Each year the staff and a small group of student leaders from the four selective high schools are given the opportunity to meet, this year it was Suzanne Cory’s turn to host. For many of us it was a longer commute than usual but we were so warmly welcomed it compensated for the early start.
The keynote speaker, Mark Donaldson VC told of his experiences in the Afghanistan war and what lead him into a military life. It was honest account and he stressed his ability to focus and think under pressure. These attributes literally lead to his survival, and to him saving the lives of others. It is hard to impress a room of over 500 teachers but he did it.
Mark holding his biography, The Crossroad, signed for a student.
It was with a great deal of pride students from Suzanne Cory also took teachers on tours, sharing the highlights of learning at their school.
The day included the opportunity for faculties to meet. For the library team it was especially delightful to visit another library, to share ideas and concerns. Paul Byrne, Head of Library at Suzanne Cory ran a practical session on encouraging wider reading using games and fun activities. He had us participate in a student activity, matching the book cover with the blurb. Most of us will be taking this idea and using it this term as it resulted in lots of discussion and interaction.
Concluding the day we were challenged by Prof. Shirely Alexander, Vice Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney, who discussed the University’s radical change to their approach to learning. The motivation behind this change is a focus on the skills and knowledge students of the future will need for an ever changing workforce. We were amused by the list of job titles she showed us for jobs of the future and a few librarians among us could see us using our skills to become Nostalgists; helping people sort their collections/memorabilia and telling their story.
We wish to extend our thanks to our host school and the many presenters and facilitators. Thank you also to those who attended from other schools – it was lovely to see you.