We have had two of three community presentations with a parental focus on doing what is best for our children, encouraging resilience, and improving their wellbeing. I was pleased to introduce well-known expert Dr Michael Carr-Gregg at his presentation Thursday 11 May, in which he firmly reinforced my last eNews comments around the appropriate usage of social media. This week it was Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project talking about wellbeing, and on Monday 18 June, it is Sonya Ryan talking about cybersafety. We thank our parents and friends who attended the first two sessions and encourage you to be at Sonya Ryan’s session, the last in this very worthwhile series. In this eNews, Grant Bock and David Wallage continue with their thoughts around student wellbeing and safety and what we can do as parents to show our support, all of which I completely endorse.

I also mentioned in my last article, we have many in our community prepared to be outstanding leaders through their actions. Looking over the history of our Sturt Grove Farm, I see many excellent examples of the School and community in action to lead the way. Westminster has long had an outstanding Agricultural Studies program, which was established in the early ‘70s by the then Head of Agriculture, Ian Young. Tapping into his extensive network, Ian clearly set up a practical operation and program to provide a comprehensive learning experience for students keen to pursue Agriculture. From that time, our on-campus farm has been aligned with industry expectations to benefit both boys and girls who undertake this important subject.

In 2018, we are even more aware of securing our position at the forefront of agricultural education, with state leading curriculum and co-curricular programs that make the most of our unique on-campus farm. If entering the School through Gate 4, you may have observed a number of exciting developments around Sturt Grove Farm (perhaps you’ve even seen our new tractor in action!). These are indicative of Westminster's plan to constantly update the Agriculture program, mirroring the industry requirements of today and anticipating future directions. Like any well managed property, available space around the farm, inside and out, must be maximised for learning effectiveness and efficiency, particularly with the growth in student interest in Agriculture over recent years. Consequently, we have been making carefully informed decisions about what older equipment and historic pieces should be kept or sold to support the future direction of the Agriculture program.

Our Head of Agriculture Sarah Truran and her team also have a substantial network of leading industry contacts, many from within our own community. We are privileged to have access to the best in the industry - to share in their valuable knowledge and expertise, and benefit from their sponsorship, the latter including the generous support provided by Thomas Foods International. To be a leader in Agriculture we need to work collaboratively with industry leaders and this is, I’m very proud to say, something we do exceptionally well at Westminster for the benefit of our students . 

Simon Shepherd