Gratitude at Grad-i-tude 2018!

From Bold Park Community School’s Principal – Paul Whitehead’s Grad-i-tude Speech (20 November, 2018)

2018 has been an extraordinary year. One year ago we were not sitting underneath a beautifully constructed undercover area; in fact, you may recall some were a little unsure how they felt about adding the undercover and basketball spaces. We are now glowing about the function and opportunity that this space has provided to our students and indeed our community. I am also grateful for the exciting plans for our Early Childhood Playground, for our partnership this year with Landsdale Farm in Middle School and College, for the extensive Arts Program and ‘Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ Production, for our Camps and Outdoor Nature Programs – that are second to none and the amazing range of provocations, programs and projects offered to our children and young adults.

One of the things that Bold Park has strived to do well is to be a school who says, “Thank You” and who celebrate contribution and partnership.

Today’s ‘Grad-i-tude’ event combines the Graduation of our Year 6s and 12s with the celebration of our community. It reminds us of the contribution/s people have made and do make is ultimately all about the children. Gratitude was the Whole School Focus for 2015 and we have sustained this focus by gathering together once a year to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us make the year a success.



I have to start by congratulating our children on another fabulous year. What bright buttons they all are – we wake up in the morning thinking about them (and sometimes we lay awake at night thinking about them to)! We love how our children have grown in mind and in heart this year. As our staff sit together for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon we hear wonderful stories about their successes, passions and compassion and the good they are working to build in one another.

I once again commend our amazing and committed teachers, administration and grounds staff. I can’t thank them enough for all that they give. They are inspiring educators/staff and heart-beat givers… they each, truly live what it means to be co-learners in community. At this busy time of year, I know our parents and students will be ‘pouring out there grateful all over them’.

To our community, thank you. For staff lunches, Busy Bees, reading to children, sewing, sawing, watering, gardening, moving, speaking and inspiring. For Scholastic and library services, late-night sleepovers, camps, photography, organisation … for dreaming with us. Fund-raising and Fun-raising, cooking and cleaning, work placements, volunteering, supervising, encouraging leadership, making costumes, standing in stalls, car washes, discos, set-up and pack-down, encouraging and caring for one another, the children and our staff. Those who bring specialist support or services, donate furniture or resources … and special thanks to our Parent Class Coordinators and School Board.

Of course, this year also saw an extraordinary gift to our community. An entire new school facility – we so grateful to the leaders, families and founders of KIDS Open Learning School. We also acknowledge that ‘opportunity and preparedness met’ in order for our community to be considered for this gift – it says a great deal about Bold Park Community School’s  place in the progressive education space in Australia and it says a great deal about the givers that they have faith in us to carry their torch forward with our vision and goals for education.

“It is not happiness that brings gratitude but gratitude that brings happiness”.

We take up the challenge to be Grateful not hateful”. Being grateful transforms the world we see and experience – as we seek to confirm the good in what we see in our community.

William Ward said that “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it!”. We hope our many end of year events (but especially today’s Grad-i-tude Event), provides an opportunity to pause, celebrate and say “Thank You” together.



Paul Whitehead


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