Regulus Address // Issue 2 // August 2019
It was an especially lovely surprise to see Dame Adrienne Stewart, and I took the opportunity to again acknowledge the generosity and support of the Stewart Family over many years, most recently in 2018 with the opening of the Stewart Junior Centre and Pre-school.
It was also special to have three former Board Chairs in attendance – Neil Thomson (Board member 1967 to 1988 and Chair 1979 to 1988), Brian Gargiulo (Board member 1992 to 2003 and Chair 1996 to 2003) and Garry Moore (Board member 2004 to 2017 and Chair 2006 to 2017) – and to have the opportunity to acknowledge them and their service to the College. Between them, close to 50 years’ governance commitment to the College, which I know required considerable professional and personal sacrifice from them all.
The AGM is an important time of reflection and accountability as the Board presents the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the prior year. We also take the opportunity to talk about areas of particular focus and priority in the College today, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
The Board reported to the meeting strong strategic and financial performance in the 2018 year. The College roll is strong at all levels; achievement across the academic and co-curriculum spectrum continues to improve and reach new heights; innovation and change are alive and well; and our reputation is prospering. Perhaps the greatest single indicator of success is demand for student places which are again at unprecedented levels for 2020, with a long waiting list at Year 9.
I had the pleasure of announcing Nick Letham as the new staff nominee to the Board of Governors following the retirement of Chris Janett earlier in the year. Under the College constitution, staff hold the right to nominate a non‑staff member for appointment to the Board. There were two nominations and after a thorough process, led by Co‑Deputy Board Chair, Rob Hall, Nick was the successful candidate. Nick Letham is a Senior Associate in the Chapman Tripp Corporate Team and holds an LLB with Honours from Canterbury University and an LLM from Cambridge University. He is an Old Collegian, ex Head Boy, ex live-in boarding house tutor, and retired Foundation Trustee. He has strong relationships right across our community, a comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of the College, and is widely known and respected by staff and stakeholders generally. I think it’s pretty easy to see why the Board felt Nick would be a wonderful addition to the College governance team.
Framing our Future, the College’s Strategic Direction, was published earlier this year following a year long conversation with our community and key stakeholders. We are already seeing the value in this work as it guides and aligns planning and decision making across the College. This was highlighted so well by the new Director of Boarding, Matt Parr, when he recently presented to the Board. Matt connected the plan for boarding to the six strategic priorities from Framing our Future, clearly demonstrating common purpose and ensuring that we are all on the same page and heading in the same direction.
If we are looking for an indication of what the future might hold for St Andrew’s College, I believe that we can take comfort from the extent to which effective leadership is being grown and developed across the many and varied facets of College life. Also planning and decision making has common purpose and we have a teaching and support staff team whose overall capability is going from strength to strength each year. On top of this, there is an unrelenting drive to do and be better.
The Board remains cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the months and years ahead. There will always be challenges, unforeseen circumstances to face, and change in the wider environment that disrupts, however, I am confident that we have what it takes as a community to confront and navigate any challenge in the best interests of students, families, and the College.
So that’s another year behind us and we are already half way through the 2019 year. It’s shaping up really well.
On behalf of the Board of Governors