Seasons greetings and final words

A final message from Wayne Haworth (adapted from the Awards Night speech)

Season’s greetings to our school community and final words to you all for 2018. It has been once again been an honour and a privilege to lead MAC through what has been another significant year as we transform the school into a school of first choice for local families.

All schools aim to develop skills and values in young people so after graduating they leave not only with skills but also with a life-long love of learning. Yet for students in many schools, leaving with a love of learning is often not the case. I don’t believe that this is right or fair.

Education should be personal but it is often not.

Everyone here is unique and different. With our own passions and learning needs.

The world today is different from the past. The rate of change is seemingly exponential, as are the changes in the world of work. Increased automation and artificial intelligence may in the future make it more challenging to find a job.

Empowering students to take greater responsibility for their learning will create more independent learners: learners more likely to succeed.

Researchers suggest critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurial skills will better place young people for our rapidly changing world.

It is for these reasons at MAC that we aim to empower students and provide a different learning experience for our students.

We started the year with more students than the school has seen in a long time, including over 90 Entry Level students.

It was a year that saw the tragic loss of two members of our community. Student Aivy Nguyen and parent and community leader Del King, but as a community we came together to support each other.

It was a year that saw the completion of a multi-purpose sports facility, an adventure playground and a new Makerspace; we had various camps including a tour to the Gold Coast; there were entrepreneurial endeavours by students from student catering to our coffee cart and the new Shark Tank Subject; our Spring Arts Festival went to another level; and we have visits from nineteen other schools including schools from overseas.

This year our Attitudes to Schools Survey results strengthened with now fourteen out of twenty categories in the fourth quartile or top 25% state, up from eleven out of twenty in 2017 and zero out of twenty in 2016. In the Parent Opinion survey, we scored eighteen out nineteen in the fourth quartile.

When compared with statewide growth in NAPLAN, MAC students outperformed state growth.

Again our results from our senior students improved with our VCE Dux scoring 97.95 and our mean ATAR and study scores improved. At MAC, we understand that success comes in many forms and at the awards evening we celebrated all forms of success.

This year, I was contacted by DET Media and the Age following the release of the recommendations of Gonski 2.0. MAC is starting to be known as a school that is now ahead of the pack. A huge contrast from only three years ago.

Our significant progress at MAC would not be possible without a great team. We have many outstanding staff.

I mentioned recently that we are farewelling a number of staff this year. Lucy and Margaret from the canteen, Magdi Ghobrial (going to Buckley Park Secondary College), Chloe Coombs, Catherine Bone, Elizabeth Tran (St Columba’s College), Ernest Price (Richmond High School) and Lexi Middleton. Outstanding staff are often sought after by other organisations; however, outstanding staff are also attracted to MAC. I am excited by the exemplary staff we have recently recruited and I look forward to them joining our team in 2019.

Thank you to our student leadership team led by our School Captains Henry and Towheed. Thank you for your leadership, your support of others and of our school.

Thank you again to our wonderful parents for your continued support of your young people and of our school. A special thanks to School Council parents Richard Frazer, Matt Hammond, Bec Smith, Hadia Komba, Khalife Abdulle. Thank you to Bron Jefferson and our PFA parents for your time and effort in raising extra funds to assist our students.

As MAC continues to grow, I am pleased that we have funds to support the design of a new masterplan to design new buildings for a bigger school. Thank you to Danny Pearson for his work in this regard.

I came to MAC with a dream, to create a progressive school with a positive inclusive culture while enabling students to develop a love of learning by following their passion. Together we are creating a school of first choice for local families and I thank you all for that.

The school is closed for the year from midday today, and will open on 22 January with shortened hours (9 am – 3 pm). If you have arranged for your books to be delivered to the school, you can pick them up on this day from the Resource Centre. Staff resume on 29 January for two planning days. Entry Level and Graduates 2019 & 2020 students commence on Thursday 31 January, and all remaining students return on Friday 1 February.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday.

Wayne Haworth, Principal