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“Practicing the technique of savouring intensifies and lengthens positive emotion. That makes for wonderful days and afterglows.”
– Martin Seligman

Over the past few days, I have been trying to put into practice what Dr Seligman explains. My Commissioning on Friday was a highlight and in savouring this moment thought I would share my words from the ceremony:

When I heard that the date was set for this Commissioning, I immediately wanted to turn into a turtle and retract my head into my shell. Because I have been known to get quite embarrassed when I am being spoken about.

I then thought about it some more and I realised that wasn’t necessary, because while it is the Principal’s Commissioning, I don’t actually feel like this event is about me; it is the story of all of the people sitting in the room and a new beginning for our School.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported me, including (in no particular order)

  • My family, my number one supporters and support.
  • Colleagues from my previous schools Geelong Grammar and Trinity Grammar. They are the people who bring collegiality to working in schools and keep us all going and helping me to always enjoy my journey.
  • The former Principals and Leadership members of this School and Principals from other schools who I now get to acknowledge proudly as my colleagues.
  • Former students that continue to return to this wonderful School and celebrate their connections.
  • Members of Parliament, of committees and community members from Sale and across Gippsland, which is a place my family and I have grown to love in such a short space of time and where we feel completely at home.
  • Gippsland Grammar’s Leadership Team and Board, who are an amazing group of people to collaborate and work with.
  • The staff, both teaching and non-teaching. I could not ask to work with a more welcoming, kind and dedicated group of people.
  • With no disrespect to the people in positions of leadership I’ve already mentioned as well as, of course, the Bishop, I turn my attention and gratitude to the most important people … our students. What an outstanding group of young people that will continue to grow and make a positive contribution to our world through our guidance.

For me the appointment as Principal is an alignment of the School values with my own and I sincerely believe that we are a perfect fit.

I asked to have some words for the gospel of Matthew as part of the Commissioning proceedings, which are:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

I am so very excited for the future of our School and look forward to the service I can provide to you all and our community. As a cohesive team, I am confident that we will do great things.”

Some final housekeeping: this Term’s edition of Veritas has just been published, which you can read here:
Sometimes it feels like our terms whiz by in the blink of an eye which is why I love taking a moment to reflect on what we have learnt, achieved and celebrated over the past 10 weeks. My favourite story in this edition is the reflection on the colour green and how it represents so many things within our School Community.

And finally, in Term 2 our newsletters will be published in Week 3 (Friday May 12) and Week 9 (Friday June 23).

Michele Wakeham