Some time ago, Fr Philip Marshall, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Adelaide introduced the Gospel in four sentences. He said:
1. Everybody matters, absolutely
2. Every broken heart and relationship are to be mended and every captive heart set free
3. Everyone is created for joy and life to the full
4. All humanity and creation are to be a glorious and eternal song of joy
On Sunday we commemorate ANZAC Day and remember those who have fallen in war and those who have served our nation.
This week the focus at Cardijn College has been our support for the national action against bullying and violence.
Can you remember any significant birthdays in your life? I remember my 13th birthday and my parents organised a wonderful party which I looked forward to.
This week I was privileged to attend the opening mass and liturgies at our Galilee and Cardijn campuses.
This week I was very privileged to be invited to attend the SACE Merit Ceremony at Government House for students who were awarded the Governor’s Commendation for the SACE and those students who achieved two or more merits in their 2020 Stage 2 subjects. Cardijn College is delighted to have two students out of 26 students who were awarded the top Year 12 SACE award. We congratulate our Dux of the College Wes Weetra and 2020 Mission Captain and Joseph Cardijn Award winner Gabby Connolly. Cardijn College students in Years 11 and 12 received 22 subject merits across a range of subjects. The subject merit is an additional recognition for students who achieve the highest grade in their subject which is an A+. At Cardijn, 68 Stage 2 subjects received an A+ with over 38% of all Stage 2 grades at an A level. That is an amazing result from the students in 2020. Equally, at our technical and vocational campus, all Year 12 students achieved their SACE and over 80% were able to move into an apprenticeship or job, when the national average is just over 5%...
This week school officially began on Wednesday 27 January and it seems such a long time since we welcomed the New Year. I am not sure how you celebrated New Year’s Eve but for me, it was decidedly different. Traditionally we would head to Glenelg, have dinner at our favourite restaurant and then to Moseley Square to enjoy the festivities and wait for the fireworks. Instead this time we stayed at home, cooked our own delicacies and enjoyed a fine wine, watched TV and saw the new year arrive from home. I think that this was the norm across most of the country with significant restrictions still in place due to the Coronavirus...
Over the last week or so, the events of our times have finally gotten the better of me. I think I have always been a person with reasonable emotional intelligence and awareness. However, I have grown up in a lifetime where showing your emotions is seen as a form of weakness. In my 40+ years of service in the Army, I have always been aware that as an officer and leader you must always show strength, be calm and decisive, your soldiers depend on you and you need to demonstrate hope and strength. Do not ever let your guard down. It is true that as a male this is still very much part of our psyche, you must not show your emotion or cry as some believe this shows vulnerability and is not setting a good example...
This past week has been a very interesting time with much of the media and world attention focussed on the US presidential election. I remember as a young boy in primary school learning all about the 50 states of America and their capital cities – I had to recite them from memory. Last week as I was watching the map of America on Fox News, with a sea of red and blue representing either Republican or Democrat states, it brought back memories of my childhood and questions about why was I learning this at school – American geography, really? Nonetheless, I was glued to the television watching the count and wondering what was going to happen. The US President is known as the leader of the free world and everyone across the globe is interested in this outcome. It will determine how the next four years will unfold. 2020 will be remembered in history as the year of the COVID-19 global pandemic but will also be known for the US presidential election. What I have witnessed is most disturbing as we see democracy challenged and people fundamentally divided. What we see is the divide of Team Trump and the Democrats, which has resulted in hate, violence, and a deep division in the psyche of the American people. We have also witnessed very poor leadership on the part of Team Trump. There is every right to bring matters to court regarding questions of the integrity of the voting process, but another to incite a narrative of fraud, a stolen election and being rigged. It is about every vote being counted.
Over the last two months I have begun a new online course in Resonate Leadership. The course title is “Inspiring leadership through emotional intelligence” by Richard Boyatzis. You might ask why I would do this course and how I even have time to study. They are great questions because this course presents some very interesting challenges. With over 25 years in senior school leadership and just over 40 years in senior leadership in the military, there is still so much to learn. In fact, I think I am a living example of life-long, life-wide, and life-deep learning. We never stop learning. As for time, well if you are going to ask anyone to do something extra, then ask a busy person. I guess I have come to accept that you can always find the time if you are passionate.