Message from the Principal | Oxley Christian College

From the Principal | Oxley Christian College

Dear Friends,

Our opening weeks continue to be eventful. Information evenings and Senior School camps have been front and centre. But the investiture ceremonies for student leaders across the college were also highlights. On behalf of our community, I congratulate all students who have been selected by the college processes for appointments in leadership. We know students will fulfil the leadership mandate in an exemplary manner as they have committed to being their very best.

Leadership is an often complex matter, having many nuances of definition and expression. It is very much a contest of faith and courage for those difficult circumstances that can sometimes emerge. The truth of a situation can be as difficult as confronting things that are untrue. Courage is essential, whereas cowardice in the face of confronting situations is contagious.

Understanding leadership is often helped through the metaphor of warfare or alluding to its strategic principles. Warfare comes in many forms. Few leaders want to be tested by the threat of war, about which the current media is full of exemplars. But we know that an enemy will cause distractions on the side, in order to get an army to take its focus off the main agenda. An enemy will try to frustrate leaders and drain their resources and commitments. An enemy will try to find out the limits of what you will do. But the ground of all leadership remains the moral argument of what is right or wrong and what’s true. The tangible expressions of leadership are filtered by one’s values and mission, and the ultimate elements of purpose. This involves identifying what one is prepared to die for.

Great nations, and I suggest, great organisations and leaders, don’t get angry. They get strategic.

While we all know at Oxley that Christ is the primary model for Christian leaders and that His teaching on leadership was that a leader is essentially a humble servant, Jesus was also strategic.

Here we are concerned with big picture dreams of what might be, of inspiring others to come on board with our mission. We are concerned with forming community, gaining resources, planning, building, protecting ourselves, and the end points of our purpose for being here. In this space we are playing what Simon Sinek calls the infinite game. It’s about knowing the games others play alongside us, and that our successes are often short-lived. Here we know that there are contested beliefs and spaces for us to work for the common good of others. It is a space in which we must be prepared to consider what is worth losing one’s life for. It requires big dreams, courage and commitment in order to lead in this space. Our trust is that our College community is also developing with us a strategic approach to raising children with their best interests in mind.

Warm regards,

Dr Douglas Peck


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