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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 7 - 2022

Drugs, Alcohol and Road Safety

This term we have had external presenters discuss safety and wellbeing matters with some of the Senior School students. Australia’s leading presenter on Drugs and Alcohol, Paul Dillon spent the day talking with Year 10, 11 and 12 students on matters relating to how they can keep themselves safe and strategies to make informed decisions. One of the key messages that he gave was those students who are not consuming alcohol or involved with illicit drugs are in the majority, contrary to the impression that is often given in the media. I believe this gives students the support to continue to say no when they find themselves in situations where they are required to make such decisions.

Currently, Paul believes the big issue within this space is vaping and the growing number of young people who are involved in the activity believing it to be safe. The following document provides more information from his website - Vaping.

I asked Paul to come to Westminster about 12 years ago and I am confident that he has had an impact on the attitudes of our students.

The Metropolitan Fire Service came to present its Road Awareness Program to the Year 11 students. The session focussed on making the correct decisions when on or near roads, to keep safe and also to encourage others to take the right action. With the use of video, recount of actual crashes and a message from Daniel who was directly impacted by a car crash, I am sure the students are better prepared to act in a safe manner on the roads. Daniel recounted the lead up to the crash and that it was his poor decisions that caused the crash. He described the lifelong impact the crash has had on his life and how he would have done things differently if he could have relived that time of his life again.

These are some of the student's comments about the session:

This program really hit home, it struck a nerve and really made me think about how it would feel to go through this. At the start of the program I considered myself a safe driver, I never look at my phone, but I still feel like I was a risk taker. I am definitely going to do as much as possible to be a responsible driver.

A really informative and confronting presentation. The raw footage of car crashes and accidents really shows the reality of taking risks. The guest speaker was very powerful and inspirational. I have wanted to be a firefighter for years and this presentation makes me want to help people.

The program really made me consider the responsibility I have driving myself, passengers and other people on the road. I thought Daniel’s story was very heartbreaking and eye-opening, he was extremely brave to share.

Made a difference to myself and year level and listening to a story in person made the messages more meaningful and emotional. This program also makes you think twice about everything you have done and what you will do going forward.

It was extremely powerful and moving. I think this program is going to save many young lives as well as protecting our roads. Thanks to Daniel for sharing his story, very brave to speak up and was also very moving. Thank you for doing this.

The common message from both sessions is that we all have a choice as to what decisions we make but often we do not have a choice as to the consequences when things go wrong.

‘Cashless’ Senior School Canteen

As indicated last term, the new Senior School Canteen is now, in principle, operating as a cashless venue. There has been some leeway to allow students to settle into Term 2 but from Monday 30 May, the Senior School Canteen will be completely cashless. This does not affect Boarding student meal arrangements. This does not affect the Preparatory School Canteen which will continue its operation as per usual arrangements.

Bus Minder

Our trial is underway with the Bus E Route. So far, we have only switched on bus tracking while the app is being prepared with student data. Once the app is populated with information, we’ll advise families on the E Route that the app is ready to download. Following the app release, we expect to run this for a week or two to ensure we understand any questions or issues. Following the E Route, we’ll launch to other bus routes. The last part of BusMinder for all routes will be the purchase of tickets but we want to make sure everyone understands the basic use of the app before we switch payment systems. As previously stated, all existing tickets will be honoured so please continue to purchase your tickets from the Westminster Shop or via Qkr.

Forder Centre Tours for Westminster families

Over the coming month, we extend a warm invitation to all Westminster families to join us for a tour of the stunning new Forder Centre in action during the school day.

Tours will be offered each week during the month of June at 2.30pm on Tuesday afternoons and 9am on Thursday mornings. Please meet Carly Hocking (’93) and Peter Trenorden (’77) at the Ground Floor of the Forder Centre, adjacent to the Dragon Café. Registration is not required.

All welcome!

David Wallage
Head of Senior School