27/10/2017Principal It has been a thought provoking and emotional week for my wife and I, as indeed it has for many other parents within our community. I thoroughly enjoyed the Garnsey Spring Concert on Friday night and I congratulate Mr Goss and the Music Department for an outstanding performance. Jane and I enjoyed the performance as proud parents, watching our daughter Amy play the flute as part of the Dulcie Holland Concert Band. The sense of achievement and fulfilment she took from the experience was immeasurable and she has grown in confidence through the experience. I know that there were many proud parents watching on Friday who enjoyed the music and were thrilled with the opportunity to see their children perform. Many of our St Anne’s parents had a similar experience to ours on Thursday night during the St Anne’s Spring Concert at Garnsey Hall. These parents also watched proudly as their children performed. I know they will thoroughly enjoy the journey ahead as they watch their children develop into fine musicians during their time at the School. Every concert and soiree will provide another opportunity for growth and development. The challenge and joy that comes from each of these experiences is an important part of the holistic education our children enjoy at Gippsland Grammar. My other ‘proud parent’ moment this week was to farewell the Class of 2017 during Celebration Day on Wednesday. Over the course of my career I have farewelled twenty-seven Year 12 classes from various Schools; however, this was the first time I had farewelled my own daughter as a member of that class. It was with mixed emotions that I participated in the various activities and I struggled to hold back the tears as my daughter cried when speaking about her Mentor at morning tea. The journey of our students through the School is filled with many opportunities and milestones. As parents, we are fortunate to share some of these with our children and I recognise that I am particularly blessed to work at my children’s school. Each of these moments brings with it feelings of pride and joy as we watch the emergence of the adult from the child; there is also the sense of anxiety as we worry about them and their success. We hope and pray that everything goes well for them and we pick up the pieces when they don’t. This is our role as parents. It is an exacting role that begins with love and can also include fear and frustration - but always love. Last night I attended the Blackwood House Valedictory Dinner to farewell our Year 12 boarders. It was a wonderful evening and an opportunity to hear about the individual journey of each of these students. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the students and their parents, in particular some of those who will see their youngest child finish at Gippsland Grammar this year. These families have had a long and fulfilling relationship with the School and, while it will be sad to finish this part of it, we look forward to welcoming the students back in the future as alumni members of our School Community. I am sure that all our Class of 2017 parents have enjoyed this time of celebration with their children, at the same time wondering ‘what next’ and ‘will they succeed in their exams’. As parents, we will support them over the next few weeks, keep them fed, make them comfortable and help them to negotiate their exams. We will be forgiving when they are moody and patient when they need understanding. Ultimately, they will all achieve their best and they will all find their way forward in their chosen direction. And we will love them - always.