Official Visit to St Laurence’s College
Principal, Mr Leadbetter; distinguished guests; staff, students and supporters of St Laurence’s College. Good morning to you all.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Thank you all for the opportunity to join you today.
I particularly thank you for putting aside any prejudice you might have for a former Churchie boy, by welcoming me so warmly!
And I do indeed thank you, Principal, for accepting my request that I be invited to the School.
I have wanted, as Governor, to visit and acknowledge the fine achievements of St Laurence’s College for some time.
I have been asked today to address the theme, “the value of sport in education and the value of sport in team building”.
I am not surprised by the question, sport being such a distinctive part of the widely impressive curriculum on offer here at St Laurence’s.
Now, I will disclose up front, I am not especially well placed to give you any tactical advice on sporting matters!
After all, back in the 1960s, as a schoolboy, I was “selected” to represent the “Blue and Grey” in the Under 15 Hs rugby union team, having missed out on selection for the As and Bs (and Cs and Ds and Es and Fs!).
Despite my personal limitations, the value of the team and the team experience, was integral to my education.
Those experiences taught me the importance of teamwork and cooperation.
They heightened my individual commitment to always try my best.
And, importantly, they gave me the confidence to keep on trying – to persevere – even in the face of adversity.
I see that the theme for your School in recent times has been “Embrace challenge… Let your light shine.”
Team environments give you as students the opportunity to support others, and in return to be supported in the challenges that you face.
That is your challenge, students, whether you are selected to represent your College as captain at the highest level, or as a player in the Under 15 Hs – or indeed as part of any team here at St Laurence’s: how can you be a leader, and support others, in a positive way.
One way that each of us can be leaders, in our own way, is to express respect in all our relationships – with our families, with teachers, with our friends, all friends, men and women. If you do your best, respect others at all times and be thankful for support shown to you, thereby you shall succeed.
Now reverting to topic, the lessons you learn through teamwork are immeasurable.
They are experiences I know you will carry with you, long after you have left this School.
No doubt you will also carry with you the experiences of being part of a high achieving School – a high achieving School which embraces a contemporary approach to education, while valuing its traditions and continuing to draw inspiration from the compassion of Edmund Rice.
Students, this is a fantastic environment in which to advance your learning and your personal development.
I urge you to embrace your days here with enthusiasm. Thank you.