CHARTING COURSE: the way we do things around here

People are saying that history will most remember the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, for the exemplary way in which he conducted himself. Eight years and not a single personal scandal to tarnish the high office to which he was elected! Politics aside, it's fair to say that this is rare for public figures in modern society. His high standards of behaviour were visible in the way he talked about his wife and daughters, in the way he hosted dignitaries and conducted himself in public, and in the way he engaged in social media and the media at large.    


It was interesting to be an observer from afar during the presidential race. Both sides of politics downplayed the questionable behaviour exhibited by their respective candidates. They tried to convince voters that personal conduct doesn’t matter, while pointing out that it did matter when it came to the other side! 

In the real world, we know this to be true: people judge the way that we do things. 

Behaviour has always been important to Brisbane Adventist College, but we place particular emphasis on how the words in our documents and the posters on our walls translate themselves into action. Does the way we conduct ourselves reflect the spirit of the Christian gospel? Micah 6:8 captures our overarching vision: He has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV) 

As a College, we interrogate our values and culture, asking ourselves questions like these:

  • How can we bring honour to God with our words and actions? 
  • How can we support and encourage one another, respecting each other’s differences? 
  • How can we enjoy our learning in a way that still respects each other and our teachers? 
  • How can we have fun in a way that does not include teasing and bullying?
  • How can we resolve matters of conflict openly and respectfully?
  • How can we take better care of our environment and our school?
  • How can we be more open to learning and achieving our personal best? 
  • How can we be more accountable for our behaviour?
  • How can we foster mutual trust, self-worth and positive relationships?

As we talk openly about these issues with students and teachers, our language and culture more closely aligns. We regularly revisit the content of The BAC Way and hone our behaviour policy, making sure that these documents are consistent with our ethos. We have an intentional culture campaign, one where our students choose kindness over meanness (see chaplain JP talk with the Primary students about this recently).

We don’t want our students to be robots who never put a foot wrong. We want them to have fun and enjoy learning, but also to know when to take their role seriously. Ultimately, we’re interested in growing good people: people of character, who conduct themselves in ways that are respectful and honourable. We don't want to leave this question unanswered: What do you want to be most remembered for?

AUTHOR: Principal Leanne Entermann writes a series of articles called Charting Course in which she talks about topics important to the future direction of the College.