A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 10 - 2020

At Assembly, Wednesday 29 July, we had Years 10, 11 and 12 students spread throughout the Murray Centre. It was a great opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate academic achievements from last semester. That we could come together like this within the prevailing guidelines, while Years 7 to 9 watched a live stream presentation, gives us reason to pause and reflect on how fortunate we are as South Australians.

This week we are hosting a number of sporting matches at Westminster and there is a wonderful sense of excitement building amongst students, families and staff as we welcome back competition to the School, and the reappearance of the Friends of Westminster BBQ trailer and van!

My reflection on community sport began on Sunday as I was fortunate enough to watch the Crows play their most competitive match of the season! While the result wasn’t what I wanted, that I was there, given the events of 2020, made me feel very fortunate. We live in the second most wealthy country in the world behind Switzerland. Adelaide, along with two other Australian capitals, is among the 10 most liveable cities in the world. Our economy is the world’s second most capable of dealing with disruptive forces and we are third in the world when it comes to the number of universities that we have in the world’s top 100 universities. We have the sixth-best education system in the world, and we are ranked number one for wellbeing (all figures from DFAT).

On top of all this, at the time of writing this article, South Australia remains among the world’s least directly impacted areas for COVID-19. All of these combined make we South Australians among the most fortunate people in the world (even if indicating remains an ‘optional extra’ and righthand lanes on the motorway aren’t exclusively for overtaking!). For all that we have, we should be grateful and working to ensure that future generations remain as fortunate as us.

At the Assembly, our students were again challenged to be useful and to look for ways in which they can have a positive impact on our society. We should all be challenging ourselves to find more ways in which we can contribute positively to our own very fortunate lives. Small changes can have big impacts if we are prepared to make them together.

On Friday 31 July, we celebrated the commissioning of our new extended Solar Energy system where, as a School, we will be generating around 400kw of renewable energy each year, which is over 25% of our annual usage. I hope that you can share in this positive change made possible by a group of generous benefactors and a very well-utilised 2019 State Government Capital Grant for Independent Non-Government Schools, thanks to the South Australian Government.

Later this term, we will celebrate the opening of the first stages of the most extensive building program Westminster has undertaken since its inception. Again, you will all be welcome to join with us to celebrate in the opening of these buildings and, I hope, reflect again on how fortunate we are, while we continue to build the best school possible for our students - past, present and future.

Thank you for your ongoing support and I look forward to seeing as many of you as COVID-19 measures allow at sports fixtures, music and cultural events, as well as building opening celebrations, throughout the semester.

Simon Shepherd