It’s all about connection… Last week I spent four days in Vietnam as part of a student recruitment program. Grammar is one of seven schools that have ...
It’s all about connection…
Last week I spent four days in Vietnam as part of a student recruitment program. Grammar is one of seven schools that have partnered with two other organisations to form the Australian Schools Alliance, Vietnam. The launch of this partnership was last Thursday night and the Australian Trade Ambassador and other local dignitaries from Ho Chi Minh City attended the launch. The next day I met with and presented to 25 recruitment agents, and this was followed by a Recruitment Fair attended by 150 families. A hectic few days but perhaps not as chaotic as trying to cross a 6-lane street – next time you see me, please ask me to reflect on that life-learning experience! International student recruitment is all about networking and levels of partnership and as they say, “If you choose to be in the game then play the game”. I am hopeful that we may have 2 students join us in our Hakwes Boarding and day school program over the coming months.
This week we were privileged to have Amanda Johnstone join our Term 3 Professional Services Teams gathering and offer an insightful, fun, and educative professional learning session. As the people who ensure that our systems and processes and support services work well, it was timely to introduce them formally to the world of AI and its power to assist us in working smarter, not harder. The session was well received and Amanda is amazing at developing a quick rapport and providing insights which made AI accessible and something to be embraced rather than shunned. There was of course great discussion about ethics, safety and protocols for use in our School and these will be formalised in due course. As part of our Strategic Plan, we have identified digital transformation as the key to our future success. As a soft start to our journey in this area, it has enabled us to commence the planning for staff professional learning and training, in addition to mapping out the actions for this strategic objective.
The best part of this session was the opportunity for staff who may otherwise be scattered around the school and have minimal interaction to come together and be part of something bigger. It is my experience that quite often in organisations those who do the behind-the-scenes work are sometimes not celebrated or valued as key to success. Bringing together our professional services teams is an opportunity for them to not just learn together but importantly to build in time to be together. Shared purpose is all.
I was able to connect with Amanda through another local connection I have made this year. It was a coincidental conversation about our business needs and from that the opportunity arose to have this session. It’s all about partnership and networking that enables future growth. And Tasmanians are brilliant at this!
Over the last two days, we have celebrated the importance of the Old Launcestonians Association with the awarding of the Peter Sculthorpe Alumnus of the Year Award. This year’s recipient was in fact a Broadland graduate Audrey (nee Moore) Youl (OLA 1981). This award was in recognition of the 40 years since amalgamation and the coming together of Australia’s oldest girls school with Grammar, the oldest continuous boys school. During her swimming career representing Australia in Backstroke and relays at national and international championships and the Commonwealth and Olympics (LA 1984) Audrey maintained the belief that even though she enjoyed winning, it was the excitement and fun of moving through the water at speed that she really enjoyed. Audrey went on to marry Andrew Youl (OLA 1980), and together they owned and operated Symmons Plains Estate until 2011. Audrey and Andrew have two sons, Nicholas Youl (OLA 2013) and Hamish Youl (OLA 2015). Audrey has also been a key part of our community, joining the School Board from 2009 until 2014, serving on the Broadland House Old Girls’ Association as Treasurer and has been a swim coach for the Grammar Swimming Squad for five years. Whenever I speak to anyone about Audrey, I am told what a fabulous human she is and what a great contributor she is to the lives of others. A wonderful role model for our students. At her presentations at both the Senior and Junior Campuses, Audrey highlighted the importance of finding and pursuing your passion and the sacrifices that involved. Additionally, she spoke about the importance of networks and partnerships because it is only through the support and assistance of others that your dreams may be realised. She celebrated the contribution of the Grammar and wider Launceston community to help her achieve and lead such a fulfilling life.
Grammar is a tight-knit community and like any family, we will have our wonderful moments of celebration and the occasional disagreement, but it is the shared purpose of belonging to and being part of educating and supporting the next generation of amazing young people that binds us together. I thoroughly enjoyed the Spring Concert where the musical talents of our students were on show. Coming together through music and to create something magical is indeed a special feeling. This week’s Grade 5 “Seussical the Musical” was fabulous. A lot of fun and the joy of seeing confidence grow and nerves overcome to present to a wonderful audience of proud mums, dads, grandparents peers and teachers. It was awesome! Winter sport on the Senior Campus is coming to a season’s end. There have been some tight matches and whilst the results have not always gone our way, I am so proud of the team spirit and the respect for the game that has been shown by our students. Congratulations to our Senior and Grade 10 Netballers, commiserations to our Open Boys soccer – a tough semi-final match against St Pats and to our Open Girls Soccer and Hockey teams, we wish you all the best as you play the state finals next week. It will be great to have the home-ground advantage and the support of your peers! The friends our students make for life are often forged through participation in sports and the performing arts.
I am sure all students are looking forward to the upcoming break and I hope families have an opportunity to enjoy some time together.
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