A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 15 - 2018

Welcome back to the start of Term 4. I hope that you all had a fantastic break and some time to relax together as families. For our seasoned Westminster families, you will be well aware of the pressured, hectic pace that Term 4 seems to run at - every week we seem to have a concert, performance or gathering. This is what happens when we belong to a very engaged community!

Over the break, a delegation of six students headed to Canada for the Round Square International Conference, joining hundreds of other students from all over the world to share time and experiences together. I was fortunate enough to be able to join them at this conference and be a part of their learning, growth and experiences. While awake in the wee hours of the night doing some school work while watching television, I was subjected to the new Covergirl tagline:

‘I am what I make up’

In a time when narrative seems to overwhelm truth, I found this tagline a little disconcerting, especially when Covergirl is predominantly used as make-up by young women. A somewhat dark interpretation of their tagline could intimate that you aren’t really who you are - rather, you are what you choose to make yourself up to be.

Last week at Senior School Assembly, I tried to share two YouTube clips with our students. Both of these clips are from the modelling industry and reveal the ‘transformation’ undertaken by the real models to become the final images we see. This is what is made up and vastly different from the reality. Yet, the image of the model that has been made up shows the result of beauticians’ skills, lighting, camera skills and, of course, intensive photoshopping. If our children are aspiring to be like the images of beauty that are presented through the media, they are aspiring to become an illusion. Unfortunately, a widespread YouTube crash meant the sharing of these clips could not take place. However, we have gone on to use them for Wellbeing@West, and the links are below if you are interested in watching them (one for the female, the other for the male):

Dove Evolution - Women

Dove Evolution - Men

As a community, we have to work with our children to help them be happy with who they are. Of course, they can strive to improve and challenge themselves but they should not feel the need or pressure to be who they ‘make up’ to be, nor should they be an avatar. They should be comfortable with who they are.

As an aside, it is with great pleasure we introduce you to our new Westminster School website. In our Advancement and Marketing Manager's article, Tanya will expand on the new features of the site and take you through the links to all of the Community pages.

Simon Shepherd