From the Principal's Desk

As our College year draws to a close, I have no doubt we are collectively looking forward to the Christmas holiday break. 

I would like to take a moment, as I have during our online Speech Night celebrations and our Valedictory assembly, to thank our College Board, our CEO Mr Brian Grimes, our College staff, our College parents and College community, for their unwavering support and efforts across this year, to ensure our students were placed at the centre of all decision making, to ensure their learning and wellbeing was privileged.

I was so grateful to hear all the positive feedback about our recent Valedictory assembly and Formal.  Managing to stage these events at the College was achieved by a team of staff, who worked tirelessly to try to give our Year 12 students a send-off they would remember. 

A favourite quote of mine, I used to open my Valedictory commencement speech, was first coined by Mark Twain and reads, ‘When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.’

I often think of this quote when parents tell me about how their sons or daughters are drifting away from them (normally at around 14-years-old), where a noted absence of the excited conversation about the school day leaves the dinner table, the bedtime reading disappears, the recitals with mum and dad begin to fade and the analysis of weekend sport becomes more of a chore. However, as we watch our Year 12 students leave our College for the final time, there is realisation and perspective;  our young men and women begin to see themselves within a broader context and appreciate all that they have and what their parents have done for them.

I saw no better case in point than at last week’s Year 12 final events. The realisation of the importance parents have placed on education was expressed by every student.  The high expectations of the school, from our students’ perspective, may seem onerous at the time, as may be the sacrifices and persistence of parents supporting their children to do their best.  It is most rewarding, therefore, when our students reflect and are grateful for all that has been done to help them develop into those fine young men and women of character.

To all of our departing Year 12 students and families, and to our entire A.B. Paterson College community, have a safe and very Merry Christmas! 

We look forward to seeing our returning community in 2021, after a well-deserved holiday!

Joanne Sheehy
Principal/Head of College