Keeping our journey on track

I have just completed about 150 admission interviews for the Class of 2027 and as always, it has been a pleasure to meet prospective new families and be affirmed that CBC Fremantle is a school of choice.

Enrolment numbers for the next two years are very strong, with a waiting list for 2021 and a full cohort already for 2022. During the hour-long interview, I make reference to the College’s Journey Document and am always pleasantly surprised to find out that the families who are joining our community for the first time are very well informed about the document and also with the aspiration that the College has for its graduates, and which they wholeheartedly share.

The Journey Document was conceived with a backwards-mapping mindset. An explicit understanding of the destination means that one eye can always be on where we intend to be with the CBC graduate and plan for the inevitable hiccups along the way. I guess in my mind, what the Journey Document has been able to do for our boys and families is a bit like what my GPS does for my car navigation. I punch in the destination, and am immediately given three or four possibilities. One may take a few more minutes, but takes the scenic route. Another might seem the most efficient, but doesn’t consider traffic. Either way, what happens is if I make the wrong turn, decide to go up this street instead of that or need to deviate because I’m picking someone up, the GPS simply re-calculates and provides me a new option, taking into consideration where I have come from, but more importantly, where I am going to. This is how I hope you see the College as it partners you to help form your son. A constant reassessing of the possibilities to match his needs, but with an explicit aspiration that is ‘The CBC Gentleman’.

As useful as my car GPS is, I recently found out that elements of it were now outdated. A few weeks ago, early on a Saturday morning, our beautiful family pet, Lucy the English Bull Terrier, passed away in her sleep. Those of you who have lost pets know how distressing this can be, so I made quick arrangements with a pet cremation establishment that offered a service that suited our family and provided the necessary comfort and intimacy. We loaded up the family, punched the address into the GPS and headed off. Like all good south-of-the river boys, my knowledge of the ‘otherside’ ends at about Swanbourne, so I have no idea where Neerabup is. All I do know is at some point my GPS was telling me to turn right and all that was in front of me was freeway. Everyone was stressed enough, and now what I thought was the fool-proof remedy to every destination route was obsolete. This was a part of Perth’s ever-increasing new road works and my GPS hadn’t been updated. Long story short, we ended up getting there, but had to wing it, during which time the lack of direction kept us all anxious.

I hope you can see where I am going with this. Our Journey Document is now nine years old. Only the other day I realised that young Leo Rifici, his mother Eileen and father John are pictured in the document as the family looking for a school for their son. Leo will graduate this year and the family, having had three sons through the College, will end their partnership with the College in forming their sons. Eileen told me this morning how happy she has been with that partnership, and whilst all the boys have had different journeys, they have all ended up at the same destination. Given this passage of time, it is most appropriate that we re-look at the document and make sure that it, unlike my GPS, is contemporary and does articulate the ongoing development of the College.

Over the next few months there will be opportunities for students, staff and parents to have comment on the document, ensuring we have picked up on any changes that have transpired in the College since 2012. This update is not a change of direction, because the feedback I get from parents is that the shared formation of their son into the best possible man he can be remains a priority. I encourage you to engage in the process wherever possible and thank you for your ongoing love and support. It is this investment that I hope brings dividends for years to come as your son continues his journey of improvement and discovery. By continuing to be explicit about our aspiration and focussed on the graduate we can ensure that every boy who leaves this College, if not fully formed into the CBC gentleman, can never say he was uninformed on how to become one.

God bless,

Mr Domenic Burgio