April 20, 2017

Address at the first full college assembly of 2016.

One reason why Newington is special is our diversity – we are so multi-cultural and multi-faith and we foster difference through our unity of purpose.

The Australian of the Year announced on Monday was Lieutenant General David Morrison – Chair of the Diversity Council Australia.

His message to the Australian army in 2013 resonated around the world. He took on the sexist attitudes of the minority of men in the army and since then the gender inequality that lies at the heart of violence against women.

These themes are part of our year 12 motto for 2016 – “Value you, support him, stand by her”.

In David Morrison’s acceptance speech on Monday night he stated;

“It is an extraordinary time to be an Australian, but I need to give it qualified agreement. For reasons beyond education and professional qualifications or willingness to contribute or a desire to be a part of our society….too many of our fellow Australians are denied the opportunity to reach their potential”.

“It happens because of their gender, because of the God they believe in, because of their racial heritage, because they’re not able bodied, because of their sexual orientation.”

I hope that our Newington education fosters every one of you to reach your potential and you do not encounter any barrier to such a pursuit. In fact I hope you receive full encouragement to be yourself at your best. I hope you encourage others.

We loathe stereotyping.

We loathe people who prevent others from being themselves at their best – in blunt terms we loathe bullies and cynics.

We set high standards on character, contribution and effort. That requires mental toughness and a huge amount of resilience.

We regularly use another David Morrison quote from his famous 2013 speech to soldiers.

“The standard you walk past are the standards you accept”.

If you see something that is not right do you turn a blind eye or do you do something about it? Newington men of substance do something about it. We want all boys to value others for whatever are their interests and pursuits, we want boys to support a mate in need and we want boys to stand by her.

I am delighted Mr David Roberts has accepted the challenge of leading the Stanmore secondary campus. His past and impressive school record highlights a man of integrity and one who insists on high standards. Mr Roberts – you join a wonderful Newington community. During the opening service you will be formally commissioned into the role. I am pleased that Reverand Niall Reid from our College Council will do the Uniting Church duties. Rev Reid is a past moderator of the Uniting Church.

Again I welcome all of you to the 2016 College year.

Dr David Mulford
28 January 2016