Tag Archives: Service


Caring is one of Lakeside College’s three core values – Learn, Care, Achieve.

I admit that I do like a bit of social media and I’ve got a Twitter account, the obliquitous Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and let’s not forget my WordPress blog which the diligent parents of Lakeside College read on a weekly basis!

We are inundated by so much rubbish in our accounts. I am particularly noticing the insidious nature of the targeted marketing I’m receiving on Facebook recently. While indeed I may be losing my hair, I don’t need endless advertisements for hair replacement technology turning up in my feed. I assume this comes from Facebook knowing I’m a middle aged male and I’m trying not to take it personally.

One of the better memes that has been going around Facebook is reproduced below:

“Don’t become preoccupied with your child’s academic ability, but instead:
Teach them to sit with those sitting alone.
Teach them to be kind.
Teach them to offer help.
Teach them to be a friend to the lonely.
Teach them to encourage others.
Teach them to think about other people.
Teach them to share.
Teach them to look for the good.
This is how they will change the world.”

I read that one night and couldn’t agree more. Those of who have attended enrolment interviews with me know that I mention that Lakeside College has no interest in turning out academically able but self-centred students. We seek to balance at all times our faith and values with our desire to see students achieve their very best.

Time and time again parents nod in agreement with the above. Parents want their children to succeed academically but more importantly, they want their children to grow into decent human beings. And looking at the world, one cannot help but feel that more decent human beings would be of great benefit to all of us.

When I spoke to students recently about the value ‘Care’ I looked to the story of Moses as recorded in the Bible.

Moses was born to a Hebrew family but was placed in the river by his mother in the hope that he would avoid being killed by the Egyptian authorities as an infant. He was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter who took him into her household and raised him as a Prince of Egypt. As young man he saw an Egyptian mistreating a Hebrew – he killed the Egyptian, facilitating a need to flee. Working as a shepherd, now a married man, God appears to Moses in the form of a burning bush and tells him to go back to Egypt and rescue his people from slavery.

Moses says: “Who am I to lead these people? I am the wrong messenger! I can’t do what you have asked”

God’s response: “Moses, I made the world. I made you and you have gifts that can be used to help people. I will be with you as you do great things”

Big achievements that endure are often those that involve acts of caring for others. Think of the ending of apartheid in South Africa, wiping out Polio in parts of the world, providing excellent schools and healthcare to those who need it most. These achievements go on to bless countless people beyond generations. These achievements are what God calls us to do with the gifts He has given us.

At Lakeside College we learn, care and achieve so that God will be glorified and the world be served in love. We care about our community, both inside and outside our College. We seek to equip all to care for others and make a difference in this world.

There is nothing more important to God than to see his people demonstrate the love that he has for us by serving our brothers and sisters.

May we never tire of teaching our children to care for others and may we seek to make the building of character as important, if not more important, than academic achievement.


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Signs you are a great leader

A nice post of the signs of good leadership. Something all school principals should aspire to.

Link here

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Filed under The Desired Life

Moral Courage – Rushworth Kidder

A few points I pulled out of this excellent book:


What, then, is moral courage? It can be defined as the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to face up to ethical challenges firmly and confidently, without flinching or retreating. It is a “quality of mind” as well as “spirit” because, like all ethical endeavours, it partakes of both the rational and the intuitional capacities, both left-brain and right-brain activity, both the processes of intellectual discourse and the feelings of rightness and wrongness inherent in each individual.

  • It enables us to face up to problems—not necessarily to resolve them, and certainly not to promise that we will master them, but to address them squarely, frontally, and with determination.
  • It requires action that is both “firmly” persistent and “confidently” assured that its tools—the moral, mental, and emotional elements of argumentation and persuasion—are sound enough to weather serious resistance.
  • Finally, it requires us to act “without flinching or retreating” in the face of persuasions, from the subtle to the violent, that make us want to turn tail and run.


Step 4: Understand the Risks I
Understanding risk involves the contemplation of possible outcomes…Have I adequately assessed the dangers involved both in acting and in failing to act? Am I clear on the moral hazards, even if the situation involves physical hazard as well?  Do I have a clear picture of the three principal challenges — solving ambiguity, exposure, and loss—inherent in any situation


Am I willing to face up to the ambiguity and confusion that surrounds this problem? Can I penetrate its mysteries without being baffled, duped, or mentally overwhelmed? If I fear I could be wrong about the facts, does that
prevent me from moving forward? Or do I have that tolerance  for ambiguity, that confidence in my ability to figure things out, which is essential to moral courage? Can I distinguish persistent firmness in the face of wrongdoing from true moral courage in the face of right-versus-right dilemmas?


Do I recognize the fear of exposure that can inhibit moral courage? Am I willing to make myself vulnerable for the sake of achieving some higher good? Do I acknowledge that by acting with moral courage, I may be thrust into a highly visible leadership role—whether I want it or not? Or am I hoping I can hide and still make a difference? Have I got the focus and stamina to weather the exposure that frequently accompanies morally courageous acts?


Do I grasp the peril to my income and position—as well as to personal relationships and public reputation—that may be involved here? Is this the hill I want to die on? Have I underestimated the risk, so that I might lose everything to no avail and be accused of foolishness? Or have I overestimated the risk, so that what I think to be courageous has very little risk at all, leaving me open to charges of mere bluster and bravado? Do I understand that moral courage shines most brightly when the stakes are highest?


