Precious Moments

Dr Kay Kimber, Director Centre for Professional Practice Rose Kennedy, mother of President John F. Kennedy, once said ‘Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.’ Typically, milestones mark moments of transition, a concept made more poignant as the countdown for Year 12s rapidly diminishes. Rituals and traditions shape the event, honour individuals and affirm a community’s core values. In education, the quality of the learning that shapes those transitions rests on the level of sustained engagement with suitably challenging experiences— across a multitude of moments. This Saturday evening, a School community signature event will simultaneously become a first for many Year 8s and their families, and a precious ‘final’ event for many of our Year 12s. Hundreds of our fine musicians will perform in what will no doubt be yet another ‘unforgettable’ Gala concert.  Orchestras, bands, choirs and soloists will treat us to a wide-ranging programme of well-loved classical, theatre music, jazz and more.…

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Music: the essential element

Mr Mark Sullivan, Director of Instrumental Music ‘When I started on this path of research I thought that music was important, but I realised that it was vastly more important than I imagined,’ Daniel Levitin, Psychologist and Neuroscientist Imagine a world without music. It would be like a car without an engine or a library without books. It is simply impossible to contemplate as music is so embedded in our daily life. From the stirring of national fervour at public events, to the creation of dramatic tension in a movie, the jingle that encourages shoppers to spend money, or the fireworks at Brisbane Riverfire, music always seems to play an essential role. Is this just entertainment and something to fill our hours of leisure or is there something more to it? We know instinctively that music has a primal power and it is fascinating that anthropologists have yet to discover a culture without music. The foundations…

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The Inaugural International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October, 2012

Dr Amanda Bell, Principal Yesterday, the Prime Minister launched the International Day of the Girl Child in Australia. In her speech she commented that for most Australian girls they are faced with remarkable opportunities, which is in stark contrast to girls in other countries who are not so fortunate: Like the girl forced to work at home and watch her brother go off to school. The girl forcibly married to someone she doesn't know before she has even come of age. Or the young woman who dwells in daily fear of violence from those closest to her. (Gillard, 2012) Young women, including some Grammar girls, often cite a lack of identification with feminism and that leaves those of us who recall the 1970s and the achievements of the Women’s Liberation Movement somewhat despondent.  Feminism with its concern for gender equality and human rights is still very relevant today — both here in Australia and world-wide. When…

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The Paradox of Dissent

Mrs Karen Belbin, School Counsellor Adolescents love to disagree. They love to challenge ideas, beliefs, authority, conventions, and 'rules', especially adult and society rules. There is a good reason for this: dissent, arguing, talking, challenging and questioning are some of the tools adolescents use with friends, family and teachers, to learn more about themselves and others; establish their identity; understand the world they live in; and find their own particular place in society.  Without dissent, human beings and society wouldn’t grow or change, create or innovate, but dissent can be difficult, especially – and unsurprisingly – to those whose ideas or beliefs are being challenged. It is important to distinguish between the judicious use of dissent, and the more recent trend to use social media to heckle, ridicule, intimidate, judge, berate and treat others disrespectfully - which is not in any way courageous, admirable or an attempt to find meaning or truth. The focus of this article is not about such cowardly behaviour –…

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