Headmaster's Weekly Address

Dear Parents,

Our celebration of Debating and Public Speaking in our Centenary took the form of the Great Debate, held last week. It was a statement of the health and current popularity of this important St Kevin’s activity that our venue had to change from the Ruby Tout Theatre to Smith Hall. The 600-strong adjudicating crowd, heard two outstanding teams argue the issue, ‘That more is learnt beyond the classroom than within the classroom’. Senator Scott Ryan (SKC 1990), Tim McDonald (SKC 2011) and Patrick Tellefson (Captain of Debating 2018), argued the affirmative. Mr Shaun Micallef (SKC parent), Mr Ray D’Cruz (SKC 1990) and Mr Luke Macaronas (SKC 2016), opposed the motion. Our Director of Studies, Mr Gary Jones, adroitly and wittily moderated the event. Debate continued even after the result was awarded to the negative case!

In my brief introduction, we celebrated the 1918 speech delivered by Walter Butler at the end of Term 1, 1918, in the Cathedral Hall, Fitzroy, entitled, ‘Education and its value’. The 2003, 2013, 2014 and 2016 DAV A Grade wins were noted, as was the 1931 League of Nations state title team, when Senator Jim McLelland and Mr Bob Santamaria were two of the victorious team. I find it remarkable to ponder on these two powerful intellects sharing a platform, who, in their adult lives, took such different positions on many issues. Ms Kelly Gallivan, as TIC of Debating, and Mr Tom Lane, TIC of Public Speaking, continue a great tradition of large student involvement in rhetoric. I have no doubt debating teaches intellectual nimbleness, the ability to express complex material clearly, and the ear to listen carefully to what others say.

Five of our six winter sports concluded for secondary boys last weekend. Our Basketballers secured the premiership, with all other senior teams placed well on their respective ladders. Our senior Rugby teams finished their seasons top of the table, won their semi-finals last weekend and play finals this weekend at Xavier College. My thanks to all colleagues for their involvement in organising and coaching teams. I know proper and appropriate thanks will be forthcoming at the Presentation Evenings.

The College extends congratulations to the 18 students who were confirmed last Friday evening at St Ignatius Richmond. On Tuesday evening, we hosted the third of our Albert Street Lectures, with Father Timothy Radcliffe OP, as our speaker. Father Timothy is such an erudite, faith-filled and challenging preacher. His address was thought-provoking, realistic and, as one colleague described it, a ‘tonic’ in hard times. His view, that so often from crisis comes genuine reform and growth, was heartening and hopefully prophetic. Mr Michael McGirr was an excellent Master of Ceremonies.

Our Year 9 students and staff have returned from their RICE expeditions. It is a magnificent program, providing physical challenge, deep learning and enhancement to so many SKC relationships. This year we had boys travel to Hinchinbrook in Queensland, Lake Argyle in Western Australia, the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, Mt Barney in Queensland, Flinders Ranges in South Australia, Ramingining in the Northern Territory, the Snowy Mountains in NSW, sailing around Tasmania, and experiencing the Wet Tropics and Whitsundays in Queensland. The boys seemed to walk that little bit taller when I visited them on Wednesday morning at Waterford. My thanks to all the Waterford staff for their involvement, to Mrs Power, our Dean of Mission for the development of her sea legs, and to our Outdoor Education Department’s Mr David Howard (Head of Outdoor Education) and Mr Cameron Williams for all the planning and training of boys and staff.

Kind regards,

Stephen Russell