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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 12 - 2023

Having experienced mid-Term 3 over a number of years, I understand why it is often considered to be one of the busiest times at Westminster.

We could say it is about ‘kicking goals’ for the School and community, literally and figuratively! ‘Kicking goals’ is not just between the goal posts, but also a phrase of achievement and we never have any shortage of wonderful outcomes and news to share.

Here’s a sampling of Westminster ‘kicking goals’ over the last few weeks:

  • We couldn't have been prouder of the initiative taken by our students for this year's Cut for Cancer fundraiser. With over 100 students and staff volunteering to have their hair shaved, cut or braided, over $52,000 has been raised for six different cancer charities. A truly inspiring result from our students and School community!
  • Last week we had the privilege of having our First XVIII play on Adelaide Oval and win the trophy as premiers of Div 2 Boys’ Football (Westminster 14-15-99 to Trinity 9-4-58). While the time was shuffled back into the school day due to the Matildas’ FIFA match, we still managed to have a supportive contingent of staff and students on hand to cheer our First XVIII on victory. What was also pleasing to hear were the positive comments from the wider community about how our students proudly represented our School to, from and at the match.
  • We hosted the ABODA (SA School Band and Orchestra Festival) from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 August, an event we have hosted since 2004. We welcomed 132 bands from across the State over the three-day festival. This year, we had our new facilities open and on display. The response from visiting school staff and students was extremely complimentary, most seeing the new developments for the first time since completion. It was another successful event with Westminster ensembles winning overall three Gold, seven Silver and one Bronze. The Senior Concert Band, Big Band 2 and Prep Concert Band received Gold with the Prep Concert Band winning their section for the second year in a row. One of the biggest ‘bonus goals kicked’ was to have our Director of Music (Performance and Co-curricular), Mike Degenhart, receive Life Membership of ABODA for over 20 years of service to ABODA.
  • Westminster was well represented at recent School Sport Australia events. In the South Australian Girls’ Team playing in the Under 12 Football Championships in NSW, Year 7 students Elle and Brooke Weatherald, as well as Year 6's Georgia Davison and Emmerson Warren, contributed to the team winning a bronze medal. Caleb Dyer (Year 6) represented Westminster in the SA Boys' Team that won silver. We acknowledge a personal goal kicked by Emily Mableson (Year 10) who was recently selected in the All-Australian U15 Football Team, following a week of competition at the School Sport Australia Boys’ and Girls’ 15 Years and Under Championship in Victoria.

And the goals keep on coming with more to be kicked with our premier Music Night this week, the Boarder Parents’ legendary Cow Pat Lotto now underway, the Parents’ Club Father’s Day breakfasts next week and the Show Team in competition when the Royal Adelaide Show begins.

And let us not forget Intercol, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August. Intercol is our major sporting carnival against Pembroke and this year, we are the host school. Intercol is one of the largest ‘goal kicking’ events of all with an amazing program of events and atmosphere for our community to enjoy.

For all those ‘goals kicked’ not listed above, please forgive me. You are not forgotten - keep up the fantastic work! There are so many goals, it’s hard to keep score and so we look at many ways we can celebrate achievements across the School. Lastly, while the ‘kicked goal’ is wonderful, so is the determined effort that goes into kicking it. Our School community’s support and encouragement are just two of the reasons why our students do consistently kick more goals and achieve more than they thought possible.

Simon Shepherd