As students bid farewell to their teachers for the summer break and Year 12 graduates have their eyes facing forward to the next challenge in their young lives, it seems very appropriate at this time of year to honour the legacy of Swan Christian College Principal Mr Adrian Scott, who finishes his six-year tenure at the end of 2021.
Anyone who has visited the College on Great Northern Highway will realise two things very quickly: it is very big, and there are many different parts to this educational facility.
The Kindergarten to Year 12 campus caters for more than 1500 students each day. In addition, there are a number of other elements that form Swan Christian College; there is the Swan Trade Training Centre (STTC), which caters for pre-apprenticeships in electrical, steel and woodworking careers, the commercial kitchen, which caters for students pursuing hospitality traineeships and the online-learning facility, ‘Swanonline’ (which has seen dramatic growth in enrolments during the COVID-19 pandemic period over the past 18 months). Visit the bustling campus on any school day, and you will begin to understand the gigantic task of overseeing this venture.
This week, Deputy Principal Mr Terry Eason described Mr Scott’s leadership style as ‘one that sets out to empower others, rather than micro-managing.’
Mr Scott, an accomplished musician before turning his hand to educational management, has reinvigorated the Arts program at Swan Christian College and created a number of new ventures for students.
Driven by Ms Jane Hille, Fenceline Theatre has achieved award-winning results in the Perth Fringe Festival utilising current and former Swan Christian College students and staff. Instrumental music has grown in status in the past four years under the direction of Mr Andrew Raymond. The Living Well program (promoting student well-being) established by Mr Terry Eason and Mr Simon Bergin has seen excellent results in creating awareness around mental health and positivity for today’s young people. These initiatives have not been solely led by Mr Scott, but rather inspired by distributed leadership, a hallmark of Mr Scott’s time at Swan Christian College.
Mr Scott farewelled the Swan Christian College community recently by saying:
“It has been a blessing and a privilege to be Principal of Swan for these past six years. God brought me to Swan Christian College for a reason. God brought me here for a season. That season is now over, and it is time for you and for me to embrace the next phase of each of our journeys.”
On the lighter side, Mr Eason remarked this week that Mr Scott is a ‘proud supporter of the Fremantle Dockers – which is a clear indication that he is a man of faith!’
Mr Scott has also endured several turbulent times during his six years at the College, having joined the College in Term Four of 2015 when there were significant issues to navigate, enduring 18 months of COVID-19 pandemic conditions beginning in early 2020 and battling cancer scares during the final two years of his time as leader of the College.
He will also be remembered as a College Principal who was ably supported by a vibrant Parent Committee during his time at the helm, providing relief for families after the Wooroloo fires and banding together with a number of not-for-profit agencies during the pandemic to help families isolated from one another.
When reflecting upon his time at the College, Mr Scott pointed to the intangible elements of any family unit and the achievements of the team rather than any individual accomplishments:
“The people at our College and the relationships we sustain are the strength of our College community.
The dedicated staff and supportive parents enjoy working together.”
It’s very clear from talking to just a few of the staff across the campus that Mr Scott worked hard for those around him, cared deeply for the students in his College and will be remembered as a Principal who empowered young leaders to take on new challenges.
SCEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Graeme Cross paid tribute to Mr Scott this week remarking that Mr Scott’s season at Swan has been one of ‘collegiality and professionalism’ in which ‘many students and staff members have been blessed because of this leadership’ brought by Mr Scott to the school.
The baton has now been passed to the staff that he has led faithfully during this time. The most significant legacy of his leadership will be the generation of students who have enjoyed their schooling experiences at Swan Christian College during his tenure.