Principal's Blog - 29 August 2019

25 Aug 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

One of the great joys and benefits of my role as Principal is that I am constantly learning. Whether it be through formal study, new administration systems, constantly evolving learning programs or simply through the daily interactions I have with people in a variety of situations and circumstances, I am always learning and growing. I think that is why most days I still feel a little wet behind the ears as my role is in a constant state of flux. I am sure that in this fast paced world we live in, this would be something that you all experience from time to time.

One such learning experience occurred last week when I gave evidence on behalf of Marcellin College to the North East Link Panel Hearings held at the Veneto Club. It was my job at this hearing, along with our Barrister and expert traffic and civil engineers to animate and expand on the submission we presented to NELP regarding the potential impact of the North East Link Project on Marcellin College both in the short and long term. In the coming days I will be sending you a special message to update you on all that has been going on in this space over the past several months with regard to how we have made the voice of Marcellin heard with the aim of mitigating the impact of this project on our College.

I have to say that I did feel little out my comfort zone, not only in having to present our schools case to the NEL panel in the presence of many other legal, government and media representative but also because following my presentation I knew I would be cross examined by the proponent Barrister acting for the authority. I was nervous because after all the work, effort and time which had been given by so many in the lead up to this day, I didn’t want to say anything which would undermine our case. I think our Barrister sensed my discomfort and offered me some reassuring advice. She told me not to worry, that I had prepared well, that I knew what I was talking about and that I if I spoke genuinely and honestly from my heart then everything would be ok. So I did, and it was.

I learnt too in this experience that when we are being questioned or challenged, sometimes it’s good to stop and take a breath, to quickly test our response against what we know to be true and even ask for clarification on the question before we commit to a response. Most importantly, if we don’t know the answer don’t try to bluff your way through, it could lead to your downfall!

In many ways this same learning could be applied to a variety of situations. As our senior students quickly come toward the end of their academic year, maybe there is a lesson in this for them as they prepare for their final examinations.

  1. Prepare well, knowing that in the pressure of the moment you can take comfort in the knowledge that you know your stuff.
  2. Present genuinely and honestly from your heart.
  3. Take a breath or two or three before responding to the question.
  4. Clarify the question in your mind by reading it several times, picking out the key words and ideas to fully understand what it is asking of you.
  5. Don’t just a bluff an answer. If you don’t know, leave it and come back to it later, the answer may come to you in the meantime.

Finally, in these moments of pressure and stress I say a quiet prayer, which steadies me, gives me strength and reminds me that someone is watching over me in my moment of need.

Mark Murphy