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“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

– Matthew 25:37-40

“If serving is beneath you then leadership is beyond you.” – Bishop Dale Bronner

It is time for the transition in student leadership from Year 12 to Year 11. I would like to record my thanks to Secondary School Captains Annabelle Walker and Harry Gyaneshwar, Vice-Captains Hannah Blair and Liam Smit, the Prefects and Year 12 for their service to their peers and NBCS this year. The way that our senior students help to set the tone of the whole school is significant. Although many of their plans were not able to be realised, events and activities were changed or cancelled, I appreciate the way that they have managed difficult circumstances with equanimity. As Martin Luther King said in 1963, “the ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy”. By this measure, it is my view that Year 12 2020 have done a remarkable job.

When I spoke to Year 11 a couple of weeks ago, I asked them this question, “Who leads NBCS?” and I suggested that the answer was somewhat different to the one they might have thought, because the answer is that they do, or really, when Year 12 depart, they will.

Leadership is service. Sir William Slim, a former Australian governor-general said that leadership is that mixture of compulsion, persuasion, and example by which you get others to do what you need them to do.

Today in our Leadership Induction Service I encouraged all of Year 11, including their leaders, to use persuasion and example as they move into Year 12 and lead the School. I trust that Year 11 will be like the righteous, where they don’t even realise that they are serving others because it is so ingrained that it happens naturally.

Leadership is a big responsibility, simply as a member of Year 12 2021, and if you have a specific role to play. Remember that leadership is about others, rather than it being about you. I return to the words of Bishop Dale Bronner, “If serving is beneath you then leadership is beyond you”.

I know that good leadership is well within the grasp of Year 12 2021. My prayer for them is that they may serve us as they lead, even as we serve them as they work towards the conclusion of their schooling. In this we ask that God might give us grace, give us gratitude, courage, and compassion, as by our actions we respect those we lead and serve.

Tim Watson