Headmaster's Weekly Address

Dear Parents

From the Director of Studies

To-day is my brother’s birthday. He is some two-and-a-half years younger than I, and lives in hillside suburb of Elanora on the Gold Coast. Our parents passed away a long time ago; and, so, apart from his wife and their two daughters – both of whom are still in primary school – he and I are each other’s only real family. Curiously, my brother is also a teacher: his path to the profession was not in any way the same as mine, though. Once he had completed his Science degree, he worked in the corporate world for decades, firstly with the Queensland Government, and later, abroad in London with British Telecom. On his return to Australia, his British wife ecstatic by the prospect of living in Australia, he pursued jobs with Optus and Telstra; however, he had become consistently disillusioned by the corporate world and its idiosyncrasies. About four years ago, he phoned me to talk about the prospect of studying Education. Now with two children, he and his wife had obviously spoken about what it would mean for them if my brother were to study for two years. Twenty-five years after having completed his first degree, then, he embarked on his second course of tertiary study. He took to it with great fervour, and clearly enjoyed the curriculum focus as well as his teaching rounds at the two public schools at which he was placed. After having taught for a semester at one of the more newly-established Anglican co-educational schools on the Gold Coast, he was able to secure a teaching position at The Southport School, an Anglican day and boarding school for boys from Pre-School to Year 12. It’s funny how things turn out…

Had my brother told me, fifteen or twenty years ago, that he was considering a career in secondary teaching, I’d have scoffed. In 1986, when he finished Year 12, he achieved a Tertiary Entrance Score of 990 – the highest possible score in Queensland in those days. There is an often-inherent desire in emotionally intelligent people to be involved in communities that harness human relationships and put people – rather than the product – at the core of their being. I’ve no doubt that my brother is a very good teacher, not just because of his innate intellect, but because of his interest in, and engagement with, people.

On the subject of dynamic communities, our Year 12 students were involved in the September Vacation Study & Revision Program over the two-week break. We are, at St Kevin’s, indeed fortunate to have so many teachers give of their time during their own vacation period to assist the Year 12s with lectures, workshops and trial examinations, leading into the VCE Examination period. In so many ways, the Year 12 boys have been the model cohort. Their energy, dedication and collegiality have been remarkable to watch this year. I hope you’ll join with me in wishing them every success in their high-stakes assessment items in the coming weeks: they deserve to achieve very well. 

There were two academic tours held in the holidays: boys and staff ventured to Europe and China for the European History and Chinese Language Tours respectively. History students were accompanied by Messrs Culliver and Wright and Ms Squarci; and, we welcome them safely back to Melbourne after their stint away. We welcome back those boys who study Mandarin and who enjoyed the company of Mr Luo and Ms Zhang while the group explored the wonderfully contrasting ancient and modern worlds of China. The College extends its thanks to all who were involved in the organisation of the tours and the care of the boys while away from home. 

So much happens in Term IV; and, when it does, it happens swiftly. Of the most poignant of our Term IV events is always the Valedictory process for our Year 12s. It will be wonderful to catch up with families and their sons at the Valedictory Mass and Dinner on the 24th of this month, and then later, in December – just three days before the VCE results and ATARs are released – for the Year 12 Formal. 

Mr Gary Jones
Director of Studies

Enrich the life-journey of each person through a personal understanding of, and relationship with, Jesus Christ.
(from the Mission Statement)