In a year where there have already been significant changes occurring due to COVID-19, the word ‘unprecedented’ has been the catch cry of many commentators. With the retirement of Dr Quarmby, we are in a period of further change for the College.
While 2020 has been a year of significant (unprecedented changes), in retrospect, there has always been change. Over the 17 years that the College has operated there has been continual growth and development, economic downturns, challenges in meeting financial targets, floods, drought, bushfires, staff changes and government policy changes. Each challenge has been met and overcome, through God’s guidance, with careful planning and adaptation to the circumstances.
Much has been written about ‘Change Management’ and the process of change for businesses and organisations. The consistent themes for successful management of change involve strong leadership, having clear motivating goals and objectives, clear communication, managing resistance to change and the modification of culture to encourage change.
Dr Quarmby’s leadership has been critical to the success of the College over these years and we will miss him. Part of his legacy is the strength of his foundation, the vision created for the College, the core Christian values as the basis of that foundation as well as the quality of the staff and the College Council members.
The vision for the College remains – ‘Wollondilly Anglican College endeavours to provide a disciplined, caring, learning community where students and staff pursue excellence and lives are transformed for Christ’s glory’.
The five College ‘Distinctives’ are unchanged – ‘A quality Christian Education’, ‘Towards Excellence’, ‘Pride in Belonging’, ‘Community Engagement and Involvement’ and ‘Education for Life (a Second Education)’. These foundations remain. They are embedded within the culture of the College and reinforced by the staff.
Change can create uncertainty, however, in the case of Wollondilly Anglican College our past and the future have been founded on the certainty that God is still in charge and He walks with us.
To paraphrase the thoughts of Dr Quarmby in a staff devotion – God is in control of the destination.
Impossible obstacles become interesting challenges. Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:(25) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (26) But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: (27) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
When we build on the rock, we hear Jesus’ words and make them the foundation for our College, for our family and for our lives. It is not plain sailing. It is a narrow road and a narrow gate – full of pitfalls and hard climbs. We learn to allow Jesus to refine us and shape our contribution to His great work at the College.
Despite the changes we face, we will continue to build this College on the foundation that has been established over the last 17 years as we move into the future.
Mr Ian Croger