The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia


In the recent holidays the Emerald Heights International School in Indore, India, hosted the annual Round Square International Conference. The theme of the conference was Sarvodaya - the world we wish to see. Sarvodaya is a Sanskrit word meaning progress for all. The word is a combination of Sarva meaning one and all and Uday meaning uplift. Fittingly the conference took part in the week of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday, a man who lived a life dedicated to Sarvodaya.

There were many highlights of the conference, not least the opening and closing ceremonies when the flags of all 157 schools were flown proudly. It was exciting to see Simon Arnott (Year 10, Ross House) fly the College crest amongst so many other fantastic schools. The conference keynote speakers were the Nobel Peace Laureate Dr Kailash Satyarthi, Swami Gaur Gopal, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Sophia the Robot, Ms Kiran Gandhi, and Major D P Singh the Indian Blade Runner. Scattered in between these speakers were all sorts of activities, including visits to Mandu and Maheshwar, two of the oldest medieval fortifications in India, a range of service activities, and lectures and personal development sessions, all set amongst a spectacular campus.

My days were spent in conversation with teachers and students from all over the world. At a Round Square event it is not uncommon to have a group consisting of people from six continents, from privately owned and operated schools (common in the Middle East) and vocational schools, not to mention to the number of different languages being spoken. Much time was spent solidifying exchange arrangements and relationships and plenty of sessions on new and exciting developments around the Round Square network. I attended a workshop on privacy considerations for schools in China and have developed links with a school in Arusha that may be able to assist with some accommodation for our Tanzania Tour. On the final morning I spoke to a teacher from Istanbul and after our initial discussion around the great words of Ataturk, inscribed at Gallipoli, I got the insight of a young, educated Turk on the US decision to withdraw from northern Syria. When I caught up with Simon and Sam White (Year 11, Stuart House) they would regale me with stories of the Germans, the South Africans and the Danes that they were rooming with, the cold showers they were enduring, and the Bollywood style events they were dancing at. These are just some of the experiences possible by being involved in Round Square!

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The conference was busy but a bountiful and ostentatious event with service to others at its core. This made complete sense in a country such as India, a country that is full of contradictions. I extend a most sincere thanks to our hosts and to Round Square. When we consider the world our students are entering, one that is changing so rapidly and so increasingly global, our Round Square membership is an integral part of us being a learning community with an international standard of excellence and developing young men who will become active members of the global community.

This  video gives a good insight into the Round Square International Conference experience.

Some Service opportunities that are coming up in Spring Term are outlined below.

CNCC All Abilities Cricket

Every Friday from 1 November, 5.30 – 7.00pm at Cresswell Park. All welcome.

Disabled Surfing WA

Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club, Leighton Beach

Saturday 7 December (PSA sport has finished)

Boardies Day to raise awareness of water safety and support SLSWA

Tuesday 3 December at Scotch College.

Rotary Club of Cottesloe-Mosman Park Christmas Cans for Foodbank

Sunday 8th December from 8.45am - 11am at the Mosman Park Men's Shed - Tom Perrott Reserve, Mosman Park. 

Any age welcome but children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Children 15 and over can volunteer on their own.

Tasks are to pick up bags of donated food from houses in Mosman Park and load them onto an accompanying car for transport to the Men's Shed.

Note that all donations will be left outside houses - door knocking is not necessary.  Contact John Baxter for more information 0401 253 531.