To My students.

‘Honour the past and own the future’

Welcome back Year 7. Today you and I both begin our journey at Marsden. I don’t know which of us is more excited.

I know I am excited and I  guarantee you are also.

Welcome back to the year of 2011. The year of the Flood. I extend my heartfelt wishes to all students and their families who may have been effected by the tragic scenes in early January. Thank you to all those who, I know have in some small way have given assistance to those that have been in dark times due to devastation caused by the swelling waters.

What is memorable for me, is the way in which, no matter how small, people helped to make a difference to those who were worst hit by the event. As a collective, everyone’s  small part added to the  huge, overwhelming positive difference. You would have seen how kids were helping, the boy holding the sign.. free BBQ for all helpers.. his own little job to hold that sign so the helpers knew where to get their food.

With this I welcome all back, to be part of making a overwhelming positive difference at Marsden High School, no matter how small the part you play…we are powerful together.

We are both joining a fabulous school with a proud tradition of great learning in all areas. Marsden is “learning for life”.

More than 740,000 students start back at 2,231 NSW public schools from Monday, 31 January. What makes me most proud is we are an INCLUSIVE SCHOOL public school. We do not exclude, like our exclusive private schools do.  You are welcome, no matter what culture, religion, gender, ability, or socio-economic background you come from. We are a proudly inclusive school.

” Its all about learning”

The most important thing… is that we ensure that we are focussed on that Main Game.. .which is learning.

” Your  Learning and the learning of your fellow year 7 students”. We are not a car factory, or a fruitshop..or a manufacturing company…,we are a school… our business is “learning”… is as diverse as..learning  how to ” surf the net for connections about the flood, or how to spell … complex words, write a persuasive speech or complete a layup in basketball” it all adds to our learning. So, if i ask you what you have learnt today.. have an answer ready, because.. although I have … literally been at school all my life..(loved every minute of it)  I still learn something new everyday, which adds to who I am. So now, I want to learn all your names.. but give me a couple of weeks.

Thank you and Welcome  parents.. your parents are now my partners in your future.. Together  we will help make the best opportunities for you and your future. I look forward to building that partnership. Welcome to all new parents to Marsden.

Lastly, I want to tell you a quick story…

about a how it is important it is to the do the right thing and sometimes we have to remind our friends to do the same. A man was sitting on the bus reading his newspaper, all of a sudden from behind came this barrage of loud swearing from a mid twenties guy reading the sports section, mainly the loud comments were about the footy and footy players and how they couldn’t play.. how the coach was hopeless .. etc. It went on for a while, now the first gentle man was finding it hard to keep his place while reading.. everytime he would begin to read, the man behind would let out a loud comment. This went on for more than half the trip.. .. the first man.. was beside himself.. by this time.. so enough was enough.. so he turned around and in his nicest, kindest voice.. he said..”hey old chap.. do you reckon you could keep it down a bit!”  the Loud man.. just looked at the first man and SAID..looking rather embarrassed..”ah sorry mate….yep no worries” …and he then looked back down and didn’t say another word for the rest of the bus trip..

Sometimes we just have to tell our friends.. nicely.. that what their doing is not quite right .. and sometimes.. that is all we need is a little reminder and a redirection.. look after each other… that is important.

Martin Luther King.. said..

The greatest tragedy  of social change is not the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Have a great first Day Year 7. Welcome!


No one told the cow he couldn't swim like a dolphin!


Principal of a fantastic secondary public school where our young people enliven their dreams through a growth mindset to fulfil their potential. Focussed on leadership that makes a difference in my school.

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