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I understand that with age, time seems to accelerate and disappear rapidly. But where have the last seven years gone?

In that time, over 600 students have graduated from Year 12 and many have completed their undergraduate degrees. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a small influence on the lives of these fine young people and the same for the 700 young people who remain a part of the school community today! That is the privilege of my role.

I must be getting old, as occasionally I am asked what advice I would give young people finishing school. There are two things I see as vital. Firstly, follow your passions, interests, and dreams, especially while you are young. You can make them a reality, potentially make them a career, enjoy and be enriched by the process and experience.

Secondly, choose people who are 10-15 years older than you, who are doing things you admire or that interest you. Look at how they got to be who they are and check if you are ‘on track’. By that I mean, look at who they are, consider their relationships and how they manage those relationships. Look at their skills (yes, the 6Cs). These relationships and skills transcend time and will create opportunities for you as sociable, articulate, resilient, and self-confident person.

For parents, do not do too much for your children. It is your and our job, the older generation, to transfer skills, train and create opportunities for the young to thrive. It is the job of the younger generation to work hard, to learn, and apply themselves. To achieve a personal best!

I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to you all for your support, trust, and collegiality over my seven years at TKS. The parent community of TKS is almost invariably supportive and trusting of the professional skills of the staff, including me.

A special thank you and acknowledgement to those parents I have worked closely with over my time here.

Working with you all has been a wonderful culmination for my career, drawing together many experiences and learnings accumulated over decades. Our strategy is correct, personalised learning is the way of preparing your children, our students for the complex, rapidly changing and ambiguous world in which we all live.

While we can intellectually discern that the world has changed since our own childhood days, and even acknowledge it is a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world our young people will enter, I cherish the trust you have placed in me to lead the development of the best ways to prepare young people for that world.

It has become clear that many schools are now beginning to understand this need and I am pleased that your children have a substantial head start.

We have collectively achieved much. Our broader community tends to hold a simplistic view of leadership that tends towards leader as hero or villain. The reality, as we all know, is very different. We are only as good as the teams and community around us and for me, you, the parents, the staff, and the students have been fantastic. Thank you!

I have visited and know hundreds of schools and I know that TKS is in good hands at the governance and operational levels. I will watch with interest and perhaps a small degree of smugness, the future successes of TKS, knowing I had a small part to play.

The Knox School will always be a special community for me. Your trust and support will be forever in my heart.

Go well!

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