This week we had the opportunity to host the world renowned psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg.  You may recognise him as the resident ‘go to expert’ who appears regularly on Sunrise advising on all matters of parenting. This was a Hasting Valley Community of Schools initiative aimed at providing our students and the wider community with valuable information to support students and families manage the challenges of adolescence.  

There was also a parent session which was both entertaining and incredibly informative.  Raising adolescents is undoubtedly a challenge for us all.  Promoting our teens’ safety, understanding their developing brains and navigating the ups and downs are all difficult tasks.  Especially challenging is attempting to do this whilst also preserving our relationships and maintaining harmonious homes.  Dr Carr-Gregg was frank about what parents can do and should not do to support their teens to develop resilience and gave some great key points of reference. 

How would a parent know if their child is travelling ok?

  • Do they have friends?
  • Have they emancipated from adult carers?
  • Do they understand and enjoy school?
  • Do they have a spark- something that they feel passionate about?

Top 5 mistakes Parents make with Teenagers

  • Lack of consistency
  • Not listening
  • Yelling
  • Being a friend rather than a parent
  • Attacking the person rather than the behaviour

There is more information available at Dr Carr-Gregg’s website and he has numerous books on parenting and raising adolescents.  We hope to bring Dr Carr-Gregg back to Port Macquarie in 2020.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank Mr Ruhl and his wonderful Stage 6 Hospitality students for hosting a dinner for special guests on the evening. They prepared a scrumptious array of food like rice paper rolls, curry puffs, bruschetta, beef sliders and stunning desserts like red velvet cake, chocolate mousse and rocky road.

Stage 6 CAPA Evening

What creative students we have! I was so impressed with the quality of performances on Wednesday night. The art display, singing performances, dance composition and music pieces were extremely engaging. Congratulations to all of our students and the CAPA staff for supporting our HSC students to achieve their personal best.

Captain and Vice-Captain Nominations 2020

On Thursday, the whole school came together to hear from seven young men and women about how they intend to lead our school in 2020. What resonated with me were the qualities that they all demonstrated.

The main responsibilities of a school captain include: serving as a good role model for the other students, speaking at formal occasions and assemblies in the school and representing the school at formal events outside the school.

Some further qualities that I believe are essential attributes for our school leaders and ones that were demonstrated included:

Sincere enthusiasm

True enthusiasm for our campus students and programs cannot be faked. All of us can recognise insincere cheerleading from a mile away. We want our leaders to be sincere, enthusiastic and passionate about their peers, their whole school, their teachers and our campus. Our seven nominees did this well.


Whether it’s giving proper credit for accomplishments, acknowledging mistakes, or putting safety and quality first, great leaders exhibit integrity at all times. They do what’s right, even if that isn’t the best thing for some people. That makes the role really hard but each candidate acknowledged this important attribute.

Great communication skills

Leaders must motivate, instruct and support the people they lead.  They can accomplish none of these things if they aren’t very skilled communicators. Public speaking and clarity are very important. I give each candidate a grade A for their communication skills.

The ability to resolve problems and find solutions

Defining and analysing problems and making tough decisions is part of leadership. Sometimes it doesn’t make you friends with people but if you believe it’s the right thing based on evidence, trust your gut.

Finally, I’ll finish with a quote from Mac Anderson.

“Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude and a desire to make a difference.”

Our Campus will be in great hands in 2020.