From the Director of the Senior Campus
Welcome to the commencement of another term at Xavier College. I trust that the break provided an opportunity for renewal, reflection and relationships. Appropriately, the term for staff commenced on Monday with a range of activities geared at service and reflection and an opportunity to explore and examine our own spirituality under the Ignatian themes of ‘companionship’ and ‘accompaniment.’
I am of the firm belief that in order to accompany the students on their holistic, spiritual journey we, as staff, must be committed to exploring our own faith and spirituality. Naturally then, the opportunity to share experiences with our colleagues across the three campuses was warmly welcomed. Certainly, the hope is that such undertakings will ultimately lead to better educational outcomes for the students. Indeed, this is the primary goal of any staff professional development.
We expect our staff and students at the College to be leaders. There is a plethora of research that has emerged over the last couple of decades in relation to leadership theory and practice. At Xavier, we promulgate a very specific type of leadership (Ignatian Leadership), which is marked by service and self-awareness. Recently, I had the good fortune of reading an article by Peter Senge, entitled Leadership: Becoming a Human Being, which highlights how Ignatian leadership transcends time, despite the various new theories and models of leadership that are constantly emerging. In his article, Senge explores the issue of the seeming dearth of self-awareness and moral development in contemporary leadership and points to age-old models and philosophies as a guide to the centrality of self-awareness in effective leadership.
Senge references the Confucian theory of leadership, Plato’s dialogue in Republic and Buddhism to highlight the importance of truly knowing oneself as a leader and to acknowledge that this is an ongoing, perpetual process. The issue of self-cultivation pervades the article, based on the importance of looking ‘deeply into yourself’ in order to become truly aware. While this concept of self-awareness has been linked to leadership over time, Senge feels that this has become somewhat diminished in the age of globalisation, when in actual fact it has never been more relevant or necessary, given the complexity and interdependence of the age in which we currently exist. Certainly, this is the hope I have for the staff and students at the College – that they can lead through a deep understanding of one’s self as a starting point.
As I mentioned in my first newsletter article when I commenced at the College in February, I was very much looking forward to learning the Xavier story ‘from the inside out’ and this has certainly rung true over the last six months. The relationships I have developed with colleagues, students and parents have been key to this process and having some time to slow down over the break has made me realise how privileged I am to be part of the Xavier community. It is a wonderful school with enormous potential and as we look forward, it is important that we continue to improve and grow and most importantly, have the courage and desire to be better and in line with this year’s College theme of ‘Striving for the Magis’ – to be more.
Wishing you all a very happy and successful third term.
Adam Lewis Director of Senior Campus