a variety of areas and able to contribute to society as active citizens.
Our recent weekend events structured around KWS Day are just one of the many wonderful expressions of our vibrant School community.
The World’s Greatest Shave:
Congratulations to all who contributed in the World’s Greatest Shave last week. So far, the total raised is just over $28,409! A special mention goes to the following students who participated in the event: – Joe Priest, Josh Dominello, Hunter Rose who had their heads shaved during KWS Day, and to the students who had their heads shaved on the main oval: Dempsey Bryant, Erin Bracks, Adelaide Gavin, Digby Cooper, Lachlan Adams, Lachie Smith, Sam Houghton, Tom Richardson, Oliver Kairaitis, Nick Keirle, Hugh McIntyre, Cody Kelso, Nick Rasmussen and Ed Taylor. Your generosity is appreciated by the School community and the Leukaemia Foundation.
Our Head Prefect, Emer Spora has continued her success in the Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest. After winning the Orange competition, and the Zone Final in Bathurst, Emer placed Runner Up in the District final by 3 points. The logistics involved to get Emer from her Rowing commitments in Penrith to her Public Speaking engagement in Griffith on the same afternoon were extraordinary and inspirational. Congratulations Emer!
NSW Country Championships:
Collette Lyons Yr 8, broke 2 swimming records at the NSW Country Championship, and Zac Lewis Yr 10 broke the 15yrs 800m. Zac completed the last 50m of his 800m race in 29 seconds! A truly outstanding achievement!
ISA Swimming Carnival:
Congratulations to the 35 students who attended the ISA carnival last week. The girl’s team took out the overall point score with the intermediate girls leading the way taking out 1st place in their division. The junior girls only just missed 1st place by 5 points. The boy’s team continue to improve every year in what is extremely tough competition with the intermediate boys coming 2nd by only a few points. Congratulations to Oliver McLaughlin and Collette Lyons for breaking a number of records during this swim meet. Five of the KWS relay teams will now advance to CIS level.
Fletcher Bolte has been selected in the 2019 Open AICES Basketball team, which is an impressive achievement for a Year 10 student. Congratulations Fletcher and we wish you well in your representative matches.
Last weekend our leading boy and girl rowers competed at the NSW Schoolboy & Schoolgirl Head of the River. Overall, a wonderful weekend for our rowers, that saw our girls winning the overall Senior Pennant for being the top performing school from the 40 who competed on the day. Congratulations to all rowers and a very big thank you to the staff and families who support our rowers at such Regattas.
Julia Stuart continues her success in Polocrosse. Recently she travelled to New Zealand as part of the NSW Trans-Tasman Under 21 Mixed Team. Julia has also competed in Muswellbrook to represent NSW in the Under 21 Mixed Team. NSW played against QLD and won the three games they played. Julia was awarded Best Overall No.1.
The Camerata Competition held last week was adjudicated by two people external to the School, who were most impressed with the quality of our musicians. Winners of the Junior Division were Lizzie Kwa in Year 10 with William Knight – Year 7 – Runner Up. The Senior Division was won by Oscar Tierney in Year 12 and fellow Year 12 Jasper Mihalich Runner Up. I encourage you to make time to attend the Camerata Concert scheduled for Friday 31st May. It is a marvellous showcase of the talented students we have here at Kinross Wolaroi School.
Dr Andrew Parry