Principal’s Assembly Address

February 8, 2024

Principal Christine Williams addressed students at the Junior Assembly on Wednesday, read her message below.

The 2024 National Waka Ama nationals were held at Karapiro just outside Cambridge in January. 3200 competitors participated with many age groups represented.

One of these participants was Pete Cowan. Why is this significant?

Image by: Ryan Cox

Well 13 years ago a 15 year old Pete was hit by a car while out training for an IronMāori triathlon. His upper leg was split open. Fortunately two nurses who came upon him saved his life but his leg was amputated.

A friend at his high school suggested he try Waka Ama. Despite having one leg he gave it a go and now 13 years later he has his sights set on Paralympic glory.

Image by: Ryan Cox

You may still be asking why is this significant? What has this to do with you?

Today’s assembly is largely about participation, getting involved and House spirit.

If Pete Cowan can lose a leg, still wants to participate and try something completely new then I issue the challenge to you to give something extra curricular a go at Hillcrest High School. I also issue you a challenge to participate and have fun in either tabloid events or the traditional athletic events at the upcoming House sports day on the 20th of February.

Last year it was the 50th Jubilee of Hillcrest High school, meaning this school was built and opened 51 years ago. In its time it has had many amazing students, some of whom have gone on to be famous. You may have heard of Kimbra or Pax Assadi? But there have also been many wonderful students who have not gone on to be famous but who have given school and later adult life a real go. They have followed school’s expectations, followed society’s expectations as an adult and made the most of any opportunity. Will you be one of those people who seize opportunities when they arise and give things a go?

And to finish off. I really enjoyed walking around on Friday and welcoming students back. But I felt down about the amount of rubbish I saw. Any rubbish that is dropped here gets into waterways and eventually makes its way to sea where it pollutes our oceans, kills sea life and birds and forms vast wastelands in the ocean. Please find a bin and put your rubbish in. Kia kaha.