Principal’s Message: Week 1, Term 4, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 1, Term 4, 2019

To the friends and families of the St Edmund’s community,

Vibrant Spirit. Strong Character. Tailored Learning

Earlier today we held a special assembly for the induction of our new College leaders for 2019. We congratulate the following students on their appointment and wish them well in serving our Eddies community:
College Captain Samuel Gibson
Vice Captain (Academic) Tyler Greenhalgh
Vice Captain (Mission) Patrick McFarlane
Vice Captain (Service) Corey Davis

Clancy House Captain Benjaman Morris
Clancy House Vice Captain Clay Webb

Haydon House Captain Richard Alverez Baumann
Haydon House Vice Captain Riley Diwell

O’Brien House Captain Noyal Saji
O’Brien House Vice Captain Jonty Godfrey

Mulrooney House Captain Andre Lopilato
Mulrooney House Vice Captain Kai Bower

Rice House Captain William McGauley
Rice House Vice Captain Leo Tuckfield

Treacy House Captain Sebastian Bellas
Treacy House Vice Captain Joshua Davis

I would like to share with you my address from today’s special assembly:

Being called to leadership is a privileged and honourable position, whether it be leadership of a sporting team, leadership within a work setting, leadership of a family or leadership in the community. It is privileged and honourable not because of any power or authority or title that comes with it, but because it means working with people – not for people, not over people, but working with people. As such leadership is all about relationships and community.

A good leader does not lead from the front – if you lead from the front you are blocking the views of others and they cannot see where they are going except for blindly following the leader. A good leader does not leader from the back – if you lead from the back then you have no vision and cannot give direction to the people you are serving. Good leaders walk alongside the people they are serving – so everyone has the same view, everyone has the same vision and direction and everyone is on the same path. Leading from the front or the back does not make for healthy relationships or vibrant communities. Leading alongside people is all about establishing right relationships and being genuinely involved in the community you are serving.

Marianne Williamson is an American author who has reflected very strongly on the idea that leadership is not about power or authority – powerful leadership is very much working with the people around you and having the courage and capacity to allow them to shine. This is what she says:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”).

The new College leaders who have been announced today were chosen because they have already demonstrated that they are good at working alongside others – they are aware of the needs, wants and wellbeing of their fellow students, and have articulated how they can work to improve and strengthen these even further. I wholeheartedly congratulate our new College leaders, wish them well in their journey of leadership and look forward with great anticipation in working with them. I thank the families of our new College leaders for their positive role in moulding our College leaders into the fine young men they are today.

I thank our outgoing College leaders for their work this year. They have added much to the atmosphere and environment of St Edmund’s and have contributed to a very successful year. Thank you for your hard work, your co-operation and your ability to create a vision and make that vision a reality.

When we think of the Christian nature of leadership, we of course turn our attention to Jesus Christ. You would have noticed that at the opening of this address the term “serving others” was used several times. Jesus provides us with a strong model of servant leadership. When you think of that phrase, “servant leadership”, it initially sounds like something weak. Servant leadership is anything but weak. Servant leadership is tough and difficult, but when it is carried out successfully it is leadership that is effective and transformative. Servant leaders are not preoccupied with personal visibility and recognition. Servant leaders seek to invest themselves in the lives of their people so that, as a whole, their community is challenged to grow and thrive. Servant leaders do not seek service for themselves; they aim to serve others; they do not aim to do their own will; they do not promote themselves. Why? Because they are amongst their people – they are walking alongside their people just as Jesus walked alongside all he came across; refusing nobody’s company and giving the time to those in need. Just as Blessed Edmund Rice walked amongst his people, was very aware of what they needed and worked hard his entire life to ensure that the marginalised in Waterford were given an education they deserved.

The religious tradition known as Christianity eventually emerged from the servant leadership of Jesus and his followers. That is why we are all here today. The movement of Christian Brothers schools emerged from the servant leadership of Blessed Edmund Rice and his fellow Christian Brothers. Again, that is also why we are all here today.

So to our new College leaders – what will emerge from your servant leadership? How can you best serve your fellow students and the wider Eddies community? Today’s new leaders will receive their badges at the opening school Mass at the beginning of next year, but today they be presented with an Edmund Rice pin. I personally ask them to wear this every day – to be reminded that they are leaders in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice and, like Edmund Rice, they should be working to let the light of Christ shine on those around them, to listen to and look at what is needed in their College community and to act on that in a practical, active and dynamic manner, to be leaders with vibrant spirit and strong character.

Best wishes, good luck and congratulations on your very significant achievement of being in a position to serve those around you.

Jonah Anderson (Year 7, Treacy) has been selected to compete in the School Sport Australia U/15 School Boys Touch Football Championships held in Deakin at the end of this month. This is Jonah’s third year in a row representing the ACT.

Cassidy Tanddo (Year 9, Haydon House) has been selected to compete in the Australian Schools Football U/16 Schoolboys National Football Team. Cassidy will be touring the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in January 2020 as part of this team.

Loving God,
As we discern the meaning of our call to servant leadership,
help us recognise the ways you seek to minister through our lives.
Inspired by the knowledge of your abiding presence,
and by the models of courageous leadership given to us
by your son Jesus Christ and Blessed Edmund Rice,
may we have the courage to reach out and support one another,
to stand firm in what is true,
to decrease when others should increase,
and to lead with vision and compassion,
as faithful followers of Jesus, your Son.
We make this prayer to you in his name.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

Christus Lux Mea
Joe Zavone
College Principal