26 November 2018

In 2000, Sydney hosted what was arguably one of, if not the best run, summer Olympic Games. It wasn't the facilities that drew the worlds' attention, although they were great, but the level of volunteerism, friendliness and support of the people of Sydney and Australia in general. Why am I referring to an event that took place 17 years ago? The answer is simple; it is a prime example of how the commitment of people can make a difference to any group or organisation.

On 18 February our Year 12s were fortunate enough to experience a spectacular night in the form of their College Ball. Well done to all of the boys and their partners for simply looking a million dollars.

In the days leading up to the big night many parent volunteers, through their own hard work and dedication, ensured that our boys and their partners would have a fantastic experience. Just like Sydney, our venue, themed as Oceania, was wonderful. However, it was the spirit of the parent and student volunteers that carried the night. In particular, I would like to thank Carol Evans, Lisa Reynolds and the Ball Committee and all other volunteers for the many hours of work and dedication that went into ensuring the Ball was a huge success. Likewise, a big thanks to all of the staff who attended to support our boys and celebrate in their special night.

Speaking of volunteering and community support, on Tuesday 21 February, a small bit of history will be made at Scotch. It is the first meeting of our new parent body 'Scotch Parents'. I have been asked to address the gathering and I am looking forward with great optimism and excitement as we commence this new era in parent support for our College. These meetings are open meetings, coming along does not mean you may be drawn onto a committee or end up with a formal role. We simply want as many parents as possible to come along and ascertain how best they can get involved in supporting their son(s) while at Scotch.

Scotch has an incredible history of parent and community participation. This has been demonstrated via the work of groups such as the Mothers Auxiliary, Scotch Auxiliary, the Parents' Association and now moving forward we will have one united group - 'Scotch Parents'. The role of this new group is to continue with 'Engaging the Community'. There is a saying that:

'Volunteers are not paid - not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless'

If you speak to anyone about our College, it is the level of community involvement that sets us apart from other places. Let's try and take this to a new level when we come together on Tuesday night to commence a new era in the participation and support of parents at Scotch.

In closing I would like to thank everyone for making the start to 2017 such a smooth one and I look forward to how much we can achieve together.

Have a great fortnight

Dr Alec J O'Connell