It is always easy to operate with the benefit of hindsight. Similarly we will always believe that our heroes from the past are better than they potentially were. Today’s world is a difficult world and a complex society. Our young people certainly have to grow up in a more challenging world than I grew up in. The advent of technology has opened possibilities that were not possible to dream of previously. Social media creates connections that can be overwhelming.
Why is it so challenging?
Much of what was revealed in the situation we call politics last week was farcical. Before you think that my blog may have a political slant, it doesn’t take long to recall that this exact same scenario played out on the opposite side of politics. The response from both sides of politics, the opposition on both occasions, responded in exactly the same way. They tried wherever possible to sink the boot in and decry the lack of leadership in the governing party.
Much of what led to last week’s Liberal Party leadership challenge and previously with the Labour Party, was the insecurity of nervous politicians on their immediate security at the next election. Whilst this is unfolding, the people they represent are yearning for a vision and a strategy that will see us moving towards this ‘better world’. American writer Joseph Campbell in his book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ written five decades ago, alerted us to the perpetual and profound influence of heroes in our daily lives. While heroes come in various guises, the underlying themes that make their stories so compelling – daring, vision and strength – are largely the same. Heroes transcend the limitations of our world. In doing so, they give us a glimpse of our own potential and inspire us to achieve more. Who would we say are our political heroes are now?
As we support our young people in their journey into adulthood we need to be aware that we need to be trying to support the development of young adults’ vision. We need future thinkers not people who simply live in the present. In some ways this is counterculture to the examples they see today in our political leaders. We need our future leaders to be true leaders. We need leaders who understand that uniting and building partnerships is more important than dividing and conquering. We don’t need more partisanship or divisiveness. We need leaders with a broad set of work experiences and strong management skills—leaders who will use discretion and good judgment. In other words, we need leaders that do not simply represent the status quo. We need leaders who understand that ideology in and of itself is not a reason for a decision and leaders who understand we are living in a global world where diversity is as an asset, not a threat. In contrast to these leadership traits we have many current political leaders of all colours who we see as lacking integrity, honesty, humility, accountability, or the ability to compromise—in other words, a lack of real leadership.
Here at ATC we operate proudly under the identification of being a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) schools operate under what we call touchstones. The four touchstones that we hope are distinctive to our schools are Gospel Spirituality, Liberating Education, Inclusive Community and Justice and Solidarity. In these touchstones we seek to provide an education that will develop future leaders for our world who are future focussed, globally aware and ‘values’ rich. We are seeking to develop future leaders who will tackle the big issues confronting our world rather than obsess like many of our current political leaders who value childish finger-pointing and three-second soundbites. As people who can influence our young future leaders, we need to be aware that the examples we set will be influential in their development. Whilst not necessarily recognised in the way we might hope for, the example of adults acting purposefully and deliberately will help contribute to their formation.
Next Tuesday the Annual Parents and Friends Annual General Meeting will be held and I would like parents to consider coming along and playing an active role in this important peak body at the College. The College has had a rich tradition of very involved and committed parents who form our P&F. As a peak body at the school they play an important role in building community and raising valuable funds. The success of any P&F is always dependent on parents who have a drive and energy to commit to a role on the P&F Executive. The roles are wide and varied and I would encourage all parents to come along and support our and your P&F as they strive to help us build a community here at Ambrose Treacy College.
We all realise that well-being is an important dimension in our lives. From an employment perspective, long service leave is an important provision for a long serving staff member’s well-being particularly in a fast-paced work community. Hopefully it serves to provide staff members with an opportunity to sit back and take a break, to recharge their personal and professional well-being. Life at ATC over the last five years has been incredibly busy as a developing community. In the coming weeks I would like to advise you that David Gardiner (Deputy Principal) and Kath Little (Dean of Learning) will be taking some well-earned and well-deserved long service leave. David’s six week leave period will commence next Monday and Kath’s seven week leave period will commence on Wednesday week. David and Kath, as key leaders at the College, have both been major contributors to the direction and development of the College as were have transitioned as a new school. In their absence a number of acting appointments have been made to cover their roles.
I would like to advise you of the following changes that will take place from next week. I would ask you to note the following domino of changes:
Conor Finn (Acting Deputy Principal)
Matthew Warr (Acting Dean of Formation)
Samuel Brown (Acting Assistant Dean of Formation)
Bernard Wong (Acting Head of Leinster House)
Adrian Cullen (Acting Coordinator Service Program)
Greg Quinn (Acting Dean of Learning)
Michelle Kath (Acting Assistant Dean of Learning)
I would ask our community to please keep Jackson and Oscar McGarvey (7 Bodkin and 5 Nolan) and their family in your thoughts and prayers following the passing of their grandfather recently. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, May perpetual light shine upon them, May they rest in peace. Amen.
With best wishes