Students step up with passion

By Greg Whitby, 16 October 2019
Greg Whitby AM is Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta.


Weekly Column from the Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta

The year is really getting away from us, isn’t it? With school back for Term 4, many students will be beginning HSC exams this week. Soon enough, classrooms will be chockas with candy canes and Christmas cards.

While there remains a few months before school gates creak closed and (hopefully) happy holidays kick off, Term 4 signals that change is coming. Current Year 11 students will be starting their HSC year in Term 4. New school leaders step up, and Year 6 students prepare for high school. And our littlest learners, Kindergarten 2020, will be coming along to big school for orientation days soon.

For parents and carers of Year 12 students, it is a time of celebration but also perhaps sadness. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Where did those last 13 years go? Blink and you’ll miss it.

When I was growing up, it was common for stern adults to tell younger people to enjoy school because, apparently, these were the best days of your life. For everyone graduating this year, I want to reassure you that this is not true. Great times lay ahead.

I also want to take this chance to wish the Class of 2019 my very best. While there are challenges ahead (and I’m not talking about study and exams), I’m excited for each of you. There is so much to look forward to.

Our world is changing and there is a great deal that is unknown about our future. If there’s something I am certain about, it’s the passion and insight that young people bring to the table.

As educators, it’s our job to prepare young people for the challenges but also the joys ahead. We must never forget that learning should be joyful. It’s an honour to share the special moments that are part of students’ school days (from orientation to graduation), and there are plenty of these to come in Term 4.

Greg Whitby AM
Executive Director of Schools – Diocese of Parramatta


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