Being a School Captain or Vice-Captain can be an enormous responsibility, yet more often than not, it is a prized position that is in strong demand and contention between CGS students. The ability to initiate and influence change can be hugely rewarding if you are able to see those changes come to fruition.
Recently, CGS held its first ever School Captains’ and Vice-Captains Reunion, inviting back all Captains and Vice-Captains back to where it all began at Canberra Grammar School.
CGS welcomed over 40 guests, ranging from the 1950s up to our current CGS Captains. An amazing array of ages, personalities and stories gave the event a quality that we don’t often see at other Reunions. Many of the Captains didn’t know each other on arrival (due to the span of time between year groups), however, all shared the common ground of being Captains of the School at one time or another, and the stories of the highlights and pitfalls of being in such a position and the things they would have changed if they had the time over again.
Part of the evening was to note down some of the memories, inspirational moments and some all-important advice for future Captains taking on this important role in years to come. While there were some comical memories and stories of inspirational teachers who clearly left their mark, a strong theme seemed to carry through the advice given to future Captains: stay true to who you are and don’t be afraid to influence change. This highlights the responsibility and pressure given to Captains to lead the student body, and that it is not a position for the faint hearted.
Canberra Grammar School would like to thank all of the guests who attended and look forward to another School Captains’ and Vice-Captains’ Reunion in the coming years. Below are some of the memories noted from our past CGS School Captains:
What is your favourite memory of your time at CGS?
‘The last day was my favourite. Muck up day, mock assembly, then the final assembly and the walk out. It was that day that I understood how much CGS meant to me and how big a role it had played in my development into the man I am today.’ – Stephen Carroll (’14)
‘Running out onto the rugby field or the rowing course with my best mates. Experiences are broader after school, but being that close with your mates is something special.’ – Timothy Sanderson (’11)
‘The discussions, debates and visions shared in the Eddison common room amongst mates in 2003.’ – John Bartholomew (’03)
Who was your most inspirational CGS teacher and why?
‘Tim Harrison – so passionate about maths, loves teaching. A great bloke, who genuinely cared.’ – Richard Greig (’07)
‘Jeff Knowles – he taught Philosophy and Religion using The Matrix (the movie). What a legend. He shaped my world view and I now work in the field of Psychology as a result.’ – Bradley Carron-Arthur (’07)
‘Nick Hollier was the most inspirational teacher for me, as he taught me to pursue my passions even if they are not traditional and to strive my hardest in every pursuit. John Klein is a close second for the same reasons.’ – Stephen Carroll (’14)
Looking back on your time as Captain or Vice-Captain, what were the highlights or pitfalls of this role?
‘All in all, the most rewarding year of school. It was hard work at times, but the experiences gained were worth every second.’ – Jackson Friend (’14)
‘(Highlight) adding the opportunities of leadership and all that entailed to the opportunities of the school as a whole. (Pitfall) Having to shave my head for charity.’ – John Bartholomew (’03)
‘(Highlight) The honour of being chosen. (Pitfall) The belief that your fellow pupils would automatically follow.’ – Chris Bradbury (‘63)
What is your #1 piece of advice for future CGS Captains?
‘Save time for yourself! It’s easy to get caught up in the role (although well worth it). Make sure you still enjoy the year. You’ll only do it once.’ – Jackson Friend (’14)
‘It’s your opportunity to learn skills that very few people get. Make the most of it by trying everything. Don’t hold back. It’s hard to learn leadership from a text book.’ – Bradley Carron-Arthur (’07)
‘Embrace the role! You were voted and elected for a reason, so be yourself. Have fun in the position and leave the mark on the school that YOU want to leave.’ – Owen Steer (’14)