100th year to inspire next generation of students

REFLECTING on the achievements of past students and helping build a future for the next generation is top of the agenda for New Town High School as it ushers in its 100-year anniversary.

The celebrations for the centenary year were launched at a reception event at Government House late last month, where 180 old scholars and 30 current students were in attendance.

“We’re celebrating our history because we believe our school has contributed to the community significantly over the years,” New Town High School principal Dave Kilpatrick said.

Established in 1919 as the Hobart Junior Technical School in Bathurst Street, New Town High School has had a long tradition of educating students to become leaders in numerous sectors.

Mr Kilpatrick said he hoped to continue this tradition by focusing on two themes during the centenary year.

“The first is to recognise and celebrate all those contributions that the men who have left this school have made across Tasmania and the rest of the world,” he said.

“The second is to engage our old scholars in working with the current enrolment to help them achieve their goals.”

Mr Kilpatrick said schools only looked back at past achievements when celebrating milestones.

“We’re trying to shift that around by saying what we’ve achieved lets us understand ourselves and our mission better – that it allows us to connect with people that can help us achieve our goals,” he said.

To help celebrate the milestone, an old scholar’s association comprising former students was established.

Former student and member of the centenary organising committee John Barker said a lot of work had been devoted to planning a number of events throughout the year.

This includes a debate between three current supreme court judges and the school’s senior debating team, the establishment of a Hall of Excellence in November, various sporting events and an anniversary dinner.

Mr Barker said mentoring programs between past and present students, such as the establishment of a men’s sustainability shed and community garden, would also be conducted.

“The formation of a formal old scholars association in partnership with the school association will enable contribution of knowledge, experience and program support,” he said.

“Understanding history and achievements of former students establishes pride in the school and creates confidence in current students of what may be achievable.”

For more information, visit the website at www.newtownhigh.tas.edu.au or the New Town High School Facebook page.

Caption: New Town High School principal Dave Kilpatrick looks to the future with year seven students during the school’s centenary year.