It is my honour to be Chair of the Board at LPHS and to welcome you on behalf the Board and Staff to this evening. We are here to celebrate achievement Years 11 to 13 and draw a line at the end of school for our class of 2019.
It has been a year of transition for the board.
I would like to publicly thank; Ruth Barnett, Tracy Rogers and Cindy Hall and Sophie Sun who have all finished up this year.
I welcome on board; Mara Wolkenhauer, Sally Spittle, Richard Mitchel and Sophie Bradfield.
The bulk of what we do as a board is either private or just plain dull.
Unlike an Irishman and Englishman and a Scotsman getting together, board meetings are not a great starter for witty anecdotes.
The big board news for this year is the Enrolment Scheme
For you as a community it is a compliment. People want what you as a community and this staff have built.
To the Year 13s as you move on out of LPHS, two thoughts to build on your LPHS experience:
Firstly; Defend and hunt for facts.
Alternative Facts and Fake News are both terms that have been coined in your time in high school. Any student of History will tell you propaganda has always been around but now it seems truth and facts are manipulated in new ways.
Search engines we know do not deliver balance, they feed us what we want to hear. The information age is not really seeing us better informed and has not delivered.
Whether it is climate change or a better understanding of our own history, facts can be hard to find. Passion is great and it gets us up in the morning but we should be driven by facts.
I was at a gathering the other day where the people held a range of views on the climate situation. Rather than getting into trying to change views I quietly directed them to the NASA website. It is a great website that has a dispassionate way of delivering facts. For the keen statistician there is some wonderful time series graphs. It is all there; long term trend and short-term cycle and I do really like a good time series graph.
Secondly how do we deal with Living in a society with a range of views.
We need to accept that as a society the range of views on any given issue are broadening as we are more diverse. So how do we manage this? This naturally leads to people gathering around them people of the same view.
When I think of my own life and what has been the most powerful in terms of change for me I was surprised when I was honest.
It wasn’t reasoned argument. I wish it was, and that I could say that I am a rational character and am open to reason and that when presented with a clear argument I will simply change my view.
But honestly the one thing that has made me adjust my views on a serious issue was friendship
I am very grateful for a particular friendship that forced me to turn 180 degrees on my attitude to a certain way of living. I was not befriended by someone trying to change me, though I did need to change. He was just a great friend to me, at a time when I needed a great friend. It is a powerful thing.
We must not isolate ourselves into pockets of people who hold the same views. If we do we will not be challenged. I like it when people agree with me. It feels good but it does not challenge my thinking it does not broaden my understanding of other people who view things differently to me.
So, Year 13s of 2019 as you take the reins:
1 Stick to and defend the facts, guard truth.
2 Be friends with people of all views.
Not to change them but to understand them and to appreciate our shared humanity.
John Bradfield - Board Chairperson 2019.