Dear PLC Sydney Community


There are so many exciting things happening at PLC Sydney at present. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past few weeks.

Firstly I note that we are so very proud of our Year 12 students who are working hard in what is the most challenging part of the year for them. They have multiple assessments, exam preparation and major works to complete – plus House Choir. They love the comradery of House Choir evening and see it as a welcome break from study. We are all supporting them and can see the improvement in the quality of their work. I wish to commend Sandra Magro, our School Captain, and her team, on their leadership.

Secondly, we all congratulate our debaters who have had a stellar season. Our firsts won the ISDA Debating Competition and our Year 6 team were runners up in the Primary School Competition. What superb achievements. This is the premier debating competition for Independent Schools and the Senior A team is our ‘Firsts’. Forty-one large girls, boys and co-educational independent schools enter. Our firsts also won the Macquarie Cup this year – one of the other premier competitions that features independent and selective schools.  Our plans for debating are really reaping a harvest this year. Again though, it is not about the few. All of our debating teams performed very well this year. Further, our IGSSA teams (the second competition) have also started with a flourish.

Thirdly, I say ‘Wow!’ the ‘Grand Designs Annual Music Night’ was superb. I loved the orchestra. In fact I loved every item. Parents can be very proud of the accomplished way in which their daughters played. And they played and sang with great harmony. It was a stunning night. We are very proud of our music at PLC Sydney.

Fourthly, well done to our sporting teams. Our Senior Firsts Football (S02 – the second level competition) and our Junior Firsts Football (J01 – the highest competition – equal premiers with Pymble) both won their competitions, as did our Year 7 Basketball team. It was a great term of sport with over 50% of results finishing on the plus side of the ledger.

Fifthly, our scientists have again excelled. Olivia Beck, Amelia Phillis and Hingis Li won the NSW Titration Competition. This is the premier measurement competition for Chemistry students. It features one hundred schools including all of the major selective (e.g., James Ruse) and independent schools.

Sixthly, well done to Sherie Pan, who on Saturday won the Rostrum Voice of Youth NSW competition. It is one of the premier public speaking competitions for senior students.

I wish to personally congratulate Mrs Karen Stephenson on the recognition she received for being a recipient of a medal of the Order of Australia in the latest Queen's Birthday honour list. This is worthy recognition of her talent and dedication as a young woman, and of her years of superb service to young people in her coaching and leadership of swimming. She is a woman of integrity and purpose. All of us at PLC Sydney celebrate with her.
As the term comes to a close I wish to thank you for your support and inform you about my movements in the holidays and next term.

After twelve years as a principal and six and a half at PLC Sydney, I will be away on my first sabbatical as a principal. Principals usually have five to six year contracts. At the close of one contract a sabbatical is contracted. Principals work through most holiday periods. I delayed my sabbatical in order to oversee the Gateway building project. Thus I am looking forward to time to study, write and relax. For the next nine weeks: three weeks of the holiday period and the first six weeks of term 3 I will be away. The sabbatical itself is six weeks and I will be taking three weeks of holidays as well. 

The first port of call will be Regent College in Vancouver, Canada where, after a short break, I will be studying in education, theology, literature and history for close to a month. I will then take two weeks holiday visiting Iceland and The Faroe Islands. The third leg of the trip is in Bergen, Norway, where Susan and I have rented a place so that I can spend some time trying to write the book on education I commenced a while ago. I currently have eight quite poor chapters. I hope to make them much better. We will enjoy a few days in Denmark on the way back. I return to work on Monday 28 August.

Whilst I am away Linda Chiba will be Acting Principal and Maria Halkidas will be Acting Deputy Principal. Mrs Chiba will have full access to my email and will move to my office with Mrs Mathews as her PA. Ms Halkidas will move to Mrs Chiba’s office and have full access to her email with Ms Elvy as her PA. Mr Anderson will look after the building programs. The system is set up to give me a full break. Usually I manage a number of PLC Sydney matters whilst away. This time I am grateful to have a superb staff fully running the College.

When I return on Monday 28 August the first actions will be to:
  • Oversee the final weeks of Year 12 and properly celebrate their time
  • Finalise all matters connected with the organisation of 2018
  • Begin the 2018 budgeting process
  • Put together the Wish List for the P & F for 2018

The Hamilton building program should be nearing its completion. We will open the building on November 19.

I thank you for your support and look forward to returning to lead the next strategic and master planning process. We have a very exciting future ahead of us and I look forward to returning refreshed and ready to serve again.

Have a great holiday. Enjoy this precious time with your families. 

Dr Paul Burgis