State of the World Forum Values


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Good deeds

This week marks the beginning of the church season of Lent. This week the staff and students considered the following words of Jesus:

…when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matt 6:1-4)

The church season of Lent encourages us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and service. His ministry was often carried out in small ways—quiet conversations, healing people and encouraging them not to tell others and so on. It was a ministry of great humility. This morning we installed our student leaders at assembly and Pastor Cecil encouraged them to remember that leaders are often those who quietly, and sometimes silently, go about their business of supporting others.

As Christians it is a great temptation to become frustrated with those we serve and even express frustration at God’s call to serve. “God, I know you ask me to serve but surely you don’t mean that person who is mean to me?” When I feel this way I am reminded that when Jesus was in the depths of his own despair, he took time to pray for those that persecuted him. He carried such a heavy burden for us all and served so diligently.

The blessing for us all is to know that Christ continues to serve us and encourages us to love as he loves. May our new student leaders inspire us all to serve God’s people in the same manner that he serves us.


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Very Important People

2015-01-11 12.01.45Over the break my wife and I were lucky enough to be given VIP passes to watch the cycling championships in Ballarat. We had a lovely time watching the cycling in very comfortable chairs, with a very lovely view and never ending service of coffee and food.

The race went for many hours. While Robyn and I relaxed, the bike riders were working very hard indeed. People kept talking about who would win and the same few names were mentioned. Nobody talked about the rider who would eventually win. It was a great surprise to everyone – even to himself apparently! He didn’t seem to be important enough to mention.

In our Bible verse for this week we read about Jesus healing many people. The text tells us “That evening at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick…and the whole city was gathered around the door.” (Mark 1:29-39) It sounds indeed like Jesus was a Very Important Person. After all, he had the whole city coming to visit him.

The interesting thing about Jesus is that his fame came from serving others. In this particular reading from the Bible it is through Jesus’ time spent healing others, making them well again, that he becomes famous. It wasn’t through winning a race, or by having the greatest political power, or obtaining lots of money – his importance came through his humble service to others.

As we commence another school year let us all fix our eyes on the work of Christ and allow it to inspire us. The young people at Sunshine Christian School are indeed Very Important People to God and may we strive as a community to develop them into humble servants of the world.


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Love people, not things

…the path to better living is not found in turning our back on those who need us the most. The path to better living is found in developing the compassion and the space to love even those who don’t deserve it.

In another well put piece on priorities and service, Joshua Becker shares about how his life is made richer by serving others. His piece reminded me of Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”.

Becker’s piece can be found here.

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Filed under The Desired Life

Address to the 2014 graduating class of Sunshine Christian School

Wow. Here we are again. It seems like only yesterday that we were joined here to close our 2013 school year. It seems that it was only a few days ago that I nervously participated in my first Sunshine Christian School graduation service. To the parents of our graduating grade 6 class, I’m sure it feels like only yesterday you saw your child walk through our front gate for the first time.

Again I have the privilege to address the community of Sunshine Christian School as its principal. This is not something I take for granted. It was again an honour to serve the community in this capacity. I thank the staff, parents, council and students for their continued support. A successful school is built on the strong relationship between students, parents and staff. We are indeed blessed by the richness of the relationships in our community.

The school has experienced yet another successful year. Camps to Weekaway and Canberra were wonderful. Music has been learnt and our walls have groaned from wonderful art. We have run and jumped our way through PE. We have read book after book. We have done sum after sum. We have all experienced success and explored our God given gifts. While I often joking tell off students and teachers for having fun while learning, it has personally brought me great joy to see all of our students develop.

Tonight is a joyous occasion but also one that brings a small measure of sadness. In addition to farewelling out Grade 6 class, we say goodbye to other families as they moving out of the region. To the families leaving us this year, we wish you God’s richest blessings as you settle into new homes and schools. Thank you for blessing us with your support and for joining with us to educate your children.

To the graduating class of 2014, I would like to share a few words of wisdom.

There once lived a great philosopher. He is indeed a very wise man. A man of many friends and a man of great joy. He is a deep thinker indeed. A man who enjoys the sweetness of life. His name…is Winnie the Pooh.

As I child I greatly enjoyed the stories of Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore and Rabbit. I am not ashamed that I still enjoy these wonderful stories and as I reread some of Pooh’s adventures this week something he said struck me deeply.

As we say goodbye this evening, Pooh Bear says “How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

We are indeed blessed to have shared in this learning journey together as a school community as you have grown from little Preps to young adults.

The readings we heard earlier contain a clear message for you. It is a call for us all to be bearers of Good News to the world. For us to be people who will bring the love of Christ to life in our words and deeds.
My favourite saying of Pooh is this:

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

In front of you Grade 6 is a period of great change. This is not something that should be feared but one that should be celebrated. You have the opportunity to experience new things, meet new people and discover new talents.

In the spirit of the great philosopher, Winnie the Pooh, don’t stay in your own corner of the forest and wait for people and experiences come to you.

Have great courage. There is a large world out there that needs people who care deeply about others. Who are willing to leave their forest to share the good news of God’s love for us.

May the creator God, who was with in the beginning, has walked with you at school, and now goes with you to High School, remind you frequently of his grace, mercy and deep love.


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