It is a great honour and a privilege to have been commissioned as Principal at Sapphire Coast Anglican College. Those who had the vision, drive and talents on which this wonderful College was founded, back in 1994, are still deeply immersed in its daily life, which makes setting out on a leadership journey here a humbling and slightly daunting prospect. However, the warmth and sincerity of the welcome amidst the beauty of the Bega Valley and surrounding districts has equipped me with the confidence and momentum I need to work with the entire College community, as we strive to honour rich traditions while setting bold, ambitious goals for the future.
In my Commissioning speech I reflected briefly on my childhood, back in the United Kingdom:
‘Spiritual moments there were aplenty, often at times and in places those who I regarded as ‘cheated’ – those growing up in grimy, noisy towns and cities – might be surprised by. I thought of myself as being connected, distantly, to God staring at impossibly blue summer skies atop a rickety trailer of hay bales, rolling and swaying, sometimes alarmingly, like a Spanish galleon with rather too many sails aloft; or exploring damp, musty, ancient woodlands with our trusty Labrador. More conventionally, at the tiny church of St Mary in the nearest village, I loved my choir boy days, belting out hymns and Christmas carols, especially the annual responsibility of being a one-verse-soloist as Melchior, Casper or Balthasar as one of the ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’!’
A childhood in a remote, rural area, not vastly different to the Bega Valley, although almost exactly half a world away, provided so many opportunities to experience God’s goodness and, I hope, shaped me as a person who is well-suited to the challenge of Principal of Sapphire Coast Anglican College.’
As my first term as Principal draws towards a close, as all good schools do, we are busy planning for the next term, and beyond. Indeed, a date for ‘Christmas by Candlelight’ at St John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Bega has been set; and while still months hence, no doubt the occasion will be upon us in a flash! I look forward to many, many memorable moments in the years to come.
by David Proudlove
Picture above: Leonie Harwood (Principal of Burgmann), Darren McPartland (Principal of SPAC), David Proudlove and Jay Trevaskis (SCAC Deputy Principal)