From the Senior School

Embracing Unity Amid Diversity: The Clan System, Tribalism, and a Sense of Belonging

Mr Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School

Last Friday at our Senior School Assembly, our Clan Captains each read out a brief history of their Clan to inform students of their Clan history but more importantly; to foster a sense of belonging.  At the heart of our College lies the Clan system which replaced the traditional House system of both Scots College and Presbyterian Girls’ College in 1970 when the two schools united. Prior to the amalgamation of the two schools each had their own House system which fostered tribalism, and a deep sense of belonging. PGC had a House competition between WR Black who wore red, Shilliday who wore yellow and De Conlay who wore blue. Scots College’s competition was comprised of  School House who wore black, Cunningham House who wore bottle green and De Conlay who wore dark blue.

The Clan System is an important component of the College’s ethos and has evolved into much more than a mere organisational structure. It serves as a mechanism to foster camaraderie, cultivate leadership, and build a strong sense of belonging among the student body. Students are placed into distinct “Clans,” each named after a notable figure or value, creating smaller communities within our larger school community. Family affiliations are an important component of Clan placements to acknowledge those who have come before.

The colours of the current Clans are a homage to the colours of the emblems of Scotland, with the cardinal and gold of the rampant lion flag and the purple and green of the thistle which is worn so proudly on the Scottish rugby jersey. But where did the actual Clan names come from?

The Maciness Clan name is derived from the girls’ tartan which is proudly displayed on both the summer skirt and winter kilt. This tartan was originally chosen in the 1930’s as a mark of respect for long serving staff member and Headmistress, Miss Mackness, as it is her family tartan. The MacInnes or MacAonghais, or son of Angus means ‘Unique Choice’ or ‘Choice One.’ Strength, determination, and unity summarise the Maciness Clan.

The Cameron Clan originated in the Western Highlands of Scotland and their tartan is the same tartan formerly worn by the Scots College cadets but is now worn by our School Leaders and the Pipes and Drums. The Cameron motto means ‘Let us Unite’ and represents bravery and resilience, reminding us that we are stronger when we stand united. Historically the Cameron Clan fought for King Robert the Bruce during the Scottish War of Independence.

The Leslie Clan was established in 1990 as the school grew. The name Leslie is synonymous with the town of Warwick and honours the pioneering Leslie brothers who settled and established farming lands around Warwick on Toolburra Station in 1840. The very station then became home to Scots College boys during World War Two when the US Army took over the Oxenham campus to repatriate wounded soldiers. Originally the Leslie Clan heralded from Aberdeenshire in the north-east of Scotland.

Also established in 1990 was the Mackay Clan. Its name comes from connections to the city and district of Mackay in North Queensland through Reverend Richard Bardon who was a major contributor to the establishment of the college as a founder, School Council member and local minister. Reverend Bardon moved to Mackay in the 1920s and became a valuable asset to the College by recruiting a number of students from the Mackay district to attend.

The Clan System is a testament to the value we place on diversity. By grouping students across grades and backgrounds, it encourages interaction beyond a student’s immediate circle. This interaction is where the magic happens. Friendships are forged with peers who might not have been met otherwise and cultivates empathy, broadens perspectives, and lays the foundation for lifelong friendships. Let us embrace the power of togetherness that our Clan system cultivates and continue nurturing a school community that thrives on unity amid diversity.

Hospitality – Out and About at Jumpers & Jazz, and more…

Mrs Melissa Bellingham | Partnerships and Enterprise Manager & VET Coordinator

During the recent Jumpers & Jazz festival, our Certificate II in Hospitality students were given the wonderful opportunity to gain some real-life hands-on experience.

Saturday 29 July saw the “Local Flavours Long Lunch” in Leslie Park come to life, where six of our students assisted with the setting and clearing of tables, service of the three-course lunch and the greeting of the guests upon arrival.

The Jumpers and Jazz committee could not speak highly enough of our students – they were professional, hardworking and a credit to themselves and the College.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Jumpers and Jazz Festival in the years to come.

The Certificate II Hospitality students have also had the opportunity to dabble in some Mocktail making during their practical classes in the past few weeks.  The students had a lot of fun mixing, shaking, pouring and blending mocktails such as a Shirley Temple, Mickey Mouse, Blue Lagoon, Pina Colada Smoothie and a Virgin Cosmopolitan Mocktail.

I am sure they look forward to testing their skills on the next round of Mocktail making fun.

Aspire 2 Health Day

Mrs Melissa Bellingham | Partnerships and Enterprise Manager & VET Coordinator

Last week ten of our Year 10 students had the opportunity to be part of the annual Aspire2Health Day that was held at the Warwick Hospital QRME Building Training Centre.

Aspire2Health is a partnership with rural high schools in the Darling Downs and Maranoa, Rural Medical Education Australia (RMEA) and the health care services in the local community. The aim of the project is to highlight and spark interest in the careers opportunities in health and enables high school students in Year 10 from the region to participate in simulated clinical learning, which is usually only available to University medical students.

Aspire2Health is a fun, highly-interactive and practical ‘peek’ into the day-to-day lives of health professionals. Throughout the day, the students learnt about:

  1. The diverse range of health professions working in the health industry;
  2. The kinds of things that each health professional knows, does and uses to help those under their care;
  3. The available learning pathways to become a health professional; and
  4. How to have fun along the way

The students also had the opportunity to speak with university students and a range of practising health professionals in areas such as Nursing, Midwifery, Medicine, Paramedicine, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Allied Health workers about their careers choice and pathways to medicine.

As always it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day, especially when the students were able to take part in the clinical scenarios where they were able to take part in practical sessions to learn about CPR, Suturing, Midwifery, Nursing and Allied Health skills.