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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 14 - 2023

This week we have been enjoying some glorious weather as the Spring days slowly get longer. The arrival of Spring also heralds the start of the Royal Adelaide Show. This year, the Show was away and running with a momentum not witnessed for some years and our students were presented with some fantastic opportunities at this statewide showcase.

Our Show Team was there exhibiting sheep, beef cattle, dairy cows and goats, while we also had students, led by Senior Chaplain Rev Phil Hoffmann, serving with humility, kindness and grace as volunteers in the Uniting Church’s Red Dove Café. These two wonderful opportunities were made the most of by about 30 Westminster students. Along with our Head of Agriculture Andy Malcolm (’06), Head of Heaslip/Ag teacher Aisha Hargraves, our Farm Managers and Boarding staff, it was wonderful to catch up with parents, extended family and many other supporting members of regional and rural communities who are drawn to the Show. We also enjoyed catching up with Old Scholars and past family members from our wider community who proudly seek out Westminster to see how we’re going. We also thank Thomas Foods International for their generous sponsorship of our Show Team that helps us do our best in the Show’s various competitions. All students and staff who took part are to be congratulated for their commitment and willingness to make the most of two fantastic opportunities at the Royal Adelaide Show.

While there was a real Westminster buzz of activity around the Show, there was plenty happening back at School. Under the keen direction of our Drama and Tech staff, the Years 11 and 12 Drama students are to be commended for staging their showpiece, ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’. It’s undoubtedly a challenging piece of theatre, yet the students rose admirably to the occasion with some of the cast also enduring a full day at the Show. It is worth reading Head of Drama John Doherty’s article to see how one of the unexpected challenges encountered by the ensemble was so masterfully overcome!

In the last few weeks, we invited our Year 11 students to apply for student leadership positions for 2024. As the first major announcement from this process, we are delighted to that Ava Bunnett and Angus Stuart will equally be our 2024 School Captains.

This year, we introduced a more refined process where students who wanted to be considered for a leadership position were asked to submit their application to be voted on by their peers and staff. Finally, the applicants were interviewed by the senior staff who will work most closely with them. This process was introduced to give applicants a voice and to have an application process that closely emulates the process they will go through when applying for jobs in the future.

Unfortunately, as with any application and interview process, there will always be students who miss out on leadership positions to which they really aspired. Coping with disappointment like this can be difficult, especially when you are passionate about a role. It doesn’t mean that any student has done anything wrong, or that they aren’t good enough to fulfil the requirements of the role. It simply means that someone else is considered as better suited to the role than others at this time. How we handle disappointment is often what defines us more than the role for which we apply. The reality at a school like ours is that everyone has the capacity to be a leader every day. We just have to look for the opportunities and be brave enough to make the most of them.

We’re on the final leg to completing another very busy term and, of course, our Year 12s only have a matter of weeks to go before they enter the final stage of their secondary schooling. As we do so well at Westminster, we’ll all be there in person and spirit to proudly give them the fine farewell they deserve.

2 I7 A2216
School Captains for 2024 - Ava Bunnett and Angus Stuart

Simon Shepherd