PRINCIPAL'S FIRST PRINCIPLES: Millimetre by Millimetre, Onwards.

Addressing College graduates can be a daunting proposition but also a great privilege. You pray you will say the right thing the best thing. You wish you could prepare them for every eventuality but you know you cannot. You must trust that the values they've acquired in their childhood will guide them through their adulthood. 

If you've journeyed with them over the years of their schooling, you'll know them well. Snippets of conversations cross your mind as you glance from face to face and you recall moments when you saw them mature before your very eyes; scoring goals and thriving on challenges, and suffering setbacks. You were involved in their growth: helping them back onto their feet after losses and celebrating their achievements. Now, you feel like a protective uncle.

While this is my first year at BAC, I've jumped at every chance to interact with the Class of '22. I even had the privilege of spending a week with them in Cairns, watching them interact, doing the wakeup call every morning, having great impromptu conversations, singing with them on the bus, witnessing a Formal 'proposal', and snorkelling with them on the reef. 

Below is part of my speech at their recent Formal. It was inspired by the words of adventurer, writer and TV presenter Bear Grylls (2022), who talks about the values and attitudes that help young people live a good life. I hope that once the flurry of graduation is over, the Class of '22 takes a moment to reread these words and let them sink in.  


Graduates, your teachers and I want you to live with the courage to follow your dreams, not listen to dream-stealers. We want you to know that integrity matters and that a few friendships can carry you far. We want you to understand that humility trumps pride and being shy and quiet is okay, to recognise the power in tenacity and that you can walk towards the things that make you anxious in life and be okay.

Millimetre by millimetre, ever onwards, we want you to maintain your forward momentum, knowing that attitude determines altitude and that nothing worthwhile comes easy. The 'good stuff' takes time and persistence - so stick with it because that never-give-up spirit is gold currency! With attitudes like these, people from every walk of life have achieved extraordinary things.

The good news is that nobody is born this way. They're learnt on the journey of discovery that starts at home and school, which prepares them for a life lived with hope, aspiration, and wonder.

Let the BAC motto “Everything with God” be your motto. Include Him in every aspect and every season of your future because He gives every good gift to His children.

PRINCIPAL'S FIRST PRINCIPLES is a series of editorials by Brisbane Adventist College Principal Mr Peter Charleson.