Celebrating the School Council
December 3, 2021
Australians don’t have a great relationship with authority. I was reminded of this recently when the Prime Minister Mr Morrison was giving a press conference to announce the introduction of stimulus grants to home renovators. He was in Googong, a suburb of Queanbeyan, and speaking to the press outside a random house in an average suburban street. Midway through the press conference the Prime Minister was interrupted by the owner of the house who told him to get off the grass. Everything that one needs to know about Australians’ relationship to authority is found there. We are egalitarian to the core.
Understanding this human instinct to eschew authority, the Bible encourages us to honour those in authority over us (e.g., Romans 13.1-7). The reason is that relationships of responsibility are a part of God’s good order. As we exercise our different roles in the various communities of which we are a part, so we contribute to the good ordering of society and the common good.
There are various levels of leadership and authority in our School ranging from the Teacher to the Stage and Department Leader to the Heads of School to the Principal. There are even authority structures within the student body as students are assigned and perform various leadership roles in the School. Each undertakes the role assigned to them for the good of our School.
An important level of leadership, authority and responsibility in our School is the School Council. The Council exists by mandate of our establishment ordinance. It exercises governance over our School. Among its various responsibilities is to ensure that our School is compliant with all government requirements and regulations. The School Council also manages the School’s finances and ensures accountability and good stewardship. These are but a few of the Council’s myriad responsibilities.
This week I was fortunate to spend some time with the School Council reflecting on and celebrating the successes of the year. I was struck anew with their dedication to our School and the seriousness with which they undertake their oversight. It is important to note that the role of Council members is a voluntary role. It is also a demanding role. There are many late-night meetings. The responsibilities are enormous. Most of our Council members have demanding jobs of their own, yet they choose as well to serve our School in a governance capacity. Some have connections to our School as parents, but not all.
This week I want to acknowledge and celebrate the work of our School Council. Their dedication goes largely unnoticed. But that doesn’t mean it is not highly valued. It is. I want to especially acknowledge the leadership of the Council Chair Professor Tony Okely. Tony’s leadership is having a significant impact on the way the School Council operates. Under Tony’s leadership the Council is working judiciously and strategically towards the advancement of our School. I am grateful for the Council’s work. I invite you to join me in honouring them for the work they do.