From the Principal
What is Success?
The College believes that real success, whether it be academic, cultural, sporting or social, comes from building strong relationships and experiencing the positive emotions that result from this process.
Answering the following questions each day can help students become more successful:
- Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?
- Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?
- Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?
- Have I accomplished something worthwhile?
- Have I helped someone less fortunate?
- Have I collected some wonderful memories?
- Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?
The questions you ask yourself on a daily basis determine your focus, and your focus determines your results. These questions force you to focus on what’s really important. Take heed of them for the rest of your life— especially in your school and future work —and things will quickly fall into place.
In a college that values relationships to support best learning it is important that we value this approach and we are very lucky that we have people in our community that also care about these kinds of things.
Two successful people have obviously been asking themselves some of the questions outlined above and are doing their best to help make a difference in the lives of our students.
Chris is a former student of Ōtaki College who became a Wellingon celebrity when he saved the Museum Hotel from demolition in 1993 by moving it across the road on rails to make way for Te Papa. Chris was named Wellingtonian of the Year for his efforts.
Chris was the hotel owner, former councillor and an avid art collector. He recently sold the hotel to Sydney-based Amalgamated Holdings, the company which owns a range of cinema and hotel brands including Rydges. The Museum Hotel will become New Zealand’s first hotel to operate under the brand, which has five hotels in Australia. Chris has agreed to continue his association with the hotel as an ambassador and curator of the art which is displayed in it.
Chris has not let his interest in art stop at the high end of the art world. He has recently helped to fund and support the Ōtaki/Sander Scholar mural project. This was officially unveiled as part of the 99th year commemoration of the sinking of the SS Ōtaki at which Chris was present. He took this opportunity to announce that he would also be contributing to an ongoing Art Scholarship in the College. This act of kindness certainly helps others and has an extremely positive impact on students’ lives.
I wish to sincerely thank Chris for the support and generosity he has shown and we look forward to an ongoing relationship moving into the future.
Susie Mills Law
Susie Mills has given us funding to enable us to acknowledge students who undertake acts of kindness towards others, both in and out of College. If you see a student of the college doing something that deserves recognition or reinforces the values that we want in our young people please do not hesitate to call me or email me so that I can use this fund to publicly acknowledge them. Our sincere thanks to Susie and Susie Mills Law.
Several new acts and standards are coming into force in 2016 that impact on us as schools.
Vulnerable Children Act
This Act aims to protect and improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children and strengthen our child protection systems. There are two key requirements for the schooling sector under the Act. These are that schools have a child protection policy, and must safety check all those who work regularly with children. This means that we now have to ask for police vetting and anyone convicted of a specified offence cannot be employed or engaged as a core children’s worker, unless they have an exemption (workforce restriction).
Health and Safety at Work Act
The purpose of this Act is to make clear everyone’s responsibilities in keeping workers healthy and safe, not just where work happens, but also how work is carried out. The Act clarifies responsibilities and accountabilities, strengthens worker participation, and creates expectations for effective risk management proportionate to risk.
The college is reviewing its health and safety systems to make sure that we are fully compliant with the requirements of the new Act and to date our systems and procedures are looking very solid.
One of the highlights of Term One was the Variety Concert held on March 23rd. The College hall resonated with the sound of music, dance, drama and film items entertaining an enthusiastic crowd. There were Dance performances from Japan, the Pacific Islands and the USA and a documentary film from the College’s German International students. There were spectacular performances by musicians from Classical through to Rock and even the teachers got up and jammed.
There were special appearances by Napoleon Dynamite, the Spice Girls and by someone closely resembling Prime Minister, John Key. Both students and audience were enthralled by the wide spectrum of styles and disciplines being performed. The breadth of talent was truly astonishing. The College is eagerly looking forward to the next annual Variety Concert in 2017.