“Be positive, communicate clearly, keep learning and support your peers” – these were key components of good leadership, the State’s former, and longest serving Governor, Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir offered to students at The Armidale annual speech day on 4 December.
Professor Bashir (as she prefers to be known) reflected on what had inspired her own journey from Narrandera in regional NSW, and told the boys, parents and friends of the school that she was convinced the current crop of Australian youth had what it took to provide critical leadership on the world stage.
“Australia is in a critical position to be in what I like to think of as the conductor of the Asia-Pacific Orchestra, and that will require good leadership. This will require scholastic ability and intellectual development, an understanding of the importance of the arts, loyalty and friendship are all aspects of leadership.”
Professor Bashir said in developing leadership it was important to be positive and treat others with respect, which will be reciprocated, and be careful to ensure communications are open and clear, “even when they have to be negative.”
“Never gossip or share confidences about a colleague – it can be misquoted and damage trust. Keep learning. Keep up your interests, in sport or music, all those things that we all need to look forward to after a busy week – and never, ever smoke.”
“As the school tag line says, explore, experience, and excel – I think TAS boys are destined to do all of those things, and you’ve certainly been given a great start in life to do that.”
Headmaster Murray Guest told those gathered there had been tremendous growth in the sense of community, both within TAS itself from Old Boys, parents and friends of the school, but also the broader community of Armidale and the region.
“What I have seen as a strengthening of relationships in our community and increased engagement of our students in worthwhile activities is positive and important, but it is not necessarily a natural development in today’s world and it is easy to argue that it is running against the tide of societal change,” he said.
This understanding reinforces the importance of the school taking responsibility for engaging our students with activities that see them physically active and socially engaged with one another. I am pleased to say that at TAS this is getting better, not worse, and there is no sign that the enthusiasm for sport, outdoor and physical activities is doing anything but growing.”
In thanking staff for their efforts, Mr Guest paid special tribute to retiring teachers Keith Brown after 32 years at TAS, and Ralph Hunt, who signs off after service of 41 years at TAS – more than a third of its history. During his time at TAS Mr Hunt had many roles, including Housemaster, English and Middle School teacher and coordinator of the English Language Centre, utilised by the school’s overseas students.
“Service such as this leaves its mark on a school and literally thousands of students will remember their greater contribution to the broader life of the school.”
For photos from Speech Day click on the image below.