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Principal’s Message

Billanook Principal

Principal Roger Oates

Billanook College is an independent, co-educational Early Learning to Year 12 school in the tradition of the Uniting Church situated in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The College commenced operations in 1980 with an enrolment of 140 students. Currently the enrolment is almost 900 students from our Early Learning Program to Year 12 – a testament to the esteem that the College is held in by the local community.

As a school our aim is to develop a dynamic and caring learning community which fosters the growth of the whole being of each girl and boy – in mind, body and spirit with a vision to provide a range of pathways to lifelong learning. Our mission goes beyond academic excellence. It is our express intention to develop graduates who are dynamic, caring and optimistic.  Our hope is that they will be well-rounded individuals who are grounded in the Uniting Church way of faith, hope and love.

Our wish for our departing Collegians is that they will have a passion for learning and will value the virtues of wisdom and integrity.  They will be individuals who endeavour to positively transform the communities in which they live and work. In the great and the small things they do, they will enliven and enrich our world.

What makes a successful School? It is an important question to ponder as it is at the centre of what we do at Billanook College. For me, the key ingredient is great Staff – research shows that you and I have a huge effect. A school becomes a “good school” on this measure only because it has great Staff who are performing well in and outside the classroom. Great Staff make it matter” and “make the student matter”.

Throughout this comes the common theme of our relationships with students. Staff perform at their best when they are encouraged by keen students so good schools have a strong culture of excellent behaviour. Students’ behaviour depends on many factors. These include: a keen sense of self-worth; good positive peer-group friendships and connections; a strong feeling of connectedness and belonging (and being loved) at school and at home and an awareness of being capable of succeeding at things outside the classroom.

This is why Independent Schools promote so strongly pastoral care and co-curricular activities to enhance belonging, connectedness and strong positive relationships. At Billanook College the role of every Staff member in pastoral care is critical. It is at the core of what we do.

Strongly set and consistent expectations and values by all Staff is critical to the success of each of our students.

You might be interested to note that intelligence has not been mentioned. In the long run this element appears to be a much lower factor in academic success than the virtues of persistence, doggedness, well-being, connectedness, ambition, goal setting, good teaching and drive. “Ticker over talent” is true in most human activities. The deadly combination is when “ticker” and “talent” are combined.

I would encourage you to visit us and see for yourself – to sense the character and spirit of the School. You can be assured of a warm welcome.

 

Roger Oates
Principal

© Copyright 2017 Billanook College.