Dean of Students | Mr Damien Fall

I have written on various occasions about resilience and how important it is for young men to grow their ability to bounce back when things don’t go well.  Learning to cope with hardship is one key ingredient to developing good mental health.  The trouble for many parents is that we don’t like to see our children going through tough times and we instinctively want to protect our kids from any of life’s knocks.  The reality is that the all-important life skill of resilience is best developed in our young years.  I saw two fine examples of resilience at Tennyson on Saturday.  

The first was when Conor Tweedy left hospital to sit on the sideline and watch his mates play against IGS.  Despite all the challenges he has faced and that lie ahead, Conor has never once complained.  He has simply set himself goals and gone about achieving them.  One major goal was to attend the final home game of the season last Saturday.  This week, he’s excited to be heading to Toowoomba for the final round and I know there are a number of other significant goals he has set for the months ahead.

The second example of resilience was when Reilly See broke the hearts of IGS by kicking a sideline conversion after fulltime.  The kick itself was a highlight, but the story behind it is more important.  Reilly had lost his position in the team earlier in the season, but never complained or stopped smiling.  He kept his chin up and kept training with a positive attitude, so Saturday was a great reward for Reilly.  After he kicked the goal, our Rugby Director told me about Reilly’s commitment to practising his kicking.  He won’t forget that moment and deserves recognition, not only because of a kick, but also because of his resilience and work ethic.


With only a handful of days until holidays, this is a critical stage of the term for all year levels, as the boys complete exams.  As always, it is important that every student makes the most of all remaining time by making exam preparation his top priority.  Holidays will soon be here, but until then, there’s work to be done.  On the subject of exams, the removal of some of our usual routines for Years 11 and 12 during exam block can be seen by some students as an opportunity to lower their standards around personal presentation.  I ask for parental support with this important matter, in particular:  students must be clean-shaven when they come to school, and they must be in full academic uniform.  While we understand the boys are busy, these matters remain a high priority.  Wishing all students the very best over the exam period.