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On Monday of next week, we will have a Senior School Assembly where we will announce the House Student Leaders for 2023. In addition, we will also announce leaders in the newly created roles of Captain of Arts and Activities and Captains of Co-curricular Sport – Boys and Girls.

The leaders announced on Monday will work with our College Captains for 2023, Eve Corso and Emmanuel Goh, and all in Year 12 next year, in promoting a positive, inclusive, and engaged culture amongst the entire student body.

I have always believed that all of our senior-year students are leaders, and whilst, through necessity, there are only a small number appointed to specific roles, there are opportunity and potential for all to lead.

Leadership also comes to different people in different ways and sometimes at different stages in their life; for example, both Bishop O’Kelly and I were not prefects in our year level at school, but we both had the opportunity to lead our school community later in life.

Earlier this year, Old Ignatian Olivia Savvas, the youngest member in the House of Assembly for State Parliament, spoke of the same thing, and her words of wisdom in encouraging all students to not be defined by a title or badge, or lack of either, have stayed with me throughout the year.

I know that our House Leaders have worked diligently and carefully through the discernment process and, along with other staff leaders, have had to make some challenging decisions. We are blessed with so much depth in our Class of 2023, and whilst I know that disappointment for some who are not appointed will be natural, I hope that this feeling will be short-lived and be replaced by optimism and a desire to continue to serve in whatever way possible.

I have spoken on many occasions to our students about role models, heroes, and leaders, and how we may find them in all walks of life – often within our own families. My personality is such that I tend to look for such people all the time – I believe it is the Holy Spirit in action in our world.

A long-time hero of mine (along with Thomas More, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Nelson Mandela, Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Saint Ignatius, and I could go on!) is Abraham Lincoln. Many years ago, I used a small extract from his famous Gettysburg Address at Speech Day. People are often surprised when they learn that such a famous speech was only around 280 words. I wish I had such brevity and skill!

A new hero – and great leader – for me is Volodymyr Zelensky, and in some ways, his story of leadership is as unlikely as any. A comedy actor who, against all expectations, was elected president of his nation and who then displayed extraordinary qualities of character in inspiring his nation and its people to resist invasion and evil against great odds. Almost unbelievable!

Zelensky’s recent speech to the people of Russia and their leader has been described by some as the ‘new Gettysburg Address’ at only 115 words. I think it is quite remarkable and provide it here should you be inclined to read it.

I choose to be inspired by such leadership, and by the example of Olivia; my mother; and others.

I hope that all our students – those with titles and those without – may be similarly inspired.

Deo Gloria

Mr Peter Coffey

OREMUS (Let us pray)

We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.

For those who have died:

  • Margaret Pyne (former parent)

“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)

If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Mentor Teacher, or House Leader.

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