Head of School welcome
Friday, 3 March 2023

It is my pleasure to offer warm wishes to all Old Andreans and Hessians as we begin another busy year in 2023.  

Often in my week I experience interactions, events and activities that I would love to capture and share with the whole community. For example: 

My walk around the BBC last week where I experienced completely calm, focused learning from the top of the Senior College (Level 5) to the bottom (ground floor). Whilst this is not new – it was excellent to see their focus in action in 2023. 

On Friday 10th February, we invited the School Captains and Vice Captains since the year 2000 back to SACS for a dinner on the rooftop. Each one told a story from their time at St Andrew's Cathedral School and shared what they are doing now. We laughed and ate and chatted under the stars with a stunning meal. It was such a joy and a pleasure to meet several Old Andreans for the first time.  

However, the moment that stood out the most was during the Academic Excellence Assembly - in which we celebrated the achievements of our Year 12 cohort from 2022 – our newest Old Andreans! Georgia Taplin (OA2022) - a student from the HSC cohort, gave tips for how to survive the senior years, this was hugely insightful and inspiring.  

The 8th of March is the date for this year’s International Women’s Day. At this time of year, I am often asked for media comment on what it means to be a woman in leadership, and this year is no different. See below for some of my musings.  

I am greatly blessed to be the leader of a mature, coeducational school where my welcome from all parts of the community has been humbling.  

Let me unpack that some more.   

Yes, I am the first woman to lead St Andrew’s Cathedral School, but this is not a focus for our students, because for several generations, the girls and boys have naturally interacted in their education, friendships, and co-curricular activities.  For these students, whether I am a man or a woman, is not of primary interest – it is what I bring to the table and how authentically, that interests them. 

At St Andrew’s we talk about ‘leadership’ not ‘women in leadership’; we talk about ‘education’ not ‘girls (or boys) education’; we talk about ‘perspective’ not the ‘male (or female) perspective’. In our divisive world, one of the most important aspects of a person is who they mean when they say, ‘we’. For centuries that has been the cause of division and hurt and in the worst cases, all-out war. For us at St Andrew’s our ‘we’ is shaped by a hugely diverse community of students. That is an education in itself. Every day students learn to navigate difference and hear and be present for a diversity of perspectives and viewpoints – something society isn’t wonderfully good at exemplifying in our proliferation of polemic soundbites.  

I am very excited to see this next generation in the workforce, armed with the skills to draw on the diversity around them, and to lead and collaborate in new and innovative ways.  This is the new era of leadership that will change our society for the better. 

The educational benefits of a mature co-educational school are manifold, and we are all blessed to be part of it. Thank you to the entire SACS community for the rich and diverse perspectives you bring which make it such a fantastic place to learn and grow.  

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28