It’s been my pleasure as Principal to introduce each edition of The Way. As a final piece for 2023 I am pleased to bring the Celebration 2023 introduction.
Thanks for every support.
Welcome to the Celebration and Awards presentation for 2023. It’s a joy to be able to meet together and to celebrate the achievements of our students across the grades from Prep to Year 12. This learning community to which we belong, is unique. We are full of different cultural backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles. Belonging is that feeling of being connected; a sense that we are each part of this bigger place and environment, and we are drawn towards unity and a shared future with the best outcomes.
It has been so pleasing to see over 400 students performing in our music and creative arts programs each week, beginning in our Kinder and Year 1 Strings program. Every Year 4 student takes part in a compulsory band instrument program and its graduates across the last 11 years have continued to grow our bands and ensembles
An additional 500 students are members of the Talented Athletes Program in Football, Basketball and Dance programs and teams, and students from each of these programs are part of our winning teams at representative level. The Duke of Edinburgh program has been operating at the College for over 15 years, and currently 300 students from Years 9-12 are working through the Bronze and Silver and Gold levels. The College program ranks highly in terms of numbers in Dukes across the country, and teenagers are engaged in programs which will grow their stamina and character.
Two of our biggest events of 2023 were the Mother’s and Father’s Day Breakfasts, with over 1000 parents and grandparents joining at each event. Our Parent Network continues to grow and impact.
Important awards of excellence will be presented to the Year 12 HSC Class of 2023. Several students have achieved State level recognition, and most students progressing to University and tertiary studies have already gained places for 2024. We congratulate Year 12 for their tenacity and progress through the COVID interruptions during their final years at the College and we wish them well.
As the College community engages in the daily events and programs, we understand the importance of connection and belonging. Our Celebration events will consider these important themes, in video, in creative arts and in the spoken words. Prep students enjoyed their Celebration events over this last week, and allowed parents to understand the important progress of their young people in the very first year of structured learning. Learning excellence and student achievement are highlighted and given priority in all the Celebration events. Let me on your behalf thank the teams of talented and creative staff who continue to grow all our programs for the best student outcomes.
We say welcome to Mrs Karen Easton, our new Principal from 2024, and we wish her well. As I leave Thomas Hassall after 17 years, let me express thanks to the College Community. It’s been my joy and privilege to be the Principal of such an outstanding school on the emerging South West.
It’s time to step into the new year of 2024 with energy and focus, towards higher goals and the best outcomes. The Christmas break will provide a time to re-energise and reset. At Thomas Hassall we have a Christian hope, and Christmas allows us to reflect on the impact on the birth of our living Saviour the Lord Jesus, and to renew our commitment to him for the year ahead. Thank you sincerely for such effort and support of our College and our learning community throughout the year.
‘Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a more excellent way…’ 1 Corinthians 12:31