“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Values are our guiding principles and moral code – those things we value most, and that underpin and influence our daily behaviours. Mahatma Gandhi said that our values evolve from our thoughts, words, actions and habits, suggesting that our character is built through what we say and do. However, our actions and habits can also develop from our values. We can choose, every day, to live a life guided by values such as compassion, respect, and community.
The Reverend Dr Daniel Heischman, in his 2018 paper ‘Enhancing our Anglican Identity’, outlines the themes of Anglican identity as faith, reason, worship, inclusion, character and service. As an Anglican school, our values are grounded in an invitational, inclusive and participatory approach to these themes.
This week, the School participated in an Ash Wednesday service and the launch of the Lent fundraising campaign, run by our students, who are this year donating proceeds to the GO Foundation, which provides scholarships to Indigenous students. This is one example of character and service embodied in the actions of our school community.
School Values refresh
Walford is currently in the process of refreshing our School Values, to ensure they reflect our community and are simple, memorable and authentic. Students (in class groups in the Junior School, and Mentor groups in the Middle and Senior Schools) are discussing and exploring values. Each class from across the School will submit three values they believe to be most important for our school. These will be synthesised into a list of possible School Values, with students and staff given the opportunity to vote on those values they feel most represent who we are and what we think, say and do at Walford.
Courage is a value that is part of the DNA of Walford. It is in our motto, Virtute et Veritate, which translates as ‘moral courage and truth’. Courage can mean trying new things, or being willing to be vulnerable. It often means doing the right thing, not the easy thing or the popular thing.
Our students are encouraged to ‘have a go’: to do their best and challenge themselves beyond their comfort zones. If we allow our fears to hold us back, we are unlikely to live our fullest lives or accomplish our very best. Miffy Young, from the Class of 2022, is a shining example of a Walford old scholar who works diligently, speaks confidently, leads gracefully, and dreams fearlessly. Miffy’s speech at our recent Academic and Endeavour Award Ceremony was inspiring, with a moving message to students about accepting others and working with determination to be their best selves.
Some staff members are moving on to their own exciting adventures. As I have previously communicated, our Deputy Principal Mandy Hore is leaving at the end of Term 1. Secondary teachers Mayra Franco and Roxanne Russo have also shared their decisions to leave Walford at the end of Term 1 to take up new opportunities. Later this term we will say farewell and wish them all the very best in their new chapters.
Both Kathryn Allan and Yvonne Colsey will be taking planned leave in Term 2. I congratulate Madeleine Watson who has been appointed as Acting Head of Fletcher House for Term 2. We are currently recruiting for other positions and in due course Heads of School will be able to share staffing updates for particular classes.
Living our values
I encourage all our students to be kind, courageous, true to themselves, and focus on making a positive difference. I look forward to seeing the emergence of our refreshed School Values, shaped by the important voices of our students and staff. Consultation will allow our values to capture the essence of our community, and to reflect what our school embodies and aspires to be, now and into the future.
With best wishes
Dr Deborah Netolicky