Dean of Students | Mr Damien Cuddihy

It is important to be able to help our sons navigate through adolescence with confidence.

I was interested to listen to the Greg Inglis interview on the weekend about his ongoing struggles with mental illness. He spoke about growing up and being taught to “toughen up and play on and just get on with it.” Many of us can relate to that comment which is generally aimed at developing resilience in our children. Certainly, building resilience in our boys is a very important aspect of growing up, but like all practices, if this becomes the default then this approach can have some limitations. Central to Greg Inglis’ struggles was missing the “camaraderie, the talk, the laughter, everything that goes with it” from being involved in a team environment. The human interactions that nourish the soul. Schools have certainly witnessed a significant increase in the number of boys presenting with various forms of mental illness in the past decade. Our collective parenting experience tells us that there’s no “magic wand” when confronting mental illness just plenty of presence and patience for our young men. An insightful phrase from the Inglis interview was “it ain’t weak to speak”. Finding that crucial balance between developing resilience in our young men, whilst allowing them to recognise that it’s a positive character trait to be able to communicate how they feel. This awareness will help our sons to navigate through their adolescence with a little more confidence.

Last Saturday I spent the day on Ross Oval. I would like to make mention of how proud I was of the supporters and players who participated in the event. From the boys in the 6th XV through to the 1st XV, from the little Year 5s cheering at their first GT/NC rugby match to the Spirit Leaders out front, the boys were exceptional in their approach to the day on all fronts.