From the Principal - May 2021

From the Principal - May 2021

From the Principal – May 2021

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Being shaped in a world that is swiftly changing

I’ve been interested in the insights of social researcher and demographer, Mark McCrindle, for some years.

The Weekend Australian, (April 24 -25), presented an interesting extract from McCrindle’s and co-author Ashley Fell’s latest publication Generation Alpha, which reflects much of what we are currently observing in our School and in the wider community. The five characteristics of Generation Alpha – those born since 2010 – will not surprise you, namely, they are identified as digital natives, social, global, mobile, and visual.

I would add that these characteristics are also observable in Gen Z, students now making their way through secondary school.

McCrindle’s research, recognises the visual nature of the world we now live in as a major ‘influencer’. I was interested to read that Generation Glass is an alternative identifier for this group of young people, ‘because screens and glass are the primary medium they learn and engage on’. Certainly, as I visit classrooms across our campus, the visual learning style appears to be by far the most dominant.

Our Technologies, Visual and Media Arts, Film, Television and New Media, and Visual Art, some of our elective suite of subjects, undoubtedly generate a great deal of enthusiasm with our students. The opportunities to construct knowledge and communicate personal interpretations through applying diverse materials, techniques, technologies and art processes, engage students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. One of the tasks our Year 9 Media Arts students most look forward to is the creation of a Social Awareness Campaign on an issue that is important to them and reflects contemporary times. The links below will provide you with some insight into works created by students during 2020. The chosen themes say much about what students observe in the world around them.

As students enter their senior years, their skills continue to develop as they are challenged to think in divergent ways and produce creative and expressive responses. McCrindle argues in this article that the ability to hone creativity, curiosity, social and cultural awareness, communication and presentation skills, will assist young people to thrive in their chosen fields. I’d also like to recommend to you the current Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art at GOMA in Brisbane which will run until 8 August.  Leilani Leon’s and Natsha Nair’s individual 2020 works completed during their Senior year, are included in this exhibition. Both Leilani and Natsha achieved at the highest level in their QCAA Visual Art subject, receiving 100 marks. They visited us at the commencement of school this year, returning for our Scholars’ Assembly; we are extremely proud of the futures they are forging for themselves.

This weekend, if you are travelling and looking to visit the Aspects Art Show at Goondiwindi, I would also recommend stopping to see the works of current students in this exhibition. At the time of writing, I understand works are on display by, Issy Hacon, Maeve McBratney, Jemma Jansen van Vuuren, Saskia Billson, Ella Horscroft, Hannah Green, and Holly Ryan. Please call in to our St Hilda’s stand at the Goondiwindi Show if you are in the vicinity as we would be delighted to see you.

So, what does McCrindle’s research suggest to me as I contemplate his conclusions? As older generations who look to guide as we watch over our young people being shaped in a world with great societal anxiety and economic and social volatility, I believe we should be buoyed by the strength of the characteristics we see in Generation Alpha and Gen Z. They reveal a generation that is attuned to an empathic appreciation of the world and its condition, and for this we should rejoice.

Wendy Lauman

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace