Week 6 of Term 4 is often a big one with annual events such as the Year 12 Formal on Wednesday and the Graduation and Clap Out on Friday. However, this week was even bigger than normal with Remembrance Day on Monday, Middle School Eagle Awards on Tuesday, the Year 6 Leadership Assembly on Wednesday, followed by the Year 12 Formal that night and the Graduation Service on Friday.
On this day each year, we take time to honour those in the armed forces (past and present) who have sacrificed or are willing to sacrifice their lives in their commitment to peace. As a College, we sent a group of leaders to the local Remembrance Day Service in Turner Park and a smaller group to Australia Zoo to represent us there.
Back at GCC, there was a minute’s silence across the whole campus to remember the costly sacrifice that was made to result in the peace treaty signed at 11am on 11 November in 1918. Unfortunately, it was not ‘the war to end all wars’ as it was labelled at the time even though it took the lives of more than 15 million people.
Remembering those who sacrificed for us does not glorify war. On the contrary, we are reinforcing the solemnity of the occasion and remembering the tragedy of lost lives.
Middle School Eagle Awards
After a sobering Monday, there were the celebrations on Tuesday when we held a special Eagle Award assembly for Middle School.
The awards are broken down into Activities, Adventure, Skills and Service and points are awarded respectively.
Activities: School experience is a lot like life, the more the students put into it the more they will get out of it. There are many opportunities to become involved in school activities such as College Band, sporting teams, Dance, the Arts and even the Legacy Cup competitions.
Adventure: True growth only occurs when you are tested, when you are challenged and stretched. The great outdoors is a very natural place for this to happen for our students. When they are out on a hike with a 20kg pack on their back and the baking sun beating down on them, it takes all of their courage, endurance and grit to be able to make it to their destination.
Skills: This category deals with life skills in particular. These are the skills that provide our students with a measure of independence and competence in society. Skills, like creating a budget, sewing on a button and cooking a healthy meal, may not be rocket science but they are vital components in our students’ toolkits for life. Most people can get through life without rocket science!
Service: Acts of service cultivate the habit of selflessness, of humility and of compassion and empathy. In the Australian idiom, these traits are called “mateship”. Service is something we value very highly at GCC and there are plenty of opportunities to serve. There are the obvious opportunities like taking on a leadership role but there are only so many of those positions available. Every day students have dozens of opportunities to serve others whether it’s by picking up litter they see on the ground or talking to someone who looks lonely, helping out at home or in their church and community.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the students who received their Eagle Award on Tuesday. I hope they wear the button with pride over the course of next year and that it will be an inspiration to others.
As I write this, our Year 12 students will be preparing for the Formal on Wednesday night. I’m looking forward to seeing the almost magical transformation from school boys and girls into elegant young men and women. The graduation ceremony on Friday will also be a special time and we’ll have all the photos and details to you in next week’s Eagle.
Mike Curtis, Principal