Dear PLC Sydney Community

video-gallery-sidebar-icon Click the image to watch Vlog #1 From The Principal - Welcome to Term 2

I write today’s Connections primarily to my fellow fathers and grandfathers in our community. Just like the great majority of males in the PLC Sydney community I am a working father and in recent years, I have become a working grandfather. The relationship between our domestic and professional lives is always a challenging one. 

As we consider the education of girls and young women, it is very important that we ponder the roles of both men and women in the home. The conversation on the role of women and of access to equal pay and conditions is essential, yet it is not the whole story. As men, we love our homes more than our workplaces. I know that at PLC Sydney so many of our fathers and grandfathers celebrate our families constantly. We see them not just as the people we love and provide for, but as the children we partner to raise. We really enjoy their company and we can weep with joy when they are doing well. We impart our deepest beliefs and values to our children. We love them with all of our hearts. We want them to flourish. We have a role in celebrating this in the broader community. In the Old and New Testaments the word ‘remember’ is used on at least seventy occasions to call the reader to recall something of great value or goodness. This act of remembering is an important one because it recognises that we can forget what really matters. It is easy for me to allow my rhetoric to move out of alignment with my actions.

The Jews and Early Christians set aside time to remember what they really valued. One thing that I know parents at PLC Sydney value is childhood. We want to build wonderful memories into our daughters and sons. We want them to be secure and significant. We hope they will experience moments of deep joy. In the world today, both our politics and our financial markets appear to work against the celebration of childhood. At the extreme end, it is tragic that Boko Haram is using children to carry out its dastardly terrorism. Even those who escape its clutches are treated with suspicion or even prejudice when they return home. It is very sad that many children in Asia are left at home in the care of others all year whilst both mum and dad work in factories in cities miles away. Poverty works against the joys of childhood. 

It is my view that we must continue to create a society that highly values childhood. One thing I love about being at PLC Sydney is how many mums and dads come to different events. The celebration of the growth of the child is something we all share. As someone who works long hours, I know that it is sometimes very difficult to get to every event. As the Principal of the College, I know that the work of being an educator means that there are nights out and the commitments of work to fulfil. We each have work commitments, both men and women share these.The challenge we face is in how to balance things. In any community as large as ours there will be a thousand different ways of doing so. I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone how to balance their domestic affairs – I can only seek to balance my own.

My ambitions therefore are modest. One point of nomenclature I wish to seek to influence. My wife, Susan, is a working mother and grandmother. But equally, I am a working father and grandfather. In working through the challenges of the great balancing act of raising children and grandchildren and in securing the family I am essentially committed to both.

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

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Open Day and Fair 2016
A warm invitation to bring your family and friends, your neighbours and acquaintances to the PLC Sydney Open Day and Fair. It will be a magnificent occasion with all of the usual rides and presentations. Come and enjoy the music and theatre, the science and humanities, the art and design. Come and eat magnificent food and take home gifts for Mothers’ Day. We anticipate a fabulous day and I ask that you to think carefully about travel. Below are some ideas:

  • Why not come by train? It is easy and hassle free.
  • If you are driving, consider parking in Croydon Public School. We are grateful to them for opening their property to us. Spots fill up early so this option is very good for those who are serving throughout the day.
  • Burwood Parking Officers will definitely be on patrol. Don't park illegally.
  • Consider parking in a street on the southern side (the shops side) of Croydon station and walking across to the College. The temporary gate on Young Street will be open.

All are welcome from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday 7 May. I hope to see you there!

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Finally, I wish to report on some of the staff health and family matters that impacted us in Term 1. It was a challenging term in that we had three staff on leave for much of the term. I am pleased to report that Mr Pettenon has rejoined us and the Mathematics department. He is back in good health after his holiday accident. Mrs Dickinson’s son has had good news regarding his health. Mrs Dickinson will remain on leave for 2016 so that she can continue to support him whilst he recovers. Mr Daniel Isgro will take Mrs Dickinson’s Science classes for the remainder of the year. Finally Ms Ryan-Clark remains on leave. Mrs Kate Colgan will teach her English classes through to the end of the year. I thank everyone for their support during Term 1.

Dr Paul Burgis
PLC Sydney Principal