President and in his speech that year he referred to the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. Ironically last year, after the year we had had, it felt amiss not to reference the well-known proverb and tonight in my last BBSC P&C President address I would once again like to mention it again because being a part of the BBSC P&C has been the village where I, being an immigrant, met new people, kept up to date on the happenings of the College and it helped me take an active role in my children's education of which I am proud. Afterall, the human voice is the instrument we all play so joining this “choir" is a win-win situation for all.
The role of the P&C is multifaceted - in a nutshell we are a conduit between the parent community and the school, but to be honest, we're so much more than that. We work closely with the Principal and the teachers to determine the needs of the school and we aid – often financial – to help the school obtain what they need. Sometimes it's visible, such as funding the work for the Drop, Stop and Go shelter, but sometimes it's not as visible. I am aware that P&Cs are often viewed as just a fundraising organisation, and the reality is that we do some fundraising (although our fundraising wings have been clipped due to Covid the last two years), but it's always for a worthwhile cause – our children.
Our big capital works project in 2021, thanks to securing $35 000 in Gambling Community Benefit Fund Round 108, was the undercover STOP, DROP and GO area for the students out the front of the school. At a cost of approximately $85 000k it was a big capital project, but it will our students protection from the natural elements year round for years to come, when they get to school or while they wait for their transport in the afternoons. The P&C also provided financial support tor the College Wellbeing programs, Sports, Chaplaincy Dinner, Annual Awards Evening, and Year 12 Formal to support a wide variety of students and programs as possible.
However, none of this would be possible without the amazing staff who work tirelessly in the Canteen and Uniform shop under the leadership of Christie Ryan, our Operations Manager. She has ensured there are Covid safe practices in the canteen and uniform shop, provided amazing healthy food options and is always searching and implementing new menu items for special days. Christie, you are a pleasure to work with, and on behalf of the P&C I thank you and your team for all you do for BBSC.
I'd further like to extend my thanks to the Executive Committee: Gretchen Mander-Jones, Mike Worton and Julie Aldridge who have always been strong advocates of the P&C, supported me fully, and ensured our focus is always what is best for the students at the College – without your support and commitment to your roles I wouldn't have coped as well as I did. To the regular attendees to the meetings we've always enjoyed a fantastic working relationship, and this is something that truly benefits the College. And to everyone that has helped in any way on the P&C this year or years past, thank you!
Then an extra special “Thank you" must go to the amazing staff of BBSC under the leadership of Jeff Barnett, who have guided us through these challenging times ensuring our children have adapted well to the “new normal". I think quite a few of us now really understand the importance of teachers to our children, and of course us as parents.
To the 2021 Seniors you have showed resilience, spirit, and great leadership in your final two years of schooling – as a senior you have only ever known education under this “new normal". We wish you every success in your future endeavours and we look forward to hearing about your outstanding achievements in the years to come.
Lastly, the BBSC P&C will see a number of changes going forward – after 7 years in the role of President, I will be stepping down from my role, one that I have enjoyed but I know that we have wonderful parents and new members who will step up and lead BBSC into the next decade. I encourage as many parents as possible to get involved, come in and make a difference. The truth is that I joined the P&C under some duress, but I consider it one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I'll leave you with the words of Dalai Lama – “there are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is yesterday and the other tomorrow. So today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live". And as Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world" – I know 7 years ago I did just that, and you can too – “Dare to be Wise".