A Message from the Principal - 11/11/2018
TIGS supports the apology issued by the Archbishop of Sydney on 8 November 2018 and expresses concern for any hurt experienced by our own or the broader community. We reiterate that TIGS has no history of discrimination, nor do we seek license in exemption laws to discriminate against students or staff on the basis of their sexuality in the future. Given our history and clearly-stated intentions for the future we believe the ‘Protest TIGS’ event is unwarranted.
The School attempted to contact the protest organisers last week to hear their concerns and affirm our commitment to inclusivity. Unfortunately they did not respond to this request. While we uphold the right to protest, we are concerned that the protest is planned at the entry gates utilised by 3-12 year old children attending our Preschool and Junior School programmes. The potential to cause these students distress is considerable. It is likely as well that the protest will cause unrest to our Year 12 International Baccalaureate Diploma students who continue their final exams on Monday. The School remains open to dialogue with the protest organisers and is disappointed they were not open to alternative times and locations put forward by TIGS. Our focus on Monday however will be on caring for our students and ensuring that they feel safe at their school.
TIGS continues to be an inclusive school which does not advocate homophobic behaviour. We seek an immediate bipartisan approach to the establishment of laws which foster freedom of religion without the need for discrimination. This will allow the School to continue to operate as a caring and inclusive community based on Christian principles."
Media Release - 08/11/18
A Message from the Principal - 1/11/2018
There have been comments made on Social Media and in the press regarding our School’s position on inclusion at TIGS. I want to take this opportunity to clarify our School’s position. But first I need to say something about the broader context.On 25 October 2018, Principals and Heads of Anglican Schools in the Greater Sydney and Illawarra regions including TIGS, signed an open letter to all Members of the Parliament of Australia. The letter petitioned Members of Parliament to maintain existing provisions for faith-based Schools which have historically enabled Principals to lead their Schools according to the ethos of their faith. The petition is an appeal to allow us to continue our practice of inclusion based on our Christian beliefs and to ensure that all staff continue to support the values and ethos of the School.Unfortunately, many have assumed the letter was questioning the place of gay staff and students in Anglican Schools. While the letter was not about this at all, it has become the issue and needs a response.I would like to reassure all students and parents that comments about the tenure of staff or the enrolment of students being threatened because of their sexual orientation do not apply to The Illawarra Grammar School. In my experience, I have not encountered a school where such discrimination occurs and it would certainly not be consistent with our values.At TIGS every member of the community is loved and valued for who they are. Our values have long been upheld and expressed in the way that we work together as a community, care for each other and support those in need. We aim to live the values of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love in all that we do. This has been our history and it will continue to be our future. "
Mrs Judi Nealy
A Message from the Principal
To lead a school like The Illawarra Grammar school is indeed a great privilege. From the day our school opened its doors on 3 February 1959, TIGS has had an uncompromising commitment to its students – that each child will be encouraged to be the best they can be in all they do.
Our responsibility as educators is to prepare young people for their lives after school as adults in a world characterised by unpreceded rates of change. Technological advancement, globalisation as well as significant political and economic change means that their social and professional futures will be very different from previous generations and will be more mobile and globally connected than ever before. Schools must respond to this future reality for their students.
I am very proud that at TIGS we continue to embrace these challenges through our clear focus on teaching and learning, the embedding of wellbeing for our students and staff enabling them to achieve their best, our attention to staff development and through our review and further enhancement of our learning environments. Our current Strategic Vision and accompanying master plan for our site, TIGS21, place us in a strong position to continue to meet the challenge of educating young people into the future.
It is a huge privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility for educating young people. At TIGS we are focussed on providing relevant and enriching learning that equips students with the contemporary skills, essential knowledge and underpinning values needed to shape their future and contribute meaningfully to both local and global communities. We are proud to observe our Alumni leaving TIGS and operating as next-generation thinkers, innovators and creators.
The School Motto, “from strength to strength” captured the intention of our founding families in 1959 and today this is expressed through the Statement of Mission and its three Core Values:
“The achievement of academic excellence in a caring environment that is founded on Christian belief and behaviour, so that students are equipped to act with wisdom, compassion and justice as faithful stewards of our world.”
TIGS community welcomes students and families that share these values and we look forward to the achievements of our next 50 years - maintaining the traditions of the past while applying the School’s values to the opportunities and challenges of the future. I warmly encourage you to join us for an information session or tour to see for yourself what TIGS has to offer your son or daughter.
Mrs Judi Nealy