When Professor Arnold Toynbee visited Monaro High School this year he was particularly interested in the way in which children from many other countries are adapting themselves to school and life in Australia. It was with very great pleasure that I was able to assure him that almost invariably, these newcomers take a prominent part in school affairs whether academic, sporting or social. The ease with which this "settling in" is accomplished is due in no small measure to the friendly and helpful attitude adopted by the "older" Australians among you.
Many of these young people must have found school life, particularly within the classroom, extremely difficult for a considerable time as they often bad little or no knowledge of the English language and they understood practically nothing of what was being said by teachers and members of their classes. Nevertheless they have persisted with commendable determination and have made considerable progress, not only in English, but also in their other subjects. In sport, of course, there are many games common to all nations, but cricket and Rugby football, which are the major summer and winter sports at this school, are not played in many countries outside the British Commonwealth, and not in all countries of the Commonwealth. It is therefore pleasing to note the enthusiasm with which these new sports have been accepted as part of the new life by the boys of other countries and their willingness to learn from people with more experience in these sports.
In these facts there is a lesson for each pupil of Monaro High School. It is that what appear go be insurmountable difficulties can often be overcome by a determined effort and the acceptance of advice from people qualified to give it. Not only is this so when attempting to master new subjects but also in life generally. Frequently the overcoming of the difficulty brings no immediate reward than a feeling of satisfaction from worthwhile achievements.
Determination to better yourself and the community, to perform your duties to the best of your ability, to be always courteous, kind and considerate of others will make you responsible, successful and happy citizens. When all of you have the determination to do these things Monaro High School will truly be "In the Ascendant".