It was fantastic to be able to begin our year at the Concordia Campus together in worship at the Commencement Service last week. Events such as these were postponed or cancelled last year, so it was wonderful to all be together and to have some staff and students present from the St John's and St Peters campuses as well. We welcomed and blessed our new staff and Student Leaders and dedicated all we do at our school to the glory of God.
Congratulations to the following students who were successful in gaining leadership positions in 2023.
- Piper 12JLEY
- Jacob 12TMCC
- Asmitha 12HROS
- Hanno 12CFIN
- Alicia 12KNIC
- Henry 12CFIL
- Claudia 12KNIC
- Will 12KNIC
- Cheltenham: Joseph 12CFIN and Zoe 12CFIN
- Highgate: Ben 12TMCC and Gemma 12HROS
- Malvern: Maxwell 12HROS and Zoe 12CFIL
- Winchester: Kieran 12TMCC and Sophie 12CFIN
- Cheltenham: Corbin 12JLEY and Ohmeah 12KNIC
- Highgate: Jake 12KNIC and Ruby 12HROS
- Malvern: William 12TMCC and Amy 12CFIL
- Winchester: Benjamin 12CFIL and Olivia 12HROS
Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Australia, Paul Smith, shared with us a message about 'Eucatastrophe', a word coined by J.R.R. Tolkien to describe an incredible event that changes everything for the better. Bishop Paul explained how Tolkien conveyed his own Christian faith by pointing to Christ and his saving work through his many stories and novels, and that Concordia, like all Lutheran schools, is based on this exact same hope. It was also encouraging to hear from Lisa Schmidt, Executive Director of Lutheran Education Australia, who reminded us of the wider school system of which we are a part, and her family's own special connection with Concordia.
The 2022 Dux of the College was also awarded to Andrew Jenke, an achievement made all the more remarkable, given his sister, Emma, was the Dux of the previous year! Andrew's speech was humble, yet inspiring, and I hope all students present can put his words into practice.
Andrew encouraged current students not to focus on mistakes made, but to learn from them and to persist to ensure you give yourself the best chance to succeed.
"It’s incredibly easy to become frustrated with your mistakes and give up... However, it takes persistence to hang in there and ask the teachers questions. I think it’s my mistakes and “missed shots” rather than successes throughout the year which have developed me into the person I am today. ... There will be times in the upcoming year when you lose all motivation. ... But trust me, if you have the courage to go “one more round” and complete the task at hand, no matter how painful or tiring it is, you’ll reap the end rewards. While the positive outcomes may not be evident in a day or a week or maybe not even after a month, hold your nerve; if you’re working hard and not taking shortcuts, results will start going your way. I guarantee it. I’ve got confidence in each and everyone of you. But it’s a decision you’ll need to make for yourself; regardless of the motivation from teachers, parents’ and friends, you’ll only get there if you’re all in."
As always, we are grateful to the many people who helped make the service possible, including musicians, readers, organisers and maintenance staff. We look forward to all this year has to offer and hope to be able to celebrate many more significant events throughout the year.