Dec 13, 2022
We are no different to well-known symbols. When someone looks at us, they immediately see something. We represent something. We have markers that make people think – oh yeah. If I have a mullet you think, he’s a cool guy. If I wear a Sharks jersey you think, oh yeah, he must be a good bloke. If I wear Steph Curry shoes you think – he better have game to match them sneakers!
Whether we like it or not we represent something, we stand for something.
I wonder what you would say if I asked you, what do you stand for? What does that hat mean? Or, what do those friends say about you? What do those shoes say about you? What about that haircut? Like it or not, it all says something about you, about who you are…what you believe.
RCC stands for something too. Our school is no different. The way we ask you to wear your uniform says that we value respect and being part of a team. The way we ask you to complete your work says that we value growth and your best. The way we expect you to behave in a classroom says that we value excellence and your contribution to others. All these things represent what we value, what we are working towards, what we hope to achieve.
If you look closely at our logo, you see three things.
The cross not only represents our Christian faith, but a belief that we must teach from this point of view, so our students have the opportunity to know God is in everything and everywhere, know that He loves us. And, from knowing this you, our students, understand who you are, what your purpose is and that this gives a hope that is like solid rock.
The shield that guards it all represents the deep hope that through this education you will have a faith and a knowledge that will protect you as you grow and are impacted by and impact those around you, your community.
The lines that run through the shield represent the water, the life that runs through our Ballina and our life that gives us hope and joy. Jesus speaks of being the one who gives us rivers of living water that flow through us to others and provides hope, joy and strength. It sustains us to accomplish what we are purposed to.
This is what the Board, your teachers, and, I know, your parents seek to achieve everyday as they wake you up, turn up or pick you up. We want to share hope, establish protective factors and provide you with the knowledge and skills that will sustain your life.
This is who we are. This is what we hope to do. Intentionally. Every day. Whether we go through floods, are stripped bare by CVOVID, or intimidated by wars that rage around us. It doesn’t matter.
This year I have been most proud when I see our students stand for caring for one another. When I see buddies welcome new kids, student leaders pick up a kindy who has fallen down, hear a student ask how the teacher’s weekend was or am told of Stage 6 students rescuing others from a lake because their friend’s canoe has capsized.
I am proud when I see students not give up when doing hard things to achieve something worthwhile. Having just read your reports, I am so excited to see your marks improve because you have worked hard. Reading the poetry and argumentative essays in our yearbook and seeing the way we never give up at Gala days, this is who we are.
I am excited when I see students excel, whether it is Stage 6 HSC Art, a horseshoe rack for a guy in a nursing home or the primary choirs we heard from. These are the things that symbolise who we are.
As we move into the unknown of 2023, instead of trying to guess what it will bring, I think we have given up trying to guess what the next year will bring, I think we should approach it a little differently. I think rather than always just hoping and praying for a better year, we should focus on what we believe and how we will approach what comes our way so that we can bless people no matter what happens.
Jesus sets the most phenomenal example. As He walked the earth, He revealed God’s heart for us. He showed us that He loves us more than we could imagine and challenges us that this same love should be the fruit of our loves.
Jesus loved people so much that he gave up his life so that others, us, could know love. Jesus loved people so much he gave up his own comfort to look after others. Jesus loved people so much, he cared not for background or place, just genuine connection. Jesus was and is always there for people.
I challenge us as a community in 2023 to stand for something intentionally, rather than accidentally follow the whims of the ever-changing culture around us or be pushed around by a far-from-perfect world. I believe if we do this, we will continue to be a culture characterised by what we believe, by the fruits of our faith: purpose, hope, love, joy, peace and safety.
Thank you, RCC students of 2022, for what you represent and the school you create. It is my prayer, our prayer, that together we can continue to do this into 2023 and beyond.