FROM THE SENIOR SCHOOL

DATE

8 September, 2023

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How do your experiences shape your perspectives?

Student Executive members Geremie Antypas and Tom Hawkins addressed the Senior School assembly this week and challenged us all with this question. Their insights were very thought-provoking and some of their ideas are shared here.

In 1968, William Anders, an astronaut on the Apollo 8 mission, was a part of the crew that became the first to venture beyond low Earth orbit. Alongside Jim Lovell and Frank Borman, they were the first people to explore the moon, and spent 20 hours in lunar orbit. Following this adventure, Anders later said, and I quote, “we came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing that we discovered, was the Earth.”

This story shows that Anders, Lovell and Borman gained new perspective from their experience. They saw the Earth in a way that no one had before, as an insignificant part of an endless universe, and it impacted their worldviews, beliefs, and values. For William Anders, the leadup to this change in perspective involved travelling 384,000 kilometres from planet earth.

Geremie: For me, growing up in a Greek household amidst an Aussie environment has been the major influence on my values and beliefs. Experiencing traditional Greek culture and a real sense of mateship in Tassie’s great outdoors, has broadened my experiences, allowing me to channel the best of both worlds. This unique blend of cultures and environments has granted me a more wholesome, fulfilled perspective on my everyday life.

Tom: This is just my second year at Scotch Oakburn, as all of my high school education had been at Kings Meadows High School. For the last year and a half, people have told me how much better off I’d have been if I came here sooner. It has now become apparent that during those years of my public schooling, the opportunities provided to students at Scotch Oakburn were far more extensive than those provided to my peers and me at Kings Meadows, but I don’t think that this is entirely true. Those four years at Kings Meadows gave me something far more valuable than I could ever have realised at the time – perspective.

Geremie: Perspective gives us the ability to consider other experiences, beliefs and points of view and this provides us with greater empathy. Perhaps most importantly for all of us, perspective can give us the ability to state just how lucky and privileged most of us are. The opportunities we have here at Scotch Oakburn are insurmountable when compared to many other schools around the country, and it is something that is difficult to recognise sometimes.

Tom: It was the experiences I shared with my friends from Kings Meadows and the involvements I had at the school that have now given me a new perspective. This is why I think the years that I spent in high school were so beneficial to me, as it shows me how lucky I am here, and the highlights the head start I get from going to a school such as this. Many of you will also have had experiences that have given you a similar perspective, whether it stems from travel, charity work or venturing to another school or community, exposing you to a whole new atmosphere.

Geremie: Perspective is powerful but sometimes leads to your brain playing tricks on you and perceiving your experiences in a way that urges you to dislike the person that you are. It is not weird, and you’re not alone, and when you’re trapped in this mindset, it’s very easy to view changing the perspective you have of yourself as something that is impossible. If your experiences shape your perspective’s, then what experience is necessary to free your mind of this negative thinking? Well let me share with you a momentary redefinition of self that if anyone here today can take any value from, we will be satisfied.

It is as simple as:

  • do a hard thing, and practise being completely calm doing it
  • because if you can practise calm in the face of chaos you are mastering yourself.
  • When you deliberately do the difficult, the intolerable becomes tolerable, the negatives become positives, distressful becomes joyful and your perception of yourself is redefined.
  • The only lasting change is self-change, and it all starts as soon as you decide to experience a change in perspective.

Tom: So, fall in love with the life that you have, but never guilt yourself for feeling unhappy, because that does not mean you are ungrateful, it simply means you are human.

We challenge you to expose yourself to a new environment. Gain a new perspective, because it might just make all the difference. So, let us ask you once more.

“How do your experiences shape your perspectives?”

Geramie Antypas and Tom Hawkins
Year 12

Girls Engineering the Skies

On Tuesday 5 September, Tristar hosted an aviation themed STEM day at the Launceston Airport aimed at girls in Years 8-10, who may be interested in pursuing a career in aviation.

Our students joined students from 3 other schools to learn about the career opportunities available in Airport Operations, Aviation Rescue Firefighting as well as hearing from a Pilot,  the RFDS and Ambulance Tas.  After morning tea, they toured the Sharp Airlines Maintenance facilities, to learn about the range of careers associated with aircraft maintenance as well as having a tour of the aircraft and career conversations with one of the Sharp Pilots.

Participating students also took part in an aviation challenge “Cool Aeronautics,” where they designed, made and then launch aircraft as part of a small competition with representatives from the Royal Aeronautical Society.  Our students did an amazing job and managed to get their aircraft to fly the furthest!

Special thanks to Tristar, Launceston Airport, Sharp Airlines, the RFDS and the Royal Aeronautical Society for putting on a great day, as well as Ms Gard and Mrs Catchlove-Owen for supervising our students across the day.

We look forward to taking the opportunity to be part of similar events in the future.

Teresa Darcy
Careers Adviser

Chess Grand Master in the making

Year 9 student, Himash Keerthiratne, was recently awarded the Glenn Gibbs Memorial Award by the Tasmanian Chess Association. This award is presented to the best Tasmanian junior chess player (Under 18) each year and recognises achievements that have occurred in both 2022 and 2023.

Last year Himash placed well in many tournaments including winning the state Under 14 Junior Chess Title and he had the best Tasmanian performance in the 2023 Australian Junior Chess Championships held in Melbourne in January this year.

Himash also achieved best junior in the Tasmanian State Championships and 1st place again in the Northern Champions Lightning in the Open category.

Along with these state and national achievements, Himash has also represented Scotch Oakburn College successfully by winning many interschool tournaments.

We congratulate Himash on these significant achievements.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School