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Recently the 2022 TGS Prefect group spoke at the Headmaster’s Assembly about respecting individuality. But what does this mean? The foundations for a successful relationship with peers, family, co-workers, and others is framed and supported by a two-way street of respect. However, for this two-way street to be functional it is important to know that respect cannot be demanded, it can only be earned.

Toowoomba Grammar School is no different and respect is nurtured in various forms such as in the classroom, sporting realms, cocurricular activities and the boarding houses. TGS prides itself on being a family and community where respect is integral between staff and students, allowing positive relationships to flourish. The School promotes the assistance for staff and students via professional organisations that focus on relationship development such as RUOK, National Humanities Alliance, Lives Lived Well and other groups. These groups focus on the development of respect and relationships and allow the students to utilise their experience to support and promote better pathways for respect to be fostered in our community.

The main message of respect centres around being mindful of what is happening in another person’s life and to consider their needs before our own. Independent School’s Queensland recently released the results of a study into student wellbeing. “A July study into the wellbeing of Australian school students has found that almost a third of students reported that they were not coping well over the first half of the year.” (ISQ News, August 2022). The report suggests that this figure is growing in 2022 and students are becoming increasingly concerned over matters relating to respect, health and acceptance.

National Manager Schools at Headspace Kirsten Douglas has stated “Right now, we need to talk to each other, reconnect and slowdown in order to speed up. There is an inclination to move at great speed; it feels counterintuitive to slow down, stop and communicate, but if we don't do this, we'll spiral out of control.” What this suggests is that in our rush to get back to ‘normal’ we are forgetting the importance of positive and respectful relationships. Students need to feel a connection with their teacher whilst feeling safe and respected. However, the same must demonstrated in return, as suggested earlier – respect is earned, it cannot be demanded or simply expected.

In summary – it is important to know that Toowoomba Grammar School is working hand in hand with leading groups and staff to develop a culture of understanding and the need to respect yourself, respect your family, respect your teachers and respect the work of others that take pride in keeping the school looking the best at all times. The students are encouraged to follow the procedures of pastoral support and meet with mentors, heads of house or heads of department if they feel they are not being respected. The Toowoomba Grammar School belief is that if you are respectful towards others, then you will generate a platform of respect in return for yourself.

Mr Michael Hall
Acting Head of Senior School - Students




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