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Principal Address 2014


Principal Address at the 2014 Badge Ceremony:

Welcome to Cleveland District State High’s Badge Ceremony for 2014

This is a significant occasion in the life of our school. We meet here today to formally induct our school leaders; to recognise those who have been chosen as school captains, Year 7 and 8 representatives, members and executive of our student councils, house captains and also our seniors who represent all that we want our students to be.

Each and every one of you has much to offer our school this year.

I congratulate you, our senior leaders on the great work that has already occurred in preparation for 2014.  Your efforts have already showed us a glimpse of what is possible. Your work last year as year 11 representatives helping to make the Cleveland Flying start program one of the best in Queensland and your continued work with these students in year 8 as well as helping the transition to High school for the new 130 students in year 8.  The senior leadership camp at the end of last year was a great success as was the school swimming carnival where you led the way in good spirit. Some of you have already participated in a month long cultural tour of Europe showing great maturity and resilience.

We have the highest of expectations of you. Most of you began this journey at Cleveland High 4 years ago and we have been excited about what you might achieve as you progressed from year 8 to year 12.

Some of you have been selected for positions of great responsibility in our school.  I am confident that our students and staff have chosen wisely.

You are here firstly because others have seen something special in you, they have recognized and wish to encourage your leadership abilities. Second and more importantly, you have seen something within yourselves.

Shortly, our 2010 school captain Chloe will talk to about leadership and her perceptions as a senior leader. I will confine my remarks to all of our seniors and the importance of making the most of every opportunity in the year ahead.

No one wants to be standing here in November and regretting what might have been. As I told you on day 1 you had 190 school days to go to the end of year 12, you now have 173.

How do you make the most of the little time you have left? How do you avoid standing here in November regretting lost opportunities?

It is quite simple and you have all heard it before.

Work hard, have fun, help each other.

Working hard doesn’t mean doing the same things the same way as you always have

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”

You need to think differently and do some things differently

A father had 17 camels and when he passed away, he left them to his three sons. The will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given a third.  The youngest son should be given one ninth of the 17 camels. As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other.

So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man.

The wise man listened patiently to the details about the will.  After giving the matter some thought, he brought one camel of his own and added it to the original 17, increasing the total to 18 camels. Then he started reading the deceased father’s will again.

Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels.

1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels.

1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.

There was one camel left, which the wise man took back.

When confronted with a challenging problem, remember the 18th camel and try to come up with an innovative solution.

Don’t be frightened to have a go.

Fear of failure is one of the most restricting phobias we can have. I’ve heard people frighten people by saying failure is not an option. What nonsense

Of course failure is an option. Without failure there isn’t any success

Failure is a very real option and an underestimated one.

Being afraid of failure limits our capacity to take risks, try new things and learn from our mistakes.

As I considered this, I came across a few quotes that make this point better than I can, so here are a few quotes about failure:

 “Success means going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

 “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

“Failure doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, it just means that you haven’t succeeded yet.”

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  Michael Jordan

Let me encourage you today to take more risks, to not be afraid of failure but to be drawn forward by a compelling set of goals that get your heart racing and your spirit soaring.

Failure is an option.  And it’s an inevitability for anyone who’s doing anything worthwhile.  Everyone one of you is capable of succeeding

Never, ever let someone else diminish you, your dreams, and your ambitions.

I remember reading in a child’s story book once a short poem:

Listen to the mustn’t, child.

Listen to the don’ts.

Listen to the shouldn’t, the impossible, the won’ts.

Listen to the never haves, then most of all listen close to me…

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

It reminds me of the choice we have about who to listen to.

There will be those who will be happy to remind you of what you can’t do.

They will tell you to accept it, live with it, that this is as good as it gets, so stop dreaming and don’t aspire to anything more.

These people feel trapped themselves and would prefer it if everyone else was too.

And there are those who will encourage and inspire you to be the best that you can be, who truly believe that near enough is never good enough

Every one of you is capable of success, is capable of having a great year and being in control of your own choices next year and beyond.

Muhammad Ali perhaps the greatest athlete of the 20th century put it very simply

If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you

Set yourself specific goals, in each of your subjects, work out where you want to be, what you need to improve to get there and have a clear plan of how to succeed.

Small continuous focussed improvement every single day, your personal Kaizen

Zig Ziegler reminds us “People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing and that’s why we recommend it daily”.

This is why we insist on small continuous focussed improvement every single day.

So I ask you to think differently, work hard, learn from failure, have fun, help each other.

A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.

  • Who are you helping and encouraging so that they can go further than they could imagine?

  • Who’s helping and encouraging you?

  • and above all don’t be frightened to have a go.

Cervantes, the creator of Don Quixote reminds us to see the world not as it is but as how we want it to be.

Cervantes said “Perhaps to be too practical is madness, to surrender dreams, this may be madness, to seek treasures when there is only trash, too much sanity may be madness and madness of all to be content with life as it is and not see it as it should be”.

I urge you make sure that in 173 days’ time you can look back on 2014 and know that you have done the best that you could do.

My parting wish for you as leaders is that you will develop your fine madness, in seeing life not as it is but as it should be.

Inspire others to Dream more, do more and become more