Last week, at Senior School Assembly, I asked our students who knew of or listened to Radiohead. To my surprise, a large percentage of students put their hands up!  I then referred to the following quote from Thom Yorke, the lead singer of Radiohead:

Most people gaze neither into the past nor the future; they explore neither truth nor lies. They gaze at the television.

In our Assembly, ‘their phone’ was substituted for ‘the television’ but, even with this adaption, the statement still rings true.  For many, their phone and apps have become a new reality. What was seen on TV was once believed to be the truth. However, all too often it is now what is seen on the phone that has become the ‘new’ truth. Our blind acceptance of this as a creditable and accurate source of truth has led to the burgeoning growth of fake news and subsequent confusion about what is the truth.

All of our students are encouraged to look just not into their phones, but rather at the world around them and the society they live in. They have been challenged to look for opportunities to show their strength of character and kindness, search for the truth in all the conflicting sources of information they receive, and find ways in which they can help others.

In the last few weeks, a very large number of our students have done just this with three of our Senior School Houses busy in their fundraising efforts – Jeffries through a movie night for CanTeen; Dunstan and Kelly undertaking a ‘Seacliff to Somerton Beach Stroll’ for the Patch the Heart Lion Foundation. The Year 12 students held a morning tea on Wednesday of this week raising funds for the Cancer Council, and, led by our students, our upcoming Casuals Day will raise funds for Beanies for Brain Cancer. Other Houses and cohorts in the Senior or Preparatory School have also run or will be running their own fundraisers through the year. All of these activities (and so much more) clearly show wholehearted levels of empathy and compassion from our thoughtful students, along with their preparedness to take action.  As a community, we need to commend these actions and encourage our students to continue looking for ways to contribute in a kind and useful manner.

Simon Shepherd

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