The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

According to the dictionary, the word opportunity refers to 'a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something'. Over the last couple of weeks, I have had numerous chances to reflect upon the variety and extent of opportunities presented to our boys each and every day. Just to mention a few across the last fortnight, I have watched boys across all three sub-schools compete in sport, provide service to those less fortunate in our community, prepare and train for physically and emotionally demanding overseas service trips and participate in music soirees and productions.

Last Wednesday night I visited Moora to update a number of boarding parents on what we are currently doing at Scotch College and what are some of our plans moving forward. These gatherings provide a great opportunity for me to hear about how their sons are going in boarding and to receive feedback about our Residential Life programmes. The word opportunity came up in several conversations as the parents reflected on everything the boys were doing while in residence.

The concept of opportunity was put into context when one mum explained how she described Scotch College to her son before he started his journey. She asked him to imagine that the College represented one hundred doors that could each be opened, entered and then closed if it did not lead to what he wanted. In simple terms, she was urging her son to have a go at as much as possible while at Scotch College. Since commencing at the College I have witnessed many doors being opened and of course some being closed. The most important matter is that the boys take advantage of the vast array of academic, sporting, cultural and co-curricular programmes each and every year.

In the most recent edition of the Australian Financial Review, an article about intergenerational mobility and income equality concludes that Australia ranks behind only a handful of Scandinavian countries as a society that enables young people to earn more than their parents through opportunity and education. In preparing our boys for life it is our role to continue to provide both opportunity and education at the highest level possible.

Throughout each year I witness many great occasions of how we offer opportunity, but none more so than when the curtain lifted for the second act of the last performance of the 2018 Senior School production on Saturday night. To see the whole stage filled with just our boys delivering a simply outstanding performance of "It's all about the green". It was not the particular song that drew me in, it was the confidence, camaraderie and youthful exuberance of each and every boy as they worked as one to deliver an amazing rendition. At the production windup function, one of our Year 12s summed up how he was feeling when he thanked all of the younger boys for making this production so special for each Year 12 in this their final year of school.

Congratulations to our drama and music departments, all of our back stage and parent helpers, and to everyone who supported each boy through attending and supporting the production across the numerous performances.

Opportunity is something not lost on our graduating year of Year 12s. Over the last three weeks I have been holding Headmaster lunches with the leaving class of 2018. The insights and feedback have been simply amazing. A common thread has been the boys' reference to the opportunities they have had across their journey.

As educators and parents, let us never take for granted the opportunities we all have at Scotch College to engage in the education of our boys and support their ongoing journey.

Have a great fortnight.

Dr A J O'Connell