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College News - February 2020

Over the last few months, we have witnessed the devastating fires in Australia, which resulted in the death of people and millions of animals. We have seen the emergence of Coronavirus and the potential for this epidemic to result in the loss of thousands or tens of thousands of lives. Closer to home, there have been flash floods around our own country that have also resulted in the destruction of property and the loss of life. The damage to buildings and infrastructure is one thing, but the loss of life is another. Only one can be rebuilt.

These unfortunate events are for all of us a reminder of the power of nature. We have made all manner of advances in so many areas but this means little when faced with the worst nature throws at us; a humbling, and sobering thought. While our thoughts are with those affected by these occurrences, it is also worth noting the perspective events like this can give us. Suddenly, problems and inconveniences we face in our daily lives are rendered inconsequential and trivial by comparison. People affected by tragedies of this nature must call on sometimes previously unrevealed resources of resilience, an important characteristic, and one we need to continue developing in our young people.

On another note, as parents we often inadvertently and openly, make comparisons between our own children and others and this can have unintended consequences. Perhaps, the poem written by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, highlights the dangers of doing this. Desiderata is a prose-poem, written almost as an advice-for-life treatise, it states: “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” These lines support our aim of being the best we can be as individuals and as a school, but not concerning ourselves with whether we think we are better than someone else or another school. In that regard, we will continue to do what we believe in. We will work hard, practise hard, play hard, while at the same time maintaining our core standards. In turn, our plans have a greater chance of becoming reality and an achievement worthy of celebration. We can apply these very basic concepts to classwork, homework, assessments and home life as well as to competition on the sports field, and the performing arts. Many of our boys and girls have done exactly this in the first half of this term and have reaped the rewards. There have been some amazing successes in all areas of school life and I would like to acknowledge all those who have played, coached, managed and supported. Woodridge is a wonderful school and it is encouraging to see how many of our young men and women are participating in a variety of different activities. The kaleidoscope of photographs, which appear in the newsletter, tell this story.

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