Before I came to Korowal, I had moved around quite a few schools- in Germany, New Zealand, and finally Australia. When I started here, I had one big aim: To see my students grow up over the years. Now I am standing next to Kirsty, one of my very first Bio students in the early days of Korowal, 1990, 27 years ago.
It is so amazing, to have witnessed our tiny school survive and prosper over the decades. There is no place like Korowal, where there is such acceptance of each other and such respect for everyone’s individuality, - including mine.
The remarkable ability of Korowal students and teachers to be accepting and supporting of each other, to support each other’s differences, not to use them for division and offence, has been wonderful to live with!
Thank you to my amazing colleagues, the kindest, most patient and supportive bunch of people I could have wished for. Thank you to the parents, who entrusted their children to me/ us and who supported the school so beautifully.
Thank you to my students, and Year 9. Human relationships are and will always be the most important ingredient of true education. No ICT will ever be able to change that. I tried my hardest to always see the IT as a tool that allows people to meet and collaborate, not isolate them from each other. Only recently, we purchased the new iMacs with the Bluetooth keyboards and mice. In other schools, they get packed away and replaced with wired peripherals, but I really wanted you to have a chance to use them and - I trusted our students’ honesty and sense of belonging -and they did not disappoint me. You know, - it is very rare to go to a school, where people can leave things of value lying around and feel confident that nothing gets stolen. Good on you!
Korowal’s philosophy was built to be the future of education, when the school started in 1978. It feels quite strange to be a carrier of history, to know as much about the school and the people as I do. – and I only know the tip of the iceberg, of course.
Triggered by all the memories that keep welling up, I have been thinking about the changes the school has gone through. Some were our own doing, others were forced upon us. Every time, we did our very best, and we survived, improved and thrived. We would not be here today without the efforts of absolutely everyone, who has been part of the school.
We would not be here without Bob, rescuing us through several massive crises as coordinator. Or Nancy, who restructured the Primary school when we hit rock bottom. Mark, who provided the wisdom and security during a phase of utter devastation and lead us to the beginning of the new Korowal, … and of course, Barb, who leads us as the big Mama with clarity, heart, and purpose!
We are creating ripples in the universe every moment, every day!
Trust of each other and compassion for our fellow human journeys and struggles are the pillars of human-centred philosophy, together with challenging each other’s boundaries. So, we can grow with each other. Some of us even have grown old with each other… I have known you for longer than even my wife!!
Many of you have asked what my future plans are, and I told you that I will go on a bike ride through South- Eastern Australia, first of all. After that, I’ll put energy into my business, and then - I’ll build an extension to our house.. I always have lots of ideas and plans. In fact, I drive my wife crazy with them!
Finally, I’m wishing you all the best, and hope to drop in for casual teaching every now and then to catch up with you.
Thank you all for accommodating me, for being part of my life!