From the Principal
Dear Parents and Carers
On Wednesday 2 September we celebrated Founders’ Day. It was a great sadness not be able to have parents, carers and other visitors with us on the day. Please find my Founders’ Day Speech below:
Good morning everyone. Welcome to our Founders’ Day Service for 2020.
We are so fortunate to be able to gather together today. Many schools across the country are still having virtual assemblies, worship services, reflections and virtual celebrations. Schools in Victoria are still delivering online lessons, indeed I have spoken with the Principals of our Anglican Schools Commission schools in Wangaratta and Cobram, where they are so looking forward to a time when they can welcome students back to some degree of normality; while Trinity in Albury (which is in New South Wales) until this week was having difficulty getting some staff and students across the border from its twin town, Wodonga (which is in Victoria) to attend school on a daily basis. We certainly experienced disruption when we were teaching and learning from home, and that uncertainty and disruption continues for many not only in our country, but across the globe. And so we give thanks to be able to gather together to celebrate our past and present; we give thanks for the opportunity to draw closer to one another as a school community and gain a greater sense of belonging to our School.
This year as a School we celebrate our 29th Anniversary! Since the small beginnings in 1991, our school has grown to have fantastic facilities, expansive recreational spaces (with the building of our new double court gymnasium hopefully commencing later this year), diverse programmes and a strong reputation for academic, pastoral, cultural and sporting excellence.
As the School has grown, so too have our traditions; one of which we honour today – the tradition of giving to those less fortunate than we are. It has been such a pity that our Houses were not able to fundraise for their chosen charities on their traditional House Days, but some have been able to work around that through the nature of what they were collecting, such as Gordon House’s collection of food and warm winter gear for HALO and the Primary Schools’ collection for the Peel Community Kitchen, and Founders’ Day gives us a further opportunity to practise our tradition of caring for others. The Houses are fundraising for the following today:
- Arnold – Compassion International and the Smith Family
- Barrett – Ronald McDonald
- Ellis – K9 Rescue
- Gordon – HALO
- Jamieson – Peel Youth Medical Service
- Rose – Variety, the Children’s Charity (WA)
It makes me so proud that the students of Frederick Irwin Anglican School are so caring and kind.
Another aspect of the School’s growing traditions is that now we have many students who are the children of Old Scholars or Alumni as second generation enrolments of our School; in fact two of the students graduating from Year 12 in 2020 have parents who were in the very first class to graduate from Frederick Irwin in 1996 – Noah Carmody whose father is Mr Israel Carmody and Hannah Benson whose mother is Mrs Kate Benson (nee Harris). We also have a large number of staff members who are themselves Alumni of the School, ex-students who so valued their time here as students that they wanted to pay it forward to the next and future generations of students: in Primary at Meadow Springs there are Mrs Cate Rayner, Miss Sophie Jones, Miss Kara McShane, Miss Jessica Walmsley and Miss Molly Cave; at our Halls Head campus we have Mrs Bianca Baker; in Secondary we have Mr Israel Carmody, Mr Nat Carmody and Mrs Holly de Jonge (who used to be a Carmody); Mr Jarrad Coxon, Mrs Jade Crichton; Mrs Brianna Jones (who is on Maternity Leave) and one of our Music Tutors, Miss Zoe McGivern; while on our support staff we have Mrs Sally Scholfield, Mrs Sky Kettle, Ms Amber Carton and Ms Skye Pember. Ms Pember is a Foundation student of the School, being one of the 175 students to commence in 1991; while, as already indicated, Mr Israel Carmody was in the class of 1996, which was the first group of Year 12s to complete their schooling at Frederick Irwin.
So many Irwinians have also gone on to do wonderful things beyond Frederick Irwin after making their mark here. Just so you, our present students, will go on to build on what you have learnt here and do interesting, even amazing, things in the future. Each generation builds on the traditions of the generation before. And thus you too, whether as a student or a staff member or both, will leave a legacy at Frederick Irwin Anglican School, just as the Founders of our School and the staff and students of the past left a rich legacy for us.
I remind you of the African proverb that states: ‘If we stand tall it is only because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors’. We stand tall because we stand on the shoulders of our Founders and those who have gone before us; and those who follow you will stand tall because of the strong heritage they inherit also from you.
I want to thank all of you for the part you are now playing in the development of our School. Thank you for the positive spirit, enthusiasm and care that you show towards one another in both good times and in this particularly challenging time. Thank you for welcoming newcomers, for being inclusive, and for giving generously to those in need. Thank you all, staff and students, for the wonderful manner in which you have met the difficulties that 2020 has thrown at us and shown fortitude and resilience. Thank you for living out our Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Compassion and Courage.
Together we are building on tradition and continue to develop our wonderful school. Hopefully, next year when we meet together for our Founders’ Day celebration, we will be able to welcome back parents and other members of our wider school community.
A very Happy Founders’ Day to you all! ‘I am, you are, we are Irwinians!’