Mr Couzic's speech from 60th Celebration

Good Evening, I would like to formally welcome the Honourable Sue Ellery, MLC Minister for Education and Training, Department of Education Deputy Director- Mr Stephen Baxter, Regional Executive Director Mr Neil Milligan, Busselton City Mayor -Mr Grant Henley, BSHS School Board Chair- Mrs Heather Carrol, BSHS P&C President Pam Webster, our amazing staff, past staff members, current and past students, Principal Colleagues, parents and community members.  I would also like to make special mention of some other guests here tonight. Troy Buswell former Local Representative in the State Government who was head boy in 1983. Barry House former president of the Legislative Council, head boy, dux in in 1966 was also a teacher at BSHS. Finally, Alan Miles the first ever Head Boy at BSHS way back in 1958.  

A sincere welcome to you all on this auspicious occasion to celebrate 60 Years of Education at BSHS. Anniversaries are wonderful occasions for recalling the years gone by and for crystalizing a vision for the years ahead.

The advances in educational theory and practice from the 1950’s to our present day have been profound, not only in Australia, but all around the world. We now live in a global society, where information is instantaneous and the demand and expectations for high calibre educational programs and modes of delivery as a pathway to better career opportunities, and increased quality of life, has never been more in demand.

The classrooms of the yester year have dramatically changed, with significant advancements in Information Communication Technologies such as Bring Your Own Device to school; Online Assessments, Pedagogy (which is the science of teaching); National Professional Teaching Standards; Professional Learning; Performance Management; Curriculum; Access; and Equity. Long gone are the “chalk and talk days”.

But what hasn’t changed over the last 60 years is the reason why we have all come together to be here today. It is to recognize our sense of belonging or as the Aboriginal express, as our homing. We all weave our own Song lines where we connect with others to make relationships in significant times and significant places that in turn becomes our own sense of personal history.  Schools are not just physical places of learning but they are made up of that immeasurable quality within them that transforms people, so schools become key milestones in our past. Each one of us has our own learning journey to travel that is created from memories of relating to different people, understanding different cultures, exploring new opportunities to develop our talents, but most importantly schools provide a safe place to discover, practise and embrace our values in life.  Education is the powerful key, that unlocks the doors to our own individual happiness and successful futures. Lifelong learning allows us all to continually grow and discover and change who we are and what we are passionate about in life.

I hope our 60th Anniversary today provides past students, staff, parents and community members with an occasion to reconnect to people and events from your past high school years and I hope it provides our present students, parents and staff with an opportunity for you to contemplate that you are indeed making your own significant memories for your own individual histories.

Indeed, my own learning journey as a Principal of this fine school has recently been enriched with developing more candid connections in our school community during our recent adverse media reports. We all navigate and travel along our own educational song lines as we take on new roles in new places and in different times.

Busselton Senior High School has a rich and enduring history of being the inaugural high school for 60 years this town we call Busselton.   

It has always been a school with strong connections to the community linked to the Bussell family pioneers and these links continue today.  This school has always reflected its community. It is a school that has always strived to deliver a quality and innovative education to its students. It is a school that instils a sense of pride in those connected to it. I frequently tell the current students that one way we can show our pride is through wearing our school uniform and displaying the crest front and centre.

This crest was presented to the school in 1959 and is an adaption of the Coat of Arms of the Bussell Family, the original settlers of Busselton and from which the town’s name is derived.  The Bussell Coat of Arms originates from the early Middle Ages, when a Bussell knight is reputed to have revived a king, fallen in battle with water in his helmet.  Many of the heraldic embellishments have since been removed.  The casque, or knightly helmet which appeared at the top of the Bussell emblem, has been omitted because we have no claim to aristocratic descent and the winged cherub has also been removed. The three water bougets, which were featured on the Bussell crest, have been retained.  They are the three figures which resemble Arabic symbols on the shield and are the heraldic depiction of a yoke and two water skins.  Also depicted is a chevron, the “V” shaped stripe which indicates a non commissioned rank, between the three leather water carrying bougets. 

The Latin motto “Finis Coronat Opus” was adopted by the school and translates to ‘the end result justifies the work done’, and replaced the Bussell Family name on their shield.

And you all thought you came here tonight for a celebration and not a history lesson to show how mediaeval knights from England are connected to our school. My apologies. However, I have a strong belief that our crest is extremely important and relevant today as it was 60 years ago. I believe this crest is the tapestry that weaves, connects and represents who we are here at Busselton Senior High School. It is what we stand for as a school community.

Over these past 60 years at BSHS, there have been many achievements where our school has been the catalyst to launch many influential people many of who are with us today. The school has experienced many ups and downs and its share of tragedies over the years but what is rewarding to witness is the 1000s of local graduates some who still reside within our community who are now enrolling their own children or grandchildren at the school.

No matter what happens at Busselton Senior High School, it will always endure and remain strong, resilient and adaptable to any challenge in teaching not only the academics across all subject areas but also teach our core values of Respect, Empathy, Achieve and Learn. Just like the Bussell Knight who revived the king, BSHS will always find a way to correct itself, lift itself up and move on to a new and exciting pathway.

I believe that is all up to us here tonight to acknowledge this proud tradition of education at this local premier high school named after our town to ensure that this school history is not forgotten and continues being the learning institution weaving positive song lines and stories into this town, region, state and country for another 60 years.

I thank you all for your part in connecting and travelling our road and shaping our school into what is today- a rich, diverse, tapestry of learning and connection.

Please enjoy tonight, the music, catching up with friends and colleagues and sharing stories from the previous years.